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Google Hangouts Self-Help Guide

Interested in using Google Hangout to meet with students or colleagues remotely, but not sure how it works? OIT Technology Training has put together a fantastic Google Hangouts Self Help Guide. Check it out!

Encore Session of VoiceThread Workshop: Part 2

By popular demand, the Language Center will offer another opportunity to attend the VoiceThread Workshop: Part 2 on Friday, April 4, 2014. The session will be held from 10:10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Jones 15.

The previous session of VoiceThread Part 2 went very smoothly, and the instructors who attended were able to create VoiceThread "Groups" and then a sample activity using the "Group" feature. One instructor was thrilled to be able to have her lessons and exercises made available online with VoiceThread. Another instructor commented how easy it was to incorporate a VoiceThread lesson into Moodle.

If you are interested in attending, please register in advance: Email Caroline Vang at with questions about this workshop.

Improvements Made to Moodle Gradebook

Thanks to improvements OIT made to Moodle, instructors now have the capability of editing student's grades by student or by grade item!

Edit by Student: This function allows instructors to easily grade all activities for one student in the Gradebook and to edit the student's grades on individual grade items, fill all or only empty grades with a selected point value, as well as exclude grades from inclusion in the final Course Total.

Edit by Item: This function makes it easier for instructors to grade all of their students for one activity in the Gradebook. It also allows instructors to edit individual grades, fill all or only empty grades with a selected point value, as well as exclude grades from inclusion in the final Course Total.

Contact the OES Team at with questions.

March IALLT Webinar - Language Assessment at Brigham Young University

Friday, March 28, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. in Jones 117

Russell Hansen and Harold H. Hendricks, from Brigham Young University, will present a Webinar describing the evolution of placement and diagnostic language assessment into online tools. Please register for this event.

Description: Language assessment has a long history at Brigham Young University where large numbers of students require language assessment at many levels. This webinar will describe how BYU has created facilities, procedures and assessments to address these needs for both students and faculty. We will briefly describe how placement and diagnostic testing is provided online, then describe the evolution of the College of Humanities Testing Center, its function, procedures, and operation. We will also describe how large numbers of OPI and OPIc tests are administered daily and report on the migration of the Foreign Language Achievement Testing service to an online system available to the world.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in Jones 10
Presenter: Dr. Karin Wilking from Northwest Vista College

This webinar is a good follow-up to the February 28 "Yes They Can" workshop. Everyone is invited to attend even if they did not attend the workshop. Registration is not required.

Spring Copyright Workshops form the University Libraries

Learn about your rights as an author/creator; find out about options for using third-party materials, or dig into issues around classroom and instructional uses. Some workshops offer Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) continuing education credits.

Workshops include:

  • Know Your Rights: Copyright Essentials for Authors and Creators
  • Can I Use That? Dealing with Copyright in Everyday Life
  • Copyright in the Classroom (and Online)

You can view the full schedule and register at

Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in Jones 10

Presenter: Dr. Karin Wilking from Northwest Vista College

This webinar is a good follow-up to the February 28 "Yes They Can" workshop. Everyone is invited to attend even if they did not attend the workshop. Registration is not required.

VoiceThread Workshop: Part 2

Friday, March 14, 2014, 1:25 - 2:45 p.m. in Jones 10

This VoiceThread workshop is a follow-up to the previous workshop held earlier in February. We will focus more on how to use VoiceThread as a collaborative tool, exploring how to create "groups" within VoiceThread and example lessons where students can upload pictures along with their comments. Come and see what more we can do with VoiceThread! Please register by Wednesday, March 12 to secure your spot.

The Language Center and CARLA co-sponsored ACTFL Winter 2014 Webinar Series: Guiding Language Performance to the Next Level concludes this Thursday at 12:20-1:20 p.m. in Jones 117. You may bring a bagged lunch.

March 6, 2014: Guiding Language Performance through Advanced into Superior

What are the key characteristics of Superior level proficiency? What should I be working on with my language learners to help them move out of the Advanced level and into the Superior level? Understand how the interpretive and presentational modes provide invaluable opportunities to develop advanced skills and learn specific strategies for developing, practicing, and assessing communication to guide learners into the Superior range of performance.

Presenter: Fernando Rubio

Summary of March Language Center Events

The Language Center and CARLA co-sponsored ACTFL Winter 2014 Webinar Series: Guiding Language Performance to the Next Level on Thursdays at 12:20-1:20 p.m. in Jones 117. You may bring a bagged lunch.

February 27, 2014: Guiding Language Performance through Intermediate into Advanced

What are the key characteristics of Advanced level proficiency? What should I be working on with my language learners to help them move out of the Intermediate level and into the Advanced level? Learn how to expand and extend language learners' interpersonal and presentational performance while also considering the importance of developing advanced interpretive skills. This webinar examines strategies to develop, practice, and assess communication to guide learners into the Advanced range of performance.

Presenter: Stephanie Dhonau

  • March 6, 2014: Guiding Language Performance through Advanced into Superior

The Language Center and CARLA co-sponsored ACTFL Winter 2014 Webinar Series: Guiding Language Performance to the Next Level on Thursdays at 12:20-1:20 p.m. in Jones 117. You may bring a bagged lunch.

February 20, 2014: Guiding Language Performance through Novice into Intermediate

What are the key characteristics of Intermediate level proficiency? What should I be working on with my language learners to help them move out of the Novice level and into the Intermediate level? Learn specific strategies for developing, practicing, and assessing communication to guide learners from Novice into the Intermediate range of performance. Focusing on what a student "can do", this webinar will include practical applications to help you guide students into the Intermediate range.

Presenter: Arnold Bleicher

  • February 27, 2014: Guiding Language Performance through Intermediate into Advanced
  • March 6, 2014: Guiding Language Performance through Advanced into Superior

Tuesday, February 18
12:20-1:10 p.m.
Nolte 140
Presenter: Stephanie Hernández
This presentation is sponsored by SPISH (Spanish & Portuguese Instructor Sharing Hour) and cosponsored by CARLA.

OIT Workshop Series: Integrating Media into Your Courses

This workshop series is scheduled on Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Walter Library 405. Please register in advance for the sessions you can attend.

