Handouts & Submissions

Nov 18, 2020 | rk

Yasla Lab 3.5 has new functionality that turns the lecturer’s computer into a small, specialized local server for the language lab. With Handouts & Submissions, materials can be distributed and solutions can be received during class.

As always, details of these functions can be found in the integrated documentation, accessible via the Help menu. This article explains how these functions fit into the overall configuration of the lecturer’s computer and laboratory.
The described configuration can be set up and operated with comparatively little effort and is an alternative to using the university infrastructure for these purposes.

Overview

In order to distribute teaching materials, lecturers should be able to load them onto the lecturer’s computer in the laboratory before the event - e.g. from their workstation computer. It should also be possible for the lecturer to download the solutions submitted during the course.

From the students’ point of view, the materials that the lecturer prepared for the course - and only those - should be easily accessible. Solutions should be submitted in way so that other students cannot access them.

Configuration

In order to realize this, each lecturer receives his or her own user account on the lecturer’s computer. In addition, File Sharing is activated on the lecturer’s computer in the system settings under Sharing. This allows lecturers to access their home folder on the machine from outside the laboratory and outside of class hours, and to upload materials and download submitted solutions.

At the beginning of a course, the handout and/or submission function in Yasla Lab is then activated on the lecturer’s computer. The Handout folder in Yasla Lab is the folder containing the prepared materials, and Submissions folder ist the folder in which submissions are stored.
At the student workstations, the handouts and the submission function are then available in the File menu.

Since handouts and submissions are only available while Yasla Lab is running and the functions are activated, Yasla Lab is only running while lecturers are logged in, and each lecturer uses his/her own handout and submission folder, this configuration prevents students from accessing the wrong materials or outside of class hours. At the same time, lecturers can upload or download materials at any time via the file share.

The icing on the cake of such a configuration is the automatic startup and shutdown of the lecturer’s computer at the beginning/end of normal office hours via the Schedule function in the System Preferences - this saves the need to go to the lab to switch on the computer.

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