Professor of Chinese De Bao Xu published the article “The Evaluation of Web Participatory Learning Tools and the Criteria for Selecting Virtual Classroom Software” in Journal of Technology and Chinese Language Teaching, Vol. 2, No. 2, December 2011, P. 1-22.
According to Xu “The advantage of web participatory learning tools in second language acquisition and the cruciality of virtual classrooms in distance learning have raised two questions for technology-based language teaching and learning: (1) how to evaluate the web participatory learning tools, and (2) how to select the virtual classroom software (VCS) for language teaching and learning.”
Xu’s article is trying to answer these two questions. Based on the concepts of participation and interaction established by Fortin (1997) and the six numerical measures of participation and interaction proposed by Xu & Jin (2009), he evaluates six commonly used web participatory learning tools: discussion board, blogs, Skype-type software, Moodle-based service network, LiveMocha, and Second Life. And meanwhile, he extends the six numerical measures of participation and interaction to the selection of VCS by filtering out nine VCS for language teaching and learning and summarizing out four criteria for VCS selection.