Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Jabber by Jorge Aguilar-Sanchez

Jabber is an application by Cisco that allows for video-to-video synchronous and recorded conversations. It is similar to Skype but it is supported by our campus and, in my opinion, offers better connection and performance with multiple people per call.

I use Jabber in both my online and face-to-face courses to meet a student learning outcome targeting the ability to carryout basic, intermediate, or advanced (based on course level) conversations in Spanish.  Students are assigned a partner with whom they complete specified oral practice exercises. The integration of Jabber allows my busy students to complete their oral practice exercises in a virtual place (not bound to a lab or library) at a mutually agreed upon time. The conversations are recorded and I can review the conversations for assessment and feedback. 

There are many reasons I like Jabber. First, I like Jabber because it is supported by the university and there is a person I can call for assistance (Terry Wirkus). I also enjoy Jabber because it is reliable, server controlled, and recorded for future review. Most importantly, I like Jabber because it includes the social part of learning a language. That is, there is another person actively receiving your communication and interpreting your message, your body language, your reaction, etc., making the experience more meaningful. Jabber allows for the back-and-forth communication to happen in real time.

For more information about Jabber, review the "Desktop Video Conferencing" section of this website or email Terry Wirkus.

Submitted by Jorge Aguilar-Sanchez, Modern Languages