This Getting Started Guide offers new XpressLab users information and guided video tutorials to help you access, navigate and successfully use the core features and tools found within the XpressLab platform. Specifically, this Getting Started Guide includes detailed instructional videos to help you:
- Importing a Course from the Library
- Creating a New Course
- Add Students to a Course
- Create Activities Using Built-In Activity Types
- Author Activities Using the Test Planner
- Evaluate Student Submissions
The information detailed below is intended for use by XpressLab users with a Teacher or Administrator account. Before reviewing the following instructions, it is recommended that you login to the XpressLab platform using your Teacher or Administrative credentials. Platform login is found at app.xpresslab.com. If you have forgotten your login credentials, select the Reset Password Tool found on the Login screen, or enter app.xpresslab.com/ForgetPassword into your web browser address bar.
If you require specific help instructions or encounter an resolvable error within the platform, you may open a Support Ticket using the XpressLab Help Centre, or email the XpressLab Help Team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting Started Step #1: Importing a Course from the Library
Importing a ready-made Premium Content course from the XpressLab Library will help you save time and resources as you boost language learning in your classroom. To import a course from the XpressLab Library, follow the steps below.
- To access the XpressLab Library, click the Library link from within the main navigation bar in the top right corner of your screen.
- To search for a specific XpressLab Library resource, use the Search Bar located at the top of the Library. As you type your keywords into the Search Bar, suggested search terms and tags will appear. Click on any of the suggested keywords to help refine your search. Clicking inside the Search Bar will also generate popular search terms. Click on a popular search term suggestion to locate additional Library resources.
- To refine your Library search, use the additional Search Filters found along the left side of the Library. You can refine your Library search using Levels, Competencies tested, Activity Types, Question Types, Resource Types, and Library sharing permissions (i.e. Account, Private and Public).
- Preview an activity, course, or slide within the Library by hovering your cursor over a Library resource tile and then clicking the View button. This will direct you to the Activity Details page.
- Use the Preview Slides on the left side of the Activity Details page to scroll through each activity slide or activity question found within the Library resource you are previewing.
- Click on the Resource Overview heading on the right side of the Activity Details page to learn more about the Library resource you are previewing. Click on the Activities in This Course heading, found below the Resource Overview, to preview that activities within a course. Click on the name of an activity within this list to preview the course activity. Click on the Details heading, found below the Activities in this Course information to learn more about the Library resource you are previewing.
- To preview the Library resource as your students will see it, click the red Preview This button, found above the Resource Overview, at the top of the Activity Details page.
- When you’re ready to import a resource from the XpressLab Library into your XpressLab Teacher account, click the red Import Course/Import Activity button, found at the top of the Activity Details page, directly to the left of the Preview This button.
- If you are importing a course, click the red Finish button in the bottom of the Import Course pop up window. If you are importing an activity, select a course from the Course Send To button drop down within the Import Activity pop up window. This will allow you to import and deliver an activity from the Library using one of your existing XpressLab courses.
- Access your newly imported course by clicking on the Courses link from within the main navigation bar found in the top right corner of your screen. Clicking the Courses link will direct you to the My Courses list.
- Courses must be set to Active before the students enrolled in your course can view a course in their Student Dashboard. In addition, students must be enrolled in your course before they can view the course and the course activities.
- To activate a course and to set the Auto Enroll functionality, click the Edit icon, represented by the image of a Pencil, found to the right of the Course Access Key within the My Courses list. This will direct you to the Course Information page.
- To activate a Course, click the checkbox next to Active from within the Course Information page.
- To use the Auto Enroll functionality, select the checkbox next to Auto Enroll from within the Course Information page. When the Auto Enroll functionality is activated, students who enroll in your course using the Course Access Key will be automatically accepted into your course. When the box is not checked, the names of students who want to enroll in your course will be placed on a list pending their acceptance by you into the course.
- Share the Course Access Key with your students so that they can enroll in your new XpressLab course.
For additional instructions on how to add students to a course, please see Step #3: Adding Students to a Course.
The following video provides step-by-step instructions on how to import and assign Premium Content Courses.
Getting Started Step #2: Creating a Course
Activities and tests are created within the context of a Course. Existing courses are found on the My Course List page. The My Course List page is also used to create new course.
There are three (3) ways to create a course within XpressLab:
- Creating a new Course: This method involves creating a brand new course from the ground up. To create a new course, use the My Course List to select the New Course + button. This launches the Course Information page, where you can configure the details of your new course
- Duplicating a Course: This method involves duplicating one of your existing courses by selecting the Duplicate button within the My Course List. Duplicating a Course copies all of the previous course activities and tests without copying the student list of enrolled students within the previous course; and
- Importing a Course from the Library: This method involves importing a course from the XpressLab public Library of learning resources or your own personal Library. Importing a course also copies all of the existing course activities and tests
The following video provides step-by-step instructions on how to create and duplicate courses within XpressLab.
