ORIENTATION TO CALL ONLINE
Spring  2016 (DEMO site)

Welcome to GSL520/GED565: Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL), part of the MATESOL Campus + Online strand of the MATESOL Program at Saint Michael's College!  Please read carefully!

Location of the course/ Logging on

The course is delivered through a web course management system called Canvas and resides at the Saint Michael's College Online Portal at the web address: http://my.smcvt.edu. (Use your SMC log-on information to access SMC resources. Please bookmark it by putting it into your Favorites, or better, putting the link onto your Favorite Links bar!!!). The Canvas site can now be accessed via mobile technology (smart phone, tablet). Download the app to your mobile device or use the browser on your mobile device to access the site.

Important notes:
A. Logging on: 1st time access to the Canvas site: Use your Saint Michael's College username as the Canvas username and your Saint Michael's College student ID as the password

B. Access to Saint Michael's College email and resources

Resources: Since you are officially a Saint Michael's College (SMC) student, you have access to all of the College's activities and resources. You can find important information on the SMC Web site at http://www.smcvt.edu.

    1. SMC email: You have access to SMC mail via our web server at http://smcmail.smcvt.edu. Please see the instructions at Accounts and Email. Your password is .....
      Password: ..... Please see Password Reset and Rules for more information.
    2. To access the library resources, see Off-campus and Mobile Access. Use your Mikenet username and password to authenticate (log in). 

Course Overview

GSL520/GED565: Computer-Assisted Language Learning is a course that takes a hands-on approach to technology. You will learn about the uses of computer technology by actually trying it out. I think the best way to find out about the capabilities and limitations of technology is by experiencing them first-hand. Thus, the goal of this course is NOT to learn technology for technology sake but to learn how technology can assist you as a teacher in delivering your classes more successfully. That is why you will find a rather heavy emphasis on lesson planning and actual teaching, in addition to getting a lot of how-to's (instructions, tips, workshops) for using the technology.

Important note: At the end of this page, I will ask you to send me an e-mail message, stating that you have read and understood the information and accept the terms and conditions specified.

Course Schedule

The course follows the Saint Michael's College schedule for Graduate Programs. Since it is a Saint Michael's College course offered by the Master of Teaching English as a Second Language Program, all participants are bound by the policies and procedures for such courses, including schedule, length of time, grading, deadlines, etc.

Once we get started, the course is 15 weeks in length, starting on August 29 and ending on December 12, when your course project is due. I will email information with some orientation/start-up tasks after August 20 and expect the course, including assignments, to begin on August 29.  Each week starts on Monday and ends on Sunday at midnight, except in cases of SMC holidays, as noted on the course schedule.  Weeks open up on Saturday the week before. This means that instead of meeting at a regular time and place, you will have one week to complete all the "class" work, fulfill the required assignments, and submit any projects that are due. Due dates/times for projects are Sundays/midnight, unless otherwise noted. Please note: There will be TWO holidays in between, with no scheduled online meetings and no assignments due during that time--Monday/Tuesday, October 17, 18 and November 23-27 (Thanksgiving Recess).

The beauty of an online course is also that you get to do your work at your own pace and when it works into your schedule. Of course, the downside to that is that you will be working individually, for the most part, and therefore you will probably miss the verbal and face-to-face interaction that you are used to. Nevertheless, I have built in many ways for us to communicate and stay in touch (more below)!

Course Work:

The course work corresponds to the 37.5-hour requirement for 3-credit graduate courses at SMC in that I have scheduled 15 weeks worth of "Tasks" and "Assignments." According to the Academic Policies in the Graduate Catalog, 2015-2016, General Academic Requirements, "students spend approximately two to three hours in preparation for each hour of class time." The "Tasks" I have estimated to require about 3 hours of intensive on-task work plus roughly two to three times that amount for "Assignments," including readings, hands-on preparation and regular weekly assignments (3+6 or 9 = 9 or 12 hours total per week). Please note:Students with low computer skills will require more time-on-task than the average estimate above. Many tasks are optional or extra credit, and although many students choose to complete them because they are interesting, these should not be counted into the number of hours spent on task.  Please note:  When you upload your assignments, they receive a date stamp, so it is easy to see if an assignment is late or not. In case of an emergency or extenuating circumstances for not being able to complete the weekly tasks, please send me an e-mail message.

