Moodle and blended learning in teaching German for beginners

Strauss, Trudie (2015-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015


ENGLISH ABSTRACT : The use of technology in teaching is often seen as a deus ex machina. Teachers and parents are quick to identify that the best way to improve teaching is the implementation of technology, by means of a Blended Learning approach. However, little thought is given to the practical considerations of this statement. Reflection on whether the Blended Learning approach can be implemented in the already established teaching practice or whether this necessitates a complete change in teaching methods rarely happens. This study aims to determine whether the incorporation of certain aspects of Blended Learning into an already existing teaching methodology results in a significant change in learners’ German performance. Grade 8 beginner German learners took part in this study during the third term of 2014. Two groups were identified: an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group did all homework assignments on the available online learning platform, Moodle, while the control group did homework assignments in the conventional way – on paper. At the end of the third term, learners’ examination results were compared to the results of the examination of the second term. The changes in the results of the two groups were compared to determine whether one group manifested a significantly greater change in results than the other. The outcome of the study is that incorporating only elements of a Blended Learning approach into an already existing teaching system, while keeping the methods of instruction constant and only changing the medium of homework delivery, does not have a significant influence on learners’ performance in German.

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