  • Digital Storytelling in Higher Education: Learn about uses of digital storytelling in courses, student and professional development, and outreach. Thursday, February 20, 2014
  • Making Things Easier: Digital Storytelling Assignments: Learn strategies for making the digital storytelling process easier for both students and instructors. Thursday, February 27, 2014
  • YouTube Your Course: It's not just a place to see lolcats. Learn some tips and tricks on how to deliver your course content via YouTube, and track how they are viewed by your students. Thursday, March 6, 2014
  • Choose the Right Tool for the Job: Video Sharing and Hosting Resources: YouTube, Vimeo, MediaMill, MediaHub. Which of these video-sharing tools is right for your course? We'll discuss the pro's and con's of each. Thursday, March 13, 2014

ACTFL Webinar Series Begins: Guiding Language Performance to the Next Level

The Language Center and CARLA co-sponsored ACTFL Winter 2014 Webinar Series: Guiding Language Performance to the Next Level begins this Thursday: February 13, 2014 at 12:20-1:20 p.m. in Jones 117. You may bring a bagged lunch.

How does Performance point toward Proficiency? Instruction is always looking ahead to the targeted proficiency level, while supporting and developing learners' performance through a controlled context. Presenters will provide an overview to the proficiency levels of Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Superior and will explore the implied instructional emphases that will help language learners move from one level to the next.

Presenters: Arnold Bleicher, Stephanie Donau, Fernando Rubio

  • February 13, 3014: Overview: Guiding Language Performance to the Next Level
  • February 20, 2014: Guiding Language Performance through Novice into Intermediate
  • February 27, 2014: Guiding Language Performance through Intermediate into Advanced
  • March 6, 2014: Guiding Language Performance through Advanced into Superior

"Yes They Can!" Workshop: Registration Deadline This Friday

Attention CLA language instructors: Registration for the February 28, 2014 "Yes They Can!" - Creating learning objectives for our language learners workshop ends Friday, February 14. Please contact Caroline Vang at if you have problems registering or have questions. We hope to see you there!

Summary of February Events

VoiceThread Workshop

Are you curious what VoiceThread is? Or how it can be applied in your language classroom? The Language Center will host a 2-hour workshop introducing the basics of VoiceThread and showcasing different examples of VoiceThread activities that you can use with your own classes.

Easily create interactive presentations, generate threaded student comments, get students to describe images orally and to record videos of themselves talking in your language. Come find out about what this voice-recording and presentational tool can do!

The workshop will be held on February 7th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Jones 35.

Please register at by February 5th, 2014.

ACTFL Webinar Series: Guiding Language Performance to the Next Level

The Language Center and CARLA are co-sponsoring the ACTFL Winter 2014 Webinar Series: Guiding Language Performance to the Next Level. Please join us on Thursdays beginning February 13, 2014 at 12:20-1:20 p.m. in Jones 117. You may bring a bagged lunch.

How does Performance point toward Proficiency? Instruction is always looking ahead to the targeted proficiency level, while supporting and developing learners' performance through a controlled context. Presenters will provide an overview to the proficiency levels of Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Superior and will explore the implied instructional emphases that will help language learners move from one level to the next.

Presenters: Arnold Bleicher, Stephanie Donau, Fernando Rubio

  • February 13, 3014: Overview: Guiding Language Performance to the Next Level
  • February 20, 2014: Guiding Language Performance through Novice into Intermediate
  • February 27, 2014: Guiding Language Performance through Intermediate into Advanced
  • March 6, 2014: Guiding Language Performance through Advanced into Superior

Language instructors: Are you interested in learning about telecollaboration, or "class to class" virtual exchanges between students in different countries who are learning each other's native language? If so, you will be interested in this talk. Catherine Clements from the Language Center and Ginny Steinhagen from the German, Scandinavian and Dutch Department will present "Telecollaboration: Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs" at a CARLA seminar on Tuesday, February 11, from 12:20-1:10 p.m in 140 Nolte. The presentation will examine best practices for establishing, arranging, and maintaining telecollaborations with complementary universities around the globe, and will provide ideas and guidelines for instructors who are interested in starting a telecollaboration. Come and find out more about this exciting and evolving topic.

"Yes They Can!" - Creating learning objectives for our language learners

The Language Center and Committee on Second Language Education (ComSLE) is pleased to announce a one-day workshop for all CLA language instructors (P/A's and graduate students) on February 28th, 2014 (8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.).

At this workshop participants will create "can-do" statements for each major curriculum level of a language that fulfills the CLA language requirement.

Donna Clementi, world language methods instructor at Lawrence University, is a well known consultant and national speaker on curriculum, assessment development and exploring culture through the target language. She recently retired from Concordia Language Villages where she served in numerous positions for over 30 years, including Dean of the French Village and more recently as Director of Education and Research. She received the ACTFL Florence Steiner Award for Leadership in Foreign Language Education (K-12) and the Central States Founders Award. Together with CARLA's Ursula Lentz, she conducts an annual CARLA summer institute on language assessment and curricular design. She is a co-author with Laura Terrill of the recent book, "The Keys to Planning for Learning: Effective Curriculum, Unit, and Lesson Design", published by ACTFL.

Donna Clementi will guide us through the process of defining what students are expected to demonstrate in the target language upon completion of each level of the beginning and intermediate curriculum. By the end of this workshop, instructors will have produced extensive "can-do" statements for each level incorporating the ACTFL National Standards and articulating the role that language courses play in the intellectual and personal development of students in the undergraduate curriculum.

Friday, February 28th, 8:30a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided
Coffman Union, Mississippi Room (3rd Floor)

Feel free to bring a laptop or tablet (not required).

We will create a Moodle site for all participants to help prepare for the event and to share the statements for further revision and refinement subsequent to the workshop. Look for the email inviting you to the course.

Please register here by February 14th (Friday). If you have any questions, you can contact Caroline Vang at

Moodle Tutoring Available from IT Technical Training

Faculty, instructors and course designers can sign-up for one-on-one or small group 30-minute tutoring sessions at the Coffman Union Tech Stop or the the Blegen 90 Tech Stop.

To schedule, either select an appointment slot using Google Calendar (the Moodle appointment calendar will appear on top of your calendar so you can find an appointment that works with your schedule) or fill out this appointment request form.

Flipgrid is now FREE for all U of M faculty, instructors, and staff

Through an exciting collaboration between the LT Media Lab (LTML) and the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) at the University of Minnesota, The Flipgrid video-based online discussion and reflection environment is now for free to all university faculty, instructors, and staff.

