Archive for August, 2012

How to get started with Moodle here

  1. Moodle is the UNCC LMS – it is central to teaching with technology.
  2. The LRC provides Moodle-information specific to language learning, incuding FAQ’s.
  3. The CTL (= Center for Teaching and Learning) has oodles of general Moodle help.
  4. Search the CTL site for Moodle by clicking here, and you will find:
    1. Moodle specific:
      1. view Moodle on-demand screencast video tutorials,
      2. read Moodle FAQ’s (updated).
      3. sign up for instructor-led (face-to-face or webinars, some of which are archived and available on-demand) training:
        1. Updated  Webinar list, which includes for Moodle (I highlighted the more general ones)
          1. Avoiding the Moodle Scroll of Death (30 min. Webinar)
          2. Copying a Moodle Course (30 min. Webinar)
          3. Find & Embed Videos in Moodle (30-min. Webinar)
          4. How Do I: Peer Review in Moodle (30 min. Webinar)
          5. Incorporating Streaming Media into Moodle (30 min. Webinar)
          6. Making Moodle Beautiful (30 min. Webinar)
          7. Moodle 2 FAQ (30 min. Webinar)
          8. Moodle Grade Book and Mail Merge (30-min. Webinar)
          9. Moodle Under the Hood (30 min. Webinar)
          10. Using Moodle’s Team Assignment (30 min. Webinar)
        2. Previous (Moodle 1.9)
          1. Teaching with Moodle: The Basics
          2. Moodle: More Than a Course Website
          3. Using the Moodle Grade Book
          4. Moodle Open Swim (your remaining questions will be answered),
    2. There is more Moodle-information here, just no way for me to provide a direct, filtered link so just browse the pages:
      1. the CTL podcasts
        1. Episode 106 Getting Students to Read Your Syllabus: Quizzing in Moodle

How LRC assistants get paid: paper time sheet if no web time entry

  1. If there is a delay at the beginning of the term getting you into the web time entry system we normally use,
  2. print a paper timesheet for Work Study Student,
  3. get it signed from the LRC coordinator or director,
  4. on or before the 31st, turn it in to Payroll  which is on Reese 3rd Floor (consult the Campus Map).

Getting answers for the LRC management from Report Express

    1. Report Express is a powerful tool to get current enrolment data which seems vital for running the LRC, but which I have not been able to get my hands on before easily (SCT-Banner limits access too much).
    2. Excel download format – which I recommend : cleaner (fewer graphics) and more information – DOES work, but for Excel 2010, I have to rename the download file extension from XLS to HTML (which the download is) and “open with”  –> Excel.
    3. I have not been successful merging these output files per language on the command line into one large HTML file and cleaning up the <html><body> framework – so I have to open each one, merge by copy/paste the contents of the result worksheet into a new worksheet and clean up the data in there by converting into an Excel Table and sorting by a suitable table column, e.g. ID, which puts all actual enrolment data sequentially, and separates all (redundant anyways) header and footer information.
    4. I finally added table columns with array formulas to calculate the enrolment aggregates,
      1. per this section (to answer questions like: will this class fit into the language resource center?),
      2. this course # (to answer questions like: where can we have maximum impact on improving learning with technology with creating the minimum of new learning/assessment materials. Assessment is standardized per course #.)
      3. and per language-level.
    5. Finally,  vlookup-columns allow me to link the instructor of record and other missing class information (room, building, time) to the student enrolment rows. This allows me to filter, sort and search the enrolment sheet with real-life questions, like
      1. can we support this size class/course/level and language in the LRC
      2. is it practical to relocate this course for part/a whole class meeting to the LRC
      3. which students need be given access permissions to the SANAKO
      4. etc.
    6. Sample filter of the aggregate sheet: enrolment-with-vlookup

Protected: Meet the Resource Attendants and their Scheduling Assistants– or Who are these people, anyway?

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Query treebanks with Fangorn for English SLA?

To provide inductive empirical examples,  SLA  classes have benefitted from query interfaces to target language text corpora in SLA. But corpora are usually POS-tagged – and queried – at best, which constitutes a certain “impedance mismatch” to what SLA classes actually teach. The Fangorn very large treebank query language beta demonstration page


looks already interesting for analyzing English in SLA (hover over tree elements to highlight the corresponding text), including, thanks to its capability of editing and refining queries graphically from the search results, for demonstrations during face-to-face classes. Wondering whether other corpora than Penn Treebank, Wikipedia (5k and 5000k sentences) will be made available online, and other languages but English will be supported.

How to take roll in class using Sanako Study 1200

  1. Today:
    1. I had to work on getting my Sanako classroom layouts back up after a network cutover on the first day of the academic year.
    2. I could observe a teacher new to the Sanako lab taking roll on paper, reading out each student’s name and finding the student in the classroom . This is a known good way to learn to put a face to a students’ name. Once that is done (and maybe could be done also faster using student thumbnails in university computer systems like the LMS), one can save teaching time taking roll doing the following :
  2. At the beginning of each of your class meetings:
    1. You cannot start a sanako class before your students have logged in and their sanako student clients have started up – that is the first I always ask my students to do.
    2. In the initial Sanako tutor startup dialogue, open an empty class.
    3. Wait for the “corridor” to be fully populated, then select all.
    4. Have the sanako tutor populate the classroom layout.
    5. Choose menu file / save classroom layout as, and save in your tutor folder with the date as the filename.
    6. (Load your familiar class layout to actually begin your class – this will take little extra time, for Sanako tutor does not need to wait again for the Sanako student clients to start up).
  3. After the last day of classes:
    1. load each saved file into MS-Excel (as an XML table),
    2. first column will be class date, hide all columns in between that and your student login name,
    3. select and copy these 2 columns into an attendance spreadsheet (if you find a way to strip the xml wrapper, you can merge the files on the command line – after all, the classroom layout files are just plain text),
    4. in the attendance spreadsheet, calculate attendance
      1. either sort first by date, then by login name, and count attendance manually using the dates;
      2. or have Excel count for you with an array formula pasted into a third column that checks for and counts identical dates.
  4. Final thoughts: Your mileage may vary if you don’t teach all your classes in a Sanako lab – I used to and have come to appreciate an institutionally provided and maintained lab infrastructure which is stable – compared with complaints I have heard about having to rely on your students not forgetting their clickers if you want to use technology rather than class time for taking roll outside of a stable infrastructure.

Russian LRC tutor training Fall 2012


French LRC tutor training Fall 2012