I am currently part of the team working on Avenue, an online portal that is the right thing at the right time! It has been a pleasure to work with an amazing team of Canadian educators, administrators and developers to create Avenue under the management of New Language Solutions charity. This IRCC sponsored Avenue national learning repository for adult newcomers and language instructors launched in mid-August. The majority of Avenue’s courses, learning activities, resources, and training are focused on fully online teaching and training. Avenue is a timely solution for language and settlement instructors and students as LINC classes continue online. I consider Avenue the principle online resource for IRCC language instructors across Canada.
What is Avenue?
Known for a decade as LearnIT2teach and EduLINC, Avenue is more than an updated learning management system (LMS). It also allows instructors access to Tutela’s learning resources and provides instructors with convenient cloud storage as well as an impressive digital PBLA portfolio builder utility. I am sure that Stacey Vandenberg will be encouraged by the potential for paperless PBLA portfolios. This convergence of resources gives instructors, students, and administrators access to important tools from their home workstations or devices during the uncertain cloud of COVID-19.
Avenue’s Core Attributes
Avenue builds on the strengths of the LearnIT2teach project, the EduLINC courseware, the CCLB PBLA modules, and Tutela’s community. Contributed learning objects and elements that make Avenue a sensible choice for online teaching in the language and settlement sector include the following:
- Materials that are CLB aligned and vetted by CLB professionals.
- A wide spectrum of online learning activities and resources contained within each course.
- A state of the art LMS, Moodle, used by millions of learners across the world.
- Online learning activities that allow assessment management, social constructivist learning opportunities, and instructor authoring.
- Gamification through online badges, digital games, and competitive online quizzes.
- Course content management to target learner requirements which empowers instructors and enhances learning.
- Learner tracking to ensure at-risk online students are identified.
Avenue also provides additional supports for instructors beyond a learning management system and courses. These include the following initiatives:
- A growing learning community is fostered by webinars, teacher forums, conference sessions, articles, social media communication, podcasts, and instructional YouTube videos.
- A one-to-one teacher mentoring system to assist instructors while gaining expertise with blended and online teaching.
- A live online help utility to provide instructors with just-in-time support.
- A string of publications including the online Adult Settlement Blended Language Learning: Selected Annotated Bibliography.
- A six-stage training scheme to advance instructor online and blended learning teaching expertise.
- Online training courses in learning technology innovation and leadership for settlement centre managers to enhance their comprehension and support for online instruction.
Avenue Training Courses
There are eight Avenue provided training opportunities that range from basic digital literacy skills to creating personalized learning objects to administration management and leadership.
Avenue Learning Objects
Avenue courseware offers many different types of learning objects or learning activities and resources. I am familiar with the following:
- Chats &Forums
- Text, audio, video Assignments that can be assessed using document annotations and audio
- SCORM self-assessed Interactive Activities
- H5P Interactive, self-assessing activities
- Announcements, & Calendars
- Learner Feedback & Questionnaires
- Individual and group Quizzes
- Mazes and Workshops
- LINC Glossaries
- Digital Books
- BigBlueButton virtual classroom
Avenue’s New Features
If you used EduLINC in the past, you will notice several enhancements available with an Avenue account. Some of the new features include:
- Cloud storage space
- A student PBLA eBinder
- Level appropriate PBLA learning modules
- An improved Messaging
- An H5P Content bank
All in all, LINC instructors, whether new to EduLINC or not, should be pleased with the features offered by Avenue.
Introduction to Avenue webinar, https://bit.ly/34YQPJq
LearnIT2teach portal, http://learnit2teach.ca/wpnew/
New Language Solutions, https://newlanguage.ca/
Video Tour of Avenue, https://bit.ly/2QQb6bC