In the past 11 months since the launch of Flipgrid in CEHD, more than 100,000 video responses have been recorded, viewed, liked, and shared within Flipgrid! In addition, Flipgrid has journeyed far beyond the traditional classroom walls and has found a new home with community groups, research organizations, corporations, MOOCs, youth groups, religious settings, creative firms, hospitals, conferences...and many more new users each day.

Flipgrid is an online and mobile (free iPad App now available in the App store) environment in which teachers create grids of short discussion-style questions that students respond to through webcam-recorded videos. Flipgrid boosts community and social presence in face-to-face, hybrid, and online classrooms by bringing the back row to the front, ultimately giving your students a voice. In addition, Flipgrid is a wonderful tool for online research groups, student discussion groups, and creative new uses that are sparked each day. To learn more about Flipgrid, visit

To sign up, visit and review the free license terms. Then, enter your name, your email, and select your academic department to activate your free Flipgrid account for the 2013-2014 academic calendar year. at the U of M: Technology Tutorials Aid Students, Faculty, & Staff

In April 2013, University of Minnesota IT negotiated a University-wide license for technology tutorial videos. The service has been embraced by students, faculty, and staff for just-in-time knowledge and professional development needs. Available 24x7 and accessible from mobile devices, is the University's gateway to a library of more than 2,000 courses from Photoshop to Excel to MATLAB.

Since its launch, more than 6,000 University constituents have logged in to use the service and in November alone, there were over 16,000 total video views by UMN users. The Lynda license clearly fulfills a previously unmet need for a variety of University audiences.

Students can get 24x7 just-in-time help on an application, or dig deeper into a course series to gain greater proficiency with applications they need to use in their academic career or in their future work lives.

In addition to developing their own skills with applications, faculty can confidently assign coursework that relies on applications such as Microsoft Excel or the Adobe Creative Suite knowing that they can point students to Lynda's technical tutorials.

For faculty who would like to offer a list of course-relevant tutorials to their students, Technology Training & Usability services offers help in curating Lynda courses. To request this service email

Staff can gain efficiencies by learning new tips and tricks with the applications they know, develop professionally by taking courses to build and grow the work they do, or test their interest in a new field such as programming, videography, or photography.

To begin using Lynda on your computer, log in with your University Internet ID and password at To access via your mobile device, log in at or download a free app for your iPhone, iPad, or Android tablet.

Announcing Academic Technology Workshops

Academic Technology Support Services (ATSS) is thrilled to announce its new portfolio of hour-long workshops available to faculty, staff, and teaching assistants. There are two ways to engage: as an individual, you can register for our scheduled workshops; as a group of five or more, you can request a customized workshop experience.

Facilitated by academic technology experts, Academic Technology Workshops are intended to spark the imagination and spur further experimentation and growth in using technology in teaching and learning. All levels of technical skill and experience are welcome.

A sampling of the workshop titles include:

  • Make Wise Technology Choices through Integrated Course Design
  • Making Things Easier: Organize and Manage your Site in Moodle
  • Plan an Engaging Online Presentation: Identify, Gather, Sequence your Content
  • Making Things Easier: Digital Storytelling Assignments
  • Creating Instructor Presence in the Online Learning Environment

To see the full workshop portfolio (including descriptions, dates, times, and locations), to register, or to request a custom workshop selected from the portfolio of workshop offerings, visit

Professional Development Survey

After meeting with various Directors of Language Instructions and level coordinators during October, the ComSLE professional development subcommittee developed a survey for all instructors in CLA language programs to help determine areas to include in a systematic program of professional development. The purpose of this survey is to determine instructors' preferences and to gather suggestions for professional development. A big thank you to all those who have responded already!

Due to a small glitch in the survey instrument software, several of you have been unable to complete the survey. Thank you for letting us know of the problem. If you receive a message which states "Your session has expired and your response, if any, has been recorded", please e-mail Caroline Vang who will send you another invitation. This error is an internal issue with the Qualtrics survey, and can be easily resolved by sending you another link.

The survey is anonymous, and shouldn't take more than 10 minutes of your time. Please contribute to this effort by completing the survey by Wednesday, November 27th.

Presentation about the "Traits of Successful Online Learners" on Wednesday

What are the characteristics of students who succeed in online and hybrid courses? What can instructors do to help students succeed in online and hybrid courses? Learn why students do--and do not--succeed in online and hybrid courses. Learn strategies for engaging your students and helping them keep on track.

Presenters: Bill Rozaitis (CTL) and Cris Lopez (Academic Technology Support Services). This event will take place on Wednesday, November 20 from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. in Appleby 226.

Register here for the workshop.
Register here to participate online via UMConnect.

VoiceThread Workshop: October 25, 2013

Have you heard that VoiceThread is a new tool that's been added to Moodle? Rick Treece (Interim Coordinator of Second-Year French) and Caroline Vang (Professional Development Specialist) from the Language Center are hosting a workshop to introduce it on October 25th (Friday) from 1:25~2:15 p.m. in Jones 10. The session is open to all instructors in our language departments. We'll be showcasing sample VoiceThread projects and assignments which can be done in and outside of the classroom as well as allowing time for you to brainstorm and create your own VoiceThread assignment. Please e-mail Caroline at if you are interested in joining us.

Friday, November 1, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
530A, Science Teaching & Student Services (STSS)
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

In this interactive workshop participants will learn about online collaborative international courses and explore strategies to apply what they learn in their own courses and curricula. Professor Rubin is the director of the SUNY COIL Center, a national leader for the development of globally networked classrooms across the curriculum.

This workshop is free of charge for faculty and staff in both the MnSCU system and at the University of Minnesota; the workshop will be webcast for those who plan to participate at a distance. Registration is required.

Academic Technology Tools: Announcing Moodle Training Opportunities!

  • New class for instructors: MDL031 - Orientation to Teaching Online with Moodle, Oct 24
  • VoiceThread Seminar for Faculty scheduled for Oct 23
  • Online training videos for Moodle 2.4 now available through

New class for instructors: MDL031 - Orientation to Teaching Online with Moodle

This 3.5-hour class is targeted for instructors who are not designing or creating their Moodle course sites, and covers skills necessary to manage a course through Moodle. Enroll now.

VoiceThread Seminar scheduled for Faculty

VoiceThread is an interactive media tool integrated into Moodle. This online seminar, delivered by VoiceThread staff, will cover the basics of how to use it with your course site. Enroll now.

Online training videos for Moodle 2.4 now available now has an entire online course on using Moodle 2.4. Access it now.

