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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Femmes Ecrivains

by
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.25 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 3.5 stars
Reviewed: Nov 14, 2008 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: This site is a free collection of material on African literature with an emphasis on Francophone women writers. With impressive longevity on the web, literary criticism, interviews, and biographies are only some of the features of this massive site. It provides an impressive collection of links to many related materials. Some of them feature audio and video files. This site could be used both by high school and college teachers and students interested in francophone studies, women studies, African studies or related studies.
Learning Goals: Students will • identify and recognize various sources and research instruments for the study of women writers; and African and francophone studies • learn the history and the evolution of francoAfrican women writers through their life and texts • develop a deeper understanding of the variety and plurality of African and francophone culture and literary productions.
Target Student Population: The target population could be as young as high school students in French language classes. However, the college population, especially those interested in African literature, Women’s studies or African studies would benefit from the wealth and depth of information published on this site.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Reading and Comprehension skills in French and English. For readings in French, about three years of the language would be desirable for full appreciation of the French writings.
Type of Material: Collection; Reference
Recommended Uses: This course would be a welcome resource to a survey of Francophone litterature and more particularly it would serve any course where female writers would be studied. Area studies courses or seminars might also make good use of these materials for independent study, homework or lecture.
Technical Requirements: Browser, media player (audio and video)

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: This site offers a non discriminatory repertoire of African women writers.There are some excerpts of primary texts as well as interviews of the authors. There are well-known authors such as Aminata Sow Fall and Mariama Ba whose works are commonly taught in Francophone literature courses. The content is valid and accurate. It covers many aspects of African and francophone literature and culture irrespective of the languages (French, English, lusophone)The information published is current. The site offers links to many other useful sites related to African literature.
Concerns: There is saturation of information on the site going beyond intended objective. It makes the site looks like a melting pot.Choosing the beginning of the text for all writers is not a good strategy especially because literature does not function as journalism where the most important information is stated at the beginning of each article.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The site can be used as a resource for the exploration of Franco-African women writers in particular and African literature in general. Students and teachers from other content area such as women studies, sociology or African studies could benefit from the variety of the resources published on the site, including the video and audio links. Though the focus is on text, there are many images throughout the website. Students of African literature will be pleased to see such a prolific resource on the works of women. There is a real effort to get into the mindset of these women, to define their art poetique and to recreate the landscape they describe in all of its diversity. Students can use the site as a point of departure for the study of the litterature of a particular country,region or time period.
Concerns: • The learning objectives stated on the site do not address all the components of this collection. • The front page is text-heavy and could be enhanced in readability. The current design could overwhelm students with certain learning styles.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: • The material is easy to navigate • There are no major bugs ( some video links are not working)
Concerns: The site is in need of a design update to enhance its aesthetic appeal. Long blocks of links with bold serif fonts detract from the site's readability.`A guide for the learner would help to insure a full exploration of the wealth and the depth of this collection.

Other Issues and Comments: no