Collaborative platforms for creating and managing Arabic Curriculums

By Adil Elkhiyari
Submitted to Session P5003 (Innovations in Foreign Language Curricula, Instruction, and Proficiency Assessment, 2017 Annual Meeting
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LCD Projector with Audio Patch or Speakers;
This paper examines the practical and technical aspects of implementing a collaborative platform for developing and managing Arabic Language curriculums. It examines some of the key benefits of creating such an environment along with some guidelines for successfully transitioning from traditional unmanaged scenarios.
Arabic teachers are faced with an increasing demand for lessons based on authentic materials and suited to the needs and interests of their students. This demand is especially critical in advanced and special purpose courses that rely heavily on authentic content. Authentic content should fit into well-structured lessons and be supported with in-context grammar drills, vocabulary lists, and other activities that ensure that students have acquired the material and can use it in real-life scenarios.
Working collaboratively on language curriculums is essential to meeting these challenges in terms of quality, production time, and accessibility. A viable collaboration platform ensures that the entire team in able to participate and contribute throughout the curriculum Lifecyle; that is from the early brainstorming stages to final lesson delivery and follow-up.
A collaboration platform is a content management system that can support the roles and objectives of an Arabic curriculum design team: Teachers, teaching assistants, cultural coordinators. The platform allows team members to work together, share information, and quickly find relevant materials by subject, level, type or other criteria. Technically, collaboration platforms include features such as versioning, simultaneous editing, metadata tagging, linking, embedding, and workflows that help streamline the curriculum creation and management process.
In addition, this paper looks at how to successfully plan a transition from the traditional single editor model found within many Arabic departments to a more open collaborative model and the considerations that need to be taken to ensure data privacy, intellectual property rights, and individual preferences.
In conclusion, the paper defines the key roles needed within a department or organization such a content editors, designers, and approvers. Common scenarios will also be presented to demonstrate typical uses and showcase the value of collaboration.