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Peer Review

Rutgers Multimedia Chinese Teaching System



Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Oct 19, 2007 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: Rutgers Multimedia Chinese Teaching System (RMCTS) is a Web-based multimedia curriculum to supplement beginning to advanced Chinese language instruction at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The beginning and elementary lessons consist of mainly conversations, while the intermediate and advanced lessons consist of prose and narratives. The lessons at the beginning level are accompanied by audios, vocabulary, pinyin, grammar notes, sentence patterns, etc.
Type of Material: Collection
Recommended Uses: For beginning to advanced level of Chinese in college, either as class activities or homework assignments.
Technical Requirements: Web browser and media player
Identify Major Learning Goals: To engage students in meaningful contexts while learning Chinese at beginning to advanced levels.
Target Student Population: College students
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None for the beginning level, but some background on Chinese literature is helpful for reading prose at the advanced level.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: In general, this is a well-designed site with learning material for all levels of students. The topics range from those related to survival skills to contemporary Chinese literature. Culture is introduced, especially at the beginning and elementary levels. Grammar and sentence structures are explained in detail with examples, and the vocabulary includes pinyin and English translations. Most lessons are also accompanied by relevant pictures.
Concerns: This learning site can be enhanced with more authentic and culturally related images, especially at the beginning and elementary levels. For example, the picture in Lesson 36 should be replaced with a relevant picture such as a tea set.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This learning site is relatively comprehensive and self-contained, and it is suitable for all levels of learners. The topics are appropriate, the audios are of good quality, and most of the images are relevant. They can easily be incorporated into the curriculum without additional work from the instructor. One especially useful feature of the site is its capability of displaying texts in both traditional and simplified characters, and even in pinyin and English for the beginning level.
Concerns: none

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: It is easy to navigate between lessons and levels (beginning through advanced). Each page is well designed with an attractive banner, picture, and user-friendly menu. The audios are clear, and the reading speed is appropriate for each level.
Concerns: Some pages take a relatively long time to load due to the amount of text.

Other Issues and Comments: none