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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

7th Annual Sundae Social

On Tuesday, September 22, the Language Center celebrated language learning and recognized language instructors, support staff, and even some learners with the annual Sundae Social. At least 200 dishes of ice cream were served despite the chilly weather. Thanks to everyone that helped organize the event and joined us outside of Jones Hall to make the event such a success!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Staffing changes in the Testing Office

We are pleased to announce some staffing changes and additions in the Testing Program for fall semester. Joanne Peltonen, the Spanish Testing Coordinator, will reduce her appointment to 75% through December 18 so that she is available to conduct proficiency evaluations for Spanish-immersion students in the public school system.

To fill this void, Gabriela Sweet will join the Testing Program staff part-time for fall semester. Gabriela has taught Spanish at U of M and has worked for CARLA as an assessment coordinator. 

Welcome, Gabriela!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Help! Students can't access the Moodle site!

It's the first day you've brought your students to class and for whatever reason, they aren't able to access your course Moodle site through their MyU portals. Frustrating.

One reason your students might not be able to access the site is because the site was not made available to them through the administration settings in the course site. Another reason could be that the student isn't yet officially enrolled in the class. And finally, it could be that MyU hasn't connected with the Moodle servers, resulting in the frustrating glitch you endure in class.

Whatever the reason, there's still hope for students to access the course website, even if they can't get to it from MyU. Here's how:

Before class:
Make the course site available to students.

1. Click on Settings under the Administration tab (left side of screen).

2. Scroll down to Availability.

3. Select "This course is available for students".

4. Assign an Enrollment Key.
Highlight the information in the Enrollment Key field and delete it. Then, type in an Enrollment Key for the course. In the example above, I used elsie_iteach. Remember this key - you may need to give it to students later.

During class:
If students can't access the course through MyU, instruct your students to:

1. Go to moodle.umn.edu

2. Login with x500

3. The class should appear under the My Courses heading. Select it.

4. If class does not show under the My Courses menu, type the course name in the Search field (students may need to scroll down a bit).

5. Click on the link provided to enter the course.

6. If the following message appears, instruct students to type in the key you entered above (in this case, elsie_iteach) and click "Enroll me in this Course".

Once your students are enrolled in your course, they should be able to see the course anytime they go to moodle.umn.edu
For more answers to your questions about Moodle, contact moodle@umn.edu

Thanks to Kate Clements, MELP for helping with this post.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Language Center Launches New Website!

If you think you've noticed some differences with the Language Center website -- well no, you're not wrong -- some updates have been made.

The new design based is on the University templates for University of Minnesota websites and adds a number of soon to be required features for University sites.

Along with being University-compliant, the new site has a new organization. Instead of the former headings Instructor, Students, Reservations, Links and TandemPlus, there are three major content categories. The first Classrooms, Media & Equipment yields all of the information available for using and reserving LC classrooms, media and equipment. In this content area you will find, the Online Reservation form, the classroom schedule, and the search page for LC media, along with other resources available to instructors. In the Instructional Services section, you will find pedagogical information to help you best use the classrooms. In this section you will find information about LgTT classes, CARLA Summer Institute, iTeach Workshops, language learning links and more. The third section, Student Services gives information about services at the LC available to students, featuring the Multimedia Lab. The two remaining sections link to the TandemPlus website and the Language Testing website.

New feature -- Action Links. Have you ever been frustrated that you can't remember how to find that one item that you always use when visiting the LC website? Hopefully the Action Links will help. The Action Links can be found on every page of the LC website and link to what we think are the most commonly visited pages -- the Online Reservation form, the A-V database search, view of Language Center classrooms, language links page, link to Elsie's new blog and the LC Twitter site.

With the new website structure, users will be able to navigate to almost any content from almost any page.