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Looking Ahead: AAAL 2019 Pre-Conference Workshops

As proposals for the 2019 AAAL Conference in Atlanta are due on Monday, August 20th, the GSC would like to share information regarding two pre-conference workshops. Please see the information below:

Creating data accountable graphics: Changing how you display your data changes the way your data are understood

Dr. Jenifer Larson-Hall, The University of Kitakyushu (Japan)

This hands-on workshop will expose you to several types of data displays available for both quantitative and qualitative research results and equip you with the knowledge to choose the most effective display for different data sets. You will use the statistical program R to fashion your own high-quality, attractive graphics that can display both the individual data behind your results as well as show the overall trends of your data as a whole, producing what I call ‘data-accountable’ graphics. Participants who register for the workshop by the early bird deadline will be invited to complete a brief survey to identify their interests and background, and will also have the option of submitting their own data and/or graphics , which I will refer to during the workshop. However, neither the survey completion nor the submission of data/graphics are necessary to benefit from the workshop: All participants will take away the ability to showcase their research findings in novel, effective ways.

More than points and badges: Using gamification to “level up” research, task design, and assessment

Dr. Teresa Hernández González, Concordia University (Montreal, Canada)

Gamification, the use of videogame design elements in non-game settings (Deterding, Dixon, Khaled, & Nacke, 2011), has infiltrated various aspects of our lives including the workplace, health, and education. Its popularity is rooted in the idea that gamifying behaviours can create an immersion experience similar to that of gaming, increasing motivation and engagement (Codish & Ravid, 2015). However, certain shallow implementations based on adding glittery—yet superfluous—elements such as points and badges do not take advantage of the essential components of gamification which sustain interest, develop skills, and foster self-management (Nicholson, 2012). In this workshop, we will explore the application of the key components of videogame thinking and mechanics to research design in applied linguistics and to language pedagogy. Specific applications will include the implementation of techniques to maintain the engagement of participants in long-term research studies, to motivate learners to complete tasks, and to assess learning using a competency-based approach. Participants will leave the workshop with the knowledge and strategies needed to incorporate key gamification principles and techniques in their own professional practices.

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