Planning and Selecting

actuallyabandonedElectronics - Devices

Nov 15, 2013 (3 years and 7 months ago)

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Planning and Selecting
a Digital Language Lab

Jian Wu, Associate Director

Jenise Rowekamp, Director

CLA Language Center

University of Minnesota

Pre
-
Planning Questions


Why digital?


What does it mean to be digital?


Is there a choice?


Budget
-

Do you have the money???

Who are the players?


Language lab vendors


Instructors


Technical staff


Administrators


School purchasing office (bidding)

Steps, Stages & Factors to
Consider


Needs Assessment


Technical Planning


Vendor Selection Process


Installation Plan


Training & Support

Needs Assessment


Types of lab: classroom vs. open lab, or
both


Types of traditional instructional activities:
Drills, guided discussion, pairing,
recording student voice, playing
audio/video source, etc.


Additional instructional activities: Internet
browsing, chatting and messaging, writing
and spell
-
checking in different languages,
etc.

Two Important Questions


What old audio lab functions do we want to
keep?


Playing audio source to student stations


Monitoring and recording student speech


Setting up pairs or groups, randomly or manually


What new features do we want to have?


Broadcast video to all student screens


Monitoring student screens


Automatic collection of student files


Burning collected files onto CDs


Internet capability


Language capability

Technical Planning
-
Components of a Digital Lab


Computers


Language lab software


All
-
in
-
one or modularized systems


Language lab hardware & electronics


Audio/video control system, and computer
monitoring system


Other software


Furniture


Raceway and power outlet


Layout


ADA compliant

Technical Planning
-

More
Considerations


Is there enough power in the designated
location?


Who is going to provide the Internet
access and set up the local area
network (LAN)?


What kinds of AV equipment are
needed, e.g., DVD player, VCR,
document camera, data projector?

Vendor/Product Selection
Process


Finding the vendors/products


Conferences, websites, word of mouth


Getting more information about the
vendors/products


Campus presentation, brochure, request for
proposals (RFPs, bids)


Evaluating and selecting the vendor/product


Selection committee consisting of instructors,
technical staff and administrators


(Continued)


Selection criteria


Audio lab hardware/software


Furniture and computers


Total cost


Terms of conditions for installation, training,
warranty and support service


Others (see sheet)


Point value and narrative comments

(Continued)


Important questions to ask


Are features and functions integrated or
modularized?


Is a feature presented really what we want?


Does a certain feature require a third
-
party
product, such as Microsoft NT server and
license?


What are the specifications of the cabling
system and physical devices?


Are there good training and user manuals?

(Continued)


Some advice


Read the proposal carefully; do not take
things for granted


Get clarification for unclear points from
vendors as much as you can, through emails
or phones.


Ask direct and straight
-
forward questions


Decision made!!!


Relieved? Yes!


Happy? Yes! …at least for now.


Installation Plan
-

Sample
Timeline


Week 1, Vendor site inspection


Week 2, Old furniture removals


Week 3
-
5, Power installation


Week 6, Furniture installation


Week 7, PC and LAN installation


Week 8, Language Lab electronics & cable
installation


Week 8, Language Lab electronics & cable
installation


Week 9 & 10, Testing


Week 11 & 12, Training & orientation

Training & Support


Training issues


Vendor
-
provided training


Local (Language Center) training


Support issues


Vendor
-
provided support


Local (Language Center) support



DiLL
-

Our New Digital
Language Lab


A virtual tour


Http://languagecenter.cla.umn.edu/lc/asclab/VRlab.mov


Our DiLL guides


Http://languagecenter.cla.umn.edu/lc/asclab/DiLLGuide.pdf

Contact Information


Jian Wu,
wuxxx015@tc.umn.edu


Jenise Rowekamp,
rowek001@umn.edu


http://LanguageCenter.cla.umn.edu/