In this article, the authors trace the progress from the initial creation of the Independent Learning Centre (ILC) at Abu Dhabi Men’s College (ADMC) in the United Arab Emirates to some of the multiple functions that the ILC fulἀls at the present time, focusing on student participation that leads to student autonomy. Initially, we will look at how the physical space of the ILC guided and directed the production of online materials. We then look at the online materials created as a logical extension of the ILC learning environment with particular reference to Arab-Emirati students, as well as the integration of the ILC online material into class curricula that the students were, and are, undertaking. Finally, we will look at one teacher’s overall experience of involving students in the ILC as part of their learning process. We will highlight the methodology of introducing the students to these computer-based materials, how students responded to the physical space of a new learning environment, to new materials and to the online access and evaluation of the material. The results of surveys looking at student responses to the use of the ILC materials will be analysed and the history of these materials will be examined as part of the recommendation that such resources need constant updating, and refinement.
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Screencasting technology has significantly impacted the field of education as an effective, easy-to-use technology for delivering direct instruction in a mobile learning environment. However, this technology can have a deeper impact on the learning process. After discussing the basics of screencasting and its role as a tool for flipped instruction, the author will discuss how screencasting can be used as a formative assessment tool for both reading and writing.
The advent of Web 2.0 brings in endless possibilities to enhance collaborative learning in the classroom. In this paper a website that holds much promise for classroom application, voki.com, was analyzed and is recommended for teachers to use in a Learning Management System (LMS). In our opinion, adopting Voki in an LMS will enhance students’ learning experiences, as the teacher becomes an enabler and learning facilitator, thus enriching the learning experience for the student. A few examples are presented to show how we used Voki in our LMS, Blackboard Vista, at Dubai Women’s College, to enhance student learning of targeted content vocabulary.