OIT also has its regular line-up of Moodle courses and tutoring listed here:

Saving iMovie projects for editing on a different computer

iMovie is a video editing program that comes pre-installed on most Macintosh computers. Many users enjoy it because it is powerful and easy to use. However, it can also be frustrating for computer lab patrons who don't always use the same computer because unless the movie project is saved properly, it will not be editable on another machine. This tutorial will show users how to save an iMovie project so it can be opened and edited on different machines.

Projects created in iMovie are comprised of events which are smaller pieces of media like video clips or pictures. Unfortunately iMovie events do not get saved automatically by iMovie; only the project is saved. So if you try to open your iMovie file on a different machine than the one you started on, you will see the project but no events and your work will essentially be gone. However, this crisis can be averted by finalizing the project before quitting iMovie.

Here's how:

Step 1.   Work on your project in iMovie. The movie project will often automatically be stored somewhere on the hard drive. When you are ready to call it quits for the day on your movie in progress, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2.   Go to File > Finalize Project. Finalizing the project prepares (renders) the movie in all playable movie formats but it does not prevent further editing of the project. Be aware that finalizing does take some time, though. Let the project Finalize.


Step 3.   Connect a portable hard drive or other storage device to your computer. This will appear on the Project Library screen under the list of all current storage devices. It's advisable to use an external hard drive with large capacity and not a USB "thumb" drive, since iMovie does not always recognize thumb drives.
(Note to patrons of the Jones 135 computer lab: you can check out an external hard drive from the Lab Attendants for this purpose.)


Step 4.   Click and drag the finalized project from its current location onto the portable hard drive. iMovie will ask if you want to copy just the Project or the Project and Events to this portable drive; select both Project and Events in the dialogue box.



Step 5.   Disconnect the portable hard drive to which you have saved the project and events. You are now free to go! When you need to work on the project again, simply insert the portable hard drive and start working on the iMovie project saved on that drive. When the project is opened, iMovie will inform you that you are editing your finalized project.

As long as you continue working on the project and saving to the portable hard drive, you don't need to finalize it again. However, if you transfer it back and forth between a computer's hard drive and a portable drive, you will need to repeat the above steps and finalize it before saving it to your portable drive for further work.

fig2b.pngView of files being saved to your external drive in Step 4.


ACTFL Webinar Series - Technology: Putting the Learner Out Front

The Language Center and CARLA are co-sponsoring the ACTFL Fall 2013 Webinar Series: Technology: Putting the Learner Out Front. Please join us on Thursdays in October at 12:20-1:20 PM in Jones 117. You may bring a bagged lunch.

Summary: How can technology meaningfully engage and empower learners to take responsibility for their learning? How can we make appropriate use of technology to enhance standards-based language learning? The three presenters of this webinar series are Kevin Gaugler, Barbara Lindsey and Bobby Hobgood.

  • October 3, 2013 - Overview
  • October 10, 2013 - I'm Wired, Now What?
  • October 17, 2013 - Too Many Choices, Where Do I Start?
  • October 24, 2013 - I Don't Know Everything, How Can I Empower my Students?

Adding Voice E-mail to a Moodle 2 Site

Wimba voice email allows instructors to send an instant voice email message to students directly from a Moodle page. This is a great way for language instructors to communicate with their students in the target language, and for students to get more authentic language practice.

It's easy to add Wimba voice email to a Moodle 2 site. Before starting, make sure you have either a headset with a microphone or a computer with a built-in microphone. Also make sure that Java is enabled on whatever browser you're using, since Wimba requires Java, and check that pop-up windows are not blocked.

  1. Go to the Moodle page, and turn "Editing" on (button on upper right hand side of page).
    Add a Block
    Fig. 1
  2. Select "Add a Block" on the side of the page (Fig. 1). Within this block, select "Voice E-Mail."
  3. A new "Voice E-Mail" block will appear on the Moodle page. It is ready for use.
  4. To send a message in the Voice E-Mail block, select the intended recipients among the options (Fig. 2). The addresses of everyone who has access to your Moodle site are automatically available for emailing.
  5. Voice E-Mail Menu
    Fig. 2

  6. A pop-up window will then appear in which you can record the message (Fig. 3).
  7. Record your message by hitting the red "record" button on the pop-up box. You can also type your message to the students in the blank field below. If you're not satisfied, hit the "record" button again, and your previous message will be automatically erased and replaced by the new message.
    • Always copy yourself on any voice messages sent, so you have a record to refer to.
    • If you don't copy yourself, you won't have any record that the message was sent.
    • You can listen to the message after you've recorded it by hitting the triangle "play" button.
    Recording Window

    Fig. 3

  8. When you're satisfied with the message, send it out by hitting the "Send" button on the upper left-hand side of the pop-up box.
  9. Recipients will get an email that contains a link to the message, which is stored on the Wimba server.

ACTFL Webinars Coffees: Thursdays this Summer

The Language Center and CARLA are co-sponsoring the the full ACTFL Spring 2012 Webinar Series. The six webinars are scheduled to air over the summer. They will air again in early Fall 2012.

Please join us on Thursdays from June 7 through July 12 at 12:15-1:15 PM in Jones 117. Coffee will be served, and attendees may bring a bagged lunch.

Part 1: Maintaining Target Language in the Classroom: Comprehensible Input and Output
The ACTFL Position Statement on the use of the target language in the classroom recommends "that language educators and their students use the target language as exclusively as possible (90% plus) at all levels of instruction during instructional time and, when feasible, beyond the classroom." This webinar series provides practical strategies to implement this goal in world language classrooms, at all levels and with learners of all ages.

Learning Content through the Target Language
Tara Fortune, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Thursday, June 7, 12:15-1:15 PM

Exploring Culture through the Target Language
Donna Clementi, Appleton West High School and Concordia Language Villages, Emerita
Thursday, June 14, 12:15-1:15 PM

Maintaining Communication through the Target Language
Jean LeLoup, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO
Thursday, June 21, 12:15-1:15 PM

Part 2: Integrating 21st Century Skills to Engage Today's Language Learners
ACTFL and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills collaborated to produce the World Languages 21st Century Skills Map to guide teachers with examples for improving learners' language performance while developing broader skills. Communication is essential, but to be truly career-, college- and world-ready, today's learners need to develop their creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. Identify effective strategies for designing units, assessment, and instruction that prepare students to use their new language in settings beyond the classroom. The team of presenters will provide descriptive examples in each webinar based on their backgrounds teaching at various levels, specifically including examples for elementary grades, middle school and senior high programs, as well as postsecondary levels.

