The CAN-8 language lab software includes Babilon, a system that allows groups of students to talk to each other over the network under the supervision of the instructor. Students in each group speak directly to other members of the same group. Using Babilon, the instructor can:
To participate in a Babilon session, users must select the Babilon entry in the main menu, and the Babilon console will open.
If there is no Babilon entry in the menu, it will have to be created using the MASTER.
To create the Babilon menu:
To prevent students from a class to be grouped with students from another class for example, create as many Babilon entries as you need. Repeat the steps above in a different part of the menu, and assign it a different path (i.e.: SVI/BABILON2)
Upon starting a Babilon session, the system will differentiate users signing with an Instructor ID from users signing in with a student ID. The interface presented, as well as the options available, will change according to the user ID.
Select Babilon in the main menu to start the session and open the console. There are 4 main sections to this console
Located in the top menu bar.
This menu includes the options such as group size, the manual or automatic assignment, and the display type in the wait list.
Each option is detailed in a sections below.
It is important to differentiate the Student wait list from the Group lists (detailed in the next section)
The names in the waiting list and in the group lists are colour coded to indicate the users' status:
This list may be opened and displaying names or it can be reduced to an icon as illustrated below:
To toggle between icon and list,
Lists the students assigned to a group
Students in the waiting list who are not signed in (white background) still be placed into groups and start working as soon as they connect
Groups can be either open and displayed in Babilon, or closed and represented in the bottom left corner of the interface by icons, each icon representing a group. The icon will vary depending on the size of the group, and if they are empty (no users in that group) or if they include active users
|The icons are black and white if the groups are empty:|
|The icons are coloured or partially coloured when users are active in that group:|
Note that, in the example above, the icon representing group A is fully coloured. This indicates that there are 3 students in that group. The icon for group B only shows one coloured point: there is only one student in that group. And the icon for group C with 2 coloured points indicates that there are 2 students in that group.
Group icons are only present when the group list windows are minimized.
To toggle between icon and group lists
Users joining Babilon with a student ID will not see the above. They will either be presented with a Waiting for group assignment message, or if the assignment was already pre-selected or placed on automatic by the instructor, they will enter directly the discussion with their group.
The group window with the name of its participating members listed will appear in the center of the student's console.
The name of the group member preceded by a * character is the name of the user currently talking.
The volume graph is a graphic representation of the student's own voice.
To leave the discussion, the student has to exit the Babilon tab.
NOTE: If, during a Babilon session, the user opens a different CAN-8 lesson in another tab, he/she will be disconnected from the Babilon discussion until the Babilon tab is selected again.
The instructor controlling the Babilon session may view the students waiting by clicking on the Wait icon and it will open to a list as shown on the right.
Note that this list may already be expended from a previous Babilon session.
By default, this list displays the names of all users (users currently online and users who previously signed in Babilon)
If the assignment is set to Automatic students are automatically assigned to groups as they sign in. There will be no waiting time as they enter Babilon.
CAN-8 tries to make sure that no student is left alone in a group. If necessary, students are taken from their groups and assigned to a new group to provide company to a student who would otherwise be alone.
Select the number of students to be placed in each group from the Babilon top menu.
In manual mode, the instructor must select and assign each student to a group, one at a time. The students do not have to be logged in to be assigned to a group.
If the students are not assigned to a group, they will see the following message
until their name is assigned to a group.
The name of the student will be moved from the waiting list to the group window.
The name of the student will be removed from the initial group list and show in the new group list.
To display/hide the list of students in the waiting list, click on the list icon or minimize the list window.
In both automatic and manual modes, the group size can be set 2, 3 or 4.
To change the size of the groups, select Babilon > Group of 2 (3 or 4) in the top menu.
The group icon changes for each of these selections. Description of their graphic representation is detailed in the Babilon Interface section
Note that if the session was set to automatic assignment, students already in a discussion when the group size is changed will be reshuffled between groups. If there are, for example, 4 students waiting and Group of 3 has been selected, 2 students will be placed in each group so that none stays alone. Similarly, if a student leaves or joins Babilon, other students may be moved from a group to another so that non-one is left alone in a group.
In Manual assignments, when changing group size, students will be placed back in the waiting list and you will have to re-assign them to a group.
The instructor can listen to any group discussion at any time. When in Listening mode, the instructor cannot talk to the group members, and the members are not aware the instructor is listening.
In the instructor's console only, the header bar of the group window will indicate Listening.
To listen to a group, click on the icon on the left of the group header bar and select Listen.
To stop listening to a group, click on the icon on the left of the group header bar and select Leave.
The instructor may join and participate to a discussion with any group, at any time.
When joining a group, the name of the instructor is shown in the student's console, along with the names of the other group members.
In the instructor's console, the header bar of the group window will indicate Group Joined.
To join a group, click on the icon on the left of the group header bar and select Join.
To leave the group, click on the icon on the left of the group header bar and select Leave.
To record a discussion, you need to have at least 2 active students in a group. Active students are students who are currently in that Babilon session, ready to record. If there is only one student present, the recording will not start.
Recordings can be set while students are in a group, or preset for the next time students login.
You can stop a recording at any time, even if it has been preset for a certain time length.
Click anywhere on the line listing the recording you want to stop (it should say Busy Recording) and select OK in the stop recording window.
You can only listen to the recordings once they are finished.
To listen, select
Babilon > Recordings in the main top menu
The recordings list will appear
Double click on the recording you wish to listen to and select the option Delete the recording.