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Instructor FAQs

Language Instructors

• I need help or training with the equipment in the classrooms. Can you help me?

The Language Laboratory services and maintains the instructional equipment in all first floor classrooms. We are glad to provide support:

Training: At any point you would like training on the equipment that is in your assigned classroom, please simply inquire at the Language Laboratory HelpDesk. Our IT and equipment support specialists, particularly, would be glad to assist you.

On-Call Support: If you need help or support during class, please notify the Language Laboratory, and someone will assist you as soon as is possible. It is often the case that we can render service very promptly. In some instances, however, there may be a slight delay. The Language Laboratory always prioritizes such support requests, and we will do everything we can to help you, to resolve the problem, or offer an alternative in the case of a unresolvable malfunction or other problem.

Please note that instructional personnel are free to use their own computing equipment in connection with the installed projector and other equipment in the classrooms. Lab personnel can offer initial advice on connection, basic video and/or sound settings, and similar topical advisories. Our staff cannot, however, provide indepth computer support for personally-owned computer equipment.

     Learn more about support ›

• I want to check out a JamBox... how long can I keep it?

JamBoxes, like our other in-circulation equipment such as Mobile Computer Carts and TVs-DVDs or VCRs, are generally only withdrawn for a short time, such as the class period in which you will use them.

You may have two class periods back-to-back, or separated by an hour, for instance. It is usually fine to keep the item this entire span if you will by using it; if there is a significant gap, however, such as a few hours, please return the equipment. We have a finite inventory, and we must keep our supply at certain levels. In no case should a JamBox, projector, DVD or other piece of mobile equipment be kept all day, or worse, overnight. Also, equipment is not to be passed on to or exchanged with other instructional personel during or between classes.

If you have a special need, such as needing equipment for an extended time for materials review or grading, please visit with the Director or Assistant Director.

• I want to check out a DVD or video cassette... how long can I keep it?

Again, as above, we assume that materials are withdrawn for the class period for which they are needed. We do understand, however, that you may need time to review video materials. You can withdraw video resources, that are not otherwise on some sort of reserve, for three to five business days. This is also helpful for graduate students who may wish to withdraw materials they are currently studying.

Longer withdrawal periods are certainly available, please inquire.

• My time is really crunched... can I have my equipment and materials delivered to my classroom?

The LLL&RC must ask that instructional personnel help themselves in the withdrawal and transportation of materials and equipment. The Language Laboratory does not currently have the staff resources to make regular deliveries. Fortunatey, the most commonly used equipment is permanently installed in all classrooms.

• Can I send a student to transport my equipment?

If the student is an employee of CMLL in any capacity, yes. If the student is not an employee, then no. If there are extenuating circumstances, we can make arrangements with you for a trusted student from your class to help you transport equipment. This must be done in advance, with the Director or Assistant Director, and documented with an e-mail or memo. (Please understand there are liability and access issues, compounded by past problems.)

• I forgot to return my equipment or material... what happens?

The Lab runs periodic checks on its withdrawals, and items considered to be overdue are investigated. You may receive a polite note asking you to return the item(s); if the item is needed promptly, we may retrieve it from your office. The Lab may visit with you about options and strategies if numerous instances of overdue situations occur.

• I want my students to spend certain amounts of time in the Lab or to complete certain assignments... what are some strategies?

The Language Laboratory strives to encourage all of its patrons—student, staff and faculty—to make full use of its resources. In the case of students, it is very important to understand the structure surrounding effective learning in a facility such as the Lab.

Please encourage your students to seek specific content, rather than "spend time" in the facility. You can lend guidance to their learning by asking for certain assignments, stressing content from Lab materials that may appear on exams, and/or suggesting a specific software title, video or audio lesson. There are a variety of creative solutions.

Be aware that the Language Laboratory long ago adopted an official policy that it will not endorse or support, in any fashion, instructions to students by any instructor—junior or senior faculty—which indicate time accounting as a basis for using the Lab. In short, please do not indicate to your students something such as "spend one hour per week in the Lab." The problems and misdirection this can cause are legion, and we cannot cooperate with such a usage scheme. We would be glad to offer advice or suggestions, so please visit with us.

• Can students simply study in the Lab?

Undergraduates: The Language Laboratory facility is wholly designed for language studies; it is a very structured learning environment. All students must check-in to the facility, and are expected to work on language activities. They are welcome to be in the Lab as much as they wish, as long as this objective is observed. Depending on spikes in need for our cubicles, computers and other equipment, the Lab may not be available, or may not be the most appropriate setting for simply studying. There are a few tables near the front entrance at which students may sit and study without being checked-in to the facility. Otherwise, they must check-in, and use our materials and equipment.

Employed Graduate Students/Other Instructional Personnel: Graduate students are invited to use the language facility for studying anytime it would suit their purpose. This type of usage falls into the category of professional courtesy. Simply let us know that you would like to have a seat in a cubicle, private booth, or use a computer, and you are totally welcome. We may ask that you work within our existing schedules, such as testing and assessment sessions, console groups, and/or other needs, which may affect availability of certain areas or resources.

• Can the Lab tell me if my students are using the Lab?

Certainly. Every visit to the Language Lab facility is tracked, and we can report to you either a summary of your students' visits, or provide more detail, such as individual dates and times of each visit. You can specify the frequency of reports you would like (bimonthly, and so on) with the Attendance Report Form. If no form is on file, only a final report will be issued at the end of the semester. Of course, this information is intended to support the general instructional process, and is not meant to construe "attendance" totals (see number 6 above).

• I want to use the Console, but have never worked with such a system. Can you help me?

The Language Laboratory will certainly help you. We will provide you training, and full "backup" support while you are using the system with your class. We provide this support until you reach a comfort level with using the equipment, then we remain on-call to help if needed at any point.

We encourage all instructional personnel to explore the possibilities with the central student console system, and this can be particularly acute for graduate students. Learning to navigate and implement such language training systems can be a valuable professional asset—and entry on one's CV—and is becoming more and more desired, but is especially important if working in language pedagogy of any level.

• Can I put something on reserve in the Lab for my students?

Yes. This can occur with materials owned by the LLL&RC or owned by the instructor. We will make them available to students with the parameters you specify. Please inquire at the LLL&RC HelpDesk for more details.

     Learn more about reserve ›

• What if I know of some materials or a video that would be good to have in the Lab?

We have a protocol for receiving the suggestions of faculty and instructors for additions to our materials collection. We consider your sage input extremely valuable, and appreciate any suggestions. Due to a number of issues—time constraints, available budgets, and specific costs—we cannot guarantee that every suggestion will be acquired, although we do strive to respect every request we receive.

Be aware that we purchase materials related directly to instruction; we do not purchase materials for faculty research. Any materials purchased by the Language Laboratory become part of our larger collection, and in no way should be construed as especially set aside for the requestor.