"Recognize. Inspire. Celebrate."

Engaging Students: Project-based Learning and Digital Literacy

This presentation describes how a recorded PowerPoint presentation by students in FRH 154 (Accelerated Intermediate French) provides students with a hands-on learning experience while developing their technological skills. The scaffolded assignment requires students to navigate French-language websites to research information (travel and logistics; historical and cultural) on a francophone destination to plan a stay and various activities. That research translates into a two-phase PowerPoint presentation, first presented in class in small groups and subsequently transformed into an MP4 video to overlay a recorded narration.
The objective is to engage students through “doing” in French rather than merely completing a traditional workbook-style assignment. The PowerPoint presentation enables creativity (visuals and text display) while the MP4 video lets students practice speaking skills. Uploading the MP4 to a video platform (Kaltura) gives students practice editing the automatically-generated closed captions, helping to deepen their understanding of accessibility. The presentation addresses the IT-Instructor collaboration, the phased approach to the assignment (scaffolding), the integration into Canvas, and students’ reactions to the assignment on end-of-course evaluations.

Presenter Information

Dr. Stephanie Pellet

Associate Professor, French Studies Department, Wake Forest University

Stéphanie joined Wake Forest in 2006, and teaches courses in French and linguistics. Her research focuses on interlanguage pragmatics, L2 literacy, and foreign language learning with digital technology. In past courses, her students have learned about French culture, language, and linguistics through creating blogs and wikis, and also learned to read and analyze French literary texts together via social annotation software such hypothes.is.


Suzanne Thompson

Instructional Technology Specialist Computer Science, French Studies, Health & Exercise Science

Suzanne Thompson is an Instructional Technology Specialist, part of the Instructional Technology Group (ITG), based out of the Office of the Dean of the College. She supports French Studies, Computer Science, and Health and Exercise Science. She received an MA in English from NCSU and a BA in English and French double major cum laude from Meredith College. Suzanne has taught English at Coastal Carolina University and online for Southern New Hampshire University. She has taught Multimedia and Graphic Design courses online and in the classroom for the Walter Isaacson School for New Media at Colorado Mountain College. She has experience as a Quality Matters Peer Reviewer and is a graduate of the Chair Academy leadership program. Suzanne has been making websites since 1997, and currently creates and maintains Wordpress sites for several departments and programs at Wake Forest University. She supports faculty with their use of Adobe tools, WordPress, Canvas, Kaltura, VoiceThread, Hypothesis, and other teaching applications, emphasizing accessibility, digital literacy, and creativity.