Archive for the ‘announcements’ Category

Looking forward to the Digital Humanities Unconference at UNC Charlotte

  1. Why I come to THATCamp Piedmont:
    1. I am looking for practitioners of NLP in a language and literature teaching context since I am working on Using NLP tools to automate production and correction of interactive learning material  (presented at Calico 2012)
    2. for the Learning Exercise Creation Engines (presented at EUROCALL 2007) I developed.
  2. A little about myself:
    1. My Ph.D. thesis expanded the close reading of textual variants in the German editorial schools of Hans Zäch and the use of the computer-generated textual concordances in the interpretation and selection of textual variants into a corpus linguistic-inspired approach, that traced Leitmotifs in the work  (partially first digitized by myself) of the foremost Swiss-German classic as a digital corpus using Regular Expressions programming.
    2. I have since applied my corpus linguistic approach to
      1. the use of machine translation software
      2. the automation of learning material creation  (glossing, question generation, differentiation) on the basis of natural language processing of textual  (film subtitles, news) corpora.

How to copy your tried and true Moodle course into the new term/sections

Just another shout-out for some useful documentation from the CTL: Instructions on how to copy your Moodle course: Text | Video. Plus a recommendation: stop being hard on yourself and refrain from manually adding content to individual sections of the same course, instead, use the copy (import) feature at term start in each section. Requires preparing your Moodle course when you do not teach and grade – which seems preferable and for which the LRC aims to offer Learning materials Clinics.

How teachers can conduct a 1-on-1 student oral assessment in their office using Sanako Lite Recorder

  1. If you need to conduct an OPI or other one-on-one oral exam instead of class-size oral exams we offer in the LRC,
    1. we have conducted 1-on-1 speaking assessments using the Sanako headsets and Student Recorder in the LRC.
    2. However, since this setting does not offer much privacy (and also because it blocks  the LRC classroom ), we would recommend conducting such exams in faculty offices. For this scenario, teachers can use:
      1. one of the headsets that can now be checked out by faculty, and in working condition,
      2. the Sanako LITE or standalone recorder – which could not be rolled out by IT on all teacher computers, but I programmed a workaround installer – and is friendlier (for recording and listening/grading) than Audacity. Sanako recently provided a useful guide for one-on-one examinations with the Study Lite recorder here (you do not need a desktop microphone like shown here, it is sufficient to position the headphone appropriately on the desk instead).

LRC Spring 2013 announcements

Over the break SANAKO permissions for students and teachers were set up according to vendor specifications.


Benefits on LRC computers, office PCs (and MACs, except for Sanako standalone recorder; try also home computers if you use university network shares from home):

1.   Teachers in LCS and ELTI can save their learning material files directly from their office PCs to the SANAKO folders for distribution within the LRC.

2.   Teachers don’t anymore have to request  permission for SANAKO before first visit of the LRC with students enrolled in  ARBC, CHNS, ELT, FLED, FREN, GERM, GREK, ITLN , JAPN, LACS, LATN , LTAM, PORT, RUSS, SPAN, TRAN, they  automatically have access to use the SANAKO in the LRC.

3.   Teachers can from their office PCs grade their students’

    1. writing with written feedback
    2. and  recordings with oral feedback using Sanako voice-insert
    3. and have the feedback automatically distributed to students (requires  finalization of my langlabemailer extension for the SANAKO).


While I have no tools to test the permissions, I am optimistic  that this will work much better than the unfinished configuration we had to make do with during the first 21 months of the SANAKO. In the unlikely event that you run into errors, let us know like so:


Unfortunately, the SANAKO root  folder had to be changed also due to new ITS requirements. This breaks the  folder shortcuts (not the standalone recorder) that  I have manually added to some teacher’s computers. I am investigating whether a new computer management tool ITS is introducing (TEM) can do this update of shortcut, as well install  of shortcuts and Sanako standalone recorder. In the meantime,  I updated (password:uncclrct), your entry point to SANAKO folders (explanation and clickable link) , whether you work on the LRC teacher computer on your office PC or MAC. I also have a simple step-by-step how to install the standalone student recorder if you need it sooner:


Workshops: Teachers have requested earlier SANAKO workshops this term, at the same time finding common time for LRC workshop  scheduling  has proven to be difficult.  So I would like to test 2 new things:

1.   expanding the self-access training materials collection introduce during the last workshop: (work in progress, your companion at the teacher station with  step-by-step videos for common Sanako activities.

