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FAQs about Teaching with ESL Library's Digital Tools

April 2, 2020

Getting Started

Are you just getting started with ESL Library's digital tools and platform? Here is a list of frequently asked questions and answers about our digital tools. If you have another question, feel free to ask it in Comments below or click the blue question mark found in the bottom right corner on any page on our site.

Does ESL Library have its own web conferencing platform?

No. ESL Library offers printable and digitized content that you and your students can use in two ways. First, you can work together using our Broadcast tool. To do the lessons together, you need to be in a live online class using a web conferencing platform like Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, or Microsoft Teams. Choose the digital lesson you want to do together. Then screenshare with your students as you work through the tasks. Your students do not need to log in to ESL Library for your live class. They just join your web conference and you launch the content. Second, you can assign digital tasks to your students to complete on their own devices. Your students do need an ESL Library account to do this (free for students). Watch How to Create Classes and Invite Students.

Do my students need an email address to sign up for a student account?

No. You can give your students a class code instead of having them sign up with email. Here is a Help Doc that walks you through the steps. Here is a video demo made for students.

My student forgot their username and/or password. What should I do?

Go to My Classes from the top navigation bar and scroll down to My Students until you see your student's name and username/email. Click on the three dots at the end of the table and choose Reset Password. Create a new password for your student and tell your student what this temporary password is. The next time your student logs in they can use the temporary password you made. Then they can go to My Profile and Change Password to create their own new password that you do not know.

Can I send a single invitation that goes out to all of my students?

We recommend having your students sign up as a group using the class code and secret word. You can screenshare this information in a live class. Here is a Help Doc that walks you through all the steps. You can also invite students individually using email. They each need their own invitation.

Can my students do their ESL Library homework on their mobile phones?

Yes. All of ESL Library's digital tasks were designed to work on mobile devices or desktop. The Student Dashboard is also mobile-friendly.

Does ESL Library integrate with Google Classroom?

Yes. You can now share an assignment on Google Classroom. Simply choose a class and assign some digital tasks. Then click the Share on Google Classroom icon. When your students are logged into Google Classroom they will see a link that takes them to their ESL Library assigment. We are currently working on more integration features. 

Can I upload ESL Library content to Google Classroom?

No. Our terms do not allow you to take our content and move it to another platform. If your students don't have their own devices to do the digital tasks, you can screenshare the content in a live class. You can also email the PDFs to your students if digital content does not exist.

How can I use the audio component during live lessons?

When you are teaching a live lesson and screensharing an ESL Library digital lesson, you can play the audio from your own computer or device and your students will be able to hear it as long as you don't have your headphones plugged in. You may want to mute yourself (and students) while audio is playing to reduce any echo or sound problems.

Can I use ESL Library flashcards in a live class?

Yes! We have a Flashcard Player that allows you to broadcast a flashcard set. Learn more here.

Can I make the font size larger?

We don't currently offer any features for increasing the font size of our digital materials. However, you can zoom in on your own screensharing program if you need to increase the text (especially useful for a formatted Reference task; please share this tip with your students). Our Flashcard Player also has two different font styles to choose from (Standard or Literacy).

How can I see my students' results?

Go to My Classes in the top navigation and find the results for the class or student you want to see. (See Step 10.) When you click on a student's name you can see their individual student results. The results you see are in reverse order of completion within one due date. Please tell your students to complete the tasks in the order that you assign them.

How can I give students feedback about their digital homework?

A feedback and rating tool for open-ended questions is available now. You can also leave a general comment after viewing the results of each scoreable task type. On the Student Dashboard, you students will see a pen icon if there is feedback and ratings to view or a speech bubble icon if there is a comment to view.

How can I cancel an assignment or edit the due date?

Click on Class Prep in your top navigation and choose My Classes. Choose the class or student you want to cancel or edit an assignment for. Click on the lesson you want to edit or cancel. Click on the due date link on any of the assignments in that lesson. This will bring you back to the edit assignment page. Edit the due date and/or time for any task you want to change, or cancel the lesson. View Step 8–9 in this Help Doc.

