In our DGS courses, students are imparted in practical language skills, basic knowledge of the grammar of the DGS as well as the culture and history of deaf people in Germany. While selected linguistic aspects of the grammar of DGS can still be described with the help of written German texts, linguistic glosses and stills of individual signs, the use of videos of DGS examples is essential not only for a lexicon comprising all signs used in the courses but also for selected practical exercises and assignments. Therefore, it makes sense to work with a combination of different media. The central aim of this project is the development of an interactive e-learning module that provides all learning material online in a way compatible with the learning objectives of the course. The e-learning module enables all students participating in the course to improve their DGS skills and to acquire additional knowledge about the language, communication and culture of deaf people either in the class, in study groups or in self-learning units. In 2020, the module for the introductory course DGS I was released. In a next step, we extend this module for the courses DGS II and III. We plan to release the extended version at the beginning of 2024.
Our e-learning module, which has been developed with the learning management system ILIAS, consists of four components which are all integrated in StudIP. The technical options available in ILIAS (such as flash cards with videos, interactive videos, ePortfolio) are used to successfully implement all four components. We produced more than 3.000 videos, which have been implemented in the different components:
1. Lexicon: The lexicon contains videos of all signs, which are used in the sign language courses and which should be acquired by each student at the end of the respective course. Sign languages neither have an established writing system nor are phonological transcriptions of four-dimensional signs practicable in teaching and learning contexts. Therefore, the online lexicon offers students an ideal opportunity to refresh and deepen their lexical knowledge. With the help of the lexicon, students can specifically repeat and practice the signs learned in each teaching unit. We produced 1.800 videos for different lexical fields.
2. Exercises: For each class, we designed different kinds of exercises, which can be accomplished in class and at home either alone or in groups. All exercises are adapted to the level of the course and include simple tasks on the lexicon or fingerspelling as well as more complex tasks on morphology and syntax, in which, for example, students are asked to identify and correct errors in a video. In addition, practical language tasks involving typical communication situations are intended to improve the students' general communicative skills. For the component exercises, we developed almost 100 exercises and we produced more than 1.000 videos. We used 30 different kinds of exercises available in ILIAS.
3. Glossary: The glossary provides brief and easy explanations of the most important basic grammatical and cultural-scientific terms. It is linked to the other three components so that the explanations for a term listed in the glossary are available if required. In the first step, a glossary in German is planned, as the students in the beginners' courses do not yet have the necessary DGS knowledge.
4. Grammar: For each class, all relevant grammatical and socio-cultural topics are explained in a simple and theory-neutral way and illustrated with visuals. The aim is to offer a descriptive explanation of the grammatical structure of DGS and cultural background of the DGS community to give the students first insights into the grammar of the DGS and deaf culture and history. For the component grammar, we produced approx. 300 videos to illustrate the grammatical features described in the individual sections.