Hi everyone 😁
I’m Joanna Clarke and I started in the Technology Enhanced Learning team as an eLearn Support Analyst this summer. I did my MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL here a few years ago, and my favourite module was on the use of technology and corpora in language teaching. Now I’m thrilled to be joining the team here, learning even more about technology and pedagogy, and applying what I already know.
I’ve taught EFL (English as a Foreign Language) and trained teachers for over 20 years (as well as having some pretty varied earlier work experience including a data assistant for clinical trials, a receptionist in France, and a thankfully short stint in a chicken factory).
Back in 2000, photocopiers and OHPs were the extents of the technology available in my college – and laminators if we were lucky, but you had to fight for those! I loved experimenting with new tools and finding new ways to engage students with lesson content. This led me to take on an ILT training role at Chichester College to find ways of supporting my colleagues in the use of technology. Initially, I was focused on how Moodle and other online resources can support individual study. As technology has evolved, it’s been fascinating to see the emergence of a wealth of resources for highly motivating competitive and cooperative activities, as well as new ways to help students express themselves and become more comfortable with sharing their ideas.
The pandemic took me to a new role at Chatterbox, a social enterprise that provides employment opportunities for marginalised people such as refugees in corporate language teaching. I was responsible for online content development and it was here that I really started to be interested in the data available for measuring student engagement and progress. In a classroom, I could always adjust my lesson content in response to students’ needs and reactions, but it’s very different from online material. At Chatterbox, I loved exploring the data available and then conducting user testing to investigate my hypotheses about student experiences. Working within the TEL team at Portsmouth will hopefully give me plenty more opportunities to use user data to inform module development.
In my free time, I love going to the beach – particularly snorkelling around looking at the weird and wonderful underwater world. I’m lucky to have joined a very musical department. I used to play the piano and accordion, and the conversations around me now have given me a much-needed push to start playing again (and to take up the guitar – just have to toughen up my fingers first 😬).
Anyway, that’s plenty for a first introduction. If you want some company diving into the data on your Moodle site, please get in touch – we can go snorkelling for stats together 🤿😊.
Joanna is based in Mercantile House within the TEL team.
Welcome to the team, Joanna!