How can I get back to the lesson itself when I'm viewing results?

Click on Results for any task. You will now see a link at the top of the page that says View Lesson. This will take you back to the digital tab on the lesson description page. If you are starting on the Digital tab and you click on a due date of a task, you will see the View Lesson link at the top of the Results table that will easily take you back.

Can I remove students to make room for new students?

Yes. Simply go to Class Prep in the top navigation bar when you are logged in at Choose My Classes. Choose a class that has students that you no longer need. From the Class List, you will see a list of students. Remove any students that are no longer in your class.

Can I screenshare the PDFs during a live class?

Yes. If a lesson has not yet been digitized or if there is a task or reference page that you prefer in the PDF version, you can simply open it on your own screen for your students to view.

Can I assign the PDFs to my students?

We recommend using the digital versions where available. Not all of our lessons and resources have been digitized and it may be necessary to email the Student PDF in this case. Our digital assignment feature currently only works with digital tasks.

Can I edit the PDFs?

No. We do not allow editing of the PDFs for copyright reasons.

Do you collect any private information from my students?

No. We don't collect or share any private information about your students. Also, it is not necessary for a student to use a real name or even an email address to receive ESL Library homework.

Where can I learn about digital feature updates?

We will post monthly product updates on our blog.

Do you offer any help for students?

Yes. We have an FAQ for students who are new to ESL Library. We will also be working on some videos and a lesson. Here is some digital literacy vocabulary for your students.


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Comments (31)

Dorothy C.(Teacher)

Hello, Thank you for upgrading our standard accounts to Plus so we can access the digital formats. My questions:
1. Would ESL Library be able to let us print or download the Class Results page?
2. Would it be possible to let us print or download each student's results?
Thank you for your support and help.

Reply to Comment

Tanya Trusler(Author)

Hi Dorothy, you're most welcome for the upgrade! Feel free to print out any Class Results pages. At this time, you would have to print from your browser or from a screenshot (for the class results or any individual student's results). Having a dedicated print option right on our site is on our to-do list, but it might not be available for a while yet. We hope you and your students enjoy our digital materials! Let us know if you have any other questions.

Susan G.(Teacher)

Are you able to tell me if there is a limit to the number of times a student can attempt a task? I am asking for a colleague, but first I did try to poke around and find out if I could see this setting. A student told her he was not able to make any more attempts after making 7 attempts.

Reply to Comment

Tara Benwell(Author)

Hi Susan!
There is currently no limit on student attempts. You will soon be able to scroll through and view the full results (answers, score, etc.) of each attempt. If your student gets an error after 7 attempts, can you please ask to see a screenshot (and send it to us by email)? Thanks!

Angelica Zavala(Guest)

Hi, Can we upload the pdf file to google Classroom or Canvas to give our students who don’t have email access ?

Reply to Comment

Tanya Trusler(Author)

Hi Angelica, you can screenshare the content in a live class or you can email the PDF to your students, but at this time you can't take our content and move it to another platform such as Google Classroom or Canvas. We are currently researching integration with platforms like these, so it may be possible in the future.

Marla R.(Teacher)

Can a student do the assignment if it is past the due date?

Reply to Comment

Tanya Trusler(Author)

Hi Maria,

Yes, a student can complete an assignment if it is past the due date unless you cancel the assignment. After the due date, the student will see the "Overdue" status on their dashboard. Once they complete it, the teacher will see the "Late" status on the student results page.

George S.(Teacher)

Thanks for the digital content. I've been able to integrated zoom lessons with this.
2 issues though.

First, I have a number of students (less tech savy) who end up with 2, 3 and once 7 usernames. I told them not to sign up but to log in. it seems to continue and not sure how to deal with it. I believe I had them sign up by email. Is it possible for them to do this or do you think they are using the class code which I gave to a couple of them.
Second, the assignments in which I have to ASSESS myself is touchy. A number of times i've almost corrected an assignment but then my cursor when outside the little assessment box and the box was gone. I tried to locate it which ALT TAB but it was really gone and i had to recheck it. This feature is a bit sensitive to work with.

