This paper analyzes the article by Fatimah Al-Kathiri called “Beyond the Classroom Walls: Edmodo in Saudi Secondary School EFL Instruction, Attitudes and Challenges” that was published in English Language Teaching journal in 2015.
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The author describes the research of the employment of a digital tool called Edmodo in order to enhance the learning of English language and tests the suitability and efficiency of Edmodo.
The article’s title clearly reflects the focus and purpose of the research – to test the use of Edmodo in the classroom, mentions its location. The author explores a very popular subject – use of the internet and digital technologies in the teaching process.
Al-Kathiri starts with the establishment of the advantages of Edmodo confirmed by the researches of other scholars. These benefits include ability of the teacher and the students to interact beyond classroom, time saving possibility of sending and completing assignments online, and access to a variety of teaching methods and tools through the internet (Al-Kathiri, 2015).
Describing the disadvantages of Edmodo, Al-Kathiri (2015) mentions the lack of the teachers’ computer skills, unavailability of fast internet connection and modern digital devices, negative impact on health, and absence of body language present in real life interaction. The results of Al-Kathiri’s research show that Edmodo is a useful tool for both teachers and students.
Chada Kongchan presented a similar research. She tested the benefits and obstacles of the use of Edmodo in a Thai classroom.
The main difference between the two works is that Al-Kathiri evaluates the results and impressions of the students, while Kongchan includes the teacher’s perceptions into the calculation of results, and tests the difficulty of Edmodo adoption for a 57-year old educator (Kongchan, 2012).
The introduction of the analyzed article is relevant as it explains what Edmodo is, how it works and why its applicability in education is studied. The conclusion sums up the findings and adds recommendations to the use of Edmodo in EFL, but does not mention the results of the research directly.
The article demonstrates both positive and negative sides of the use of Edmodo, the aspects of its employment that challenged the learners and teachers the most. There is no biased interpretation of facts.
The author makes a claim about the Theory of Constructivism developed by Vygotsky and connects the idea of collaborative problem –solving to the group work online (Al-Kathiri, 2015). The author emphasizes that Edmodo as well as other digital teaching tools employs social learning which makes them especially efficient. The claim is relevant and to the point.
The vast majority of works cited by Al-Kathiri are reliable and recent, not older than 2000. Moreover, all of the sources referenced in the article are scholarly and reliable. Besides, the author refers to the works of the scholars of diverse background, not only the authors of Saudi Arabia.
The only old source used dates back to 1984 and is included as the source of a definition of the concept of attitude, which practically does not make it unreliable. The article is well built and provides logical and clear research with explained purposes, results and findings.
The study’s design includes introduction of the paper, exploration of the subject and its importance, description of the research process, presentation and discussion of the results. At the same time, I noticed a lot of misprints in the text of the article (missing spaces mainly).
The research presented by Al-Kathiri is relevant and significant for the field of education. The presentation and calculations are made without major flaws or errors. Control group was created to measure the results. The sample of the research featured the secondary students of Saudi Arabian female school.
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The methods it employs are questionnaire, quantitative and qualitative analysis. The experiment can be replicated by another scholar. Discussing the results, Al-Kathiri presents the before and after data in tables and analyzes the variables in each section comparing them with each other to determine the level of success of the use of Edmodo.
The research collects statistics from 42 students and presents a specific sample of Edmodo’s efficiency in a particular group of learners, for wider statistics one is to compare the results of similar studies in other countries and among the learners of both sexes and different ages.
The author’s research does not only prove the efficiency to the use of Edmodo in the classroom, but also reveals the major challenges to the implementation of changes such as small screens of devices or slow internet connection. I find it clever that the author posted both positive and negative responses of the participants considering Edmodo.
Besides, the author uses a lot of references and quotes many similar researchers; this creates connectedness between her paper and all the other studies and emphasizes the importance and popularity of her subject. The aspect that confused me was the inclusion of “attitude towards EFL” scale into the questionnaire estimating advantages and disadvantages of Edmodo.
In conclusion, the article by Al-Kathiri explores a significant issue of the integration of the modern technologies into the teaching process. The research presented is reliable, careful and bias free.
The sources the author relied on are valid, diverse, recent and scholarly. The research can be duplicated by another party willing to test the efficiency of Edmodo in EFL or any other discipline. Overall choice of subject is contemporary and important.
Al-Kathiri, F. (2015). Beyond the Classroom Walls: Edmodo in Saudi Secondary School EFL Instruction, Attitudes and Challenges. English Language Teaching, 8(1), 189-204.
Kongchan, C. (2012). How a Non-Digital-Native Teacher Makes Use of Edmodo. ICT for Language Learning (5th ed.). Retrieved from https://conference.pixel-online.net/