Friday, June 10, 2011

setting up Moodle Language Lab

Moodle Language Lab is an activity module developed (and being developed) by Campus Saint-Jean and Oohoo.biz that:
replaces the traditional cassette tape language lab. There is a module for students to record themselves and teachers to review and grade the work. This version also includes a class monitor. So, if a teacher uses it inside the classroom, he/she can monitor student progress the same way they used the traditional language lab by listening to live streams of the students, responding live to students, giving a thumbs up and so on.
It also offers an integration with the Moodle WYSIWYG, allowing recordings to be done virtually in any activity or resource wihtin Moodle. This feature has been used in our classes throughout the past year. For example, we had an oral forum instead of a written forum. Professors would leave spoken messages in the grade book.
It requires three programs running on a server (on the same server or separate ones):
  1. Moodle 2.0.x
  2. Red5 Media Server (version .8)
  3. Palabre XML Socket Server edit: Palabre is no longer needed
Here's how you can set up the three parts of Moodle Language Lab on a Windows server. The process will be similar for other operating systems.

Red5
  1. Download version .8 from code.google.com/p/red5/ (I recommend the ZIP file, and 1.0 RC1 worked for me)
  2. Unzip the files into some folder (not publicly accessible)
  3. Install Java, if it's not already installed, and make sure your JAVA_HOME variable is defined
  4. Run Red5.bat
  5. Go to http://localhost:5080/ to test that Red5 is running, and click "Install a ready-made application"
  6. Install the oflaDemo
  7. Make a note of the server's Internet-accessible IP address (or FQDM)
Palabre
  1. Download the source files (Windows installer didn't work for me), untar into some folder (again not a publicly accessible folder)
  2. Install Python (2.7 or so)
  3. Edit the Palabre\etc\palabre.conf file, these are the two lines that I changed
    • ip = 
    • alloweddomains = 127.0.0.1 moodle.______.ca #put your own value(s) on this line
  4. Run Palabre.py
  5. Test by running one of the Palabre clients
  6. Make a note of the server's Internet-accessible IP address (or FQDM)
Moodle (this is just pasted from the Developer's readme file)
  1. copy all folders (filter, mod, lib ) into the appropriate moodle(root) folder.
  2. Login to Moodle with admin rights.
  3. In the Site Administration block, click on Notifications. This will setup the database tables for the languagelab module
  4. In the settings block, select Site administration -> Plugins -> Activities Modules -> Manage activities -> Language lab -> settings
  5. Enter the IP address or the FQDN that you noted previously in the appropriate fields and save changes.
  6. You're done. Go into a course, turn editing on and add a language lab activity.

2 comments:

Mandar Jog said...

Hello sir.. im Mandar Jog from Goa, India. I am a teacher and a theatre artist by profession. I am interested in starting my own language laboratory can you please guide me through the same. How should I go about and how I can start my own Language Laboratory? I will be thankful to you if you answer me on my email. My email is mandarjogm@gmail.com

David Hay said...

The easiest way to set up a Language Lab is to use headsets (with microphones) connected to computers with Internet access. You'll also need a server running Moodle with the Moodle Language Lab as described above.