Kanji e-portfolio: Facilitating collaborative and individual learning in a blended learning environment

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper examines how a blended learning classroom, which is designed for English-speaking learners of Japanese, can add extra dimensions to learn logographic kanji (Chinese characters) with flexibility in learning space and time, to investigate the quality of learning experienced by students through an alternative assessment method of ‘kanji e-portfolio’ that combines collaborative and independent learning settings.

In a Japanese courses at Edinburgh University, half of formal kanji tests were replaced with paper-based ‘kanji portfolio’ that focuses learning process and evidence-based outcome. The completion rate of this assessment was extremely high (81.2%), and the course questionnaire showed students’ high satisfaction towards the assessment.

However, learning environments have changed over the last five years after a virtual learning environment (VLE) has become an essential part of the university with the WebCT platform enabling students to access course-related resources and presentations online. This significant shift from a paper-based to a VLE-enhanced teaching and learning has called a new pedagogical approach, thus a pilot kanji syllabus was implemented this year - a flexible combination of traditional face-to-face and technology-based learning (blended learning) environments. The learning components include: (1) self-paced independent learning (e-portfolio), (2) blended learning (face-to-face and VLE), and (3) collaborative learning (student-centred group work). Students’ self-reported confidence rate (94%) in independent kanji study was supported by the high achievement score (average mark of 71%) in the relevant section of an unprepared post-test. Overall, this cohort of students achieved key target skills for independent learning by reaching high level of kanji formation skill in handwriting; showing evidence of excellent visual recognition (reading) skills, and reflecting awareness of own vocabulary building strategy over time, but the test results indicates students’ limitation in developing good knowledge of kanji compound words, including lexical pronunciation by themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2010
EventLanguages for the 21st century: training, impact and influence - University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Sept 20102 Sept 2010


ConferenceLanguages for the 21st century: training, impact and influence
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Blended Learning
  • Kanji acquision


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