Archive for the ‘eportfolio’ Category

Protected: LRC à la carte II: Choose from our start-of-term class inductions

2014/07/15 Enter your password to view comments.

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Protected: CTL’s Mahara Workshop in the LRC

2013/12/05 Enter your password to view comments.

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Faculty Workshop Fall 2013: Creating Mahara language learner portfolio pieces in the digital audio lab

    1. Thanks to all who came out to this workshop.
      1. You have already been emailed your portfolio pieces, like your students will be, by the LangLabEmailer.
      2. Converting your recordings to a file for Question/Response exams will take a little longer, let me know if/when you would like to use it.
    2. In addition, here are the workshop files:
      1. my slide handout as PDF with clickable links (includes “Can do”- Statements aligned with the Common European Reference Framework for language proficiency levels, which can help operationalizing your ePortfolio strategy)
      2. my slide deck embedded:
      3. my slide deck as a downloadable PowerPoint show: you can click through the animations at your own speed, view the animated GIFs, and listen (or jump over!) to my full presentation narration (both as of yet not supported in PowerPoint Web App)
      4. a screencast of the back stage view (Sanako tutor mostly), full HD resolution (big, but streaming), with complete uninterrupted (and unedited! please fast forward manually through the hands-on parts) audio . To facilitate your navigation, here is a table of contents :
        1. 0:00: Table of contents
        2. 2:30: Portfolio Pedagogy
        3. 13:47: Technical infrastructure: Moodle Mahara portfolio, Sanako, LangLabEmailer
          1. 17:47: Q&A
        4. 19:45: Option 1: presentation as screencast, examples from 1st-year Russian
        5. 34:50: Option 2: Free-form conversation audio, Examples from 2nd-year English  and 2nd-year Japanese
          1. 52:00: Q&A: Why a LangLabEmailer?
        6. 53:00: Option 3: question-response audio, examples from 4th-year Spanish.

How to create screencasts of student presentations for the language learner ePortfolio in the digital audio lab


  1. Students can now easily video-record their own screens during class presentations – not only when using PowerPoint; instead students could demo a website, like their Facebook page.
  2. Last year, we were limited to PowerPoint’s record slideshow with timing and narration feature, and either send the PPSX (small, but requires the PowerPoint viewer) or the “Save as” video (new in PowerPoint 2010; computing intensive and large file size).
  3. Now with MS-Community Clips, screencasts are
    1. minimal effort to create (keyboard shortcut WIN+ALT+R or T; save on desktop; drag/drop into Sanako homework folder)
    2. and little effort to distribute:
      1. Students could have uploaded to a Moodle’ file upload assignment (default file size limit: 64MB) or Kaltura file upload assignment (not sure whether there is a size limit). This seems more suitable for assignments with screencasts recordings.
      2. In this instance
        1. Sanako collected the Homework files to the Sanako share,
        2. my langlabemailer emailed them as attachment (so far tested to allow for 25MB attachment size, the equivalent of 7-8 minute screencast, a hefty space to fill in L2!  We also established: 45MB is too much… Smile)  to the originating student and teacher, for review, grading –
      3. and – provided it passes muster as an attractive and significant piece – possibly for re-use in the student’s language learner ePortfolio.
  4. In addition,
    1. Before the presentations, the teacher easily collaborated on proof-reading the slide decks of individual students, by using the Sanako Remote control screen sharing feature.
    2. During the presentation, students followed more closely – which seemed to increase their attention and comprehension -, thanks to audio and screen being shared to them from the presenter, using the Sanako’s  “Model student” feature.

How to use NanoGong in your Moodle course as an audio file recorder

  1. NanoGong is primarily meant for submitting audio recordings to the teacher and fellow students.
  2. However, it can also serve as a simple audio recorder that can save a recording to a files:
    1. accessible anywhere where you have internet access (on a JAVA-capable device. I have not tested NanoGong’s compatibility with  smartphones or tablets, though) and a microphone – provided you/your teacher have added a NanoGong activity to the Moodle Course.
    2. Might be useful for collecting recordings as pieces for your language learner ePortfolios.
  3. To use NanoGong as an audio recorder: Instead of (or on top of/before) submitting your recording to the course, click the rightmost button: image:
    1. and you can save your recording to a file
    2. image_thumb[17]_thumb[1],
    3. in a variety of formats (compressed WAV is likely most compatible),
    4. including in the different speeds: image_thumb[18]_thumb that you de/increased the playback speed here: image_thumb[15]_thumb.

