Can-8 Virtualab

Peter Abenaki News


Your priority is to preserve First Nations languages: Can-8 can help! 

The CAN-8 Virtualab is an integrated suite of capabilities that transforms the traditional language learning lab into a paperless and borderless learning experience with benefits for both instructors and students.

Built around the concept of a virtual classroom, the CAN-8 system delivers an engaging learning experience for students, and provides a seamless set of tools for instructors to manage, evaluate, and provide feedback to students in a collaborative manner.

This comprehensive system is easy-to-use for classroom environment teaching and testing or for distance learning to member who live off reserve. Designed with efficiency in mind, it takes only seconds for instructors to evaluate student work and target the students who need the most help. Likewise, students enjoy the intuitive manner in which lessons are accessed and the capability to receive personalized instructor feedback as soon their work is evaluated.

Although the the CAN-8 Virtualab is capable of delivering a variety educational materials, the system is optimized for the purposes of language training and thus it is possible to deliver material for training in multiple different First Nations languages. Included is extensive support for First-Nations Syllabic characters.

The CAN-8 VirtuaLab provides all aspects of the learning environment from delivery and creation of material, management of students, classes and lessons, and maintaining security of the student and instructor work.

Benefits for Instructors and Students

The CAN-8 VirtuaLab combines the essential tools for students and instructors into an intuitive and sophisticated package that personalizes the learning experience for the student. Students and the instructor can maintain personal contact no matter where they are working from. The instructor has the ability to quickly author or change lessons, even while students are using the system.


In the CAN-8 VirtuaLab, the focus of the student activity is on oral production. Students can access listening, reading, speak-and-compare exercises, as well as traditional learning activities such as multiple choice questions, or written answers.

Student ViewAll material is streamed in real-time directly to the student as it is needed so there is no waiting for lessons to load, or for recorded work by the student to be saved. The students are able to work at their own pace and not encumbered by delays which frustrate the learning experience.

The CAN-8 VirtuaLab creates a multi-purpose learning environment. Students can remotely follow assigned instruction, or be given free choice to work on different activities as suits them. Typical ways to use the CAN-8 VirutaLab include as a pronunciation coach, for practising conversation, assisting in teaching grammar and comprehension, or for language skills testing.


From the instructor’s standpoint the CAN-8 VirtuaLab is designed to reduce the teaching workload and to allow the instructor to spend time where it is needed; with students who require the most help. Using a computer from anywhere with an Internet connection, the instructors may evaluate the students oral answers and give personalized feedback.

Student Tracking ScreenUsing the CAN-8 student-tracking tool, it is possible at a glance to judge the effectiveness of the training, and see which students need help. The graphical display of student achievement data uses an intuitive point and click interface for instructors to drill down into the students’ responses and make relevant evaluations and provide useful feedback.

The CAN-8 VirtuaLab provides a comprehensive platform for oral and other testing. Time limits can be set on individual questions, on reading excercises or to set a limit on the time a student has to make a recorded response. This makes CAN-8 the perfect tool for online entry diagnostics, quizzes, and final oral exams.

Creating Material

The CAN-8 VirtuaLab allows the instructor to adapt computer courseware to fit their curriculum, not the other way around. The system includes an intuitive authoring system, which allows instructors to create lessons with custom and culturally-relevant audio, text, graphics and video, all using a simple drag-drop interface. Templates are provided for many different activities so that lessons may be quickly built up from existing material that the instructor has. This allows for the rapid creation of curriculum that may be as simple or sophisticated as needed.

The Virtual Classroom

Just like in any physical classroom, the CAN-8 VirtuaLab comes with powerful capabilities to ensure the security of both the available curriculum and also the students work and marks. To access the CAN-8 VirtuaLab students and instructors use unique identification codes with passwords to prevent the unexpected sharing of confidential data.

Unlike some online systems which store students’ responses, marks, and curriculum on a local machine, or in a browser cache, the CAN-8 VirtuaLab keeps all this data stored on a centralized server. Only users with valid credentials may access it, and only access that parts that were authorized for them. This not only means that the software conforms to the privacy regulations for personal information that exist in various states and countries, it also prevents the inadvertent duplication and use of the institutions curriculum by non-authorized users.

Besides providing for security, the user management component of the CAN-8 VirtuaLab includes the ability to personalize the learning experience for students by presenting only the curriculum that the instructor has selected, exporting marks and results for analysis, and presenting reports to the instructor indicating the work done by students and at what time it was done. 

In short, the CAN-8 VirtuaLab allows both on-reserve students, and those living off-reserve to enjoy the same benefits of the software!

Cost Savings

The CAN-8 VirtuaLab saves you money by meeting your needs without forcing your community’s school, or tribal council, to purchase additional capabilities that will not be used.

For smaller communities we offer a cloud-based solution in which the sites curriculum and student’s work is stored securely in a server that is available at all times from your location via the Internet. First Nations communities or Organizations need only purchase access for the students actively using the system and renew it on a monthly, semester-based, or yearly plan. The First Nation does not have to purchase additional hardware or software.

For communities with large numbers of users, such as Tribal Councils or First Nations Education Authorities the CAN-8 VirtuaLab is available to run on a standard Windows-based server which may be located within the sites internal network. Licensing for servers is available based on the number of simultaneous users that will access the system.

Abenaki Associates, the leader in First Nations Community Development since 1984, is proud to add this exciting new product to our award-winning lineup. If you would like further information, please contact us today and let us put together a customized solution for your community.

Preservation of our Indigenous Languages is something we take very seriously, let us help you build a plan to retain this vital link to our shared past!