Designing technology-based tasks

Teacher trainees design technology-based tasks in interational groups to help learners develop multiliteracy. The groups use weebly – a tool for website design – to design and then present their tasks in class.

Institution reporting the task:

Language of task instructions:


Target Group:

Foreign language teachers



References and acknowledgements:



Collaborative tasks

Estimated Duration:

4 sessions




task design



Language Configurations:

Lingua Franca

Language(s) that the task can be used in:


Dominant language production:

Writing/reading asynchronous
Speaking/listening synchronous

Target Competences:

Language competence
Intercultural skills
Online communication skills
Teaching skills
Media literacy

Specific pedagogical objectives:

Designing tasks that focus on developing learners multiliteracies
Developing teaching competences in telecollaborative learning environments

Suggested Communication Tools:

Asynchronous text
Collaborative tools
Real time conferencing
Real time textchat

Suggested Resources:

Possible tools to use for task design (created by Gosia Kurek from Wyższa Szkoła Lingwistyczna)

Dear Students,

here is a handful of tools that you may find useful in designing online tasks. You can easily find them by simply googling the name.

Many of the suggested
tutorials suggested here
have been prepared by Russel Stannard, who is a great enthusiast of using new technologies in education. You may like to visit his technology blog
available at

and learn much more about what’ s available for online teaching and lerning.





A very intuitive tools for creating online websites. It’ s based on

Tools for creating interactive exercises

Learning apps

A set of free online tools for creating activities such as crosswords, gap filling, matching,
or a cloze test. Can be easily embedded into a website, wiki , blog etc.

(available from the website)

Tools for voice recording


A very simple podcasting tool. You can record
voice message with a click of a button and
then email it.


Students upload a picture and record a narrative. Simple and intuitive


Creating audio discussion threadfs (several people participating in one thread). Can be based on a picture


Voxopop is like an oral discussion board. You can set up topics and questions and then ask the students to record their answers.

Presentation tools


A great presentation tool
for creating and sharing online presentations.

You already know this one. A
just-in-case tutorial:


Prezi is an unusal presentation tool as it uses a zoom-in/zoom-out
rather than a linear logic. Great for group-editing or group viewing.

(available from the website)


This is a kind of graphic blog, or electronic poster. You can add text, video and
sound. A really good tool for presenting a project or a topic. Unfortunately, no co-editing is possible, but students can use a joint account.


A virtual board where you can pin up your ideas, links, documents or even embed other materials. The wall can be public , with others being able to add their own ideas.

Working with video (You Tube) materials

Listen and Write

This is a superb site for creating online dictations. Great for developing listening skills.
You can create a dictation based on a video or audio clip and your students will be able to work on their own. It’ s highly addictive!

ESL video

A tool for creating online comprehension/vocabulary/grammar quizzes to match You Tube clips. Simple to use. Under teacher account you can create classes and make the students send their results to you.

Tools for promoting online (cooperative) writing


One of the most popular wiki tools. Good for making students collaborate, create a pool of materials and/or communicate online .It can serve as a website.

Just paste it

A tool for collaborative writing/note taking. You can also add pictures + video. Really good and intuitive. Exporting to pdf. Ideal to make
your students work on
a project.

(so simple you don’ t need a tutorial)


A great tool for creating professionally illustrated online books. Thanks to the asynchronous co-editing function, students can work in pairs.

Tools for video editing

Windows Movie Maker

A basic tool for video editing. It’ s available with any Windows system.
You can combine pictures, audio and video and make them into a video clip.

A set of three tutorials, the first one available form


In this task you are supposed to create a set of technology-based activities for a group of online learners. The activities will
be then published on a Weebly website (to be created by you), which is a free, intuitive and user-friendly service enabling people to co-edit a website.

Your materials will be evaluated by one of the other international groups.

Your assignment should meet the following criteria:

The activities should be consistent in terms of topic and level.

They should make use of at least three different online tools.

They should make the learners practice different skills or aspects of language (e.g. reading, listening, speaking, a particular vocabulary set)

On the content level the tasks should allow the learners to develop intercultural
communicative competencies

They should follow the criteria for effective CALL tasks

Ideally, they should activate various literacies ( as suggested by Pegrum)

Task instructions should be very clear and tasks should build up on each other (à task sequence)

Make sure that your task touches on interesting contemporary issues. You may find the following issues inspiring:

cyberbullying, school life, world affairs, literature, new media, environmental issues, pop-culture etc.

Should you have any questions or doubts, consult them please with the teacher.

Here is the procedure to follow:

in your groups

  • decide on age and
    level of your target group
  • decide on the content you would like to focus on in terms of language development and intercultural communicative competence
  • decide what activities you want your target students to engage in
  • consider the range of tools suggested by your teachers and decide which of them you and your team would like to use.
  • decide on the sequence of these activities
  • make the final selection of the tool(s) you’ d like to use in task design. You may need to consult your teacher(s).
  • go through
    your partners’ task and provide them with quality feedback

The final task product, which is a website,
should include the following elements:

  • description of the target group (age and level) and the context in which the task is to be used (course content/type/subject).
  • clearly stated objectives, procedure, instructions, teaching aids, the final product of the activity and how it is going to be assessed.
  • task sequence

Remember that the task will be evaluated by your partner group, so all the instructions need to be very clear!

Both tasks and the feedback you give and receive will be further discussed in class.

Learner Texts:


Document related to the task:


Criteria for Completion:


Comments and suggestions:



Gosia Kurek (Wyższa Szkoła Lingwistyczna), Andreas Müller-Hartmann (University of Education, Heidelberg)