Integrating 21st Century Skills in Curriculum and Unit Design
Lynn Fulton-Archer, Spanish instructor and program coordinator, Richmond Drive Elementary School, Rock Hill, SC
Thursday, June 28, 2012, 12:15-1:15 PM

Integrating 21st Century Skills in Language Assessment
Thomas Sauer, District World Language Curriculum Specialist, Jefferson County Public Schools, Lexington, KY
Thursday, July 5, 2012, 12:15-1:15 PM

Integrating 21st Century Skills in Language Instruction
Cherice Montgomery, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
Thursday, July 12, 2012, 12:15-1:15 PM

More information on these webinars is available on the ACTFL website and the Language Center calendar.

Free Professional Development Opportunity

The TESOL Electronic Village Online is hosting 5-week professional development sessions on a variety of topics beginning the week of January 9. These sessions are free to ESOL and other language educators and are free. You do not need to be a TESOL member to participate in these sessions. One session that might be of particular interest as the University of Minnesota shifts from Moodle 1.9 to 2.0 is Moodle for Teachers.

For more information, and to register, go to the Electronic Village Online Call for Participation site.

Choosing a language podcast

Millions of podcasts are available through iTunes for language learners. With so many options, it can be difficult to find a good podcast, but by searching the right way you will easily find the podcast that suits your language-learning needs.

Beginner -- Go to iTunes Store/Podcasts. Click on Language Learning under Quick Links on the navigation bar on the right-hand side of the Podcasts page (Figure 1). Search for podcasts in the language of your choice. Most of these podcasts are instructional and suited for beginner to intermediate students.

Fig. 1.png
Figure 1.

Intermediate -- You can also find podcasts in your target language by doing a Power Search. Go to iTunes Store/Podcasts, and access Power Search either under Quick Links in the upper right-hand corner of the iTunes Store homepage or on the upper left of any store search results page (Figure 2). Then search for podcasts in the language of your choice. Your search will return only the podcasts in the target language. Some of these will be instructional, and some will not.

Fig. 2.png
Figure 2.

Advanced -- Go to iTunes Store/Home/Manage/Change country (on the bottom of the screen Figure 3); select the country of your choice. When this feature is enabled, iTunes will reflect the options for the country you've selected. Be ready! The language on the page will also automatically switch to the language of the country you've selected, too. Now when you click on Podcasts, you will find a huge array of content-based options, all in the language(s) of the country you've chosen.

Fig. 3.png
Figure 3.

Once you have found podcasts you enjoy, you can click on Subscribe to receive regular updates of these podcasts, which you can download onto your iPod or iPhone, and listen and learn on the go.

The Language Center will be rebroadcasting the following ACTFL webinar series.

ACTFL Webinar Series: Enhancing Literacy - Improving Learners' Proficiency

Presenter: Laura Terrill, independent consultant and former coordinator for World Languages & ELL

1. Understanding Content: Teaching Strategies for the Interpretive Mode
Friday, November 18
12:30 - 1:30 PM
Jones 35
This webinar will focus on building students' interpretive skills in reading, listening and viewing. Emphasis will be placed on the use of authentic texts related to thematic curriculum units. Participants will consider how to make authentic text comprehensible by using before, during and after strategies that develop their students' literacy skills. Appropriate strategies for assessing individual student comprehension will also be shared.

2. Creating Content: Teaching Strategies for the Presentational Mode
Friday, December 9
12:30 - 1:30 PM
Jones 35
This webinar will consider the types of tasks that students are typically given to develop their ability to present in written and oral formats. Easy-to-implement strategies designed to help students articulate their ideas effectively while advancing a student's proficiency level will be shared. Strategies for providing effective feedback while minimizing the paperwork often associated with the presentational mode will also be considered.

3. Discussing Content: Teaching Strategies for the Interpersonal Mode
Wednesday, December 14
12:30 - 1:30 PM
Jones 35
This webinar will present ways teachers can create lessons that build toward real-life, unrehearsed communication so that students at all levels are prepared to communicate in meaningful ways. Participants will consider strategies designed to maximize use of the target language and learn effective classroom management strategies essential for interactive classrooms. Easily adapted activities for working with language learners at novice, intermediate and advanced levels will be shared.

You can learn more about this series at the ACTFL website.

Tutorial - Observe, Message and Chat with Apple Remote Desktop

Have you ever asked your students to do a web-based activity in RemoteDesktopIcon.pngthe classroom only to discover later that they were hopelessly lost surfing the web? What if there was a way to quickly glance at all the students computers to see what they were up to? And better yet, what if there was a way to discreetly send students a message to help them get back on track? With Apple Remote Desktop, there is!

Shorten YouTube videos with TubeChop

Have you ever wanted to show just a short portion of a YouTube video? Perhaps you'd like to do an information gap activity in your class where groups of students would watch different portions of a YouTube video and then explain the beginning and ending of the video to each other. Or maybe you just want to be able to quickly bring up the relevant portion of a video, rather than waiting for the entire video to load.

In either case, it can be pretty handy to have only the portion of the video you need.  Enter TubeChop!  Just go to the TubeChop site, enter the URL of the YouTube video you want to shorten, select the start and end points and then chop! Voila! You have a shortened YouTube video!

After chopping your video, you can embed or link to it from your course website or blog. Here's an excerpt of a video Language as a Window Into Human Nature by RSAnimate that I chopped in TubeChop:


For more information about TubeChop, see TubeChop: The Educative Use of YouTube at the Educational Technology blog.

The Language Center and CARLA are sponsoring two spring 2011 ACTFL webinar series. These six webinars will be presented in Jones 35. All U of M language instructors and instructors in training are welcome to attend. Registration is not required. A discussion may follow some webinars, and this will be scheduled later. The schedule may need to be adjusted based on the availability of content.

Series One: Learner Progress on the ACTFL Proficiency Continuum
Presenter: Chantal P. Thompson, Professor of French at Brigham Young University (Utah)

Determining Where Our Students are on the ACTFL Proficiency Scale
Friday, April 1: 12:20 - 1:20, Jones 35
How can we gauge more accurately where our students are on the ACTFL scale? What matters is not what they know about the language, but what they can actually DO with it! How do we pinpoint their level within the Novice, Intermediate and Advanced ranges? This webinar will familiarize teachers with the assessment criteria of the ACTFL scale, and enable them to analyze and rate excerpts from actual Oral Proficiency Interviews. Instructional implications and insights will also be addressed.

