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Online ASL Study Group:
An educational cohort is a group of students banded together, going through an education program more or less at the same pace and completing the program or graduating together.
One of the reasons why college class ASL study groups (sort of) work is because four to six students who are all studying the exact same lesson and all highly motivated to pass an upcoming test get together (in person) with their laptops (or books) on their laps and take turns signing sentences from the practice sheets. If someone messes up it takes only a few seconds for someone else to call up a video showing the right way to sign it -- and then they show their laptop, tablet, or phone screen to share that video with the rest of the group.
The video resources become "the expert" and the students don't have to worry so much about being mislead by other students as to how to sign something.
The same approach would work for zoom:
1. A highly motivated group of students at the same level.
2. All studying the same lesson or set of lessons.
3. All of whom have ALREADY studied the lesson, recently, have it fresh in their minds, and are there to REVIEW (not to learn).
4. All or most of whom have easy access to the lesson materials and video examples for comparison and self-checking.
5. A culture of not telling each other that they are wrong but rather of simply "noticing" that a particular sign "seems" different from the way the person giving feedback "seems" to remember seeing it done "online" (and then shares the link).
An approach to this would be for a study group captain to log on via two different devices.
1. Use one device to show themselves on one of the zoom panels.
2. Use the second device to share the screen of the second device and use this screen to show video clips of the teacher or other language model.
All of the students should have a copy of the practice sheet. For example, if using the ASLU curriculum one student would have the practice sheet for Lesson 6.A, another student would have 6.B, another would have 6.C, and yet another would have 6.D. If more than 4 students were in the "cohort" the extra students would use practice sheets from the most recent previous lesson (5.A, 5.B, ... etc.)
This same approach can work for watching "Deaf newscasts."
1. Everyone has to pre-watch the same newscast segment (about five to ten minutes).
2. Everyone logs on and the leader logs on twice using two different devices (one of which is used to "share screen").
3. The leader plays the video for about two sentences and then everyone types what they think they are seeing. They all compare what they typed to see where the differences are and then finally compare with the captioning provided by the newscast video.
4. Any peculiar signs that come up the participants should ask about that sign. (For example: "I thought the sign for KNOW was on the forehead!?! Response: There is a more casual version of KNOW that is done on the cheek.)
The cohort should set an official goal for their group and perhaps even a self-reward.
Goal: We will complete Lessons 16 through 30 within 5 weeks.
Self-reward: At the end of the 5th week we will all get █████ ...er...we will all have ice cream.
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