Anyway, good site in general.

Reply to Comment

Jay H(Guest)

Hi George, I came to this site as an adult looking to improve reading comprehension and memory after being out of school for so long. I started to sign up for the monthly plan and go through the material on my own, but now that I'm reading the teacher comments, I'm wondering if you guys work for a school, or if you hold your own lessons via Zoom for anyone who wants to sign up?

Ellen C.(Teacher)

I would like to share a class with another teacher. I'm a co-teacher. Is there anyway I can have access with her as a teacher and not as a student.

Reply to Comment

Tara Benwell(Author)

Hi Ellen. This is a feature we are considering, but at this time, you both need separate accounts. You can share the same students and both assign tasks to them but you will not see the results from your students in your co-teacher's account. Thanks for your request!

Silmara R.(Teacher)

HELLO, the lessons are really interesting;I would like to know if I want to subcribe just for a year is it possible? And? IF NOT, how do I have to do if I want to cancel after a year?
Best regards, MMe Renzetti.

Reply to Comment

Tammy Wik(Ellii Staff)

Hi MMe Renzetti,

You can absolutely subscribe for just a year. You can go into My Account and click Cancel Subscription.

If you sign up for the annual plan, you can click "Cancel Subscription" the same day. You will still keep your access to your subscription through the end of your paid annual subscription, but the account will not auto-renew :)

If you decide later you want to continue your subscription, you can just pay for a new one again. Your account/saved lessons/etc. won't disappear :)

Audrey Mbani(Guest)

Once I've corrected my students' work, how can they see the corrections I've made? I've gone into their account, but only see a place where they can retry and not one where they see my corrections and comments. Please advise.

Reply to Comment

Tammy Wik(Ellii Staff)

Hi Audrey,

If your students click on their score for an individual activity, they'll also be able to see your feedback! You can watch our Open-Ended Questions video to see how that looks from the student side:

Bahar H.(Teacher)

Some students have made different accounts. When I remove extra ones, they are still shown on " results." How can I remove them permanently?

Reply to Comment

Tammy Wik(Ellii Staff)

Hi Bahar,

There was a temporary bug that popped up after one of our recent deployments where some category types had duplicate students showing up in the account if students had made multiple attempts. As of today, we think that that bug has been resolved, so it shouldn't happen going forward with any assignments. However, I don't believe it will "undo" the bug from the tasks you had already assigned. If you do see the problem continue with new tasks moving forward, send us an email and let us know (you can use the "Contact Us" link at the verrrry bottom of the site).

I've also asked someone from our team to reach out to you, just to make sure there aren't any other issues going on with your specific account.

We keep releasing site dates almost every day, and unfortunately that means sometimes little "side effects" pop up. We appreciate our teachers pointing them out and helping us eliminate them as quickly as possible!

Edwina H.(Teacher)

Can I stop "new" students from doing the past assignments, after the due date, without removing the lessons for those students who have completed the assignments?
Thank you

Reply to Comment

Tammy Wik(Ellii Staff)

Hi Edwina,

We used to not allow students to do past due assignments, but we recently changed this because of requests from many teachers.

All past assignments are semi-hidden from students on their dashboard under a blue button that says "Past Assignments", so they really need to go searching for them to complete them. However, if a student (including "new" students) completes an assignment after the due date, it will show up in your Class Prep --> Results area as "Late".

You may want to tell your students that you don't monitor work or provide feedback on work that is marked as "Late" -- or you may want to give a timeline, like "If it's more than 1 week late, I won't monitor it anymore."

We did debate this feature a lot before changing it, but may change it in the future so that teachers can decide if they'd like past work to be able to be completed or not.

I already let our head of publishing know that you'd like for teachers to be able to turn off completion of overdue tasks, and I'll also add your comments to our feature request page, so that our developers can include your point of view in our next discussion about upcoming feature changes!

I hope this helps!

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