I wonder if other participants will agree with me when I say that ANVILL - A National Virtual Language Lab - is one of the course's highlights. Focusing on oral and aural language skills, it provides what other learning platforms miss: the opportunity to include speaking practice in a language online distance course in the form of asynchronous communication with no other external programmes for sound recording and editing. With tools such as Voiceboard and especially Tcast, teachers can record and embed audio and video files commenting on the lessons, posing questions or telling stories. We were presented this speech-based toolbox by Jeff Magoto, one of its creators.
Of all the useful and creative ideas how to use ANVILL he shared with us, the one I particularly liked was 'Jigsaw possibilities'. After watching a short movie, students are to discuss and determine whether they have seen the same slides and find the differences out. The reason why I like it is the fact that it lends itself to communicative language teaching. Providing an authentic and realistic situation for communication, a meaning focused task and exposing students to language in use, it creates the desire and motive for communication and students 'have a dynamic chance to see how much they're able to accomplish... and learning can't help but occur' (Jeff Magoto).