M7 – Data Collection

Methodological Approach

Motivated by the lack of empirical research and theoretical or practical examples, the present study seeks both to investigate the impact of immersive consumer VR on ICC in online intercultural exchanges, as well as to evaluate the feasibility of employing such technology in a real-world classroom setting. In order to achieve these goals, this study was carried out in cooperation with an existing telecollaborative partnership between American and French high schools. Given the limitations of such a context, this study takes a descriptive rather than empirical approach. To guide observations, this study addresses the following research questions:

Research Questions

  • Impact of VR on ICC
    • What impact does immersive VR enhancement of presentational and interpersonal activities have on ICC development in a telecollaborative context?
    • Are VR-enhanced digital storytelling / teleconferencing activities conducive to eliciting samples for assessing ICC/ILP?
  • Feasibility of VR in Typical Classrooms
    • Is current mobile VR technology viable in typical classrooms, both within a single class and as part of a telecollaborative dynamic?

Participants

Within this partnership, American students in French language classes interact with French students in English-focused section européene mathematics courses. While most American students are only beginning their French language studies, many of the French students are already quite proficient in English. Although efforts are made to align student interactions to the French language curriculum, due to this discrepancy in language ability, the primary aim of the partnership is cultural exchange. Furthermore, a six-hour time difference alongside inconsistencies in class scheduling and academic calendars between the two schools require that many exchanges be done asynchronously and at irregular intervals.

Enabling these interactions are a variety of technological resources. Both schools have limited wifi internet and provide each student with a device (e.g. Chromebook, tablet) for classroom activities. Additionally, many students possess a smartphone, though compatibility with newer software varies.

Procedure

This study’s interventions were tailored to the needs and curricular obligations of the participating instructors. Owing to the more specifically defined needs of the American students, the author chose to address the established state French language curriculum. Thus, this study design primarily addresses ICC through the lens of French language acquisition, though additional data for the English-language learning students were also collected. Based on instructor assessment of student motivation and language proficiency, the third-semester students were selected as the primary participants. Through a combination of the Gerlach and Ely Design Model, ASSURE Model, and a Backwards Design approach, and in accordance with the official curriculum, instructor-specified learning outcomes, as well as the highlighted components of ICC development (Figure 1), the author designed a series of VR-enhanced telecollaborative activities focusing on the interplay of presentational and interpersonal language skills with intercultural learning (Table 2). In order to maintain flexibility and minimize additional effort on the part of the French students, the activities were partially aligned to the first-semester curriculum such that student artifacts could optionally be recycled for use with a broader group of students. To facilitate activities that required technology unavailable at the cooperating sites, the author supplied the instructors with the requisite devices, namely 360° video cameras and additional smartphone accessories.

Included within these proposed activities were methods of assessing learner ICC via analysis of its two primary components: linguistic and intercultural competency. These competencies were further subdivided and corresponding evidence and methods of assessment were selected (Table 3).

Table 2. VR-Enhanced Telecollaborative Activities
Activity 1 Exchange of 360°/VR Panoramas
Activity

  • Students take 360 photos documenting their daily life.
  • Add captions and/or narration focusing on describing what they did and what things were like (passé composé, imparfait)

Exchange & Viewing

Exchange panormas with partner class and view them individually.
Discussion

Students discuss received panoramas as a small group, then as a whole class.
Reflection

Students compare, contrast, and reflect in a journal/portfolio using the following prompt:
View the 360 panoramas and read/listen to the narration that your partner class created.

  • These photos and captions represent some aspect of your partners’ daily lives.
    • How would you compare the spaces (e.g. home, school, etc.) to similar ones in your country or hometown? What did you notice that is similar or different about them?
    • How would you compare the activities described? How are they similar or different to what you regularly do?
    • What do you think might play a role in these similarities and/or differences?
    • If one of the other students “switched lives” with you, what do you think might be easy or difficult for them to adjust to? Why?
    • Similarly, what might be easy or difficult for you to adjust to in their life? Why?
  • Is there anything that you noticed in the images or activities that you would consider particularly French or American?
  • What new insights about yourself and others have you gained from thinking about this?

