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:

Starting a Babilon session

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:

  1. Sign in as Master
  2. Navigate to the student menu (make sure to create the Babilon entry in a part of the menu accessible to all students.)
  3. Right click where you want the Babilon entry to be placed and select NEW > ITEM ABOVE or ITEM BELOW.
    creating a Babilon entry
  4. In the in the TYPE section of the Menu properties window, select Babilon.
  5. In the TITLE field, type Babilon or Group discussion.
  6. In the PATH field, type in SVI/BABILON or leave this field empty and the system will generate a path for it.
    creating a Babilon entry
  7. Select OK
  8. Save your menu.
    creating a Babilon entry

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)
creating a Babilon entry

The Babilon interface

Upon starting a Babilon session, the system will differenciate 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.

The Instructor's Console

Select Babilon in the main menu to start the session and open the console. There are 4 main sections to this console

1. The Student WAIT list:

This list may be displayed or reduced to an icon as illustrated below:

open list
List displayed
closed list empty
List closed

To toggle between icon and list,

2. The GROUP list:

Lists the students assigned to a group
open list

Students who are not signed in may still be placed into groups so that when they sign back on they will start work in that group.

3. The Group icons:

Each icon represent a group.

When the group contains students, the icon is coloured:
open listopen list
If the group is empty, the icon is greyed:
open list

Group icons are only present when the group list is minimized. To toggle between icon and group list,

4. The Babilon Menu:

Located in the top menu bar.
Babilon options
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.

The Student's console

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.

Viewing Students

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.
Babilon Waiting list

Minimizing the list will reactivate the Wait icon.

The instructor can hide the name of the users who are not currently online by selecting Babilon > View Signed On in the top menu bar.

Assigning Students to Groups

Group assignment can be set to automatic or manual from the BABILON menu in the CAN-8 top menu bar.

1. Automatic mode

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.

The computer tries to make sure that no student is left alone in a group. If necessary, other 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.

2. Manual mode

Students who log to Babilon while it is set to Manual mode must wait to be assigned to a group unless the instructor has previously assigned each student to a group.

Students connecting to Babilon while it is in waiting mode will receive the following message:
Wait for the session to start
In manual mode, the instructor must select and assign each student to a group, one at a time.

To place students in groups

The name of the student will be moved from the waiting list to the group window.

To move a student from a group to another:

The name of the student will be removed from the initial group list and show in the new group list.

To remove a student from a group and place him back in the waiting list:

To display/hide the list of students in the waiting list, click on the list icon or minimize the list window.

Group size

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.

Note that if the session was set to automatic assignment, students already in a discussion when the group size is changedwill 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. Similarely, 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.

Listening to a discussion

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.
Listen to a discussion

To stop listening to a group, click on the icon on the left of the group header bar and select Leave.

Joining a discussion

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.
Joining a group
To leave the group, click on the icon on the left of the group header bar and select Leave.

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