Enhancing Video eLearning With Widgets

The Use Of Widgets In Video eLearning To Improve The Learning Experience
Summary: Students all over the world are increasingly turning to the Internet for educational purposes, especially for second language learning. The use of widgets in the learning environment is beneficial to the student and enhances the video learning experience for language learning.

The Use Of Widgets In Video eLearning To Improve The Learning Experience

TheTalkList augments many online and face-to-face language learning environments by connecting students with tutors for 1-to-1 video eLearning conversation practice sessions. One-on-one conversations are more engaging, because they can be tailored specifically for the needs of the student. When the students control the time and the topic, they become contextually engaged, making the language learning process more effective.

While this dynamic environment increases the effectiveness of each session, both the student and the tutor need additional, accessible resources during the conversation to supplement traditional learning structures. To address this need, an enhanced learning environment that includes widgets for immediate access to online content in addition to a standard video viewer and basic chat is the answer.

What are widgets?

Widgets are small applications that allow us to perform specific tasks, and augment a conversation with students to broaden their vocabulary on a plethora of topics.


There are distinct benefits that widgets offer. These benefits contribute to the dynamic and contextual nature of conversational practice, while offering students and tutors access to fresh, timely information:

  • Flexibility.
    By giving students the option to tailor the discussion, they are more engaged in the learning process.  This option requires that tutors have quick access to information, so they can drive the conversation. Widgets provide the necessary information in a quick, convenient manner.
  • Timeliness.
    Widgets access online resources with the most current, available information. Traditional content is often dated by the time it is published; accessing online information makes the information as timely as possible, as the Internet is providing it.
  • Relevance.
    Accessing information that specifically relates to the conversation keeps context and usage of words/ phrases relevant and memorable.


The use of online materials requires careful attention to what is being accessed. The Internet provides incorrect and/or inappropriate information just as easily as it provides valuable information. The advantage of live, 1-to-1 conversations is that the tutor has the ability to make sure that inappropriate material is avoided or more importantly, is able to discuss with the student why some information will not be used. The dynamic nature of conversational practice allows for addressing concerns or issues rapidly unlike independently searched or static content.

Case Scenario for Widgets

As an example, the widgets used in TheTalkList Vee-Session includes:

  • Newsfeed.
    Tutors and students can link to news articles from the Internet to make cultural references, and provide a theme to develop conversational skills in events that are pertinent to daily lives.
  • Image.
    Pictures can be dropped into the chat box to creatively initiate a discussion about a subject, use as reference, supplement a verbal description, and to just make the session more fun!
  • Translate.
    On the chance that the conversation stalls due to a language barrier, a translation service is readily available for basic phrases and words.
  • Dictionary.
    Many words have multiple meanings, and a dictionary application is handy for tackling those words and contextualizing each of them. It also improves understanding of word usage in context.
  • Test Scenario.
    Many students are test driven, and want to validate their accomplishments by seeing scores. These students turn to tutoring with the intent of passing language exams. This widget is perfect for practice as we have practice questions that the tutor can give to the student.

The eLearning environment allows for flexibility, a rich student and tutor relationship, and the potential for innovation. Widgets act as an essential tool, and useful complement to the language learning experience.