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Courses

Courses that I co-ordinate are underpinned by my teaching philosopy. All my teaching is blended which means that face-to-face interaction in lectures or tutorials is supported by online materials. In each course, students can find digital copies of classroom materials in addition to additional readings, supplementary videos, interactive quizzes and other activities. I am a firm believer in open-access, open-source and open learning and share all materials - warts and all.

My teaching philosophy is eclectic and I draw on whatever method and means that will help my students achieve their goals and objectives in the most effective and efficient manner. Concepts that I regularly integrate into courses, include:

  • student-centred learning,
  • activity-based learning,
  • scaffolding through peer support,
  • autonomous learning,
  • blended learning and
  • flipped classrooms.

I am a strong believer in the scholarship of learning, and so seek out opportunities to share my experiences with peers. The open-access courses provided here are supplemented by assessments housed on the university learning management system, Moodle (starting April 2020).

EN08 Thesis writing and presentations

The Thesis writing and presentations course is designed to help fourth-year computer science majors at the University of Aizu. This course has its own dedicated open-access website, which is specifically designed to help undergraduate computer science majors at the University of Aizu write a short research article that can be submitted as their graduation thesis.

EL328 Logic and language

The Logic and language course is designed to help participants critically evaluate arguments. The course covers propositional logic, formal and informal fallacies, reasoning and cognitive biases. This course has its own dedicated open-access website. A mastery learning approach is adopted.

EL236 Visualizing time and tense

Visualizing time and tense focuses on how the key scientific concepts of time and tense are used in natural language. Time can be measured objectively, but the twelve grammatical tenses are more subjective. The course helps participants visualize tense using natural language pipelines. The goal of the 2020 course is to create a framework that populates templated timelines with information extracted from submitted texts. The timelines will be categorized by grammatical tense and grammatical meaning in context.

EL317 Patterns and language

Patterns and language is an elective course for third and fourth year computer science majors. In addition to learning how patterns permeate language, learners use rule-based and probabilistic parsing to match patterns. Learners get hands-on practise using egular expressions, JavaScript libraries and the Natural Language Tool Kit. Each year, the course aims to address a practical problem. Recent challenges have included: automatically annotating scripts for pronunciation features (2017), creating a pedagogic grammar check for hikikomori (2018) and identifying grammatical tenses (2019). Unfortunately, this course will not be offered in 2020.

Interview practice course

The Interview practice course will be uploaded incrementally over AY2020. The first unit focusses on general interview practice and is live now. Future units will cover specific aspects of interviews both for job seeking purposes and proving language proficiency examinations such as IELTS and TOEFL.

Awareness and defense course

The Awareness and defense course will be uploaded incrementally over AY2020. The first unit focusses on raising awareness, which is the most important concept covered in this course. This course was developed on request to arm students with the attitude, skills and plan to help them enjoy their time abroad and return to Japan safely.

Python for natural language processing using NLTK

In 2020 the Texts and Tools lab will run a course on

Python for natural language processing using NLTK. This aimed at helping lab members use Python and the Natural Language Tool Kit to create natural language pipelines. The course is divided into three blocks: (1) Introduction to Python, 2) Inroduction to NLTK, and (3) applying the knowledge to create Intelligent Computer-assisted language learning (iCALL) apps.

The target audience for this course are members of the Texts and Tooks (TNT) lab, but should you wish to join, please email me

The course will be taught by specialists in each of the areas.

Open-access online language courses

During 2020, I aim to upload a number of language courses that learners can use for self study. My teaching philosophy is to be open, which means open classroom (anyone can visit), open learning (anyone can learn), open access (anyone can use without a teacher), and open source (anyone can re-use the source code). The content of these courses will be drawn from courses I developed over my teaching career.