Duration

~2 weeks

  • 1 week to take pictures and write captions/record audio
  • 1 week to exchange, view, and reflect
Curricular Content Skills Developed Technology Required
Main Themes: Vacation and outdoor activities; the environment and its protection
Communication Objectives:

  • Talking about outdoor activities
  • Talking about the weather
  • Relating a sequence of past events
  • Describing habitual past actions
  • Talking about the past
  • Narrating past events
Language

Presentational Speaking

Interpretive Listening
ICC

Investigate

(Products & Practices)

Smartphone
Google Cardboard
Cardboard Camera (App)
Activity 2 Exchange of 360°/VR Videos
Activity

  • Divide students into small groups
  • Write a short skit (or simple narration – no storyline needed) about a daily life task in your hometown
    • Shopping (post office, convenience store, etc.)
    • Asking for services (haircut, cleaners, etc.)
  • Make VR video

Exchange & Viewing

Exchange videos with partner class and view them with their groups
Discussion

Students discuss received videos as a small group, then as a whole class.
Reflection

Students compare, contrast, and reflect in a journal/portfolio using the following prompt:
Watch the 360 videos about shopping that your partner class created.

  • Were the situations similar or different to your typical experiences shopping? How so?
  • Imagine that these scenarios took place in your hometown.
    • How do you think the other students would be perceived?
    • What did they say or do that might be considered “normal”?
    • What did they say or do that might be considered unusual or inappropriate?
    • What advice would you give to the other students to help them in a similar situation in your hometown?
    • What could they say or do differently to better fit in?
    • If you were in any of these situations, how would you behave or react?
  • Is there anything that you noticed that you would consider particularly French or American about what people said or how they acted?
  • What new insights about yourself and others have you gained from thinking about this?

Duration

~2 weeks

  • 1 week to write and record
  • 1 week to exchange, view, and reflect
Curricular Content Skills Developed Technology Required
Main Themes: Going shopping and asking for services
Communication Objectives:

  • Shopping for various items
  • Asking for a variety of services
  • Answering questions and referring to people, places, and things using pronouns
  • Talking about quantities
Language

Presentational Speaking

Interpretive Listening
ICC

Investigate

(Products & Practices)

Smartphone
360° Video Camera
Google Cardboard
YouTube (App)
Activity 3 VR Teleconferencing
Student Preparation

  • Take 1-2 panoramas of:
    • Trip you took
    • Place to visit in your town
  • These will serve as the environment during the VR teleconference.
  • Download the vTime app and create an account
  • Customize their avatar
  • Adjust privacy settings
  • Upload panoramas to personal library
  • Divide students into small groups of 3-4
  • Add instructor and group members as “friends”

Activity

  • During the synchronous session, students interact and converse in their small groups.
  • Students can change the environment to their personal panoramas and lead discussion (in L1 or L2) about the topic.
  • You may also want to allow free discussion.

Discussion (Optional)

Students discuss the experience as a small group and/or whole class.
Reflection

Students compare, contrast, and reflect in a journal/portfolio.
Duration

~2 weeks

  • 1 week to take pictures and prepare
  • 1 week to hold synchronous meeting
Curricular Content Skills Developed Technology Required
Main Theme: Travel
Communication Objectives:

  • Planning a trip abroad
  • Making travel arrangements
  • Travel in France
  • Making negative statements
  • Describing future plans
  • Hypothesizing about what one would do
Language

Interpersonal Communication
ICC

Interact

(Language & Behavior)

Smartphone
Google Cardboard
Wired Headset w/ Microphone
vTime (App)

 

Table 3. ICC Assessment Methods
Intercultural Communicative Competency
Linguistic Competency Intercultural Competency
Language Proficiency Interlanguage Pragmatics Knowledge, Attitudes, & Behaviors
Evidence

Learner Artifacts

Evidence

Learner Artifacts

Intercultural Interactions

Evidence

Learner Reflections

Assessment Method

Instructor Rubrics

ACTFL Can-Do Statementsa

Assessment Method

Discourse Analysis

Assessment Method

ACTFL Intercultural
Can-Do Statementsb

AACU Rubricc

a. (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, 2017a)

b. (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, 2017b)

c. (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2009)

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. (2017a). NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements: Performance Indicators for Language Learners. Available from, https://www.actfl.org/sites/default/files/CanDos/Can-Do_Benchmarks_Indicators.pdf

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. (2017b). NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements: Performance Indicators for Language Learners. Available from, https://www.actfl.org/sites/default/files/CanDos/Intercultural%20Can-Do_Statements.pdf

Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2009.) Intercultural Knowledge and Competence VALUE Rubric. Retrieved from https://www.aacu.org/value/rubrics/intercultural-knowledge

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