Blending Swedish, a Nordplus-financed project running 2016-2018, was a joint endeavour between KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the University of Iceland, and Aalto University.
About the project
The project had as focus the then 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 were how this self-paced course, with no teacher support, and no feedback on oral or written production, could best be integrated in blended learning environments, and what support students not in the original target group (international university students coming to Sweden) were most likely to need. The project intended 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 was driven by teachers from the partner universities with help from colleagues and students at our own and other universities.
Insights and lessons learned in the project 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.
Seminars and webinars
Webinar 1: Blended learning (30 Sep 2016).
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 (8 Mar 2017).
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: VIEDEX: Virtual Education Experience in an Extended Nordic Context (13 Oct 2017).
A Webinar with Ulrika Serrander, PhD in Linguistics and Senior Lecturer in Swedish/Swedish as a Second Language, University of Gävle, and Malin Barkelind, Senior Lecturer in Swedish, University of Iceland, chaired by Sarah Ljungquist, PhD and Senior Lecturer in Science of Literature/Gender Studies, University of Gävle, Sweden.
NB: This webinar was held in Swedish!
This Webinar focused on the first experiences 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.
In the webinar we discussed 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.
Final Seminar om the teaching of Swedish as foreign language in blended learning environments (25 May 2018)
NB: The project’s final seminar was held in Swedish!
Seminarium om undervisning i svenska som främmande språk i blandade lärmiljöer (plats: KTH, Salongen KTHB)
Seminariet innehöll fem presentationer med fokus på framgångsfaktorer för blandade lärmiljöer, verktyg för utvärdering och översättning, appar och andra digitala hjälpmedel för språkundervisning. Dessutom presenterades den fria onlinekursen Learning Swedish liksom en lärarhandledning med övningar för Learning Swedish i blandade lärmiljöer.