Using multimodal presentation software and peer group discussion in learning English as a second language

Mei-jung Wang


This paper reports an application of multimedia in a blended learning environment in which students engaged in multimodal presentations and peer group discussion. Students' presentation files were commented upon by their peers on the discussion board and scored by the researcher, based on questions developed by Levy and Kimber (2009) to apply criteria of design, content and cohesion in analysis of multimodal texts. After the discussion phase, students revised their files and answered a questionnaire about their perception of the value of this practice for language learning. Regarding the production of presentation files, most aspects of the title slide and overall slide designs were performed well, except for a lack of dynamic effects and inadequate consideration of the visual perception of the audience. Peer group discussion and the scoring can assist the students in inspiring their creativity and modification of the designs of their presentations. In contrast, other aspects such as language use were not improved, probably due to the limited language proficiency of the students or their unawareness of the need for further improvement. The questionnaire results indicate that students appreciated peer group discussions and understood that they might need increased skills to use the presentation software in a more sophisticated way.

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