Interactive Instructional Materials as Multimodal OER for Intermediate Japanese Courses

Project TitleInteractive Instructional Materials as Multimodal OER for Intermediate Japanese Courses
Principal InvestigatorSaori Hoshi
Funding Year2022
Project Summary
This project aims to create interactive audio-visual content as a multimodal open educational resource that promotes student learning and development of conversational skills in Japanese. The content includes 15 modules of interactive videos and comics illustrations of model conversations across situational functional contexts. This OER will be designed to supplement existing speaking materials for 6 intermediate-level Japanese courses at UBC (JAPN 320, 321, 322, 323, 360, and 361) and for potential dissemination and use outside the University. The use of videos as supplementary material in a flipped- classroom context has proven beneficial in promoting self-directed learning in terms of outcomes, resources, and strategies (Oliver, 2019).

The rationale behind the production of audio-visual content for the Japanese language courses underlies the convention of teaching conversation skills from the textbooks or paper-based materials such as handouts. Model dialogues in existing textbooks are often simplistic and not authentic; there is little or
no use of linguistic or interactional resources that speakers employ to develop conversion and negotiate meanings with others (e.g., repetition, backchannels, fillers, and hedging). In addition, supplementary audio files of the model dialogues represent speakers exchanging utterances with no overlaps or disruption, which hardly reflects natural language use. To fill that discrepancy in teaching textbook dialogues and everyday conversations, this project proposes the implementation of OER materials that integrate digital technologies into instructional and learning resources for both teachers and students: for teachers, the digital content can serve as an add-on classroom resource that supplements existing speaking materials; for students it serves as an asynchronous interactive tool that facilitates student- centered learning and formative assessment of their knowledge and use of resources required for the development of conversation skills in Japanese.

The proposed OER consists of 1) h5p-based interactive videos that contain a total of 15 model conversations targeted for each lesson, 2)a series of visual illustrations (comics) that capture those identical model dialogues, and 3) transcriptions of the conversations, and 4) instructor/student guides for the use of the resource. The OER will be organized into modules via an OER website to provide students with a range of multimodal resources, including combinations of video, audio, visual illustration, and texts. The interactive component of the h5p videos will be designed such that it enables students to actively engage with the video content (model conversations) beyond watching; students will also examine and analyze conversation by “click and answer” questions regarding the pragmatic functions of linguistic and nonlinguistic elements (intonation, gesture, eye gaze, etc.) as essential to the development of social interaction. The comics version of model conversations, on the other hand, enables students to have exposure to the “vertical writing” of the text, a common written style of Japanese comics. Therefore, this digital content with the different modes of multimodality has the potential to afford students rich and integrated learning experiences, addressing the needs of diverse student groups and their learning styles, and ultimately to equip students with a range of language resources essential to develop conversational skills in Japanese.
Grant type OER Implementation
Funded Amount $24,121