In March 2016 teachers at Ekonomska šola Murska Sobota has started course piloting of the Slovenian, English and German study material with their students. Students from the secondary school unit have taken part as well as our college students.
The first students who piloted the course were our second year economy college students who tested the English material. There were two groups of students, testing the material for the A2/B1 level and B2/C1 level. Before starting the piloting session each group was informed about the project itself, the results so far and how to use the tasks on the e-learning platform. We went through all the modules so that they could see the types of exercises and how to solve them.
The first impressions were positive. Students found the platform interesting and useful and they enjoyed learning English online. Most of them checked their language knowledge and some of them improve it as well, especially the students who learn English as a second foreign language. Their first foreign language is German. They mostly liked and enjoyed the Module City where they had to explore the village, seaside and ski resort maps to solve the tasks. The students solving the tasks on the higher language level B2/C1 found the modules and the tasks quite challenging but thought that most of the reading texts were too long.
In April, students from the secondary school unit started to participate in piloting. They were of different age and from different programmes, such as economic technician, logistics technician and vocational grammar school. They were second year, third year and fourth year students. They tested the material in Slovenian, English and German. All of them were informed about the project and the results and about how to use the e-learning material before starting the piloting. Regarding the English material, they mainly tested the A2/B1 level but some of them also tried the B2/C1 level.
The students liked solving the tasks online, especially the tasks of the Module City, where they had to use the village, seaside and ski resort maps. Although they found solving the tasks quite time-consuming, they still like them the most. Many students found the module Management offices very useful because of the different topics. In addition, most of them liked the module Restaurant kitchen, where they had to find out about national dishes of different countries.
In April also our first year IT college students started to participate in the testing and although it is not their field of interest, they found the tasks quite interesting. They were also informed about the project and the results and about how to use the e-learning material before starting the piloting. They tested the English material on both levels.
In April, we also had the opportunity to invite our part-time students to do some testing. They are first and second year economy college students and they tested the e-learning material in English on both levels and in German. They liked the tasks and found them very useful. They especially liked the idea of having free access to them so that they can learn and improve their language skills at home not only at school.
So far the general impression of the project and especially the e-learning material has been good. The students have spotted different sorts of mistakes, such as spelling mistakes and grammar mistakes but also words or answers missing. They also found some old-fashioned words – words they have never heard before or felt that they are not used anymore.
The course piloting will continue in May, whereby we are already trying to correct mistakes found by students and teacher.
Although we have already collected some feedback in class while working on the computer there will be a survey for students after piloting in order to receive a feedback on the e-learning platform and study materials, discover mistakes and get recommendations for improvement.
Project manager of Slovenian team
On an earlier visit a meeting was held with the owner-manager of this hotel to tell him about our project. He expressed an interest in having his staff learn about the materials that we had produced which could help them enhance their language skills. A date was fixed for a dissemination in December 2015.
The date agreed proved to be a very busy time and the staff were under some pressure. So, instead of having group presentations, each member of staff was given one or more individual training sessions so that the materials could be demonstrated and they could have an opportunity for hands-on practice using Front Desk, and the digital maps. They could also try the apps on a Galaxy smartphone.
Another visit is planned so that the final versions of all the materials can be presented and the project web-site explained so that the staff members could try some of the many tasks and exercises.
The hotel is situated in the small town of Aberfoyle, close to the scenic Loch Lomond, surrounded by mountains. It is at the centre of one of the most famous tourist areas in Britain and extremely popular with visitors from all over Europe.
Manager of Primrose Limited Ltd.