Moving Students from Novice to Intermediate
Friday, April 8: 12:20 - 1:20, Jones 35
This webinar will address various strategies to help students move along the proficiency spectrum in more efficient ways. Among those strategies: integration of functions, content, accuracy and text type in course design and lesson planning; immersion in the target language; a higher-order learning approach to all elements of the language; a proper balance between structured and creative practice, and empowering students through pre-speaking activities.

Moving Students from Intermediate to Advanced
Friday, April 29: 12:20 - 1:20, Jones 35
How do we get students to go beyond the minimal answers they typically give? Using observable performance as our gauge, we will explore strategies and activities that enable students to cross more effectively the critical border from Intermediate to Advanced. The strategies introduced in Webinar 2 will take on a new dimension when applied to the difficult transition toward Advanced-level proficiency, where elaborations are paramount.

Series Two: Assessments to Measure and Build Language Performance
Presenter: Paul Sandrock, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Creating Interpretive Tasks Targeting Language Levels
Friday, April 15: 12:20 - 1:20, Jones 35
Interpretive communication is not an exercise in translation, but rather a focus on understanding the main idea and subsequent layers of details. Examine how to set up tasks in which students demonstrate how well they understand what they read, hear, or view. Expand your repertoire of how students can demonstrate their understanding without relying on production of the target language.

Designing Presentational Performance Tasks and Their Rubrics
Friday, May 6: 12:20 - 1:20, Jones 35
Presentational communication occurs in many ways, formal and informal. Get practical tips for designing assessments of presentational skills targeted at different levels of proficiency. Then experience a process for designing rubrics that provide students with feedback outlining how they can improve their performance.

Developing Communication Skills Through Interpersonal Performance Tasks
Wednesday, May 11: 12:20 - 1:20, Jones 35
Interpersonal communication involves an exchange of information or ideas with both partners actively negotiating meaning. Discover effective ways to set up tasks so that students focus on getting their message across and are motivated to give their strongest performance. Learn to design feedback mechanisms that reward what really counts in developing interpersonal communication skills.

The Fair Use Doctrine is probably the most important exemption to copyright protections for educational settings, allowing many uses of copyrighted works for the purposes of teaching and research[1]. Yet, knowing how to apply the fair use doctrine in the second language classroom can be quite confusing, both in terms of developing teaching materials and in providing guidance for student projects. Please join us as Nancy Sims, copyright librarian for the University of Minnesota, gives us some insights into the world of Fair Use for educational purposes.


Fair Use in the Second Language Classroom - Co-sponsored by the ESL Forum
Presenter: Nancy Sims, U of M Libraries
Wednesday, March 2
12:20 - 1:10 p.m.
Jones 35

iTeach Workshop - Feb 17 - Creating Accessible Course Materials

Creating Accessible Course Materials

Language instructors are constantly creating new course materials to make use of authentic resources. We create Word Documents and PDFs, and upload countless images into our Moodle course websites. But how often do we think about the accessibility of the materials we create? For many of us, it's probably not something in the forefront of our minds. Thankfully, the University of Minnesota has a new web resource - - to help instructors improve the accessibility of their course materials for the widest possible audience, regardless of ability. Please join us as Phil Kragnes of Disability Services and the Office of Information Technology shows us simple ways to improve the accessibility of the materials we create for our students.

Creating Accessible Course Materials
Presenter: Phil Kragnes, U of M Disability Services and OIT
Thursday, February 17
12:20 - 1:10 pm
Jones 35

For more information about the topic of accessibility in education, see these recent articles from The Chronicle of Higher Ed:
Universal Design, Usability, and Accessibility
ADA Compliance is a 'Major Vulnerability' for Online Education Programs
Colleges Lock Out Blind Students Online

Fasten Seat Belts: Quick videos to learn about cultural differences

Are you looking for a quick, cultural conversation starter for your class? Consider playing one of the videos found on Fasten Seat Belts. These online videos, which range from 20 seconds to a little over a minute long, provide some quick tips and expressions about cultural differences for some countries in Europe and Asia. Here is a sample video about table manners:

In addition to these short videos, there are audio clips that cover some basic expressions such as hello, good-bye, and numbers. The audio and videos on this site were funded by the European Commission's Socrates-Lingua department and by the European Commission's Life Long Learning Programme in an effort highlight cultural differences and break cultural and linguistic barriers.

Thanks to Ryan at Language Lab Unleased! and Richard Byrne at Free Technology for Teachers for the tip!

iTeach Workshops and other Professional Development at the U

Language Center iTeach Workshops
This spring semester, the Language Center is creating customized iTeach Workshops for your department. If you and your colleagues are interested in improving your current use of technology, or would like to incorporate a new activity or project that uses technology into your course, the Language Center staff are here to support you! Please contact your language liaison or Alyssa Ruesch to schedule a training on the topic(s) of your choice. We are happy to conduct individual or group trainings at a time that is convenient for you.
Asian Languages and Literature: Zhen Zou
French and Italian: Rick Treece
German, Scandinavian and Dutch: Beth Kautz
Spanish and Portuguese: Pablo Viedma

Professional Development Opportunities at the U of M
University Technology Training Center
If you are new to Moodle or need a refresher, the University Technology Training Center (UTTC) offers comprehensive hands-on training. They offer 4 sessions: Creating Basic Course Web Sites, Assignments and Quizzes, Grades and Collaboration.
For more information:

Courses through University Libraries
The University Libraries offers a wide variety of training opportunities,ranging from presentations to help you understand the ins and outs of copyright, to productivity and collaboration tips when using Google. One session that should be useful for many language instructors is titled Can I Use That? Fair Use in Everyday Life
To register and see a complete list of courses, go to:

Workshops through the Center for Teaching and Learning
Just in Time Teaching
The Center for Teaching and Learning offers a variety of workshops throughout the semester to help keep you and your students engaged.  Re-invigorate your courses and teaching by taking one of these workshops!  See for more details.

