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LeMill FAQ

by Tarmo Toikkanen, Tacy Trowbridge, Jukka Purma, Teemu Leinonen — last modified 2008-03-12 21:14
group: LeMill development

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is LeMill?
  2. Is LeMill another Learning Management System (LMS)?
  3. How do I find content from LeMill?
  4. How can I use the content found from LeMill?
  5. What is the difference between Content, Media Piece and Learning Resource?
  6. What is the Methods section for?
  7. What is the Tools section for?
  8. How can I use the Tools found from LeMill?
  9. What are the Teaching and Learning Stories?
  10. What is the Community?
  11. What is the difference between draft and published learning resources?
  12. What about copyrights?
  13. What should I do if I find content from LeMill that is totally incorrect or inappropriate?
  14. Why my MP3-file plays too fast?
  15. Who is behind LeMill.net?
  16. Who is funding LeMill.net?
  17. How can I cite resources in LeMill?


  1. What is LeMill? LeMill is a web community for finding, authoring and sharing learning resources. First of all, you can find learning resources. You can use the resources you find in your own teaching or learning. You can also add your own learning content to LeMill. You may edit your content and combine larger chunks of learning resources from individual media pieces. If you wish you may also join some of the groups producing or editing learning resources. In LeMill the content is always easily found where and whenever you need them.
  2. Is LeMill another Learning Management System (LMS)? No - LeMill is not an LMS. LeMill is a web site engine to author and share learning resources. All content in the LeMill server are free/libre/open for all web users. Anyone may also start their own LeMill website. You can download the LeMill engine , install it on your own server and put it online. After this you will automatically be part of the global network of LeMill servers. Because of this we like to say that LeMill is a "do it yourself" learning resource website engine. We love to see schools and other educational institutions making use of LeMill.
  3. How do I find content from LeMill? There are several ways to find content from LeMill. You can search and you can browse. You can write your search term in the search field that's in the upper right corner of the site. The search field provides a "live search". This means that it shows what is found as you're writing the search terms. You may also browse the content by topic, by age group, by language, or by tags. You will find these links from the front page of LeMill.
  4. How can I use the content found from LeMill? You can use the content in whatever way you want. You can use it with your students or for self-study. The fact that all content in LeMill will always keep the same address (URL), makes it easy to create links pointing to them. By joining LeMill you can make collections of content. This makes it easy for you to later find a set of content. Also collections have unique addresses (URL) therefore you can make links to them. If you are using a Learning Management System (LMS) or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that handles SCORM or ZIP packages you can export your LeMill content collections as SCORM or ZIP packages and import them into your LMS / VLE (not implemented yet). From the ZIP package you may also create web pages for your own website. If you prefer to work without an LMS / VLE you may simply make a collection and send its address (URL) by email to your students, or if you have a blog for your course you can have a link to the content in the sidebar of the blog. Naturally you can also put a link referring to the content in LeMill inside an LMS or VLE.
  5. What is the difference between Content, Media Piece and Learning Resource? There are two kinds of content in LeMill: media pieces and learning resources. A media piece can be a single image, short audio file, or short video clip. A media piece is something that is probably not very useful as such in a learning situation but can be used as part of a larger resource. Learning resource is the larger unit of content. For instance a learning resource can be the complete lesson material used in a course. The idea is that you can build learning resources from the media pieces.
  6. What is the Methods section for? Teaching and learning is not only about delivering and receiving learning content. The Methods section describes different ways of teaching and learning. You'll find there methods that other teachers and educators have found useful in their practice. You are also free to edit the descriptions of the methods. We hope that you will also add links to content and tools (see below) you have used or think that could be used with the method. You may also think about the Methods section as a kind of wiki of learning methods. Anyone is free to join LeMill and edit them - we hope you too will improve them.
  7. What is the Tools section for? The Tools section is a place to describe different kinds of virtual or physical tools we use or may use in teaching and learning. You'll find tools that other teachers and educators are using. The separation to content, methods and tools may sound artificial, but we believe that it may also help us to think about learning in a new way. So be open-minded and have a look at the tools available. Just like with the methods you can link content and methods to the tools.
  8. How can I use the Tools found from LeMill? We encourage people to describe in the Tools section things that are easy to find and take into use. For instance with software tools we endorse use of free/libre/open source software and/or freely hosted online services. Within all the descriptions of tools there should be a note explaining how one can take them into use. LeMill does not include the tools themselves.
