In 2014, students in elementary and intermediate Arabic language classes used a set of DVDs, which accompanied the textbook, for practice drills. Their computers were rarely equipped with DVD drives, however, and finding a place to play them--and navigating complex menus--became time-consuming obstacles to what was meant to be a brief exercise. The Middle Eastern Studies Program asked LTS if it was possible to change the format to make it easier for students to access and use.
LTS staff first checked with the textbook publisher to confirm that the edition in use included permission to create an electronic copy of the DVDs on a secure (password-protected) network for use by current students and faculty.
Over the next year and a half, the DVD content was digitized by one full-time staff member and three students. The staff member figured out and documented the workflow. An Arabic-literate student translated and described the parts of the DVD we were capturing, and other summer intern students did the manual digitizing, which included clicking through each individual entry as the video was captured, post-process editing, uploading the resulting videos to a streaming media server, and adding them to a Google Site.
Now, students enrolled in all introductory Arabic classes can easily access the material online from anywhere with an internet connection. The course material is organized like the DVDs, and faculty can control access via the Google Group for each course.
Faculty: Rachid Aadnani, Daniel Zitnick
LTS Staff: Korina Figueroa
Keywords: language learning, course content, language, dvd