Technology

One Button Studio

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It's just one button! IRT announces availability of the One Button Studio (OBS) as a self-service option for recording course-related video.

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Office 365 benefits for faculty

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IRT recently announced that Office 365 is available to all students, faculty and staff at St. Thomas. Office 365 is a suite of productivity and collaboration tools that is accessible online, making it possible to work anywhere and anytime. In addition to the familiar Microsoft applications that are now available from any web browser, like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Office 365 will soon include your St. Thomas Email, Calendar, and Contacts when your Exchange mailbox is moved to the cloud this winter. The Office 365 suite also includes several newer web-based tools that offer significant benefits to faculty in your teaching, research and administrative roles. Here are six ways you can reduce work time, ramp up your productivity, and collaborate effectively using Office 365 tools

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IRT establishes funding for faculty to caption videos

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The closed caption symbol is a rectangle with the letters CC in the middle.A special fund has been established within IRT to support faculty efforts to make learning materials accessible. Captions are text versions of the audio content synchronized with the video. Captioning instructional video or audio proactively addresses a diverse range of abilities and learning needs including:

  • students for whom English is a second language
  • situational hearing impairments (e.g., students watching/listening in a noisy environment)
  • helping students learn the spelling of technical terms spoken in the video
  • students with hearing and learning disabilities

Making use of the video captioning funds now not only helps you prepare for the time that you have a student with a hearing disability, but also enhances learning for all students by presenting material in multiple modalities (both visual and auditory).

Faculty may request captioning for a YouTube video, for video hosted on St. Thomas' Ensemble video server, or for videos hosted online elsewhere. You will need to provide information on where the video can be found (e.g. the YouTube link or EnsembleVideo link). To request captioning for any of these types of videos log in to IRT's captioning request form using your St. Thomas username and password. The link to the captioning request form is found at the bottom of this IRT web page

Questions? Email IRT for more information about the captioning request process.

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Faculty Focus @ UST with Dr. Brittany Nelson-Cheeseman

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This month we are delighted to launch our new series showcasing UST faculty who are doing interesting and innovative things in the classroom. We begin the series by highlighting the teaching of Dr. Brittany Nelson-Cheeseman, Assistant Professor of Engineering. In this short video, Brittany shares tips for getting students more engaged and for making the most of teacher-student interactions, offering practical ideas for both the flipped and face-to-face classroom.

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New Tools for Teaching and Research

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IRT announces new and improved teaching and research technologies: Lynda.com, VoiceThread, Qualtrics, and Poll Everywhere.

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Captioning Your Videos

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IRT has developed a new resource guide to orient you to the options available at UST for video captioning‌ your lectures, the ways you can increase the accessibility of YouTube or Vimeo videos through captioning, and finding and using captioned videos from UST's Media Resources Collection.  If you are already streaming your videos through Ensemble and are ready to increase the accessibility of your lectures through closed captioning watch this short (captioned!) video to learn how you can use CaptionSync to automatically create captions for your videos.

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Library Content on the Go

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Welcome to the “Did You Know @ UST Libraries” feature: where we’ll highlight a feature of UST Libraries of particular interest to faculty.

We at UST Libraries talk a lot about ebooks these days, but did you know that it's also possible to hear audio recording of articles from many library-subscribed journals?

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A Visual Discussion

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A visualized or graphical discussion encourages critique and knowledge construction (Gao et al., 2013) and involves “Capturing and representing the flow of discussions by using shapes and links, or by using maps or tables to create graphical representations of different viewpoints and their relations...” (p. 476).

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Ensemble Video

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Have you heard about Ensemble Video? Ensemble Video is the audio & video hosting and streaming service for St. Thomas. Similar in many respects to YouTube, Ensemble is a web service where you can upload audio or video content, which can then be delivered to your audience via Blackboard, a webpage, email or even social media.

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Productive Online Discussions

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I recently came across an interesting paper by Gao, Zhang, and Franklin (2013) which analyzes the limitations of 'threaded' discussion boards (that's what we have with the Blackboard system) along with how different types of online discussion tools support or hinder learning goals. The paper was particularly interesting not only because the discussion board is one of the most commonly used Blackboard tools at UST but also because online discussion is a staple of blended and online pedagogy.

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UST course wins Blackboard award!

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Congratulations to Dr. Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan (Gifted & Special Education, CELC) and Lynn Murdoch (IRT) on receiving a 2014 Blackboard Exemplary Course Award for SPED 716: Fundamentals of Mild to Moderate Disabilities.

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Faculty Feedback on iPads and Mobility in the Classroom Initiative

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Information Resources & Technologies (IRT) and the Center for Faculty Development announce an iPads and Mobility in the Classroom initiative for Fall 2013 and Spring 2014. This is an exploratory project to discover the ways in which faculty use iPads in their teaching and to evaluate how iPads can be used in meaningful ways in the classroom to support student engagement and learning.