  9. What are the Teaching and Learning Stories? In addition to content, methods, and tools there are teaching and learning stories. A story is a description of how some content, methods, and tools have been used together in a single learning event, such as a study course. Stories loosely join the other resources together. From the stories you'll get valuable hints on how the resources found from LeMill have been used in real teaching and learning. Through stories you may share your own experiences or use them to plan your own teaching. So, the stories are written by you and me - us who are using LeMill in our teaching and learning jobs. Some teachers are writing stories that are describing their plan on using different content, methods and tools. Some teachers are rather reporting their way of using these resources. Both approaches are fine.
  10. What is the Community? Community is you, me - us. If you want to work with other people we propose that you have a look at the Community section. At first you may just search for groups and see what they are doing. If their work is interesting you may join the group. All the groups are open for anyone to join. The community section is simply listing people, groups, and some contact information. You may use email or instant messaging to contact people. For each group there is a group blog to coordinate and discuss the group's work.
  11. What is the difference between draft and published learning resources? All learning resources in LeMill are either in the stage of being "draft" or "published". The member who started the project of making the content may decide when the content will be published. The change from "draft" to "published" does not change anything in the availability of the content. The flag "published" just tells to the users of the site that the author(s) have considered it to be ready. When content is public, its authors are shown. For draft resources the authors are not shown. A published resource also has a cover image, which increases its visibility in browse and search results. Basically, the draft status allows you to start working on some content in relative privacy. When the content look good enough so you'll feel comfortable having your name shown as its author, go ahead and publish it. You can continue to modify and improve the resource even after publishing it.
  12. What about copyrights? For all resources in LeMill (content, methods, tools, stories, group blogs) we use Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License . This guarantees your right to use the content found from LeMill freely and also protects your rights as the author. The license allows anyone to modify and improve the content in LeMill, but also guarantees that you're always listed as the author of content you've made, and any improvements are also published using the same license. This allows you to also benefit from improvements made by others. When you add your content or edit some content found from LeMill your contribution will be licensed under the same license. Simple.
  13. What should I do if I find content from LeMill that is totally incorrect or inappropriate? If it is incorrect you can join LeMill and fix it. However, we hope that you respect other people's points of view and possible "deeper thought and reasons" behind the content they have made. So before deleting or changing everything we propose that you'll try to find out why the content is as it is. Skype the people who made the content. Read their blog. You may find a good reason for the way of presenting information, that you at first thought to be just a mistake. If you find content that is illegal we hope you remove it and contact some of the community members. We pretty much track all the editing made to the site. We can block vandals and even report criminal activities for authorities.
  14. Why are my MP3-files playing too fast? Most of the audio recording programs are able to record sound with sampling rates that are not supported by Macromedia Flash, which is used in our embedded player. Your recording program can probably convert failing MP3:s to safe sampling rates. Safe sampling rates are 11, 22.05, 32 and 44.1 kHZ. If you cannot convert audio by yourself, someone in community will be glad to help.
  15. Who is behind LeMill.net? LeMill design and development is lead by the Learning Environment Research group at the Media Lab, University of Art and Design Helsinki. The software development team is international with partners from Finland, Estonia, Hungary and Norway. LeMill is also part of the European Schoolnet 's Learning Resource Exchange initiative.
  16. Who is funding LeMill.net? The design and the development of the LeMill software and the LeMill.net service was done in 2006-2008 in the Calibrate project funded from the European IST program. At the moment the service is hosted by the Media Lab , University of Art and Design Helsinki. We are looking for funding to guarantee the service in future, too. We do not have plans to have advertisement in the site.
  17. How can I cite resources in LeMill? When referring to a single resource, look at its history page to see the latest modification date, and click the link to see that revision. You'll then get a link to this exact version which will not change despite future edits. Correct APA style reference would be something like this: "AUTHORS (YEAR). TITLE . Retrieved DATE from URL. LeMill community, http://lemill.net." (where AUTHORS is the list of authors, YEAR is the year of the last edit, TITLE is the title of the resource, DATE is the date when you've looked at the resource, and URL is the URL to the exact revision of the resource you've looked at).
    If you need to cite LeMill itself, use this: "LeMill community . 2006. Helsinki, Finland: University of Art and Design."

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