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Archive for the ‘e-learning’ Category

Logging learning center attendance using MS-Exchange Calendars

  1. Over the years, I had to find a number of solutions for monitoring student attendance in the learning center, by repurposing existing infrastructure (there are dedicated solutions which, however, are often too costly for a departmental center, or not shared well). Here is another idea:
  2. We’ve used the existing campus-wide MS-Exchange infrastructure’s resource mailboxes for room booking and equipment circulation.
  3. We have creatively repurposed this infrastructure for managing the staffing of “offices” (center help desk and tutors). Here we needed to allow conflicts:
    1. multiple students staff the help desk.
    2. 1 tutor staffs the “office”- 1 additional student can book the tutor.
    3. Additionally, we set up a time clock system, based on an Excel Macro, to prevent cheating:
      1. Only the person logging in can sign up to the resource;
      2. while only the help desk can provide the time clock value.
  4. It looks like that a similar setup could be extended to support the common requirement that students, while taking a certain course, spend a certain amount of time per week working in the learning center:
    1. which has been traditionally handled using paper-based sign-in-sheets or, at best, spreadsheets.
    2. With digital input, the data could be basis for analytics and visualizations, taking advantage of existing tools like MS-Calendaranalytics.
    3. Such a system would, however, require creation of resource calendar per course section that need to monitor learning center attendance. However, this needs to be done only once and would be reusable, since data can be filtered by input time, as long as no entirely new courses/sections come online.
  5. But hasn’t mandatory weekly learning center attendance been made obsolete by ubiquitous computing and the web?
    1. Definitely in some of its more antiquated forms: I have worked at institutions where the computer-savvy students attended the learning center once at the beginning of the term to copy all the learning materials on the network share onto a thumb drive, and I would not want to force somebody to come to the learning center continuously for such a trivial purpose as accessing files on a not-web-accessible network share.
    2. However,  there seems to be a lot of unmined pedagogical value in learning center group work and blended instruction (under tutor supervision), like in a homework emporium (provided your program is big enough to have continuous tutor support and sufficient learner overlap).

“To rely on raw MT output is almost as bad an idea as getting a full-body tattoo in a language you don’t speak.”

“Hanzi Smatter, a blog, received a picture of a biker who got a computer-translated “Ride Hard Die Free” tattooed in huge Chinese characters down his torso. The only problem was that he got “die” in the sense of a “tool used for stamping or shaping metal” permanently inked on his body, probably because nothing like “die free” was in the translator’s training texts. (It also translated “free” as “free of charge”.)” (from: Johnson: Rise of the machine translators, Economist Jun 4th 2014). However, “using MT, plus post-editing, has cut translation time by 40% for” DELL.  Good use of Machine Translation seems all about “blending” resources intelligently, while managing expectations – like eLearning. Like most things in life Smiley.

Sanako Web browsing activity not compatible with modern web infrastructure (SunGard Portal, Outlook Web Access)?

  1. To access campus resources – here an assignment in a Moodle course – our students need to log into a SunGard portal (with SSO – a pretty common product in higher education)l, but already the redirection after login fails with this session expiration error.
    1. We could work around this problem by browsing to the target site and logging into Moodle directly.  But our students normally do not know how to do that.
  2. More problems arose when students tried to open an email in their campus OWA, in a popup window, which, however, gets redirected to the first browser homepage.
  3. This was during an “open/prevent policy” web browsing-activity, where – to keep students on task – only certain sites (social web, webmail) were blocked.., as can be seen in this screenshot: webbrowsing-prevent-policy

Save the web, with Clip to OneNote

No, I don’t mean save from proprietary vendors or from spies Smile – I mean: save it to your personal storage during web browsing, like so:

clip2onenote

The essence of http://blogs.office.com/2014/03/17/onenote-clipper-clip-the-web-right-to-onenote/. https://www.onenote.com/Clipper/OneNote should be useful not only for personal research on the web.

Solved: Moodle RSS feed not updating

  1. Here is what I see in my Moodle course: image (in IE9, also tested in Chrome).
  2. Here is how Moodle’s RSS feed is configured: image
  3. If I click on this link, this is the current feed status in IE feed display: image
  4. The last displayed article is not even visible on this page anymore – I “lost” 50 posts, and more in Moodle – what am I missing ?
  5. Doh. I and the (I find: clumsy) way RSS-feeds have to be configured in Moodle meet again: You RSS feed list may be correct, but then you also need to select the right feed to display. image
Categories: e-learning, Glitches&Errors, lms Tags: ,

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).

How to get started with clicker use in your course by downloading & installing Turningpoint

  1. Just in case you get stuck already with your local computer: You can download the software from Moodle: image
    1. If you do not see this menu (you are supposed the CTL workshop first), contact the help desk.
  2. To download, I entered my institutional info and had no problem downloading and installing the  pc [not non-] install version of the software.
  3. After the install, when you open ppt (from the “Turningpoint dashboard”: “PowerPoint Polling”),
  4. image
  5. The Turningpoint plugin opens its own ribbon menu which you can use to add clicker exercises.
  6. image
  7. From here, there is more help available from
    1. the  vendor  and