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Submit your course for the 2013 Blackboard Exemplary Course award!

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Blackboard's Exemplary Course Program (ECP) award recognizes Blackboard courses demonstrating best practices in four major areas: Course Design, Interaction & Collaboration, Assessment, and Learner Support. Even if you aren't sure that your course demonstrates best practices in all four areas, submitting your course for review will provide you the opportunity to receive detailed feedback on your own course development including best practices and areas for improvement. All courses submitted to the ECP are reviewed and receive detailed feedback on their design, interaction and collaboration, assessment and learner support components.

Think course your course has what it takes?

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IRT announces Blackboard training

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Don't miss these upcoming Blackboard sessions to prepare for J-term and spring!

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Found Wisdom: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other.

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“Technology is seductive when what it offers meets our human vulnerabilities. And as it turns out, we are very vulnerable indeed."

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IRT Spotlight: Screencasting, lecture capture and webinars

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Video is becoming vitally important in higher education classroom delivery and communications. Here at St. Thomas we tend to focus on three different solutions for our community to consider, depending on their particular need. For creating engaging screen recordings (e.g. screencasts) we recommend…

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IRT announces Blackboard open labs

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Whether you are confused about how a Blackboard tool works, wish to adopt a new feature, or need advice, this is a chance to advance your skills with online course management and stop in to one of the upcoming open labs.

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Found Wisdom: "Bloom's Taxonomy Meets Technology: An Instructional Planning Tool"

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“The key to effective integration of technology is to ensure that the use of technology is aligned with the learning objectives and assessment strategies.”

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Blackboard Summer Updates

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Summer updates to Blackboard include a cleaner, more streamlined design, a course set-up wizard, quota increases and course archiving.

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Resources for Managing Blended/Online Environment

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If you were not able to attend the Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) webinar Managing the Blended/Online Environment the recording, handouts and slides are available online. Topics covered in the seminar included:

  • Strategies to help organize and manage the blended/online course environment
  • Ways to streamline learning activities
  • Behavioral and motivational issues that manifest themselves in the blended/ online environment and solutions for managing them
  • Plagiarism and how to identify and manage plagiarism when it occurs in an blended/online course
  • Copyright and fair use as it applies to the blended/online environment

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Spring Break Seminar: Managing the Blended/Online Environment

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If you teach (or are thinking about teaching) a blended or online course, or even if you use Blackboard to enhance your course, consider attending Managing the Blended/Online Environment on March 19. Technology-enhanced teaching and the accessibility of the blended/online classroom demands that faculty develop new time management strategies. In addition, managing learner issues can be more difficult in the blended/online learning environment than in a traditional learning environment.

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Part 2: If you can’t beat them, have them edit.

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In the last issue of Synergia I described setting up a new assignment: having student groups edit Wikipedia entries. Now that those are articles are graded, and the teaching evaluations are in, I’ll discuss their assessment and student reaction to this assignment.

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Using the iPad for Qualitative Research

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It's lightweight, mobile and just plain fun, but the iPad is also a great research assistant! Dr. Avinash Malshe highlights how the iPad aids in carrying out qualitative research.

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If you can’t beat them, have them edit: Using Wikipedia as a learning tool

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I hear myself coaching students to “show, don’t tell” when writing. For years, I have repeatedly told students not to use Wikipedia as a reference. I warned them that it was filled with anonymous user-generated content that was not subject to peer review, and that it was plagued by pranksters who purposefully populated entries with factual errors. This semester, by having students edit Wikipedia topics relevant to our Sensation and Perception course, I’m showing them the process by which this content is generated, vetted, and changed, and in the process, I’m meeting some of the outreach initiatives of my professional organizations.

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Using Library Resources in Your Courses

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Have you ever wondered how you could improve the quality of your student’s research papers? Maybe pondered how you can get them to stop using Wikipedia or sources only found in the top 10 results on a Google Search?

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Using Technology for Connection, Engagement and Empowerment in your Classrooms

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One way of getting students engaged in class discussions is to pull their names out of a virtual hat. Dr. Yearwood demonstrated a simple program named "The Hat" . . . .

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David Yearwood on “Using Technology for Connection, Engagement and Empowerment in your Classrooms”

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The popular keynote presenter at this year’s Teaching Professor conference presents a day-long workshop for UST faculty, followed by week of eLearning Workshops.

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Surprisingly, Audio Book Project Energizes Students

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What's New?

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Summer is a time to recoup the energies spent in the last academic year, and it can also be a time of growth, experimentation, reflection, etc. You all know what I⊃1;m talking about. This past summer was a particularly rich one for me in learning new tricks of the teaching trade, in part due to my interest in the potential of online learning for blended courses. This was the topic of the Faculty Development summer seminar.

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Spring Greetings from the Faculty Center for eLearning

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Collaborative and social tools that can be used in the classroom took precedence at the January 2010 Faculty Center for eLearning event.

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