Tuesday, October 30, 2007

REFLECTIVE commentary on my website

A. Reflection on the process of design and development of my website
Before creating this Christmas Activities Website(http://www.student.ed.qut.edu.au/n6203418/project/index.html), the exercises I desiged in the past were usually multiple choice, true/false items and gap filling. I seldom thought about the objectives of the activities and the pedagogical approaches behind them. However, after taking the unit of CLN 616 (Second Language Assessment and Program Evaluation) and CLN618 (Technology and Second Language Learning), I realize that in order to achieve effective learning, we teachers should match the activities with our learning objectivities (Brown, 2004). Therefore, when designing the activities, I took many factors like my context, the objectives and methodology into account. I also tried to adopt the principles of validity and reliability which I learned from CLN 616 in my activities when I designed them.

In the test design process, I tried to make my website user-friendly and gave the learners clear instruction to avoid confusion. I tried to show my students what to do and how to do through the instruction, and gave them necessary hints to help them complete all the activities. However, I also encountered some problems in the design process. I found it is not easy to write successful multiple choice items to avoid the possibilities of guessing and cheating in the exercises although this test technique has some advantages like the scoring is reliable and rapid (Hughes, 2003). Moreover, I found it is quite time-consuming to search for the suitable readings and related links for the learners. According to Brandl (2002), the pre-screening and selecting process of the Internet sites are the most time-consuming part.

B. Reflection on the feedback from my peers
The feedback from my peers allows me to examine the strengths and weaknesses of my website. From their feedback, my colleagues expressed that I gave my students clear instruction and hints which could help them complete all the exercises. The colors and animations I used also make my website look more attractive to the young learners. Moreover, the reading texts I provided for my students before starting the activities are very helpful and useful.

However, my website has some weaknesses as well. First, in the activity of ‘Christmas Cross’, the clues I provided for some words could help the learners guess the answer for another crossword. For example, the clue in down 3 could help my students find the answer in cross 2. I think these will make my test less reliable because the learners can guess the answers from the clues. Therefore, next time, I will pay more attention to it.

Second, it would be better if I could set the function in Hot Potato to shuffle the order of items each time when the page loads. This function could allow my students to do the activities again and again with different orders of items. I think this is a very good suggestion.

Third, I can add a variety to the exercises which will make the activities more interesting and meaningful. With regard to this point, I think the five types of exercises I designed (multiple choice, gap filling, matching, crossword and ordering the sequence) may be enough for my learners because these activities can reflect the overall objectives of my website: 1) examine if the learners have an overall understanding of the article, 2) if they can look for detailed information and predict the meaning of the unknown words, 3) if they know the key Christmas vocabulary and 4) if they understand the logical sequence of the article about the life of Santa Claus. Although I think these activities may be enough for my learners, my colleagues’ suggestions really give me another idea to think about the design of my activities. I really appreciate that.

The last suggestion raised by my colleagues is that I may need to add some pictures in the activity which may be attractive to the young learners. I think this is a good idea, too.

Through the process of designing my website and getting feedback from my colleagues, I really learned a lot. I found I will never discover the real difficulties and problems with my website until I do it. This hands-on experience is really useful and helpful for me. Moreover, I really appreciate the feedback I got from my peers because all of my colleagues are experienced teachers and they may have different ideas and viewpoints about the same activity. Therefore, it is a very precious experience to know the strengths and weaknesses of my website by getting feedback form them.

Brandl, K. (2002). Integrating Internet-Based Reading Materials into the foreign language curriculum: form teacher- to student-centered approaches. Language Learning & Technology. 6(3), 87-107

Brown, H. D. (2004). Language Assessment. Principles and Classroom Practices. NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Hughes, A. (2003). Testing for Language Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.

Monday, October 29, 2007

My Commentaries on

Zahran's and Natdhaya's Websites &
Brief feedback on Sherry's and Maggie's websites

Congratulations! Your website is really organized and well designed. Below is my feedback on your website:

(a).I love the photos you put on your website which reflect the characteristics of your country, Oman.
(b).Your website is well connected to your webquest and the two guides 'Johina and Basil' make the activities look more real and lively.
(c).You use a 'self-assessment' form to understand the learners' reading ability, learning strategies and attitude towards these activities you designed. It's really a good idea for teachers to understand their students' learning situations.
(d).You encourage collaborative work between the students. The learners are required to exchange what they've learned and send a group summary to the teacher after doing these activities.

(a).I found the font size in the 'instructions' and 'self-assessment' is a little bit small. Maybe you can enlarge them.
(b).The timer you put in your exercises may make the students feel stressed when they are doing them. What do you think?
(c).When I did the 'Marvelous Oman Match' activity, I found the learners could guess the answers directly without reading the suggested articles.
(d). Maybe the suggested readings load will be too much for the learners because they are required to read 13 articles to complete all the activities.

In general, your website is marvelous and neat. You give the learners very clear instructions which can avoid confusion and keep the learners from getting lost. You really have done a great job!


