Posts Tagged ‘testing’

Advanced language learners can test their English, German or Spanish proficiency in 3.5 minutes here using Exhale

2014/05/23 4 comments

Update: A new version of the Spanish vocabulary test is here, and the English vocabulary test has been updated here.

Go here and click English or German, or  (also requiring only 3.5 minutes to take, but more for  manually grading your test with this answer key) go here for Spanish, if you want to to take a simple quick vocabulary test that has been shown to correlate well with general proficiency.  You can find more info here on English and German, and here on Spanish.

Exam integrity considerations during mock and proctored written exams in the LRC

The easiest way to hold a mock or proctor a written exam in the LRC is provide the students a printout of the exam. For larger classes preparing, and under some circumstances (writing impediment due to injury), providing the MS-Word file on a computer to the student would seem a more convenient solution.

However, the LRC prides itself in the large collection of MS-Office proofing tools it has installed and preconfigured – accessing which from within MS-Word could be construed as cheating during a writing exam. As a matter of fact, since MS-Word auto-detects language, under-waving of misspelled words and incorrect Grammar provides unsolicited and unavoidable extra help.

MS-Office proofing tools could be turned off by using a special MS-word template as the basis for the exam. Easier and quicker is using the SANAKO which can not only block internet access of the examined students, but also block use of entire applications like MS-Word.

Instead of in MS-Word, your students could write their responses in an application that is not part of the proofing tools infrastructure, like Notepad. Western language diacritics can easily be written  in any application on LRC PCs thanks to US-International keyboard layout, and non-Western characters even easier than on paper.

For full security, the best environment for exams we can offer remains Respondus lockdown browser, integrated with Moodle, but this requires converting the exam to into a Moodle quiz (which Respondus has tools to facilitate).  In certain cases, it might be easiest to create a “dummy” quiz with one long text input field, which your students could type everything in, without having access to any other resources (internet, proofing tools, chat, what not…). However, this quiz still would have to be  in your Moodle course so that your students can access access, and their results get put into your gradebook.

Outside of Moodle – if you do not want to go down the Respondus-path – , you can rely on the SANAKO homework collection feature and my langlabemailer to receive the results.

How to run a microphone test before taking an ACTFL exam on

  1. To avoid having your test recordings rejected for quality reasons (and having to take the entire test again), please run this simple microphone test OUTSIDE of 
    1. This microphone test can be run  either
      1. at the listening stations (see sign 433a, brown headsets) or
      2. (PREFERABLY) in the main classroom (see sign 434, black headsets).
    2. After logging in, put the headphones on. No need to re-plug anything.
    3. From the desktop, open Audacity  image.
    4. In Audacity, Press the red RECORD button image.
    5. Speak into the microphone.
    6. Check the results:
      1. You should see something like this: image
      2. Press the green PLAY button image and listen to your recording.
      3. Does the recording look AND sound OK?
        1. NO: let the LRC staff at the reception desk know the computer number and switch computers.
        2. Yes: Save the recording using menu: File / Export / [name = number of computer].mp3 to your “my documents” folder (if your test gets rejected, you have evidence that you ran the test and that the LRC headset hardware you used was o.k.).
  2. You also need to run the test WITHIN (which just tests for volume, not for quality).

How to test the LangLabEmailer

  1. The LangLabEmailer, when run, displays no GUI. To monitor:
    1. the progress, view the trace-listener.log;
    2. the results, view:
      1. “_sent” filenames in your assessment file store. NOTE: the LangLabEmailer will rename assessment files, by adding “_sent” to the end of the filename (for easy tracking;no deletions). If this is an issue for you, do not run it!
      2. “sent” items folder of mailbox used ( = mailbox of user logged into AD-domain-joined computer). NOTE: The LangLabEmailer will email assessment files from the language lab collection! (That is its primary purpose.) Specifically, it will send 
        1. as you configured: within your campus email system (unless your campus mail administrator allows mail forwarding),
        2. as you configured:  from the campus mail account you have the right to send from (I have the right to send ca. 3000 messages per day; you may want to inquire with your MS-Exchange admin about your limits),
        3. as you configured:  from the student collection file share classroom data (which has special, relaxed FERPA rules),
        4. per its design – which is primarily based on file ownership which itself is based on who logs in on the originating lab computers and the digital audio lab software’s saving rules for pair and group work, but also by making some honest guesses about the intended recipient, based the file name and, as you configured, the list of teachers using your lab (since from experience these also happen to be logged in for students at times) – , primarily to the presumed originator and to her teacher (and in special cases, as a fallback, to whoever you configured as language lab admin).
        5. If this sounds a tad scary: just start with configuring
          1. a few “dry” test runs (no sending, no renaming, just logging what would happen)
          2. then some limited test runs (small time window and dummy files)
          3. and examine the results which the langlabemailer logs for you in either mode, and you will likely find, it is not scary.
          4. Next: Run. Or up:Langlabemailer table of contents.

AP Exams in the LRC with Sanako Study 1200

You first need to enable AP examinations in the Sanako Study 1200 settings (not enabled by default).  image

Only then you can follow the instructions from the Sanako documentation: “The AP® Exam is an exam type that is used in the highschool level by the Advanced Placement Program in the United States. With Study 1200 you can also accomplish externally-certified AP® oral exams and the Study 1200 student application provides a quick, easy and efficient exam vehicle. Before initiating the actual test, the students give their exam number code. To start the entering mode for the students’ PIN codes, click Send ID requests. The students enter their exam PIN code in the dialog that appears on their screens. The PIN codes appear on your GUI’s class view under each student icon. To initiate the exam, click Start. The media source is connected to the students, and the students are automatically recorded. The students hear all further instructions and the exam questions from the exam source and proceed with the exam as instructed. To end the exam, click End. The student recording collection window opens automatically and you can collect the student tracks for later evaluation.”

UNCC LRC Language Placement Test: Web-CAPE Online Placement Exam Step-by-Step

2011/06/08 1 comment
  1. The Online Placement Exam is designed to help you determine the first course you should take, based on your ability. This multiple-choice [no speaking, listening or writing required] exam presents questions of different ability levels, adapting the next question’s level according to your answers.  The number of questions you will be required to complete depends upon your ability to use the language. The duration of the test varies, but it usually takes 15-20 minutes to complete [but can be finished after only 4 questions, and we will give you up to an hour time to complete the exam]”.
  2. The proctored exam takes place in the LRC (COED434). The exam schedule is published in the LRC COED434 calendar. Read more on how to view the LRC calendar from within the new NINERMAIL.
  3. When taking the exam during the proctored session in the language center [do not take the exam on your own], to sign up for the test, you have to go to: (note: the “s” behind “http” is required), this now forwards to:, for which sthe shortcut is:
  4. signup
  5. First chose UNCC (Avoid the common error of choosing another University of the UNC system, you will not be able to take the test if you do):
  6. signup-uni
  7. Then choose your language – note that UNCC only allows testing in French, German and Spanish.
  8. signup-language
  9. Fill out the other form fields with your information.
  10. Finally, you need one of these credit cards, and the proper billing info, to take the  test:
  11. signup-credit
  12. Next, you will have to enter your NINERNET student id number.
  13. The exam results will eventually go to your file. However, they will have to be post-processed by the department. Do not take the exam without coordinating with the Department of Language and Culture Studies, or else your exam results will get lost!
  14. Remember that you can repeat the placement test, even though the number of retries per languages is limited to two (your score will get invalidated after that!).
  15. Remember also that is not advisable to study for (let alone cheat during) a placement exam,  or  else you will get placed into a course that is not right for you.