Perspectives from the Classroom, MELO's Spanish efforts

This is the second blog post in the series of updates about the MELO 3D project on our campus. Click here to read the first post to learn more about the project and our involvement with it.


Tatiana Calixto must incorporate her classes into the larger academic organization of the Spanish program at the University of Michigan. Often she uses content that has been co-created by colleagues but needs to be adapted to specific classroom needs. She usually doesn’t have access to an “enhanced” classroom with technology so any use of digital content or Internet resources in the classroom must be planned carefully. Much of the work that is done in the classroom focuses on developing Spanish speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. In order to address the need of her students to review content, practice it, and access it outside of the classroom, Dr. Calixto developed a series of podcasts and clips taken from movies (that rely heavily on Fair Use) to help her students practice concepts learned in class right before midterms and other tests.

The Learning Objects that include movie clips incorporate very important context into the lesson objectives. By offering this, Dr. Calixto can engage students beyond just clicking on content, but by watching a scene unfold and understanding how the language describes actions, intent, and events. With this content, students are able to see which sentences and verbs describe the scene.

In order to address difficult concepts that are relatively standardized (grammar and grammar rules), Dr. Calixto created a website that students can access anywhere they have Internet access. Before these podcasts were created, many students were using office hours to ask the same questions over and over. Now the podcasts serve to address this gap in learning, allowing students to access them outside of the classroom with the opportunity to stop, rewind, practice, and review. Dr. Calixto created this website with content she created, based on her experiences with students at U-M. She licensed all of this content, however, so that other Spanish teachers across institutions can access and use the podcasts to support their classrooms. Students at other schools can use these podcasts as well.

2 thoughts on “Perspectives from the Classroom, MELO's Spanish efforts

  1. This is a wonderful resource. How could it be made more findable to other teachers and learners of intro Spanish?
    One idea would be a simple RSS feed to make the content available in a structured format able to be indexed and accessed by machines, so that it could be included in repositories of open educational content?
    Would a structure as simple as the following work?

    Licensing/Terms of Use

    Would something along these lines be useful to others?


    • Hi Shannon! Thanks for your comment! Our RSS feed already does this for our Open.Michigan OER courses and resources. Our RSS feed uses RDFa for the metadata. Here is the RSS feed for the Spanish course you mentioned. As you may know, lots of work being done around the concepts of structured metadata for OER, LRMI and Learning Registry are two examples.

      Best, — The Open.Michigan Team


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