Flexible Learning Spaces Fellowship: Liliana Paredes

Liliana Paredes, Romance Studies

As a fellow in CIT’s Flexible Learning Spaces Fellowship (2008), Liliana Paredes participated in meetings, mini-workshops, and other fellowship activities centered around the concept of ‘flexible learning’ – specifically focused on the uses of the technology and space arrangements made possible by Duke’s new teaching and learning space, the Link.

Course overview

During Fall 2008, Paredes taught the course “Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language” in Link Seminar 2. The following lists Paredes’s core goals for her course:

  • To comprehend processes of second language acquisition
  • To apply language pedagogy methods in correlation to second language acquisition processes and strategies
  • To develop a portfolio of teaching and testing materials
  • To critique, evaluate and recommend materials to be used for language teaching/testing
  • To develop a second language teaching philosophy

Uses of technology and flexible learning spaces

  • Provided opportunities for students to enhance teamwork, materials production and evaluation within the classroom
  • provided opportunities for students to share their developing portfolio and teaching philosophy
  • Used portable digital cameras (Flip cameras) to discuss crucial topics such as oral feedback in the classroom

Enhancing group work with breakout rooms

“What I really found useful at the Link were the breakout rooms; although they don’t belong to the classroom, per se, they were available to my class. I’ve used them in almost every single class and have been able to enhance group work. The whiteboard is great as well…I like my students to be able to brainstorm and use the board for that.”

Using Flip digital video cameras to capture group work

Students and faculty working in the Link can check-out several digital technologies, including the portable ‘Flip’ digital video camera. These cameras are small and unobtrusive, as well as very simple to use (one button to record) – making them ideal for use with students that want to quickly capture their group discussions.

Paredes describes her, and her students, experiences working with Flip cameras and Link breakout spaces in the following video: