EL3222: IVLE & Electronic Contributions

This is a non-negotiable component of the CA, at least as far as the electronic format is concerned. This is an important component of the CA. Students cannot substitute this component of the CA with writing a short essay, for example. I have noticed that students who do well for this component of the CA usually do well for the module as a whole.

This component of the CA carries 10% of the total marks for the module. The time period for contributions for this component of the CA is from the 11th of January to the 15th of April, which practically covers the whole taught period for this module. No late contributions will be considered.

For this component of the CA, students are expected to make a contribution in at least one, or possibly more of the following:

  1. IVLE forum
  2. IVLE chat
  3. Contributions on your blogs or web pages

1. IVLE forum

This is the mainstay of this component of the CA. Here are some points to be noted in relation to the IVLE forum for this module

  1. Topics are usually generated by students themselves, although there may be one or more topics initiated by me.
  2. One good contribution may suffice, but it is best that you contribute more frequently, as quantity, especially if the contributions include a number of very good postings or responses, will help you get better marks.
  3. Points are awarded not only for initiating topics, but replies are also important. Depending on their quality, some replies may actually score better than some topics.
  4. In order to get good marks, evidence of critical thinking must be shown. Entries which express students' fears about the module or enquire about certain ideas or approaches may not get good marks. However, entries which evaluate the significance of certain ideas or approaches, or interrogate the bases and limits of their applicability are welcome.
  5. Reviews of films, whether new or old, are welcome, but the reviews must go beyond some very brief basic reactions: eg. ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘wow!’, or ‘my girlfriend enjoyed it, but I didn’t’. The films must be critically analysed, and the points of relevance to the module must be mentioned, if they are not explicit.
  6. Students who make a great number of good contributions may be awarded bonus marks, as these contributions show that they have, on their own accord, diligently thought through a good number of topics or issues discussed in the module.
  7. IM-lingo or chatese should be avoided when using the forum, or used sparingly (but they can of course be used when using the chatroom: see below).

2. IVLE chat

This is usually a less popular choice than the forum. But it does carry marks if you contribute to it. So if you feel uncomfortable with contributing to the forum, you may consider this option. Online chatting has the advantage of real-time discussion, where responses are immediate, unlike the use of the forum above. Here are some points to note in relation to the use of the IVLE chatroom for this module.

  1. You need at least two persons, preferably more, chatting about a topic or issue at the same time. You may have to arrange the time with other students to meet and discuss the topics or issues.
  2. The topic for the chat is usually student-initiated, but if time permits, I may organise one or more chat sessions.
  3. Chatting is of course a possible avenue for discussion of your projects, or possibly, your essays. 
  4. To a certain extent, IM-lingo or chatese should be used when you chat, as this is a synchronous mode of communication where typing speed and the ability to use the shortcuts or shorthand of chatese are helpful in keeping the conversation going. I won't penalise you if you do not have even a minimal knowledge of chatese, but I have to say that it is really awkward and SLOW to discuss anything in this format with someone who does not know how to use it at all! Moreover, as a teacher of language, I have to remind students that the use of certain varieties of English is appropriate on certain occasions or contexts, even if they are to be avoided outside these occasions or contexts. Of course, you must bear in mind that not everyone is familiar with every abbreviation or smiley that can be found in chatese, so do it in a balanced way that will enhance, and not impede communication.

3. Blog or other web contributions

Yes, you may use your own blog or web page to make a contribution or discussion for this component of the CA. The contributions should be within the time period for this component of the CA, and should be relevant to the module.


Last revised: 03 February 2012.