CARLA Presentations

Challenges of Teaching Pragmatics to Foreign Language Learners: The Korean Example
Tuesday, January 25

12:20-1:10 p.m.
Jones 35
Presenter: Dr. Sang-Seok Yoon

"Foreign Language Activities" in Japanese Public Elementary Schools: 
A Critical Analysis of the New Language Education Policy

Tuesday, Feb 8
12:20-1:10 p.m. 
Jones 35
Presenter: Sachiko Horii 

Looking at Student Work to Facilitate Articulation from High School to College in Arabic and Chinese
Tuesday, Feb 22
12:20-1:10 p.m. 
Jones 35
Presenters: Ursula Lentz and Gaelle Berg

The Pedagogy of Improvisation: Teaching Our Learners to Express Meaning
Wednesday, March 9
12:20-1:10 p.m. 
Jones 35
Presenter: Patrick Scully 

From Communicative Competence to Integrated Language and Cultural Competence: 
Bridging Proficiency Levels and Disciplines

Thursday, March 24
12:00-1:00 p.m. (note time difference)
Jones 15
Presenter: Patricia Mougel

Heritage Speakers of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) in the United States
Wednesday, April 6
12:20-1:10 p.m.
Jones 35
Presenter: Vichet Chhuon

Deconstructing ESL: Exploring the Consequences of an Institutional Category
Wednesday, April 20
12:20-1:10 p.m.
Jones 35
Presenter: Adam Rambow

Spring 2010 iTeach Workshops

The Language Center is pleased to announce the Spring 2010 iTeach Workshops. For more information about these topics, please see the iTeach Workshop Wiki.

Camtasia Relay: Capture your Screen and Share with Students
Thursday, February 18; 12:20 - 1:10 pm, Jones 30
Camtasia Relay is a tool that allows you to make videos of your computer screen that you can share with your students online. This tool is particularly useful if you want to narrate a lecture and show other computer applications to your students. It's also a good way to quickly create online tutorials to demonstrate how to use technology tools for your class. In this hands-on session, you'll practice narrating and capturing your computer screen, uploading the file to MediaMill* and sharing the link with others.
Presenter: Alyssa Ruesch, CLA Language Center
*This session will be most useful to you if you already have a MediaMill account. To request an account, email

Student-Created Videos for Communication and Reflection
Wednesday, February 24; 1:15 - 2:15 pm, Jones 35

In this panel presentation, instructors will share different ways that video can be used to reach second-language learning objectives. We'll learn how students can take the reins recording and producing video as a way to practice their speaking or learn more about the target culture. We'll also see how Tokbox, an online video messaging system, can be used to facilitate class-to-class exchanges. Finally, we'll learn more about how instructors and students alike can use VideoAnt for feedback and reflection.
Presenters: David Atterberry, ESL; Kate Clements, ESL; Scott Spicer, SMART Learning Commons; Pablo Viedma, Spanish; and Sondes Woolridge, French

Making Media Handy:  Using the iPod Touch in Language and Culture Courses
Wednesday, March 10; 1:25 - 2:15 pm, Jones 35

Smartphones and other mobile devices put a wealth of information in a variety of formats at our fingertips. How can these devices be used to advance the goals of language teachers and learners? Come find out how students in advanced German courses have used iPod touches to strengthen their linguistic, cultural, and digital competencies.
Presenters: Beth Kautz, GSD and CLA Language Center and Rebecca Raham, German

Collaboration through Google Docs
Monday, March 29; 1:25 - 2:15 pm, Jones 15

Soon, all U of M students will have Gmail accounts and access to the collaborative tools in Google Docs. What makes Google Docs different from other Web 2.0 options such as wikis, discussion boards, or blogs? The presenters will provide an overview of how the tools work and share examples of student use of the tools in language and culture courses.
Presenters: Beth Kautz, GSD and CLA Language Center and Rebecca Raham, German

Using Voicethread in the Second Language Classroom
Wednesday, April 7, 1:25 - 2:15 pm, Jones 35

In this panel presentation, instructors from the Minnesota English Language Program and the Department of French and Italian will share different ways the online tool, Voicethread, can be used in the classroom as a way to practice writing and speaking skills, as well as provide an interesting way to interact with new vocabulary.
Presenters: Sondes Woolridge, French; Annie Marrin, ESL; Becky Uran-Markman, ESL; and Antonia Krueger, ESL

Instructor Examples of Using Authentic Audio and Video in the Second Language Classroom
Thursday, April 15; 12:20 - 1:10 pm, Jones 35.

With the Internet, DVDs, and Satellite TV, there are many ways to bring authentic audio and video sources into the classroom. The question is, how can you effectively integrate these materials into your (beginning, intermediate, advanced) language classes? In this panel presentation, language instructors from the U of M share their tried and true ideas, lesson plans, and experiences from using authentic video in their courses.
Presenters: Arlys Arnold, ESL; Ginny Steinhagen, German; Vlad Dima, French; and Ling Wang, Chinese


Do you have a question about using the Mac DiLL? Skim below to see if you we've already answered it. If you don't see your question, please leave it in the comments section. We'll add it to this list right away!

If you'd like training on how to use the Mac DiLL, please make a reservation in one of the classrooms and indicate that you want training. Or, you can contact Alyssa Ruesch for help.

FAQ 1 - Recording student voices
Question: How do students record their voices on the Mac DiLL?

In order for your students to record their voices, they must first be assigned a "New Task" (choose "without a lesson, recording-only" or "with a lesson from the catalog"). For more information on how to assign tasks, see pages 9 - 12 in the Mac DiLL Teacher's Guide.

FAQ 2 - Recording pairs or groups of students
Question: If I pair my students, will the Mac DiLL record both of their voices or just one?

Answer: When you pair students and give them a recording task, the Mac DiLL will record both of the student voices. It is usually better to ask both students in the pair to record - better safe than sorry! In test situations, some students get nervous and forget to hit the record button. If both students are asked to record the conversation, then there will always be a back-up.

FAQ 3 - Repeat after me!
Question: I want all of my students to repeat after me and record their voice. How do I do this?

Answer: You'll need to do a Synchronized Activity. Be sure to enable the external microphone so that your students can hear your voice. Then, hit the record button while your students respond. For information on how to set-up a Synchronized Activity, see the Mac DiLL Teacher's guide, page 13.
*Hint - If you are asking your students a series of questions, you may want to start and stop the record button for each question. This will create a new track for each answer and help to make grading a snap. Instead of fast forwarding to the responses, you can go directly to the specific question you want to grade.

FAQ 4 - Saving student recordings
Question: How do students save their recordings?

