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Ms Gloria Visintini

Ms Gloria Visintini

Ms Gloria Visintini
BA&MA (Universita di Trento), MSc (London School of Economics), ESRC Diploma (Cardiff University)

Language Director (Technology Enhanced Learning)

Area of research

Teaching and Learning in Higher Education; Second Language Acquisition; Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL); The implementation of TEL in Higher Education

Office G98, 19 WRd
17 Woodland Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TE
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 7590

Summary

Even though my dual roles as teacher of Italian and Director of TEL do not include research responsibilities, I am interested in the research of language learning.  And, over the past few years, I have experimented with computer-based methodologies in second language acquisition processes. I presented some of my work at conferences on language teaching and on technology enhanced learning (such as my work on student peer assessment presented at the Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies and at the University of Adelaide 'Transforming Assessment Webinars). The use of social media in education and MOOCs are two additional research areas I am especially interested in.

Another field I have been exploring is the implementation of technology enhanced learning in Higher Education. I am particularly interested in the role of discourse analysis and Foucauldian-inspired methodologies to make TEL ideas and practices more accessible and widespread. These approaches, based on a constructivist ontology, have informed my work as Director of TEL over the years and led to positive results which I presented for the first time at the 2013 Association for Learning Technology (ALT) Conference.

Biography

I first joined the School of Modern Languages as a Language Tutor in 2006. Since then I have been teaching Italian across all levels in undergraduate programmes. In 2011 I was given an additional role and appointed Director of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). As a result, I became responsible for the development of the School’s technology enhanced pedagogy, which involves: advising colleagues on technology-based methodologies in language and cultural teaching;  running and/or organising IT training sessions;  facilitating, coordinating, supporting and harmonising innovative teaching practice; arranging internal seminars and national conferences (e.g. the 2012 conference on innovative feedback and the 2013 conference on open educational resources).

As Director of TEL, I also chair the School Multimedia Learning Centre Committee and regularly review and invest in new equipment and learning resources that can be used by staff in teaching or by students in our School Multimedia Learning Centre. Moreover, I am involved in the spatial design of the School with a particular focus on the conceptualisation of study spaces. Recently I have also been working on a School-wide Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). It launched for the first time in February 2015 on the FutureLearn platform and ran again in October 2015 and February 2016 (to discover more about the course and/or register go to Cultural Studies and Modern Languages: An Introduction). The MOOC was awarded the 2015 University Award for Education in the Faculty of Arts.

On top of my dual role, in 2011 I was asked to take on a Faculty advisory position and was nominated as the Faculty of Arts TELAN Representative. I now sit on several committees and working groups at the University level, like the Technology Enhanced Learning Advisors Network (TELAN) Committee, to advise on elements underpinning the implementation of TEL.

In 2013 I was awarded the University of Bristol Teaching Fellowship.

 

Teaching

I have been teaching Italian across all levels in undergraduate programmes since 2006 and in adult learning programmes until 2011. I use a variety of methodologies in my teaching, blending face-to-face with online learning. Some of the online teaching activities are developed via the University-VLE tools and consist of online tutorials, discussion forums, blogs, wiki compositions and online marking. Others are developed via a range of open educational Internet resources and language-specific technology software like Sanako.

Since 2011 I have also been teaching on the unit Teaching Modern Languages as a Foreign Language which is aimed at introducing final-year students to secondary school language teaching. 

As Director of TEL, I regularly design projects where students, under my supervision, work in pairs or small groups to solve problems using their creativity and innovation. This is not teaching in a conventional way but encourages students to learn a range of useful transferable skills such as: thinking creatively, collaborating with staff and peers, meeting deadlines, communicating progress and presenting results. These projects also offer students the chance to be recognised with a University of Bristol Plus Award and direct employment opportunities.

Another educational experience offered to students every year outside the curriculum is to sit on the School Multimedia Centre Committee, which I chair, and to be involved in the review of the learning resources available in the Centre.

The Centre also employs a few students every year to help run our resources.

 

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