How to provide students with blended human/computer-automated feedback on their speaking using a dictation with speech recognition assignment screencast

  1. Teachers often feel there is never enough time for grading students’  speaking proficiency. Fortunately, we can now automate feedback on pronunciation using Windows 7 dictation with speech recognition.
  2. This feature will be  available for 7 languages on Windows 7 in the LRC, here is a demo for a reading exercise dictating German.
  3. An assignment step-by-step could look like this: Students
    1. record a screencast of their dictation,
    2. read a text to the computer in MS-Word,
    3. turn track changes on in MS-Word and correct the text (immediately or after dictation) where the computer could not recognize their speech,
    4. upload their screencast to Kaltura in Moodle.
    5. To grade the performance, the teacher has to review only at the very end of the screencast to see how many corrections the student needed to make (when it doubtabout the speech recognition validiiy, the teacher can easily jump to the screencast segment in question and, if necessary, override the speech recognition).
  4. This could be a regular assignment type since it provides the following benefits:
    1. immediate automated intelligent feedback for the student
    2. little grading overhead for the teacher, so that the teacher can concentrate her work on providing aural feedback on student recorded speech as a highlight maybe twice per term, maybe after mock exams  before a midterm and final exam
    3. some multimedia pieces demonstrating language proficiency for the student’s ePortfolio.
  5. Requirements:
    1. a quality headset (we use Sanako SLH-07Sanako SLH-07 USB)
    2. Windows 7  Enterprise/Ultimate with Language Packs,
    3. knowing how to switch the display language, (optional/recommended:) TBA:a simplified language switching facility,
    4. individual voice training data: speech recognition users have to train the computer  – once, even in a deepfrozen computer enviroinment,  since we enabled you to save this data to and restore it from a flash drive or personal network share space,
    5. a reading text (often authentic texts can be taken straight from the textbook, to fit in with the syllabus, like in this example from Treffpunkt-Deutsch 1st-year German),
    6. MS-Word with track changes
    7. screencast software (we use MS community clips)
    8. a way to submit the results to the teacher (we use Moodle with Kaltura video uploading (example for teachers, students do it similarly), but email could be sufficient depending on screencast length and attachment size allowance).

Thoughts on use of MS-OneNote for Learner Portfolios in Interpreting?

What are aspects of portfolios, according to Portfolios “document education, work samples and skills”  “more in-depth than a resume” can. They come in different flavours: “developmental (e.g., working), reflective (e.g., learning), and representational (e.g., showcase)” and can contain “personal information, evaluations, sample work, and awards and acknowledgments”. If they are e-Portfolios, implying online, they can be “updated often” and with ease, and are “assembled and managed by a user” who controls the “varying degrees of audience access”. With this come “problems of exporting data and related interoperability issues” and the pros and cons of portfolios integrated into existing VLEs of educational institutions, who are initially easily available, but may lack in “learner-centered-ness” beyond the institutional affiliation.

In the OneNote ecosystem, there is a lot of student workbooks samples – may be closer to what I mean to be a portfolio, if they would groom it and reflect on their work –, plus a so called “Digital portfolio: Sample digital portfolio of a teacher that contains multiple sets of student work, stored and organized within OneNote. Includes homework, quizzes, tests and projects.”

“If you want to use recordings made in OneNote, be aware that the default recording quality for OneNote is not meant for speech recognition. We use a voice codec and bit rate/sample rate designed to compress spoken word audio as small as can be while still usable by human beings. In OneNote 2007 we increased the settings slightly to make audio search work better, but speech recognition (transcription) requires a much higher level of quality. To set up your future recordings in OneNote to be transcribable, first go to Tools/Options/Audio and Video. Switch the codec to Windows Media Audio 9.1 Professional. ”

8+x computers in the interpreting suite and maybe 8 extra in the language center could get us started. (an configuration of these computers which is different from the it labs configuration may save some money initially, but incurs maintenance cost permanently, which may be somewhat hidden, but is very real. so a site license for OneNote, if the licensing cost is reasonable at all, would probably be preferable. of course we are past the deadline for software image upgrades, i just managed to get the OneNote in the interpreting suite request in before the deadline).

if we want to enable students to work remotely, they need personal licenses. this is not necessarily expensive (ca 40 pounds for a full office 2007 suite from ms directly for students only which i recommend to any student just to get ms-word, much more so if you use more advanced office applications)..

one of the nicest features of ms-OneNote and which, even if i have not had a chance to test, would most likely strongly recommend using, is the following:

we can store these OneNote portfolios as shared files on our intranet so that students can keep editing /adding to them, and Danielle and other staff at the same time, without conflicts or need for copying and keeping files in synch, open for checking and giving feedback.

this seems much more usable than copying and transmitting (email is impossible, Weblearn, sans webdav and learner portfolio feature at least, very inconvenient) large multimedia files.

using this feature requires, however, a network share which the students can write to (which will also be required for the digitization of the interpreting suite, even my personal hack), and, if we want to support students doing this from home, probably VPN access (i do not think the current FTP access to the home drive would help us any with this task).