14 April - From Old English to Old English Online: Creating an Open-Source Platform for Learning Historical Languages

Department of English

Dr Tom Birkett and Victoria Koivisto-Kokko

Wednesday 14 April 2021, 3-4 pm
Online - Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84590465403?pwd=TlpkU0dTclp2NlZ1cmhQQ0pxNTRzZz09

The Old English Online project began as a dissertation for UCC’s MA in Digital Arts and Humanities, in which Victoria set out to apply best practice in cognitive science of language acquisition and digital pedagogy to the development of an online language learning tool. The aim was for this resource to be easy to navigate, open-source, and extensible to other medieval languages, and for it to cater to the very different levels of linguistic experience and learning styles encountered in a typical student cohort. In 2019, Victoria and I received a small grant from the National Forum for the Development of Teaching and Learning to develop Victoria’s website into a fully-fledged online course for use by second year students taking Old English at UCC.

This paper discusses the development of the online course, the pedagogical rationale for its various features, and the way that it was integrated into teaching during our pivot to online learning. Old English has been taught at UCC for many years, giving students an understanding of the earliest stage of the language and the way it has evolved over time: it is hoped that this model combining online learning with more traditional teaching methods provides a way forward for the study of medieval languages at a time when provision within many universities is being radically curtailed. Victoria is a digital content developer with 12 years experience in the tech industry. She is a graduate of UCC's MA in Digital Arts and Humanities and recently completed work on the National Forum funded project: Old English Online. Tom Birkett is a lecturer in Old English at UCC and has led several community focused projects looking at the legacy of medieval culture in the modern world. His latest book, a popular retelling of The Norse Myths, has recently been translated into Japanese and Chinese.

College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences

Coláiste na nEalaíon, an Léinn Cheiltigh agus na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta

College Office, Room G31 ,Ground Floor, Block B, O'Rahilly Building, UCC