This is the beauty of the Mac DiLL! Students don't have to do anything to save their recordings! When you assign a recording-activity, just be sure that the "Save student recordings" option is checked (it is by default). For more information, see the Mac DiLL Teachers' Guide, pages 9 - 12.

FAQ 5 - Accessing student recordings

Question: How do instructors access student recordings?

It's easy as pie! Just go to the Language Center's Mac DiLL server and log-in with your x500 and password. Voila! All your students' recordings are available for your listening pleasure.

For more information on how to download the files as Mp3s, see FAQ 6, or our blog post on Sharing Mac DiLL audio recordings with students.

FAQ 6 - Downloading student audio files
Question: Is there a way to download the student audio files from the instructor log-in page? For instance, I'd like to have the mp3 files burned to a CD or put on an mp3 player so I don't have to be tethered to my computer while I grade.

Answer: Yes! You can download the student audio files as mp3 files by following these steps:

1. Login to the Language Center's Mac DiLL server at:
2. Locate the recordings you would like to save as mp3s.
3. Click on "Archive Task to ZIP File". This will create a ZIP file that includes all of your students' mp3 files, labeled by students name or x500. You will access this ZIP file via a web link.
a. Select a name for the files from the pulldown menu (shortname = x500)
b. Provide a description of the activity. This will be the name of the folder containing all of the mp3 files.
c. Provide an email address where the link to the ZIP file will be sent.
4. Click on the web link to download the ZIP file.
5. Unzip the file.

You now have a folder containing all of your students' mp3 files. You can save these files to your hard-drive, copy them to a CD or put them on an mp3 player. The choice is all yours!

FAQ 7 - Student access to audio files outside of class
Question: Can students listen to the audio files they created during class when they get home?

The short answer to this question is no, students are not able to listen to their files directly from the Mac DiLL server. If students want to listen to in-class recordings outside of class, you will need to download the files (see FAQ 6, above) and send the mp3s to the student. For instructions on how to do this pretty easily in any of the Jones Classrooms, see our blog post Sharing Mac DiLL audio recordings with students.

FAQ 8 - Sharing files with other instructors

Question: I'm subbing for another instructor and need to get the audio files to him so that he can grade them. How can I share the audio files with the other instructor?

First, whatever you do, DO NOT give the other instructor your x500 and password so they can access the files. Bad idea!! Instead, follow the steps outlined in FAQ 6 and insert the other instructor's email address in the email field. This will send the download link to the other instructor. The other instructor can not get into your account, but they can download the files from the link you sent them after Archiving the Tasks. Remember to keep student privacy policies in mind whenever you share files with another instructor.

Brief Introduction to UMSurvey

UMSurvey is an online survey tool managed by the U's central OIT. It is available to current students, staff, and faculty at the University of Minnesota. The tool provides a convenient way for instructors, staff and students to quickly design and administer surveys for academic purposes, administrative purposes, or simply for practices of survey designs.

The tool is simple to use, but yet powerful with a lot of features. You can create, implement,and analyze surveys using University templates, with research consultation from the Digital Media Center. UMSurvey even allows you to export the results to SPSS or MS-Excel to perform analysis of the results. Your survey can be anonymous and open to the public, or be restricted to only UMN members. It can be activated or deactivated easily. A survey you have created can by reused as many times as you want.

To use or learn more about UMSurvey, go to the UMSurvey site at You can also find an online orientation at

Sharing Mac DiLL audio recordings with students

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Instructors often ask us, "How can students access the files recorded using the Mac DiLL?" Unfortunately, there isn't a way for students to log-in to the Mac DiLL server and access their recordings. But, with a few simple steps, instructors can download student recordings using the Archive Task to ZIP File function on the Mac DiLL server website, copy the files to the LC_Server drive on the Macs in the classrooms, and then let students save their files to their own flash drives or to their Netfiles accounts.

First log-in to the DiLL website at and find the recordings you'd like to share under Recording-Only Activities or Synchronized Activities.

Click on Archive Task to ZIP, at the top of the screen.

Then, name your file using one of the options from the pull-down menu (shortname.mp3, last name.mp3, etc). This names each .mp3 file according to each student log-in name.
Type in a name for the Activity so that it is easier to find it after it downloads.
Type in your email address in the email field; a link to the zip file will be sent to your email address.
Click Create ZIP Archive.

Wait for the files to process. A weblink will appear with a ZIP file containing all of your students' recordings.

Click on this link to download the files to your computer. In the Mac classrooms, the ZIP file will automatically download to the Local_Save drive.

Open the Local_Save drive and double click on the ZIP file to unzip the files. A new folder will appear with all of your students' .mp3 files.

Copy this folder to the LC_Server drive.

Your students can copy their individual recordings to a flash drive or to their Netfiles accounts. Keep in mind that with this process, any student could listen to another student's recording. So, if privacy is a concern, you'll want to avoid using the LC_Server as a means for sharing because it is viewable from all computers in the Language Center. Instead, you could email files to individual students, or use Netfiles to securely share student audio recordings.

Technology Tips to Prepare for H1N1

We are offering some quick tips for instructors to use technology to minimize the negative impact of H1N1, whether it affects 1 or 2 students or a large number of students.

1. If you are not using any course management system yet, this should be a good time for you start using one. A course management system, such as Moodle and WebVista, offers convenient tools for instructors to communicate with students, to distribute course content, and to conduct class activities online. The University supports both the WebVista and Moodle course management systems. To request to have a site set up for your class, go to for WebVista, or for Moodle.

2. Use Netfiles. Netfiles is a file-storage resource with collaboration and sharing features. With Netfiles, you can upload class-related files and share them with colleagues and students. Current UMN Staff, Faculty and Students are eligible for a NetFiles account. To activate your account, go to your internet account options page at

3. Use iTunes U to distribute audio and video content to students in the form of a podcast. iTunes U provides both restricted and public access to educational content and makes the distribution of audio, video or pdf files to your students an easy task. To sign up for an account, go to

4. Use the Digital Content Library to deliver copyrighted movies and other audio/video content. To find out more information and to submit content, go to

Other tools that we recommend include Media Mill and Media Magnet for creating, managing and distributing media content, and Camtasia Relay for capturing your class. Please contact the Language Center for help if you are interested in using these tools.

Stay healthy!

Help! Students can't access the Moodle site!

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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
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

For more answers to your questions about Moodle, contact

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

Go to the CLA home page.

Twin Cities Campus: