Faculty Spotlight – Anne Prucha

Ann Prucha – Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

In fall 2018 I worked with my colleague Kacie Tartt to redesign SPN1121C & SPN1121C online Elementary Spanish Language & Civilization course sequence incorporating Personalized Adaptive Learning as part of the Pegasus iLab Course Redesign Initiative (CRI). The redesigned courses piloted in spring and fall 2019 and continue in spring 2020.  

We used the PAL software application Realizeit and Open Educational Resources (OER) plus our own content to redesign our course, doing away with the textbook and publisher LMS. We worked closely with our instructional designer at CDL, Jessica Tojo on the redesign. After creating a scope and sequence for the courses and procuring OER content — choosing our own previously authored content, and creating new content — we met each week with Jessica to work on the design.  

The redesigned courses allow students to progress through the material at a pace and level that are comfortable for them and that reflect their actual prior knowledge. The use of OER resources allowed for the curation and incorporation of appropriate, relevant, and engaging content, and the ability to create and deliver meaningful practice and assessment. PAL and OER content make for a course design that is more personal, more appealing, and more meaningful to students. 

Describe the impact PAL has had on your teaching and/or students’ learning

Students frequently have varying levels of knowledge, but frequently publisher course content and practice activities are “one size fits all”. PAL addresses this challenge as it creates an individualized learning path for each student. Students can focus on what they do not know and on what they need to practice more, instead of getting bogged down with work that is not tailored to their individual needs.  

On the instructor/teaching side, using Realizeit provides many opportunities to monitor student progress closely, and supplement when necessary, allowing instructors to more successfully guide students based on the results generated by the program, and to help them with strategies for success.  

Many students in language classes face challenges with the online delivery mode, because it is new to them or because publisher content and LMS platforms are not user friendly or have frustrating technical problems and glitches. These obstacles negatively impact student DWF rates, and student success and overall satisfaction. They also make it challenging for instructors to encourage students to continue in Spanish – to pursue a major or minor. Using PAL has a positive impact on these challenges.  

Preliminary data gathered from the redesigned courses show increased student mastery and decreased DWF rates. And my Student Perception of Instruction surveys for the first semester with PAL were the highest I have ever received for the same course in my 20 + years at UCF! 

Related Resources