CEWiT members and IU lecturers win Phase II Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant

By Sophie Babcock

Monday, February 29, 2016

It was the first time Olga Scrivner and Julie Ann Madewell applied for Indiana University’s Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant. Their submission, “Augmented Reality Digital Technologies (ARDT) for Foreign Language Teaching and Learning” nonetheless won a Phase II award of $5,000.

“I think Olga and I were successful because of the impact that this may have for language learners,” said Madewell, a core lecturer of Spanish and course supervisor. “We want to test out new technologies in the classroom to see if they can help learning outcomes.”

According to Scrivner, a visiting lecturer in the Spanish and Portuguese department and CEWiT circle leader, her and Madewell’s winning proposal allows students to use their “native” platform – a mobile device – to increase their engagement and ability to learn a foreign language. “We strongly believe this technology has a great potential for improving language learning,” she said. “There is also a need to examine the impact of augmented reality on language learners.”

The proposal includes three stages: the creation of the materials used, testing of the materials, implementation and collection of data and feedback, to happen this fall. The grant will be used to record video conversations with speakers from various Spanish dialects, and several graduate students will be hired to assist.

“Our research topic is very relevant,” said Madewell. “These technologies are already being used in other areas of teaching, but not so much in the language classroom. It is important to explore how these technologies may be able to positively impact language learners.”

Madewell affiliated with CEWiT this semester, and Scriver says through CEWiT she has met some of her greatest collaborators. “With my CEWiT colleagues, Kylie Peppler, Margaret Dolinsky and Nitocris Perez, I have recently applied for the NSF grant for Cyberlearning ‘Virtual Language Lab (VLL): Transforming Language Learning through Virtual Reality.’”

Both Scrivner and Madewell encourage others to apply for a grant like they did. “It does not have to be a break-through study, even small discoveries are important for our future,” said Scrivner.