One of the Department’s research foci is Digital Literacy and faculty members are involved in both research and teaching projects that explore ‘Big Data and eLearning’. Below are some indicative examples of work by Faculty members in this area:
Big Data and eLearning Research
- Jane Jackson’s has developed a fully online intercultural communication/transitions course for international exchange students to take while they are in their host country.
- Carmen Lee’s main research interest lies in the area of internet linguistics, with a specific focus on multilingual practices on the internet. Her on-going work has been interested in how the affordances of digital media allow people to produce and consume new forms of multilingual and multimodal writing, and how these practices are increasingly embedded in people’s ‘offline’ everyday lives.
- Gerald Nelson’s research on the International Corpus of English (ICE) project is concerned with methodologies for collecting and automatically annotating linguistic data in English from around the world. His most recent publications have proposed guidelines for the design of corpora (linguistic databases), and I have written on the pros and cons of using the Internet as a source for linguistic data. He is currently co-writing a conference paper (with Charles F. Meyer, Boston), on the pros and cons of using ‘mega-corpora’ of Internet texts as sources for linguistic description. That paper will be presented at the ICAME conference in Zurich in 2019. In “The International Corpus of English: A Progress Report,’ Nelson and John Kirk discuss the development of corpus annotation technology during the past twenty years, and propose the use of the Pacx XML platform for future annotation of ICE corpora.
- Michael O’Sullivan’s book Cloneliness: on the reproduction of loneliness also examines digital ethics in such writers of Luciano Floridi and others in terms of how the Internet and the reliance on the social network is having harmful effects on young people. However, the book also explores how the online – or onlife - world can be beneficial if managed.
- Ron Darvin investigates to what extent the integration of information technologies in schools and the eLearning practices of language teachers consider the diverse digital repertoires of students. His research also examines how learners detect disinformation online, how sociotechnical structures and algorithmic processes shape learner behaviour, and how data on this behaviour can inform pedagogical research.
- Jookyoung Jung explores how to modify textual features of computer-mediated input to facilitate second language development. Within the gaze-contingency paradigm, her recent research project investigates the potential usefulness of reactive highlighting on the acquisition of target language items from computer-mediated reading.