2.   offering a bi-weekly drop-in clinic  (from week 3) for preparing activities based on these training materials.

a.    Where: All clinics will be in the LRC main classroom, in the hope of using the SANAKO hands-on the creation and delivery of learning materials/activities, helping multiple teachers simultaneously.

When: So that everybody can find a time that fits into their schedule, the time-slot of the clinic  will be rolling through-out the term (starting  on Tuesday at  an even hour and on Thursday at an odd hour), and continuing  2hrs later each consecutive week (barring  your prior booking of the LRC for classes and exams  which take priority – please book as soon as you finalize your syllabus so that I can finalize the clinic schedule). Just  look for "Sanako Clinic" in the LRC calendar (, or to be able to search, add it to your NINERMAIL like so: and drop-in to create plans and materials for SANAKO activities like in the companion. If, however, you need a different time slot, send a meeting request to and me and I will reschedule for this week  (please "signal" early so as to avoid  "bumping " other clinic attendants.

Fall 2012 Faculty Workshop II: Clinic on creating teaching materials for use with the Sanako

      1. (Being planned and scheduled, therefore this post is a work in progress, please stay tuned: ).
      2. As a continuation (and practical application ) of our previous Intermediate Sanako Teaching Techniques Workshop (and a repetition of our Learning material creation Clinic from the summer), we will create learning materials.
      3. Bring some ideas and materials. The Sanako and entire LRC infrastructure aims to lower the technical authoring requirements.
        1. We can record remotely, all authoring teachers at the same time, your source (model/question material) which you will be able to distribute as easily (“ loop induction”)  from the Sanako teacher station. Bring some questions your students should be able to respond to in L2, and be prepared to read some text that you want them to repeat, for pronunciation practive
        2. We can author hand-outs for so-called “homework” (actually reading and writing, with supervision and collection by the teacher as easy as the handout): It just takes opening one of our customized LRC MS-Word templates. I will hand out (more loop induction) “homework” files to aid your work. Bring some texts and essay writing tasks
        3. PowerPoint exam files with visual cues: bring some ideas for vocabulary quizzes.

Fall 2012 Faculty Workshop I: Intermediate Sanako Teaching Techniques

  1. (Being planned and scheduled, therefore this post is a work in progress, please stay tuned: ).
  2. Using the Sanako classroom management system for training (“loop induction”),
  3. we will present learning usage models, based on the work done by our language teachers in the LRC Sanako this term.
  4. We will then provide you with hands-on practice how you can do the same with the Sanako system.
  5. This will hopefully give you some ideas for for writing LRC visits into your face-to-face teaching syllabus next term.
  6. To facilitate this, we will continue with a follow-up Workshop II: Clinic, where we will help you prepare your Sanako-based learning materials for next term.
  7. You can review our past Sanako Workshops (online screencast).

Announcing new MS-Word templates for writing assignments during face-to-face-classes in the LRC

Screenshot - 11_8_2012 , 10_30_25 AM

  1. Benefits
    1. MS-Word is technology that has become “transparent”for most users:
      1. Have teachers focus on assignment pedagogy, not authoring technology.
      2. Have students focus on the target language, not authoring technology.
    2. Document is protected (for restricting formatting to predefined Word-styles):
      1. Have students focus on form or content, but not on distracting formatting issues.
      2. Styles are designed to facilitate teacher monitoring students’ work using Sanako screensharing, like so:
    3. Take advantage of MS-Office Proofing tools (templates are preset for your target language).
    4. Take advantage of easy assignment file management with Sanako homework activity.
    5. Take advantage of internet lookup process, especially pedagogical if you combine with Sanako controlled-web-browsing activity
  2. Requirements:
    1. Teacher
      1. The easiest is to save the writing template for your language in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Templates\1033 (or if your run 32-bit MS-Word on a 64-bit Windows, C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Templates\1033)
      2. Then base your writing assignment document on the template (e.g. by double-clicking the template in the folder you saved it to).
      3. Then save your writing assignment to your class material folder on the Sanako network share (from the office or in the LRC).
      4. In class, launch the Sanako homework activity.
    2. Student: none other than downloading and submitting the Sanako homework. image