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  • 1. IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME:THE EVOLUTION OF A LISTENING LAB Bob Palmer PennTESOL-East Fall Conference November 3, 2012 bpalmer@udel.edu | www.eltmoodle.com
  • 2. PRESENTATION OUTLINE1. Rationale for a listening lab• Student population• Limitations of self-access center• Limitations of earlier approach2. Hardware considerations, including cost, usability3. Software considerations, including cost, appropriateness4. Lab management, teacher roles5. Lessons learned and future challenges6. Discussion
  • 3. THE START: A SELF-ACCESS LEARNING CENTERMore time on task = More learningBeautiful new self-access learning center (SALC) built 2 ½ years agoWell-staffed, well-appointed facilityUse encouraged but strictly voluntaryAppealed to self-directed learners
  • 4. SALC & STUDENT POPULATION• Early observations: Who was/wasn’t utilizing SALC for intended use• Lower-level students (80 - 90% Arab) visibly absent – Not enough time on task!• Need for intervention to stem high retention rates while keeping SALC truly self access
  • 5. ELI LISTENING LABS IN THE BEGINNING “HAVE BOOMBOX, WILL TRAVEL”
  • 6. AT FIRST, INTEREST APPEARED HIGH…..
  • 7. BUT IT QUICKLY FADED WHEN “LAB” MEANT MORE OF THE SAME…. “The horror...”
  • 8. CONTINUITY OFTEN LACKING
  • 9. WHAT TO DO?• Hmmmm...
  • 10. SO, WE TOOK AN EMPTY ROOM IN AN OLD BUILDING…
  • 11. DRESSED IT UP…
  • 12. MEASURED & MARKED OFF SPACES FORDESKS, ELECTRICAL & ETHERNET OUTLETS
  • 13. ADDED DESKS AND DRILLED OUT CABLING SLOTS
  • 14. ADDED AND CONNECTED 30 LAPTOP COMPUTERS TO A NETWORKBefore securing cables After securing cables • Still, problems with cables.
  • 15. A BETTER IDEA: CABLE MANAGEMENT• We have since upgraded our computer tables to the style below, which feature cable management.• Cost: $200 each (Hertz Furniture Systems)
  • 16. HARDWARE CONSIDERATIONS• Internet connection• Ethernet cables (keep extras on hand) -- $4-$5 per 10-foot cable• Ethernet junction boxes – about $5 each• Teacher desktop PC and monitor – about $700 with large monitor• Projection device and screen – prices vary• Student PCs (laptops if tables are doing double duty) – recommend laptops with 15- inch screens• Mice ($10 each)• Headsets with microphones (caution on cable length) - $20 - $35 each• Power strips – inexpensive, check local Staples, Walmart, etc.• Laptop tethering cables with locks -- $30 - $40 each (don’t overlook!)• Screen cleaning kit -- $15• Antibacterial wipes
  • 17. SOFTWARE CONSIDERATIONS: TWO MAIN CRITERIA• Is the content relevant? Does it address student needs ? Do Ss have the linguistic competence to digest it?• Is it interesting? (follow-up survey) Music (LyricsTraining), video clips (eslvideo), CDs/DVDs
  • 18. BEST OF BREED FOR LOWER LEVELS
  • 19. MORE SOFTWARE RECOMMENDATIONS• Lots of great external links on our Listening Lab website (www.eltmoodle.com)• Balance Internet resources with installed programs (Internet outage, “lab only” incentive)• Balance completely interactive exercises with handwritten responses • Active Listening • Touchstone (offers complementary website activities) • Interchange (offers complementary website activities) • Great Dictations (sample activity) • Excellent English • Lab CDs • Interactions Access (plus e-Course cards)
  • 20. LAB COORDINATION & MANAGEMENT• Consult with core level instructors (know what material they are covering -- and when)• Supplement areas where students are having trouble minimal pairs• Decide where the lab fits in the curriculum (assessment, attendance, etc.)• Remember: the lab can double as a testing center• Have at least one assistant to help with questions, technical issues as they arise
  • 21. WE MADE A FEW ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES…. You WILL attend Listening Lab, or be counted absent!!
  • 22. OPEN THE DOORS…
  • 23. AND THEY WILL COME…
  • 24. INTRODUCING THE NEW ELI LISTENING LAB
  • 25. LOOK CLOSELY: WHAT DO YOU SEE?
  • 26. LOOK CLOSELY: WHAT DON’T YOU SEE?
  • 27. WHERE IS THE INSTRUCTOR?
  • 28. LAB MANAGEMENT• . “Go ahead … Make my day!”
  • 29. YOUR BEST FRIEND:NETSUPPORT SCHOOL
  • 30. WITH THIS PROGRAM, THE INSTRUCTOR CAN:• View every student’s computer screen• Proactively monitor the status of the PCs themselves, such as low batteries, loss of Internet connection, frozen screens, etc.• Send text and audio messages to all or selected students• Listen in to what the student is listening to• Chat with the student via voice or text• Cost: About $25 per student PC (permanent)• And you do all this from the teacher’s
  • 31. WHAT DO THE STUDENTS SEE?A MOODLE INTERFACE (DEMO) (More structure) (Less structure)
  • 32. STUDENTS CLICK ON THEIR COURSE, ENTER APASSWORD, AND THE COURSE MENU OPENS
  • 33. CLICKING ON “SCHEDULE” BRINGS UP THAT DAY’S PLANNED ACTIVITIES
  • 34. LAB INSTRUCTOR INTRODUCES, SCAFFOLDS, AND BRIEFLY DEMOS THE ACTIVITIES
  • 35. THEN STUDENTS GO TO WORK – AT THEIR OWNPACE – IN FULL CONTROL OF THEIR LEARNING
  • 36. PARADIGM SHIFT• Teacher fronted instruction • Autonomous learning More time on task
  • 37. FUTURE CHALLENGES• .
  • 38. IMMEDIATE CHALLENGES - 11. Limited bandwidth (garbled audio, screens freezing) Proposed Solution: Upgrade the network infrastructure2. Big jump in Basic/Level I students, requiring help to keep things running smoothly, rethinking software requirements Proposed Solution: Take on TA/practicum student to assist; procure additional Rosetta Stone licenses
  • 39. IMMEDIATE CHALLENGES - 21. Student hesitancy to speak in labs -- VoiceThread Proposed Solution: Portable carrels to enhance sense of privacy, lower affective filter – West Park Elementary2. The 1:30 lab slot – students straggling in late and upsetting the session flow – no food facilities near the lab Possible Solutions: Reschedule lab times; Install vending machines and a large refrigerator, food cart
  • 40. THANK YOU!Questions/Comments: bpalmer@udel.edu Website: www.eltmoodle.com