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Online Chinese

Just a week into it, I’ve decided to drop the online Chinese course that I wrote about in this recent blog post.  The teacher speaks clearly and is reasonably engaging in the videos, but the course doesn’t meet my needs for instructional design.  It features lots of 4-8 minute videos that go over lists of words, but it’s not clear where and how to practice them.  Each part of the course is separate: videos, workbook pages, quizzes, etc. and the links between them aren’t clear. There’s also a pattern I find frustrating in the videos: the teacher says a word or phrase, then explains the parts and the tone.. and then she goes right on to the next.  I need to hear it again after the explanation, preferably a couple of times, to have a chance of retaining it.

With substantial effort, I could take the notes, rewind the videos, and create the links between instruction, practice, and evaluation.  That just seems a bit more effort than I want to put in.  Instead, I’m going to work on creating infographics in Canva and using Sketchnotes to enhance the visual element of my teaching and coaching.     A more limited, more immediately applicable topic.  If the outcome is adequate, I’ll share some of it here.

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Categories: Education
  1. July 14, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Yes, I have been signed in for the course too. To every comment you have made I would add my agreement. I have the benefit of having taken a once a week MS Chinese “course” several years ago and can follow along fairly easily, but when I make a mistake on a quiz (for example) I can not figure out the correct answer…not very satisfying. I think it would be easy to give the feedback corrections and suspect that MANY people have the same difficulty with the pronunciation/listening/sound differentiation. That is the hardest for me. I once went to a Chinese market to listen to the cashier call out the prices and could make no sense out of it. I am going to continue to play with it as I do like trying and will let you know what I think of later lessons. Needless to say I am not interested in credentials that are offered. I think you should take the DA course. That would be great fun. Wonder who is teaching it next year.

  2. Jennie
    July 14, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Is there a way for you to pass on your thoughtful analysis of the flaws of the course to the Wizard of Oz who sits behind the screen? Everyone would benefit.
    And you thought I wasn’t paying attention to bee keeping and the mess in Greece!

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