Author Archives: Linguistic Engineering Team

Thank you for your vote!

Now the MOOC voting is over.We received 248 Likes and 600 votes, so we are
somewhere in the midfield. But what is more important, our application video
was watched 2,165 times with 65 Likes and 0 Dislikes, and, what is
absolutely astonishing with 22 overwhelmingly positive comments. This is a
record among all application videos and it shows that there was no fake in
voting and that our project is wanted by the web-community.

There is no application video with such a high percentage of LIKES and where
the number of views of the video is considerably higher than the number of
votes for that particular application. What does that mean? Well, if a
project has more votes than application video views, then people must have
voted without having watched the video. Put more simply: Whereas we can
assume to have got “real” votes, those whose videos were not watched got
“blind” votes. You understand what I mean? Their votes have simply been
asked for … and, in many cases, their application videos have almost no
likes and even some dislikes. And this applies to almost all projects. Just
check the application videos …

So we can be extremely proud: We are grateful for 2165 views of our video
(http://youtu.be/fViSvvXGr1s) and the highest percentrage of Likes and no
DISLIKE at all.

Wie spricht Hessen?: Öffentliche Aufnahmeaktion in Cappel bei der Firma Heimtex

Bilder von der öffentlichen Aufnahmeaktion in Cappel bei der Firma Heimtex am 20.11.2010

Die Hessenkarte mit allen Tonaufnahmen zum Anhören gibt’s unter www.wiesprichthessen.de

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State Secretary Brockmann @ LET Hessentag booth

More live news from the Hessentag 2010: Our booth was paid a visit by Hesse’s State Secretary for the Ministry of Culture, Heinz-Wilhelm Brockmann. The photo below shows Brockmann (right), while project director Prof. Handke introduces him to the Virtual Center for Teacher Training.

Other visitors are more fascinated by the Language ‘Wheel of Fortune’, on which people can test their knowledge of the languages of the world (photo below).

You still have the chance to pay us a visit here at the Landesausstellung, Herrenwaldstadion Stadtallendorf. Our booth is open Fri 4th and Sat 5th, from 10am to 8pm.

VZL and VLC @ Hessentag 2010

We are blogging live from the Hessentag 2010 in Stadtallendorf. Here, in the Landesausstellung, we present our projects as part of the “Hessisches Kultusministerium” booth. Since the doors opened at 10am, many visitors have already stopped by to learn more about the VZL and the VLC, or to test their knowledge on our ‘Language Wheel of Fortune’.

LET booth @ Hessentag 2010

Among the visitors was also the Hessian Minister of Culture, Dorothea Henzler, who showed particular interest in the language-related projects of the VLC. The photo below shows Henzler, center, with project director Prof. Handke (left) and Dr. Mignon Löffler-Ensgraber, right, personal assistant to the State Secretary.

If you are curious about the projects and work of the LET, visit our booth at the Landesausstellung, Herrenwaldstadion Stadtallendorf. Our exhibition days are Friday 4th and Saturday 5th, from 10am to 8pm.

The LET @ Zuse 2.0, Wiesbaden (26.05. 2010)

The Linguistic Engineering Team exhibited their products at the Zuse 2.0 Conference, which took place on May 26th in the Kurhaus, Wiesbaden. The Zuse 2.0, a conference in honor of the centennial birthday of Conrad Zuse, focused on IT-related topics and innovations and their application in Hesse. The congress is meant as an open meeting for IT business, education, and Hesse’s political elite.

The LET, represented by project director Prof. Dr. Jürgen Handke, research assistants Alexander Sperl and Anna Maria Gallus, teacher consultant Carsten Schouler as well as several student assistants (see photo below), showcased both the Virtual Linguistics Campus and the Virtual Center for Teacher Training as innovative products in the realm of e-learning. Guests of the congress had the chance to see the two e-learning projects live and in color, as the LET illustrated their potential for online teaching and learning.

LET booth @ Zuse 2.0

Of particular interest to many of the guests and politicians was the Virtual Center for Teacher Training (“Virtuelles Zentrum für Lehrerbildung”), a project for web-based teacher training on topics related to the New Media. This project is currently funded by the Hessian Ministry of Culture and already used by teachers from several dozen Hessian schools.

Also presented was the Virtual Linguistics Campus, an e-learning platform for linguistics used in university teaching scenarios around the world. Especially the VLC Language Index, a digital interactive map showing the world’s languages with audio support, enjoyed great popularity among the guests of the LET booth.

