Thai UO Course Description

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Course Description

(Download this information in a PDF document)

Welcome to our course! Please contact me if you have any questions or problems:
Deborah Healey, dhealey AT uoregon DOT edu
You can read more about me on my website,

I am usually on email between 9am and 9pm Monday through Friday, and occasionally on Saturday and Sunday. Oregon is about 14 hours behind Bangkok, so I’ll do my best to respond to you as soon as possible.

Course website: tsunami.html – course materials are here
Online discussion: – weekly discussions are here

Course Objectives

  • Using the content and activities in this course, English teachers will work with science teachers to develop specific ways to use tsunami- and other disaster-related content in their own settings.
  • Course participants will use online discussion forums to share ideas each week.
  • Participants will improve their English language skills, particularly reading and writing, by interacting with the course instructor and each other in English in discussion forums.
  • Starting in Week 6, participants will create and add to an e-portfolio with the work that they do during the course.

Course Expectations
Participants will contribute to the discussion with at least two posts each week.
Participants will participate in weekly tasks (that they discuss) and add to an e-portfolio.
Participants will share ideas in a respectful way where we appreciate each other’s contributions.
The deadline for each week’s activities is Monday of the following week.


Session 1 – Session 2 – Session 3 – Session 4 – Session 5 – Session 6 – Session 7 – Session 8 – Session 9 – Session 10

Session 01
October 4-10, 2010

Introduction to the course – look in your email for information about Nicenet. Contact Deborah if you do not have that message.
Needs analysis – look for the link in your email.
Nicenet discussion topic: What would you like to focus on in this course? Make sure you post your ideas and comment on at least one other person’s idea. For example, you can say if you agree with someone else’s idea and why.

Session 02
October 5-17

WebQuest: “The Moving Earth”
Read about WebQuests at
Nicenet discussion topics: How could you use this information in an English class? How about a science class? How would it be different? Because each person and each setting is different, you will probably have some different ideas about what you could or could not do with this activity.

Session 03
October 18-24

Lesson Plan Activity: Add English Easily – Sorting activities using magazine pictures (jigsaw puzzle, grouping, categorizing, brainstorming, etc.).
Read about rubrics for assessment at and create your own rubric at Rubistar,
Nicenet discussion topics: How would you adapt this lesson for your students? What additional activities could you do with it? What kind of rubric could you create to measure how well students learned?

Session 04
October 25-31

Lesson Plan Activity: Survival-Escape Plan – Students work individually, in pairs, or in groups to draw a map, build a model, and create a survival-escape plan to use during a tsunami. This project calls for creativity and appeals to students who learn well kinesthetically.
Read about learning styles and strategies at or watch a video by Richard Felder at
Nicenet discussion topic: How can you use this activity to appeal to students with different learning styles? What other techniques have you used to appeal to students with different learning styles?

Session 05
November 1-7

Finding material
Read about web searching at
For more ways to search, look at NoodleTools: Choosing the best search for your information needs
For a fun site with many different topics, look at Breaking News English:
Nicenet discussion topics: How do you search the web? Can you use any of these techniques? What sites would you recommend to others?

Session 06
November 8-14

Lesson Plan Activity: Disaster Supply Kit – Students work in groups, using critical thinking skills and knowledge about disasters to agree on the most important items to include in a Disaster Supply Kit. This activity is adapted from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).
Nicenet discussion topic: How might you use this activity in your classes? How can you incorporate critical thinking in your lessons?

Session 07
November 15-21

Lesson Plan Activity: Disaster Computer Simulation – This is an authentic learning activity using disaster-related language and themes. The 5 disaster choices are: tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, and hurricanes. Students have an opportunity to experiment with cause-effect dynamics for tsunamis and other kinds of disasters, to solve problems, and to learn about different people’s roles in solving such problems.
Read about techniques for encouraging group work at and Here are some guidelines for students doing group work:
Nicenet discussion topics: How can you use this lesson to encourage discussion? What roles could you give students in this simulation when they work in groups?

Session 08
November 22-28

Lesson Plan Activity: Earthquake-Tsunami Events – Students work with maps, drawings, animations, and other representations of earthquakes and tsunami events in order to understand and express their experience with the ways in which they effect the earth. These activities use resources linked to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earthquake Hazards site.
Read about using graphics and find free images at and
Nicenet discussion topics: What types of graphic information are most helpful to your students? What do you use now?

Session 09
November 28 – December 5

We often need to create or adapting material to fit our students’ needs. This week, we have some possibilities for creating interesting material.
Create an easy exercise with Hot Potatoes. Download the program at, then use the Hot Potatoes How-To for instructions.
Look at some other exercise creators at

Tools for educators – word search, bingo, crossword puzzles, and board games
Personal Educational Press – flash cards, bingo games, matching, multiple choice exercises to print out
Easy Test Maker (paper tests)

Nicenet discussion topics: Think about what we’ve been looking at during this course. What type of information would be useful to adapt for your students? What types of exercises would be good?

Session 10
December 6-10 (Note: this week ends on Friday)

Course reflection and future plans
Nicenet discussion topic: What will you do next to enhance your students’ learning?