I love the topic of your website. It’s very interesting. Below is my feedback on your website:

(a) Your website is well connected to your webquest.
(b) The arrangement of your template is very clear.
(c) I love the idol photos you put on the ‘World Idols Matching’ which make the activity more lively and amusing. The content of this activity is interesting, too.
(d) In the activity of ‘Fact or Fiction’, if the answer is a ‘fiction’, you provide the learners with correct information for it. That’s good!

(a) Would it be better if you use drag and drop template for the activity of ‘World Idols Sequence’?
(b) Maybe you can divide the ‘World Idols Crossword’ into 2 activities because there are 18 words on it.
(c) Is there any information that can help the learners to complete the activities of ‘World Idols Cloze’, ‘Fact or Fiction’ and ‘World Idols Crossword’?

In general, your website is cool and clear. I love it. Well done and Congratulations to you !



Hi Sherry,
Your website is really eye-catching, and the colors and animations you chose are very pretty. All your exercises are very colorful, too. I believe all your students will enjoy doing these activities, especially the visual learners. I like the feedback you use for the activities when the learners don't get the right answers. Your students are
encouraged rahter than discouraged. Well done!


Hi Maggie,

Your website is cool. You also have two listening practices (dialogues) for the learners. I like them! I also love the mixed-up sentence exercises you designed because the photos and pictures you put on them make the learning more amusing.
Well done!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Thank you for your comments on my website!

I've finished my reflection by making use of them!

First, I would like to thank Natahaya, Zahran, Maggie and Karen for giving me feedback on my website. I really appreciate your comments. Now, I have finished my reflection by making use of your feedback and decided to post it on my blog in a few days. However, since I am going to Tasmania on Oct. 30th, I won't be able to have the access to the Internet for one week. Now, I would like to say thank you for all of you and wish you all the best for everything!


We went to the restaurant called Cha Cha Cha which wins the title of 'Best Steak Restaurant in Australia'. This restaurant won the awards for excellence in 2005 and 2006.

The photo was taken at the riverside which is just outside of the restaurant, Cha Cha Cha.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My Final Project~Christmas Activities Website

I finally uploaded my 'Christmas Activities Website'. This website aims to understand how much the students have learned after completing the 'Christmas around the World WebQuest' and reading the information of 'The Symbols and Traditions of Christmas' and 'Christmas Vocabulary' on the links I provided.

These extension activities are designed for 6 graders at elementary schools with intermediate English proficiency levels. They are designed to accompany the
'Christmas around the World WebQuest'. Both WebQuest and Activities Website can be used for these target learners. They can also be incorporated to other subjects such as Arts, Technology and Social Science.

Here is my 'Christmas Activities Website':

Welcome to share your opinions with me!


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Time for having a break !

This week is our Semester Break. Finally, I can relax myself a little bit. Although I have many activities this week, I still need to spend some time working on my assignments. I have 4 big assignments that will be due in 5 weeks. Hopefully, I can still survive this semester.


We spent all day at Gold Coast enjoying the blue sky, sea breeze, shiny sand beach and the once-a-week night market. The handicrafts at the Wednesday night market are terrific!

Wine-tasting tour. My friend drove me to several vineyards to tast a variety of red and white wines. Do you know how many kinds of wines I had tasted on that day? More than 12 !

I was invited by my Japanese friend to have dinner at his house. The home-made Japanese food, Okonomiyaki is very tasty.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I've completed my WebQuest !

Finally, I've completed my WebQuest !

I found creating a good webquest is not an easy job. There are a lot of essential elements invloved. I need to have a well-planned online learning project, design a good template and choose the right colors, pictures and animations to make my webquest more attractive to learners. These really take time and energy. Since this is my first webquest, I encountered lots of unpredictable problems when I did it. However, the best way for learning is to do it by myself. This hands-on experience really helps me a lot. Now, my hard work pays off. Finally, I've completed my webquest. What a great joy for me !

This is my webquest: http://students.ed.qut.edu.au/n6203418/Index.html

Friday, August 24, 2007

That's EKKA !

The photo was taken at EKKA festival. The fairy floss looks so colorful and fancy. It brings to mind happy memories of my childhood. I wish I were a little girl.

So many people at EKKA. I really wanted to try the Ferris wheel behind me but I gave up finally.

I was with my Thai classmate, Natdhaya. We really enjoyed the dagwood dogs. It was yumm......y. ^_^

Time Flies !

It's already week 5 this semester. Time really flies.
I thought the workload of assignments I have wouldn't be as heavy as I had last semester but the truth is not. I have 4 assignments due in week 7. I am still working on them. What a burden for me ! I think I need to cheer myself up. Go! Go! Go!

Taking photos with my Australian and Asian classmates

My lovely Asian classmates

My study life at QUT

I was listening very carefully to the lecture.

I was doing presentation for the unit of SLA (Second Language Acquisition). It's a tough subject.

We were having a party to celebrate the last day of the class last semester.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Congratulations to me ! I have created my first blog.

I have never thought I could have a chance to ride a camel here. What a special experience for me. (Poor camel !)

Brookfield show. I was with my Taiwanese classmate, Daphne and Japanese classmate, Tsuyoshi.