August 18th 2016

MCI-Lecturer Niki Canham awarded with British Council commendation

Niki Canham, Lecturer in the Business and Management Department, has been awarded a commendation in the British Council Masters Dissertation Award for research with the best potential for impact on English Language Teaching (ELT)

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, and each year they partner with British universities to find Master’s level research with the potential for impact on policy and practice and to celebrate the brightest minds in ELT (British Council, 2016).

UK universities choose and submit one Master’s dissertation from the student body on their ELT programmes, and Niki’s dissertation was selected to represent Lancaster University, UK in the competition. Niki finished his MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) by Distance at Lancaster University in summer 2015 with an outstanding MA dissertation on ‘Using Technological Tools for Peer Response’, supervised by Lancaster’s Dr Marije Michel. The study explored how three non-commercial open-source and free-to-use digital platforms (Sakai – the MCI’s learning management system, wikis, and Google Docs) can be used for students to provide written feedback on each other’s work. The study also investigated the effects of the platforms on the feedback provided and the students’ experiences of using them. The study distinguishes itself from earlier work as it does not present a comparison of technology-enhanced online feedback versus face-to-face feedback but, instead, focuses on digital tools in their own online context.

Niki Canham’s study contributes particular practical relevance as it will help teachers and course designers of all disciplines to make more informed decisions about using technology for peer feedback in a pedagogically purposeful manner.

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