Test on Technology – vocabulary practice is a tool, that can be used by teachers, both to practice vocabulary connected with technology, in class, or as an example on how to develop their own interactive exercises to practice vocabulary of any subject.
The idea of presenting vocabulary in a form of interactive exercises is based on growing popularity of e-learning and ICT in teaching. The process of acquiring new vocabulary is very often based on rote learning, hence words are quickly forgotten. One of the solutions to make one’s learning more effective, meaningful and durable is to employ more senses into the process (text, picture, audio) and to make it more interactive (students tend to be more focused and motivated to learn when faced an interactive task or a game).
As for the process of development accounts on both H5P and WordPress have to created. After logging in on H5P you can edit your profile and start creating new content. To do this you have to select content type. Good example of a vocabulary exercise are Dialog Cards, which can be used as a drill to help learners memorize words, expressions or sentences. Dialog cards provide a prompt on one side of a card, and a corresponding answer on the other side. After selecting Dialog Cards from the box “Select content type” you can start editing your task. At the top part of the editor you can write a Title, that will be displayed to the learner throughout the set of cards, and in the field Task description give instructions to the learner. Having done that press the Add dialog button to add the first card. In the Text field you write a word in your language and below in the Answer field you provide target language translation. Then you can insert your image under Image field. Following the same procedure you will add more cards. When you are satisfied with the task, save it and you can now view it on your H5P account. When you open this task in H5P, at the web browsers address bar you will find a link, that might be later used in the process of composing WordPress content pages. The easiest way to create your own WordPress site is to create an account at wordpress.com. The site name that you used in the registration process will be later used as a link to your WordPress site, e.g. my-site.wordpress.com. After accessing your WordPress site at the first place the website basic layout has to be chosen. After that, you can create your website pages and add interactive content made in H5P in painless way.
As for the resources employed, in terms of equipment, we needed a computer with an access to the Internet. Two employees were working on the tool development, one of them prepared a concept of the tool and provided content, the other helped in technical aspect (creating exercises in H5P and placing them on WordPress). To create some of the exercises sites like Pixabay or Freeimages have been used to find the right picture. Another resource that may be helpful in creating exercises may be online dictionaries like for example Oxford Online Dictionary. The development of similar tool for someone who does it for the first time should not take more than 4-6 hours depending on general IT skills.
The main issue was finding proper content. While creating exercises using pictures, a problem may be to find the right picture. “The Tools and methods used for development” section describe the process of setting up the WordPress site by using wordpress.com service, this is the clearest way for non-technical users, however, WordPress can be also installed on a web server owned by school or user. A stand-alone approach is recommended only for experienced users and IT administrators, but ensure more configuration and customization capabilities during the WordPress site creation process.
Test on Technology – vocabulary practice is a tool that can be used for teaching/learning vocabulary. The tool is targeted to students at levels A2-B1, and presents/tests some basic vocabulary connected with IT. As a didactic tool it can be quite effective, especially in case of younger students due to the application of images and interactive exercises. The examples of exercises used are Dialog Cards, Flashcards, Text dragging and Single Choice Set.
Description of possible implementation situations class
The tool can be used as a resource, supplementing the students’ books while working on the topics connected with IT, in class or as a homework, or to create an independent, authorial lesson, based uniquely on the task prepared within this tool. It can be implemented simply by doing the task one by one and checking students answers (using interactive board) or can be done and checked by students alone (using computers or mobile devices) and then checked by a teacher with traditional test (a teacher could even try to perform an experiment – give the same vocabulary list to two groups, where one group would learn it traditionally by heart and the other using the abovementioned tool, then prepare the same test for both groups and compare the results). It can also be extended by introducing discussion, relevant video material or more traditional vocabulary games to further practice the material.
Pros and cons
This may really be an effective tool for practicing vocabulary because it links together text, image and audio, which means it engages different senses and hence makes it easier to memorize. Another thing is that the same set of words is practices in different task, using different types of exercises, which also should help in better acquisition of the vocabulary. Very important advantage of these kind of tools is that they can be used on mobile devices.
A weak point of this tool is that it does not offer the possibility of calculating the score.
This tool has been developed as an example and its main aim is to serve as a sample for language teachers interested in implementing mall tools into their classroom. The task described here is just one of many possible types of tasks available on H5P. For teachers interested in learning more on H5P and developing their skills, there is lots of information and comprehensive instructions on how to prepare each and every kind of task on the website, under Examples & downloads section.
The tool (herein WordPress CMS) can be used as free service for non-technical users thanks to wordpress.com or by the stand-alone installation approach. The tool has easy to use user interface, many configuration options (much more in stand-alone version), a lot of themes, that can be used for free and make that your site become very attractive for visitors.