ILRC Annual Reports

Macintosh Computer Lab of the ILRC Macintosh Computer Lab of the ILRC
Windows Computer Lab in the ILRC Windows Computer Lab in the ILRC
 The ILRC Lounge Area  The ILRC Lounge Area
 Students at work in the ILRC  Students at work in the ILRC
 Irvin Hall in the Fall  Irvin Hall in the Fall
 Arabic Students in the Windows Lab  Arabic Students in the Windows Lab
 Arabic Students in the Windows Lab  Arabic Students in the Windows Lab
 Dr. Domínguez-Búrdalo with Spanish Students  Dr. Domínguez-Búrdalo with Spanish Students
  Dr. Domínguez-Búrdalo with Spanish Students   Dr. Domínguez-Búrdalo with Spanish Students

Annual Report for 2019-2020
Interactive Language Resource Center (ILRC)

Daniel E. Meyers, Director

For the 2019-2020 academic year, an estimated 11,597 student visits were made to the facilities that comprise the ILRC. An estimated 1,113,558 student visits to the ILRC and its predecessor, the Language Laboratory, have been made since these facilities began operations in the late 1950s.

It comes as no surprise that the global COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous effect on the ILRC facilities and its daily operations since Miami University instituted remote learning procedures and guidelines. The 2020 spring semester has been drastically altered in the scope of physical resources, and like much of the departments on campus, the ILRC has shifted focus to assist faculty, staff, and students with navigating this new semi-permanent state of remote learning and working from home.

Fall semester began quietly enough with the usual services and work of administering foreign language placement tests to new incoming first year students; administering Oral Proficiency Exams to students with language abilities outside of the scope of that which the College offers as well as students preparing their teaching certificates for the State of Ohio; SPEAK testing for international graduate students whose native language was not English; assisting faculty and staff with technical issues, classroom problems, creation of online materials, etc; and assisting students with location of resources and materials to supplement their language courses, projects, research, etc.

On January 21, 2020 the ILRC assisted the Department of German, Russian, Asian, and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures with a Critical Languages Immersion Day with five regional high schools. The event turned out to be very well received and high school attendees wished that Miami would offer similar experiences on a frequent basis.

During the Spring semester, the Director focused on assisting faculty and staff in the language departments with learning new software, troubleshooting problems, and creating various resources (exams, videoconferencing, discussion boards, quizzes, etc.), for faculty in Instructure Canvas, Cisco WebEx, Microsoft Skype, Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Zoom, etc. In the initial stages of the pandemic, the Director provided remote and asynchronous workshops for navigating and learning emergency work from home procedures. The Director assisted faculty in how to navigate a sudden shift from in-person-teaching to remote-teaching paradigms. While the university is restricted to remote-teaching mode, the Director has been serving as a building caretaker and point of contact on Tuesdays and Fridays, doing a run through of the building to make sure all is OK and to fetch and distribute departmental mail to faculty offices.

The ILRC also assisted the Departments of French & Italian and Classics with their forthcoming merger into one department in various aspects, for example, from consulting with department chairs to assisting with merging two department websites into one.

During both fall and spring semesters, the Director assisted all language departments and the College Advising Office with the creation of new Canvas-based placement tests. The existing WebCape placement tests we were using were no longer supported by the vendor and ADA compliance with the new version of WebCape could not be met in time with the high standard of compliance set forth by the Department of Justice mandate with Miami University. Implementation of the new placement tests began on May 1st, 2020.

The Director wishes to thank student assistants Nina Albinus, Ryan Berning, Vincenzo Bianco, Silas Birdsell, and Nathan Farrar for serving competently and for their contributions to making the ILRC a quality facility.