JASAL Forum at JALT2013, Kobe

The JASAL Forum at JALT2013 will take place on Sunday 27th October, 5:35pm – 7:05pm. This is always a very well-attended and informative event and we hope to see many JASAL members there.

Forum abstract:

Self-access and the lifelong voyage of learning

On the lifelong voyage of learning, the self-access centre is a port where learners can refuel with ideas, restock with learning materials, share stories of their adventures, and chart out new directions for the future. In three presentations and a poster session, contributors will discuss a variety of current issues in self-access related to learner cognition, advising, assessment, space design and curriculum integration. Organized by the Japan Association of Self Access Learning.

Presentation & Poster Abstracts:

Evaluating the use of a movie corner in self-access learning. Mathew Porter, Hiroshima Bunkyo Women’s University

This presentation discusses the results of surveys and follow-up interviews with students who had used a “learning with movies” section in a Self Access Learning Center. The researcher investigated how the section was being used by students to help achieve their learning goals. Results showed a need for improvements to raise awareness of strategies, activities, and materials to help students use movies more effectively as a study resource.

Rejuvenating a Lifeless Lounge: An Action Research Project. Clair Taylor, Gifu Shotoku Gakuen University

This presentation describes an ongoing action research project in which one faculty member worked closely with students to redesign and refurbish an underused conversation lounge at a university in Japan. The consultation process, the design choices, and the research findings are discussed. The project draws on the field of learning space design, which explores the influence of the physical and human environment on the learning experience. Issues relating to policy and funding are highlighted.

Assessing Reflective Learning Journals Designed to Enhance Self-directed Learning. Junko Baierschmidt, Kanda University of International Studies

This paper analyzes how learning advisors at Kanda University of International Studies assess reflective learning journals designed to enhance students’ self-directed learning. It then suggests a set of criteria that can be used to more concretely assess learners’ progress towards understanding self-directed learning and in acquiring the beliefs, attitudes, skills, strategies, and cognitive/metacognitive knowledge that are thought to be requisites for self-directed learners. The paper concludes with some suggestions on how to assess reflective learning journals.

Coming, keeping and working together:  Fostering Autonomous Learning in a Japanese University. Sarah Louisa Birchley, Keiko Omura, Daniel Beck

This presentation describes an ongoing action research project designed to promote autonomous learning in a required Freshman English course. Focusing on cycle three of the research, the presentation includes survey data from students and qualitative interviews with staff and faculty.  The presentation begins with an overview of the action research cycles, discusses the impact of these on student learning behavior and concludes with concrete recommendations for the better administration of self-study programs.

Language learning advising: Case studies of repeated visitors. Yukiko Ishikawa, Soka Women’s College & Kaori Matsumoto, Soka University

This presentation will first demonstrate the descriptive data of visitors who used the advising service in a self-access center, especially with the focus on advisees who made seemingly excessive multiple visits. Case studies will be presented to illustrate those repeated visitors. Finally the presenters would like to discuss on what may determine a successful advising on promoting independent learning in the long term.

What encourages and discourages students to use a self-access centre? Satomi Shibata, Tokoha University

This short paper presents what encourages and discourages students to use a self-access centre (SAC), based on my observations and interviews to SAC users and non users. One of the most important factors influencing their use of the SAC was mindset (Dweck 2006), learners’ implicit views of where ability comes from. It was also suggested that what images they have on the SAC could play a significant role on their decision making on their use.


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