Increasing audio-visual skills in Spanish for beginners module

Contribution by:

Pascale Baker + Eva Kilar-Magdziarz


Module: Spanish Intensive Ab-Initio

Module Code: SPAN10140 

Student Cohort: First-year undergraduates who are complete beginners in Spanish

Our Rationale:

Why we did it: 

  • To help students progress with their listening and processing skills 
  • To expand face-to-face classes to an online platform and enable students to practice a skill online (within Brightspace)
  • To prepare our students fully for the assessed audio-visual test by the end of the trimester . This is something which they have expressed is challenging. However, with the practice ungraded tests it can appear less so


What was done?

  • Research of available videos that would match A1 level for Spanish 
  • Design of 8 self study and automatically assessed audio visual quizzes (with feedback)
  • Designing reflective questions for each of the quizzes
  • Development of 8 online quizzes within Brightspace 
  • Running the quizzes within a live module in Autumn 2019 
  • All quizzes were providing students with a grade + feedback but these were not counted towards any form of the assessment 
  • Students had the opportunity to take the practise tests as many times as they wanted and to see the feedback and their grades to help them progress
  • As students’ grades were inputted automatically as they did the audio-visual test, this negated the need for tutors to mark it, saving them time and streamlining the process

Technical Considerations:

How it went:

  • Since the audio visual quizzes were just an add on to the actual classes, students lost interest and the numbers of completed quizzes steeply dropped by week 8
  • I asked students to look over the quizzes again just prior to the actual audio-visual test in week 10
  • Students were asked to discuss the problem areas identified at the end of each quiz in office hours with the tutors, if required. As this is such an intensive course, there is no space for sustained revision activity in the 12-week term. However, through the quizzes and feedback, we can monitor the areas that students may be finding challenging more closely.

Next steps:

  • Continue practising the same audio-visual processing skills in A2 level in the next trimester 
  • Next academic year set up Intelligent Agents in Brightspace to prompt students to do the practice quizzes
  • Consider giving a nominal grade, such as 5% for completion of all the audio-visual practices