Prerequisite computer skills, books, hardware, software

Prerequisite computer skills:

  1. Typing: A good amount of typing will be required, mainly for the threaded discussions in Canvas but also for projects. To improve your typing skills, please check out and work with PowerTyping (Links to an external site.)<http://www.powertyping.com/ (Links to an external site.)>

  2. Facility with the Operating System (OS) of your computer: Windows 8 (or 7) or Safari, and Word 2010 or higher for file management (saving, storing, moving), spell/grammar-checking
    Understanding the resources on your computer, how to access them, and where/how to save information is critical to the CALL course, especially since I won't be able to show them to you!  If you don't feel comfortable with your computer's resources or functions yet, I would advise you to get some outside help or work through
    the handouts to build your familiarity with and competence
  3. Drive/File management: You should be able to navigate through the different drives (hard drive, flash drive/USB port, CD-ROM drive), folders, and files on your computer. You should be able to manage your files by moving, copying, and pasting them from one location (folder or drive) to another without any problems

  4. Software: You should also be familiar with e-mail, MS-Word for word processing, and MS-Explorer (or other browser) or Safari (MAC) for using the Internet. See the Safari Support Page if necessary.

  5. Internet: Facility with searching, browsing, copying/pasting hyperlinks into other documents is expected.

  6. Facility with Canvas: threaded discussions, file uploading/downloading.

  7. Basic knowledge of cloud-based computing (Google Drive): You must have a Gmail account. If you do not, please click to Set up a Google account. We will be using Google Drive extensively for sharing documents.

For help with Google Drive, please see these Tutorials for Google Drive:

       Video tutorials

How to Create and Share a Google Doc (3:49 min)

 

Google Docs How to Tutorial 2012 (15 min: excellent tutorial/overview)

 (Links to an external site.

  1. Facility with Skype: Set up a Skype account (and download Skype if needed). We will use it for individual chats and as a back-up to Conferences in Canvas for class chats.

Books: We will not be using a book. However, you will be asked to download one or more free electronic books for reading assignments. In addition, if you would like to purchase one or more of the recommended books, please check the Syllabus and buy/order them.

Hardware: You will need

  • a headset to hear communication and sound files
  • an external microphone with headset to record sound (Note: Built-in mics will not work as they create an echo in a two-way chat; if you are on campus, you may borrow/check-out a headset from the Language Learning Resource Center.)
  • a storage device/place for storing and sharing large files, e.g. Google Drive, DropBox (www.dropbox.com), or other provider.Check out other freeware sites (see the resource list on the Freeware (Links to an external site.) page in my 7,000+ Links compendium.

Software: For your computer, you will need the following software

  • Microsoft Word (2010 or later) -- can be downloaded/purchased at a student discount from the SMC Campus Store
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (2010 or later) -- can be downloaded/purchased at a student discount from the SMC Campus Store. Please see alternatives below.

Alternatives: You may also download open source software from OpenOffice at http://www.openoffice.org/ (for wordprocessing, download “Writer”; for presentations, download “Impress”), but there may be missing features/functions and incompatibility issues when we use the Insert Comments and Track Changes features. Instead of PowerPoint, you may use Prezi (http://prezi.com), Zoho Show-Presentation, or one of these 40 apps for creating presentations.

How/where can you get help if you have a problem or a question?

Course content question/problem: If you have a question/problem regarding the course itself, contact me by e-mail at cbauer-ramazani at smcvt.edu, by phone (during the day, U.S. Eastern time) at XXXXX or (before 8:30 am and after 7 pm), at home (posted in the course and will be emailed to you), by fax at XXXXX. Please see also the link on the course home page for "Contacting the instructor." Important note:Don't hesitate to call me at home, but please do not give this number out.  My home phone number is for your use only, but I'd rather have you call me at home than go through frustrations. Often the frustrations can be solved very easily and quickly.

Tech support: The best way to get support is to go to the Help menu in Canvas. Search the Canvas Student Guide, post your question in the Ask the Canvas Community, or Contact Canvas Support).

How is the course/web site organized--the Course Navigation Tools?

......

How will you interact with other course participants and me?

.....

How will the course progress?

.....

Ready to get started?

 (Links to an external s

Next, read about me in information about the instructor. Then click and read the Syllabus.

© Christine Bauer-Ramazani  
Date of last update: July 10, 2016