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VirtualDutch: Open Educational Resources and Distance Learning in a Less-Widely Taught Language community

By U Tiedau


‘VirtualDutch’, an inter-institutional collaborative teaching programme involving the four university departments where Dutch is taught in the UK, aims to create and share teaching and learning resources, and to develop web-supported forms of inter-institutional collaboration in teaching and learning. The programme started in 2001, mainly in response to the declining interest in modern languages in the UK which is affecting all modern languages, but the less-widely taught languages like Dutch in particular. A comprehensive range of Open Educational Resources has been released since the start of the programme, including self-access reading skills courses, learner’s grammars, online reference works and some thirty multimedia studypacks for autonomous learning, covering various aspects of Dutch and Flemish language, literature, history and society. Students benefit from the encounter with a wide range of learning environments, from classroom contact to multimedia language instruction via VLEs and web-based autonomous learning with the self-study-packs. They also feel part of a larger Dutch studies community in the UK, especially when they collaborate in joint teaching projects involving students and staff from all institutions. The presentation will give an overview of the experiences of the VirtualDutch consortium with bundling existing resources and expertise by taking advantage of modern learning technologies; the experiences with using the created Open Educational Resources in blended learning contexts; and some first results from a new distance degree programme, a model which potentially may be of interest to other lesser taught LLAS subjects!

Topics: Open Educational Resources, OER, UKOER, e-learning, distance education, Dutch, Less-Widely Taught Languages, Languages of the Wider World, Lesser Taught Languages
Publisher: Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS)
Year: 2010
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Provided by: UCL Discovery

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