Foreign Language Options Expanding at UWT via Online Courses

UW Tacoma will now offer online classes to fulfill the foreign language requirement. French and German are available in this new program, offering an independent method to gain credit.

Colleen Carmean, Assistant Chancellor of I.T., the contact person for the new online options, addressed them as an outlet for students, stating that campus officials are “aware that because it is such a small campus, we can’t afford the variety of online language choices that UW Seattle can provide.”

The self-paced work uses different teaching strategies such as web tutorials and other online tools to provide a basic understanding of each language. Knowledge will be evaluated by one exam for 101-102 equivalency credit. “This is very much an experiment with the idea that students are becoming more independent learners and much less textual,” said Carmean.

Carmean explained that the classes, which will be on a new platform called LiveMocha, are meant to be “more in alignment” with “next generation, multimedia learners.” Depending on the success and popularity, they could “really change the way we can offer courses in a new digital online 21st century environment.”

A suggested precursor to any of these new language exams is a two credit hybrid course called TUNIV 100:  “Intro Interdisciplinary Study: Skills for Online Learning.” This is a course meant to help guide students becoming an efficient “digital learner” with tools and practices designed as a guide to success.

“This is part of a bigger initiative of UW Tacoma to be thinking about how students learn now and how we can better use technology in interactive ways to allow students to learn at their own pace,” said Carmean, adding that the creators have been “modeling how we thought about this online language option as a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).” With this in mind during the planning, Carmean hopes that potentially, “it would be something that can eventually scale to as many students participating as are interested.”

UW Tacoma currently offers a limited selection of Spanish and Chinese classes. Students can still enroll in the two credit TUNIV 100 course during the late add period until January 18th, and should contact Colleen Carmean for the details. Any student wishing to forego the recommended course should meet with her for more information.