Getting Started Step #3: Adding Students to a Course
There are two ways to create student accounts. You can either create student accounts manually by adding students to your course, or you can give students the Course Access Key and have students create their own accounts.
Helping Students Create Their Own XpressLab Account
- Access your Course Access Key, navigate to the My Courses list by clicking on the Courses link at the top of your screen.
- All of your XpressLab courses are listed in the My Courses list. The Course Access Key is displayed to the right of the Course Name, below the column labelled Course Access Key.
- Copy the Course Access Key and share it with your students. Direct students to app.xpresslab.com.
- On app.xpresslab.com, students should click the red Create Account button, and then select the I Am A Student option.
- Students will enter the Course Access Key that you have provided, and then click the Continue button.
- If the student has never had an XpressLab account, she/he will click the red I Need An Account button. This will direct the student to the Create New Account form. When the form is complete, the student will select the Create An Account button.
- Once the Student Account has been create, the student can access his/her Course.
Creating Student Accounts (or "enrolling students in your course")
- Access the My Courses List by clicking on the Courses link at the top of your screen.
- Use the My Course List to select an existing course. Click on the name of the course below the Course Name column in the My Courses List. Clicking the Course Name will bring you to the Course Dashboard page.
- Click on the Students tab, located on the left side of the Course Dashboard page. This will open the Student List.
- Click the red ADD TO COURSE button, located at the top of the Student List.
There are three (3) ways to add or enroll students in a course:
- Manually adding individual students to a course
- Bulk adding multiple student accounts via Excel or CSV file import; and
- Re-adding archived or past student accounts to a new course
Method #1: Adding a Single Student to a Course
- Selecting the Add a Single Student option will direct you to the Student Information page.
- Complete the Student Information Form by adding details about the student you wish to add to your course.
- When creating a Username, it is best to use a unique identifier such as the student’s Student Number issued to the student by your school district.
- Then, set the Password to be the same Username you have just created. When creating a default Password, it is best to use the same the user ID. Students will be able to change their password in their Profile once they have successfully logged in to XpressLab.
- Click the red Save button once the Student Information Form is complete.
- Students must then visit app.xpresslab.com and enter the Username and Password you created in the steps above.
Method #2: Adding Multiple Students to a Course (Manual and CSV Upload)
- Selecting the Add Multiple Students option allows you to manually add multiple students to your course. This option also allows you to upload an existing class list using an Excel (CSV) file.
- To manually add multiple students, use the Add Student table to enter each student’s Last Name, First Name, E-mail, Username, and Password.
- When creating a Username, it is best to use a unique identifier such as the student’s Student Number as issued to the student by your school district.
- Set the Password to be the same Username you have just created. When creating a default Password, it is best to use the same the user ID. Students will be able to change their password in their Profile once they have successfully logged in to XpressLab.
- To upload an existing class list, ensure that you have saved your class list to your local computer in an Excel (CSV) file format. Then, click the Upload CSV link located at the top of the Add Students table.
- Locate the CSV file from your computer using the Upload File pop-up window, then click Open. This will automatically add each student entry to the Add Students table. Note: Ensure that your saved CSV student list follows the format specified in the Add Students table (i.e. Last Name, First Name, E-mail, Username and Password).
- If there are student records on your class list that you do not wish to add to your course, remove the student entries from within the Add Students table, prior to adding all of the students represented in the Add Students table to your course. Select the checkbox to the left of each student you wish to remove and then click the Delete Selected link.
- Click the red Save button when you are ready to add each student account to your course.
- Students must then visit app.xpresslab.com and enter the Username and Password you created in the steps above.
Method #3: Adding Archived Students (Searching for Students)
- Select the Search for Student option to add archived student records to your course. Selecting this option allows you to search through a saved database of all students who previously participated or enrolled in an XpressLab course.
- Use Keywords (such as: First Name, Last Name, Username or Email) to locate archived student records. Type your keywords into the Search box at the top of the Search for Students page, and then click Enter on your keyboard.
- To view only the students who previously enrolled in a course, click the checkbox labeled Include only previous students.
- Click the checkbox to the left of each student name you wish to add to your. Then, click the red Add to Course+ button. Note: You may multi-select as many students as required.
- Students must then visit app.xpresslab.com and enter their Username and Password to login.
The following video provides step-by-step instructions on how to add or enroll students to a course in XpressLab.
