Creating and Testing an Online Platform for Language Learning in the Mexican Context
This chapter presents the results of a case study conducted in 2016-17 at the National School of Higher Studies in Morelia (ENES-M), Michoacán, Mexico, where a pilot programme was implemented at bachelor’s level for students learning English as a foreign language. The platform used in this study was composed of small digital units called Learning Support Units (UAPAs) first developed in 2011 to help students practice and develop their linguistic skills at two levels, basic and pre-intermediate. These selected UAPAs were hosted in a portal named Ambiente Virtual de Idiomas (AVI) (Language Virtual Environment) administrated by the Coordination of Open University and Distance Education (CUAED). Later, in 2015, it was proposed that a more complex and complete platform be designed and in 2016 the new UAPAs for levels A1, A2, B1 and some of B2 were developed and then piloted for further evaluation. As a result, the experimental groups exposed to a blended teaching reported higher scores in the post test than control groups that were taught with no use of technological elements, hence proving that blended-learning teaching is a good pedagogical option for university students.
Keywords: Virtual learning environments • Higher education • Blended learning • Learning management systems • Digital educational Technology