We are about to complete the first week of the Spring Semester and I just wanted to write about my first impressions about the reactions of students towards the course and the facilities of the computer lab.
First of all, I was really disappointed to see that students were all concentrated on KPSS exam, which is required for them to start their profession at state schools; however, the important subjects of this exam are history, geography, mathematics, Turkish language, etc. The questions related to their field were added this year; but the major part of the exam will be the other subjects again. As a result, they attended private courses for different subjects. They don’t want to spend too much time on the courses at the Department. However, there are some points they have missed. If they behave like this, the only plan for their future will be working at state schools; because if they want to work anywhere but the state schools or if they want to go on with MA program, they will be evaluated for their knowledge in English language teaching/learning. Thus, I can admit that the main objective of this course should be increasing the students’ motivation.
Secondly, the facilities of the computer lab is very bad and will limit our course content in some situations. There are only 25 computers and some of them are not working. I noticed that the overhead projector was a bit problematic and I have to be in the classroom at least 10 minutes earlier than usual. The most important limitation for me will be the blocked web sites at the university. Many web sites are not working as they are categorized as games, p2p sharing programs, etc. As for the course content, Second Life and Skype is not working. I will have to go to the related department and solve this problem.
Thirdly, the most important problem will be the number of students in the classroom. I have two sections for Computer Assisted Language Learning course and there are at least 60 students in each classroom. This might be a bit challenging for me; but this can be an advantage for the course as well. There will be group work activities and there will be more interaction in the classroom. I hope everything goes fine with this class.
To sum up, there are some limitations for this course, but I will do my best to teach ICT tools and how to use them for their profession
Dr. Sedat Akayoglu