Blending Swedish, a Nordplus-financed project, is a joint endeavour between KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the University of Iceland, and Aalto University.
The project has as focus the newest, most modern large open online course in Swedish, Learning Swedish (LS) – a course which in March 2017 had more than 74.000 registered users after little more than one year online.
The major questions are how this self-paced course, with no teacher support, and no feedback on oral or written production, can best be integrated in blended learning environments, and what support students not in the original target group (international university students coming to Sweden) are most likely to need. The project intend to design strategies and materials to flexibly and efficiently integrate LS in mixed learning environment based on research, proven experience and critical learning analysis of LS, and thus support existing teaching of beginners’ Swedish inside and outside the Nordic / Baltic region, help teachers interested in e- learning, and increase the efficiency of the already developed online course.
The work will be driven by teachers from the partner universities but the project will be conducted as a collaborative online effort in which other universities, teachers and students are welcome both to participate in the project and to retrieve information from it, via this project homepage.
Insights and lessons learned in the project will also hopefully contribute to the more general understanding of how to successfully integrate existing online material in classroom teaching, a question made increasingly important by technological advances, increased demands on teachers, and by the sheer mass of freely available online material today.
Open webinars and seminar
The project will organise three open-for-all webinars, as well as an open end-seminar at KTH, in the spring of 2018. All web-participants are welcome to contribute with questions and comments towards the end of the webinars. The webinars will be recorded and published here soon after the events.
Webinar 1: Blended learning. A conversation about the state of the art between Professor Marti Cleveland-Innes, Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University, Canada, and Professor Stefan Hrastinski (Technology for Learning, KTH), with time for questions and comments for all web-participants:
Webinar 2: Blogging and Vlogging in Toronto and Helsinki. A webinar with Lecturer Sanna Teerenhovi, University of Arts, Helsinki, Finland, and Assistant Professor Anu Muhonen, Finnish Studies, University of Toronto, Canada, chaired by Heidi Rontu, Director at Learning Service, about aims, practices and some preliminary observations of an online-based Finnish as a foreign and second language learning project.
Webinar 3: Virtual Education Experience in an Extended Nordic Context (VIEDEX). Preliminary date: 6 October 2017
A webinar about the first experience from a three year EU-financed project with the aim to develop material for a Portal for learning Swedish (a virtual e-learning open access Module) and a Swedish Learning Game related to and aiming at strengthening Business Swedish in working life in the Nordic-Baltic area. The material will be adaptable to different levels of education, both formal and non-formal, as well as continuing education and staff training in companies. The Project’s Webpage: https://viedex.wordpress.com/
In the webinar we will discuss practices and evaluations of the project’s first year results with focus on the Joint study unit in Swedish and cultural understanding – a joint cross-cultural communication course in Swedish for university students in Iceland, Finland, Estonia and Latvia.