A study which measured and analysed scholarly literature, including research by academics from the Faculty of WELS, has found the OU to be second highest for publications in the field of Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL), with 75 articles identified. The study used a data set consisting of 3,697 studies published in 11 journals between 1977 and 2020, which measured publications in the field of technology and language learning.
Discussing the report’s findings and the reflection of WELS academics’ commitment to language learning, Prof Regine Hampel, Associate Dean (Research Excellence) in the Faculty of WELS, commented:
“The OU’s placement in the top two of this review of CALL research trends clearly illustrates our research and teaching excellence in the area of technology and language learning.”
In addition, a seminal WELS-authored paper (Hampel and Hauck, 2004) was ranked in the top ten most co-cited and novel publications, influencing other fields of research. The paper reported on the OU’s ground-breaking move to online language tuition via an audiographic conferencing tool developed in-house. The article was also identified as one of three publications in these top ten that had the highest scores for indicating where studies jump across fields of research and the highest scores for indicating novelty.
The study also investigated focus of research, themes of study, and impact in the field of technology and language learning. Seven major themes were identified with varying degrees of support for use in education. These included:
Analysis showed more support for synchronous computer-mediated communication and negotiated interaction, multimedia, telecollaboration or e-mail exchanges and digital games, whereas blogs, Wikis, and podcasts had weaker support.
Other universities in the top five include the National Taiwan Normal University in Taiwan (80 articles), Iowa State University in the United States of America (49 articles), National Central University Taiwan in Taiwan (44 articles) and The University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong (42 articles).