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The discussion forum as a component of a technology-enhanced Integrated Performance Assessment

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Abstract

This chapter explores the use of online discussion forums as a component of an Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA) (Adair-Hauck, Glisan, Koda, Swender, & Sandrock, 2006; Glisan, Uribe, & Adair-Hauck, 2007) within a (foreign) language curriculum. First, we examine the linguistic, discursive, and interactional versatility of discussion forums. Next, we describe the background of the IPA and highlight the advantages of integrating discussion forums into a proposed Technology-Enhanced Performance Assessment (TIPA). This chapter presents two models for incorporating the discussion forum into a TIPA as either the interpretive or the interpersonal mode of communication for a theme-based unit on ecology and the environment. An analysis of the discourse in these models also illustrates the linguistic affordances that this online communication environment offers for signaling participants’ stance and attitudes through the use of pronouns, verb tense, aspect, and mood. As such, an interpersonal task in a TIPA could expand discourse options (Kramsch, 1985) beyond those that are typically available to students. The TIPA offers a framework that would allow students to participate in these online environments for academic, professional, or personal reasons. Recommendations for integrating ca TIPA with offline collaborative tasks are also presented.


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