about this site
This site began in the fall of 2003 as part of my DE assignment, and eventually became the focus of my dissertation, which can be downloaded here as a pdf file. In the five years I ws on the program (2001~2006), probably the greatest learning experience I had came from my involvement with the discussion list. I'm grateful for all the kind CPs out there that I've had the good fortune to study and learn with. I've learned a lot from all of you. This site, a simple collection of what everyone has done together through the years, is for you.
Thanks to (former) tutors Keith Richards and Steve Mann for their encouragement & guidance, and to everyone (especially Mary Lynn Hughes, James Hobbs, Sue Garton, Phil Quirke, Paul Raper, Sarah Haas, Colin Graham, Robert Haines, and David Anderson) who sent me data and helped me along in various ways.
My primary aim in creating this site was not only to preserve past discussion list discussions, but to turn that mountain of data into a useful tool that supports current situated learning. The basic premise is that actively interacting with our community's discourse history is A Good Thing. As such, I've included several reflective tasks that guide CPs to discover how this close interaction with our history can benefit them in practical ways. Another aim of this site is to support and encourage more use of the discussion list. After all, as McDermott says, "learning is in the relationships between people."
Jerry Talandis Jr.
Update & Maintenence Notes
May 20th, 2006
- Eliminated the Aston logo on all pages in line with a directive from the Aston IT department.
- Added links to download my dissertation about this from several pages.
September 19th, 2005
- Fixed typos in the following disucssions:
- Effective Listening Materials (MET)
- Hedging in Academic Writing (AWD)
August 11th, 2005
- Fixed typos on several pages.
- Added a link to the Updates page at the top of the main page (to help users access latest content).
- Completed the Site Map page
August 9th, 2005
- Added 78 new discussions, most of which came from the period between 2001 & 2003.
- Made numerious corrections & additions to currently archived threads.
- Included more hyperlinked text than ever before, especially to books, articles, and key concepts. For example, I endeavored to link each referenced book to either Amazon.com, a publisher website, or online review.
- Used screenshots of various online resources to "spice up" pages in an effort to improved readability and encourage exploration.
July 31st, 2005
- In order to save on memory space, I removed all the raw DL data from the server. Up to this point, no one has expressed interest in downloading it directly, and I can use that memory space for other things. In exchange, I left directions on how to obtain the original data.
- Added missing messages to the following threads:
- Chomsky's Beef with Corpus Linguistics
July 15th, 2005
- Added missing messages to the following threads:
- An Aside, OK? (GLE)
- Alanis Analysis (AWD)
- SPRE (FND)
- Recording Students (ASI)
- Fixed assorted typos and mistakes.
July 14th, 2005
- Archived 16 additional discussions, all from June/July 2005.
- Made more liberal use of "Editors Notes": adding hyperlinks to mentioned author websites, books, and articles, as well as screen shots of resource websites. In addition, links to definitions of key vocabulary and concepts were added when possible, as were cross-links to other discussions on this site. The goal here is to enhance and integrate discussions with web-based information more fully.
July 4th, 2005
- Added extra messages to the following threads:
- Motivating Young Learners (TYL)
- Losing Your Mother Tongue (GEN)
- A Newcomer to the MSc (FND)
June 28th, 2005
- Fixed-up and reorganized the "reference citing" subsection in GEN.
June 12th, 2005
- Archived 18 new discussion threads.
- Added two missing messages to the "Pennycook" thread.
- Reorganized the FND category page a bit to make portfolio task info easier to find.
- Posted the raw data for January & February 2001.
June 5th, 2005
- Added missing messages to the "Interruption & Power in the Classroom" discussion.
June 3rd, 2005
- Updated the "ASI Assignment Ideas" page by removing two dead links to external sites.
May 10th , 2005
- Merged "Alumni DL" with "Alumni DLs" in order to create a more coherent discussion.
- Added a link and an abstract to a recommended article in "TBL for YLs".
- Added a link to a review about Wordsmith software in "Wordsmith."
May 8th , 2005
- Added missing messages to the following pages:
- Recording Data
- Competitive vs. Cooperative Activities
- Plain English (and moved it from AWD to GEN)
- Trimmed some errant messages from "Personalizing Classroom Activities" and moved them to "Emotions."
- Moved Hypercorrection from GLE to GEN.
- Added 35 new discussion threads.
- Reorganized the main page to make the "guided tour" paragraph more visible.
- Fixed various typos and added some hyperlinks where I could.
May 5th , 2005
I upgraded my OS to Tiger, but didn't realize that my computer now had a new IP address. As a result, all the times I visited the site were counted. When it comes time to crunch numbers, subtract 49 page loads and unique visitors from May 5th. I've now blocked this new IP, so this shouldn't be a problem anymore.
April 23rd, 2005
- Began the process of shortening the search window on each page by 5 pixels in order to have look better in the Monzilla Firefox browser.
- Added a specific date for the next update on the main, updates, and
April 10th, 2005
With big changes taking place in our program in the fall of 2004, I took this occasion to give the site a thorough update by:
- Completely redesigning of the site's look, navigation, & structure, taking advantage of CSS (cascading style sheets) in order to make it look better and easier to maintain.
- Adding 78 new discussion threads, most of which took place since the last update in September 2003. A few older discussions were also added.
- Creating a "guided tour" section with reflective tasks designed to showcase how interacting with past discussions can help current study efforts.
- Improving access to discussion threads by adding a search box to every page, a site map, and a page listing only most recently added content.
- Including a "Useful Links" section to each page that integrates the site more throughly within various MSc support resources.
- Enabling users to send a message to the discussion list directly from any page by clicking on the "Post a message to the DL" link in the DL Archive Support section on the right.
- Offering original, unedited DL data for download in the form of compressed PDF files.
- Improving the way I collect site statistics by using a free service from statcounter.com. Anyone interested in viewing site stats, please contact me.
September 26th, 2003:
- Added the "updates" link to the main home page to provide direct access to latest postings.
- Added a hit counter to the home page on September 20th, 2003.
- Posted 21 new threads.
- Placed a link to Phil's ESL Support Forum at the end of each discussion thread. The idea here is to support Phil's site and provide a place where discussions can continue.
Early September, 2003:
DL Archive goes online.