Hi @jamie Thanks for posting and sharing your ideas. It’s good to hear you already have (positive) experience with Quizlet and have seen first-hand how it can benefit students. I do think you also raise an interesting point, also raised by @catherine21, about how students might view them negatively as being gamified. This is a tricky question to answer and obviously depends on your students, but I think it’s worth considering the following:
- do we as EAP teachers impose a “seriousness” that we perceive as necessary for EAP but students may not? I remember when we had a British Council inspection of our pre-sessional course that one of the headlines of their feedback was that our lessons were too serious and belaboured under the misconception that EAP could not be fun. Obviously, this is just one opinion, and you may wonder how you can make some elements fun, but it links into questions about how we use gamification across the university – in the past, teaching may mostly have been through traditional lecture and seminar, but in meetings with other learning technologists I can see that most departments now use elements of gamification, such as tools like Socrative and Kahoot in lectures, online quizzes, even geomapping. That suggests that gamification is becoming embedded in the wider curriculumm and something students are less likely to resist than we think.
- Students do appreciate direct feedback on their work, but there is always the question of how much work a teacher can respond to. Particularly in terms of revision or vocab input, I wonder if weaker students may get more out of the instant feedback and chances to restart that Quizlet offers than they do from a typical class situation where the teacher controls the pace and, in feedback, one student’s answer is the signal to move on to the next question.
There is a worry, of course, that Quizlet lends itself to surface learning (much like the EFL terminology exercise in Delta Module One) and that students don’t benefit from learning lists, but there is some research that suggests learning high frequency word lists like the AWL can be of more benefit to students in the longterm than the more traditional EAP task of picking out language from texts. My own feeling is that there’s probably a halfway house, where students follow Lewis’s model of picking out the language from the AWL that’s most relevant to them and boost it with more specialist / discipline-specific terms they encounter through their reading, but Quizlet then becomes a great tool for them to help teach themselves these terms – I imagine five minutes on the app while they wait for a bus is more effective and engaging than digging out the kind of paper lists I used to try and boost my critical vocab for my doctorate.