Getting Started Step #4: Creating Activities
XpressLab includes seven (7) built-in Activity Types. Each Activity Type has its own unique configurable settings, which relate to purpose of the activity you are creating. For example, some activities, such as the Practice Exercise, are not submitted for marks. Therefore, you will not be able to specify an overall value for the activity. Selecting an Activity Type also determines which Question Types are available within the Test Planner.
When creating activities in XpressLab, you may select one of the following built-in Activity Types:
- Dropbox Assignment: This activity type requires students to create a text composition or to complete a worksheet that is then submitted to the Dropbox for marking. Teachers can download student submissions, make comments in the submitted file and post it back to XpressLab for student review. The student's original assignment file is left unchanged.
- Oral Discussion: This activity type provides all of the students in your course with an opportunity to use extended speech, by posting voice-recorded messages in response to a topic or theme that you present. Students are also able to post responses to forum posts made by other students.
- Practice Exercise: This activity type uses self-assessment style questions to reinforce listening, speaking and reading skills. A Practice Exercise can include a mix of XpressLab’s built-in question types, which includes: Audio Response, Multiple Choice (Oral and Text), True/False, Text Passage Correction, Written Response, Fill-in-the-blank, and Matching questions. Student answers are not submitted for marking in this activity type. At any time, practice activities can be converted into a Standard Test, which can then be submitted for marking
- Standard Test: This activity type is submitted for marks. A overall Time Limit can be applied to a Standard Test in order to make it a Timed Test. In addition, Time Limits can be added to test Sections and/or Testlets to add additional time limits within the test itself. A Standard Test can include a mix of XpressLab’s built-in question types, which includes: Audio Response, Multiple Choice (Oral and Text), Text Passage Correction, Written Response, Fill-in-the-blank, and Matching questions.
- Student Journal: This activity type offers a private discussion area used by teachers to present reflective-style assignments to students as well as providing a space for student mentoring. Each student is given his or her own journal, which may only be accessed by the teacher. Journal assignments typically require students to express their thoughts concerning lessons, events, readings and other course related themes that relate a course's content. In language courses, Student Journal activities are often used to support the development of extended speech.
- Student Presentation: This activity type allows students to create a virtual class presentation. Students can create PowerPoint style slides with voice recorded audio, text, pictures and video. When marked and at the teacher's discretion, student presentations can be published for the entire class to see and comment on in an integrated discussion forum.
- Teacher Presentation: This activity type is best used as a way to present lessons or assignments, or to supplement class lectures and course material. Presentation authors can include voice recordings, text, pictures and video within their presentation as well as including links to external web sites and text documents or worksheets to support the presentation material. Mastery-style or reflection questions can also be included within a presentation to encourage student engagement and support the retention of concepts presented. This activity type includes the Oral Questions with Sample Answers, and Multiple Choice (Text and Oral) question types.
Once a Course is created, an activity or test may be added to a course using the tools found in the Course Dashboard.
The 5-Step Create an Activity workflow provides teachers and test-authors with more extensive settings and selection options to help customize XpressLab activities. Creating a new activity allows teachers and test-authors to configure and apply:
- Test Settings
- Test Taker and Permission Settings
- Evaluation Settings; and
- An Introduction and End Message
The following video provides step-by-step instructions on how to create an activity in XpressLab.
Getting Started Step #4: Authoring Activities in the Test Planner
The XpressLab Test Planner allows teachers and test authors to create and structure language tests using test Sections and Testlets. The Test Planner also provides more control over a test-taker’s flow through a test using configurable Section and Testlet Settings.
The Test Planner also includes Design Mode, which allows each question to be authoring in a single slide, environment. Design Mode is used to add additional click and drag audio recordings, video clips, images, and more, directly within activity questions.
The following video provides step-by-step instructions on how to use the Test Planner to author activities in XpressLab
Getting Started Step #5: Marking Student Submissions
Subjective style questions, such as Multiple Choice, Fill in the Blank, Matching Questions, and Text Passage Response Questions, are auto marked within the XpressLab system. These questions will be automatically evaluated by comparing the student’s answer with the correct answer selected during the activity authoring process.
Objective style questions, such as Audio Response and Written Response questions, require human review. These question types and the corresponding student response, are made available within the Marking interface.
There are two methods of accessing student submissions within the Activity Dashboard:
- To access the Submissions page, where all activity submissions are listed, click on the Submissions button, located at the top of the Activity Dashboard, directly above the Student Activity graph, and to the left of the Test Planner button.
- To access a specific student’s submission within the Marking interface, click on the Submission Notification icon or the Student’s Name within the Recent Activity list, located on the left side of the Activity Dashboard.
The following video provides step-by-step instructions on how to access and mark student Submissions.