One of the prominent political guests to visit the LET booth was current Hessian Minister for Science and Art Eva Kühne-Hörmann, who did not miss the opportunity to learn more about the VZL and its acceptance in the teacher community (the photo below shows Kühne-Hörmann, left, with LET research assistant Anna Maria Gallus).

Minister Kühne-Hörmann (left) and LET research assistant Anna Maria Gallus @ LET booth

The media were also interested in the LET and its products: The following video report, created by the online department of the Wiesbadener Kurier newspaper, shows the LET booth and features a short interview with Prof. Handke (minutes 1:48-2:12). For more photos of our booth at the Zuse 2.0, feel free to browse this Flickr gallery (by LET research assistant Alexander Sperl).

All in all, the Zuse 2.0 has been a great success for the LET. Our team would like to thank all visitors for their interest in our work.

New Feature: Electronic Exams

This week, the LET is proud to present a new feature for the VLC and its linguistic courses, namely newly developed, highly interactive online examinations. These E-Exams (or Electronic Exams) are meant to replace the traditional means of student evaluation at the end of a course (more precisely, the written test).

The principle of E-Exams is simple: You design a number of different tasks (multiple choice exercises, naming tasks, pointing tasks, listening or comprehension tasks, etc.) and create a corpus of questions for these tasks. These corpora eventually contain far more questions than are needed for one individual exam. When a student opens his or her exam, a random set of questions for each task is dynamically compiled from these corpora. This means that each student receives his or her own personally generated exam. As a consequence, virtually no two students take the exact same test at the same time. The following picture shows an exemplary question for a multiple choice task.

E-Exam Multiple Choice Task

The tasks are challenging and show a high degree of interactivity: For example, a student could be asked to listen to a consontal sound (via headphones) and locate this sound on the consonant chart. Or, he or she could be asked to listen to a word and enter the appropriate transcription on screen. Or, he or she could be shown an interactive picture of the human vocal tract and be asked to locate the velum (see picture below for an example of a pointing task question).

E-Exam Pointing Task

Every action and answer of the student is digitally stored to ensure that the results can be based on facts rather than subjective interpretation. Furthermore, the results are checked and calculated by the computer. All the information, i.e. all answers and actions as well as the calculated results, are at the instructor’s disposal immediately after the exam. The tedious work of deciphering students’ handwriting and manually correcting hundreds of exam papers is done by the computer in but a second.

The advantages of having an Electronic Exam at your disposal are most convincing: The exams are fully interactive, so they allow for more creative task design and the inclusion of multimedia (such as pictures, videos, animations, and audio). E-Exams transcend the possibilities of ordinary paper and can make testing more relevant for the student as well as interesting at the same time. Furthermore, they take a load off the instructor by eliminating tedious and repetitive exam marking. Instead, the exam finally does what it is supposed to do: Showing what the student actually knows.

PS: In the first run, examinations for several distinct courses were made using E-Exams. Over 400 students were tested (and graded) in less than 5 days, including several students from overseas.

Contract signed for 2010 project “VCT”

The LET is happy to officially announce a cooperation with Hesse’s Bureau for Teacher Education (AfL) for its 2010 project, “Virtual Center for Teacher Training (VCT)”. The contract was presented to the project director, Prof. Dr. Juergen Handke, by the AfL’s representative, Mr. Koenig, in Marburg earlier today. The cooperation ensures employment of several skilled researchers and student assistants for the year 2010.

"Contract presentation"

contract presentation

The photo shows the official presentation of the contract, with Mr. Koening (AfL, 3rd from left) handing over the contract to the project director, Prof. Dr. Juergen Handke (2nd from the right). Also shown in the photo are LET researchers Anna M. Gallus (left) and Dr. Peter Franke (2nd from left), as well as teacher consultant Carsten Schouler (right).

The “Virtual Center for Teacher Training”, which has been in development since 2004, is a web-based educational platform for teachers in Germany. It offers fully certified courses for teachers and future teachers in the New Media. All courses on the VCT can be studied online, incorporating multimedial and interactive elements which go beyond convential teaching methods. Beginning 2009, the VCT underwent considerable improvement geared towards teacher education in the New Media. The cooperation with the AfL aims at producing more content material and ensuring quality maintenance for a year.