Hermes Online Language Learning System
During 2012-2015, CASLS piloted the Hermes online language learning program in Chinese and Swahili. Hermes was an entirely web-based learning management system. Using peer-to-peer scaffolding and project-based learning, Hermes allowed novice students to become “active agents” in their language learning journey.
A licensed teacher guided students’ learning, provided instruction, and offered individual support. Trained native speakers, known as language coaches, helped students with language production, reviewed student work, and provided feedback.
- Affordable cost: Hermes provided an affordable way for school districts and other educational institutions to provide world language instruction in the midst of federal and state budget cuts.
- Increased access: CASLS worked with school districts to assign a local lab instructor and set aside specific time in students’ school schedule for Hermes. Because of its web-based nature, students continued their learning outside of the classroom by simply accessing the course from any location with an Internet connection.
- Individual attention: Hermes accommodated multiple learning styles and provided students with immediate feedback.
- Independent learning: Students worked at their own pace and studied aspects of the language and culture of particular interest to them.
- Support: Hermes used a multi-tier support structure that included a licensed instructor, language coaches, CASLS technology staff, and local lab instructors (provided by institution).