Irvin Hall

ILRC Annual Reports

Annual Report for 2016-2017
Interactive Language Resource Center (ILRC)
Daniel E. Meyers, Director

For the 2016-2017 academic year, an estimated 11,099 student visits were made to the facilities that comprise the ILRC. This brings an estimated 1,075,810 student visits to the ILRC and its predecessor, the Language Laboratory, since these facilities began operations in the late 1950s.

The ILRC continues to provide faculty, staff, and students with language-oriented technology services and assistance in the languages in the following areas:

  • Television and satellite broadcast recording
  • Web-based video conferencing
  • Room reservation scheduling within the ILRC
  • Technology and hardware/software related workshops
  • Creation and posting of language-specific learning materials for the ILRC Online
  • Media duplication, conversion, and transcoding
  • Language specific software access and support
  • Administration of SPEAK testing for the Graduate School
  • Administration of OPI and WPT testing for the School of Education and the College of Arts and Science
  • Language Placement testing services for all colleges and schools within the university
  • Open lab and drop-in computing facilities and related services

The ILRC went under extensive gutting and renovation during the summer of 2016. The ILRC was shut down over the entire summer to create a more equal balance of the two classrooms and to reconfigure key areas in the lab. The rooms were rebalanced to accommodate 20 in Irvin Hall 50 and 30 students in Irvin Hall 60. The student desk was demolished to make way for a new seating/lounge area, and much needed storage areas were added to the facility. The director thanks the Dean of the College for allowing funds to be made available for this sorely-needed renovation.

Challenges this year have included a continued downward trend in attendance in the ILRC, mainly due to textbook publishers’ continued push of exclusive content and the administration of their own sites for workbook, oral, and audio exercises. Additional causes were attributed to unexpected renovation glitches where the lighting systems in the ILRC would suddenly shut off, making the ILRC look like it was closed when it was actually open and operational.

Research projects initiated this academic year by the director included the investigate and use of virtual reality into foreign language learning, the use of the Lego™ Serious Play™ methodology for use in language coursework and workshops, and the creation/formatting of foreign language e-Books for Kindle and e-Reader devices.

Major changes regarding SPEAK testing will be forthcoming this next academic year as the American Culture and English (ACE) program seeks to expand oral English testing to all of the students in their program. To accommodate this, the ILRC has converted testing materials over to a Canvas site and will be testing this new method of test distribution over the summer to see if the new format will accommodate the greatly expected increase in testing. Also of note is that the language placement tests used by all departments are under review for ADA compliance. Several departments including the College Advising Office and IT Services are working with Student Disability Services to investigate this and to maintain compliancy with the Department of Justice’s mandate to Miami.

The Director wishes to thank student assistants Vilppu Anttila, Vincenzo Bianco, Madison Braun, Maura Durcan, Grady Quinn and Warwick Reader for their contributions to making the ILRC a quality facility.

Previous Annual Reports
For reports of academic years prior to those listed above, please contact the Director, and a PDF of a particular year may be available.