Archive for the ‘erepository’ Category

Arachne, online database for archaeology

ARACHNE is the free [account creation required] object database of DAI and the Institut of Classical Archaeology in Cologne. It provides more than 1 Million images of finds, architecture and excavations with meta information as well as digitised historical literature” ( Find more information and help on this page). Example of Advanced Search start choice page: image

Continue with Einzelmotive (singular motifs) (gets you back into an English interface also – the field-specific explanation on the right certainly helps): image

There is auto-search completion/suggestion, however, it seems to work only for German, and very eclectic: image

2011-07-08_BILD0047b Stitch (5000x3941)

Beats having to plaster your surroundings with photos for making your own panoramas. Smiley

File renaming utilities

When working with foreign language (learning) digital media files electronic repositories, typical problems include having to:

  1. adding metadata information to the filename
  2. handling of foreign language characters in filenames across operating and file systems, including code pages

A good file renaming  utility can work wonders in such situations.

I have been using the excellent BRU (Bulk rename utility) for a while, and always liked its flexibility – which is apparent from in its (initially somewhat intimidating) UI:

Now I found to my surprise, and confirmed with the help of the support forum, that the foreign language character support is lacking from BRU’s Regular Expression implementation.

Enter Renamer, another file renaming utility, which features a stable and beta version, pdf documentation and a wiki.

As you can see in the following screenshot, Renamer makes it possible, using Unicode character codes in Regular Expressions, to replace e.g. all Mandarin characters in a filename.

Renamer also has in-built support for common tasks like cleaning up filenames by stripping common tags, transliterating foreign alphabets or adding file numbering (serializing).

Both utilities are free and highly recommended, but also see TBA:part II for limitations.



The Films on Demand subscription of Atkins library

  1. Benefits:
    1. provides access to over ten thousand streaming videos.
    2. image
    3. including world languages: image
  2. Remaining Problems:
    1. 741 titles for World languages is not a lot (additional materials may be applicable to language learning, but I do not see the most commonly  requested foreign language films used in the department which we are currently trying to rescue across the demise of VHS). Any particular silo of information is not comprehensive (given the power of the network effect, YouTube wins hands-down most if the times),
    2. any content is difficult to integrate into a language skill curriculum,
    3. any added interface  restrictions may make it more difficult, not more stable,
    4. not unlike YouTube, files you may have used, even linked, can get removed.
    5. the website seems to be available only on campus – even if you are logged into your campus account  (university VPN will likely help, and not, given that it has video throughput issues).

LRC learning resources Moodle metacourses: Our list

2013/01/18 1 comment

UPDATE: The LRC Metacourses are being rolled over to MOODLE2. Metacourses having only an OldID are currently still unavailable in Moodle2. And the student enrollment needs to be updated manually until the end of add/drop. On the upside, teachers do not need to make course available to students anymore. The LRC can do this (Metacourses for languages saying #Ref are waiting to be rolled over, tell me if you need them)..

The following LRC Moodle metacourses for teaching materials are available to LCS and ELTI  (including LRC-Resource  with training materials for using language learning technology in and outside of the LRC, as well as for independent study languages).

The naming scheme follows the course abbreviations taught in the departments that the LRC supports:

These courses appear in the Training branch of the Moodle-courses tree-menu on the left (for all study programs you teach in):


The metacourse for a language (or field of study)  is accessible to all students studying this language during the term of their study.

LRC online language learning materials: the list

2013/01/17 2 comments

Below you can find a scrollable and searchable list of LRC learning materials in Moodle metacourses  (of which you can find a standalone list here).

You can filter this LRC Excel Web App using the column header dropdowns. You can click on the language in the leftmost column to go to your language’s metacourses and in its folders easily locate the resources in the right columns.

Languages that do not have their dedicated metacourse are LCTL/independent study and can be found in the LRC metacourse.

Note that the material you are looking for are not necessarily in this list, as there are other containers for language learning materials used on campus, including individual Moodle courses, textbook publisher applications, often based on Quia, like for Hybrid 1st-year Spanish, and the library ereserves.

Larger view here. UNCC-LRC Editors click here.


How to use Bulk Rename’s RegEx matching capability

Much desired, but took me a while to figure that one out:

By default, any filename with a  matched substrings will be replaced by nothing;


What you want to remain, you have to refer to in the replacement with backticks:image

Moodle Metacourses, part III: The support workflow: File-renaming

2011/08/31 2 comments

We discussed file renaming utilities in an earlier post. Here are some more practical tips:

Limitations: While both utilities can accept Windows Search Result sets, drag-drop seems limited to fewer than 256 files at a time (on my Vista 64-bit – but that is not an OS limitation, since MS Expression Encoder can accept a drag-and-drop of all over 3.5k files that need reencoding).

Workaround: both utilities have a folder-select, and Renamer in addition accepts file masks, which can mimic some basic searches:


Bulk Rename Issue: While it allows for “Select from Clipboard” which you can use with the Windows “Copy as Path”/”Send  to Clipboard as Name” feature which works with search result sets. However, I could not get this feature to work (neither with the default “” around the path nor, after removing them manually,  without).

Renamer, Issue: rule, clean up, strip-out-content-of-brackets-does-not-what-it-should:

Renamer-translit-anglicize-foreign-language-diacritics: unfortunately still recommended for technical reasons; Renamer has presets, e.g. German here: TBA

Only one preset can be inserted add a time (overwrites previous) – but you can build your list with copy/paste from/to this text box and persist it to disk to load it later, just like the search rules – an extremely handy feature.

Moodle metacourses, part I: The Pedagogy: Do you want the LRC to distribute files for your courses through Moodle?

2011/08/18 1 comment

First consider using the Library ereserves! However, to help teachers with the management of digital learning materials (text, audio, small video files) in your Moodle courses, to help students with a familiar learning interface (unlike Webdrive), and to relieve IT from having to store files in sparse environments like network shares or to manage duplicate files from many similar Moodle sections/courses across terms, the LRC is introducing Moodle metacourses.

In many Moodle installations, such metacourses – while lacking the advanced features of an LMS-integrated eRepository (software options are still under exploration) -, are commonly used like a shared library, holding teaching materials which a number of courses need access to and which the teacher of these course can link materials from in their respective courses.

You can view both a short list of our LRC Moodle metacourses and a longer list of language learning materials in these resource Moodle courses.

The CTL has arranged for all [your language here, e.g. French] Moodle courses to automatically become “child courses” (don’t get hung up on that terminology!) of the “LRC-[your language here]-Resource” Moodle course (AKA “parent course”) course at the beginning of each term. That means: all teachers and students in [your language here] courses will have access to the learning materials in “LRC-[your language here]-Resource” course. (At the end of the term, all teachers and students will be automatically un-enrolled also).

Please note: Due to technical limitations within Moodle, with you gaining access, the LRC staff loses access to the “LRC-[your language here]-Resource” course. However, if you want to make changes, you can yourself go to the parent course and manage either your child course (dropping) or individual resources in the parent course (hiding – please coordinate with colleagues, especially teachers of other sections).

Please note also: Like any library (or specifically the LRC) is a room, the metacourse is a (virtual) room, meaning: students must (virtually) “walk over there” to see the library resources. You can facilitate this if you link to library resources in the parent course from your regular course, preferably opening them in a new window for easy return to the regular course.

How is included in these helpful hints from a metacourses user: “The only minor problem is that the student navigation might leave them in the metacourse instead of the normal section course. To lessen this effect, I always launch links to the metacourse in a new window. Normally students understand that they need to close the popup window when they are finished with it. There are several advantages to using metacourses in this way. First, it saves having to upload the same materials more than once. I can change a file in the metacourse and know that it is changed in all section courses. Second, it saves storage space. Third, it provides the possibility of developing learning objects or mini courses that can be quickly linked to create a new course. Finally, it would allows several teachers to pick and choose what materials to include in their section courses. One hint, I put all activities (assignments, forums, journals, etc.) in the child course, not in the metacourse. This keeps grading segregated” .

Alternatively, if you do not want to distribute files through the parent course and rather drop your child course from the parent course, self-enrolling in the LRC-CLS-UNCC-Projects (URL sent on request) which as a child course of all metacourses will give you access to download the teaching materials (How? view how to use Moodle File management to zip and download files) and republish them into your Moodle course ((How? view how to upload files into Moodle).