Archives for October 2009

IMPORTANT REMINDER — CLC Software Request Process for Spring 2010 Now Open!

EdTech and IT are opening up the CLC software request process for faculty who need specific software packages installed in computer learning centers across campus.

All software requests should be submitted to IT for processing no later than close of business on Friday, October 30, 2009.

Software currently available in each of the CLCs on campus can be found at:

Details on submitting a CLC Software Request can be found at either of the links below. Please read the directions on how to submit a CLC software request thoroughly prior to submission. It is very important to submit requests in a timely manner to ensure the best possible support from IT and EdTech. We appreciate your cooperation!

IT Press

EdTech Connect

FoTT Conf 2009: Effective Teaching — Tips from Award Winning Faculty

The fourth and last session for the day is “Effective Teaching–Tips from Award Winning Faculty”. This is a panel of instructors — Carrie Ellis-Kalton of Maryville University, Laura Pawlow of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Bill Mayhan & James Henry from UMSL, and Peggy Cohen, also from UMSL who will be moderating the panel. It should be an interesting discussion.

Since this is a panel discussion, it will be difficult–if not next to impossible–to properly attribute who says what. The extended entry will simply document what is said, along with my own internal commentary.

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FoTT Conf 2009: Teaching Blended Courses — Ensuring Success by Avoiding Pitfalls

The third presentation of the morning is “Teaching Blended Courses: Ensuring Success by Avoiding Pitfalls”, presented by Barbara Petzall of Maryville University. According to the program blurb, this session will identify problem areas that instructors may encounter when designing blended classes.

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FoTT Conf 2009: No-Doze PowerPoint — Tips and Tricks

My second session for the morning is No-Doze PowerPoint–Tips and Tricks, presented by Andrea Compton of St. Charles Community College. I guess the idea is to provide ideas on how to make PowerPoint presentations more interesting through interactivity and storytelling. Dr. Klaus Woelk at Missouri S&T is pretty good about this. He likes to introduce the chemistry concept of stoichiometry using an analogy with a boardgame (I can’t remember what it is called, unfortunately).

PowerPoint presentation can be very boring. I, myself, am just as guilty as the next person in using boring presentations, so I am very interested in learning how to add some interest to a presentation.

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FoTT Conf 2009: Effective and Practical Use of eTextbooks

I will be starting today’s events with “Effective and Practical Uses of eTextbooks“, presented by Roger Von Holzen from Northwest Missouri State University.

Roger is the director of the educational technology office for Northwest Missouri State University.

Northwest has a very strong technology presence on campus and in the textbook rental arena.

Students are charged $360 per year for a wireless notebook computer rental. The cost/read is the most important aspect. Rentals can get up to 15+ reads per textbook. Reselling textbooks only get up to 5 reads per book.

NW charges $180 per year for students to rent their textbooks (total cost: $540/year). Textbooks can be purchased for long-term usage (e.g. calculus, chemistry and other general and discipline-specific reference textbooks).

eReaders include Sony’s eReader, Amazon’s Kindle, and a version called Plastic Logic. Apple also has an electronic book reader application for iPhone (CourseSmart that draws on 7,000 textbooks and AlgebraPrep from Pearson Higher Education).

Sony Reader — Has a 6-inch display, E ink technology (appears similar to paper, also used by Kindle). High contrast and high-resolution display. Easy to read even in bright sunshine.These features are also found in Amazon’s Kindle.

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FoTT Conf 2009: Mastering Oral Foreign Language Proficiencies

The second session for the day is “Mastering Oral Foreign Language Proficiencies with Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL): Pedagogical Implications” presented by S&T’s own Dr. Irina Ivliyeva, who teaches Russian.

Presentation Outline:

  • Subject background; students and classes; FL proficiencies
  • CALL and evolving technologies
  • Classroom activities and information management
  • Evaluation and assessment
  • Teaching methods: historical perspectives

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FoTT Conf 2009: Fundamentals in Designing and Teaching an Online Course

I’m in St. Louis for the Focus on Teaching & Technology (FoTT) conference, put on by the Center for Teaching and Learning at UMSL. Between today (Oct 15) and tomorrow (Oct 16), I hope to blog about several of the sessions I plan on attending.

My first session today will be on “Fundamentals in Designing and Teaching an Online Course”, presented by Mary Abkemeier of Fontbonne University.

UPDATE: Irina very graciously acknowledged Educational Technology for providing support for her uses of technology. We are very pleased to be working with Irina. We want her to be successful!

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Blackboard Outage on Sunday, October 18, 2009

MOREnet, which provides core network services to Missouri S&T and other campuses, will be performing maintenance on UMSL’s network from midnight to 1 a.m. on Sunday, October 18, 2009.

As a result, Blackboard at Missouri S&T will be unavailable during the maintenance window.

Other IT services will still be available.

Please call the Help Desk with questions about this or any other issue at 573-341-HELP (4357).

CLC Software Request Process for Spring 2010 Now Open!

EdTech and IT are opening up the CLC software request process for faculty who need specific software packages installed in computer learning centers across campus.

All software requests should be submitted to IT for processing no later than close of business on October 30, 2009.

Software currently available in each of the CLCs on campus can be found at:

To request software be installed in a CLC, send an email to that includes the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your department
  • The software to be installed and each software package requested should includes
    • Software name and version
    • CLC location(s)
    • Courses affected by the requested software

Please use this Subject line when sending email:

CLC Software Request – Spring Semester 2010

If you are requesting software on behalf of your entire department, please include (in addition to the above information):

  • Instructors who will be using the software
  • Courses affected by the requested software (please do not use “ALL”; be specific–e.g. CHEM 001, CHEM 002, MATH 204, etc.)

Other important considerations when requesting CLC software:

  • If the software package requires a license, it will need to be managed by a license server
  • The software package has been tested by IT and has been determined not to “break” or interfere with the normal operation of other software installed in a CLC
  • The software package requested meets campus security standards.

Once the software request has been received by EdTech and IT, we will follow up with customers on an individual basis to ensure all software request needs have been met for Spring Semester.

We appreciate your cooperation and attention to detail when submitting software requests.


Software that meets all of the following criteria will no longer be included in the image for a given CLC:

  1. It has not been requested for 3 semesters or longer.
  2. It is not part of the standard software package for CLC images.

To ensure that software you need for your courses is available for your students, please submit a request for software every semester that you will need it. Do not assume that requesting it once means that it will always be available.

IT regularly rebuilds the images on all campus CLC machines to help maintain the integrity, stability, and security of the campus network.

Blackboard Guest Access Options

Blackboard has a number of options for enabling guest access to enable access to a course to individuals who are not currently enrolled in a course. It is also possible to limit guest access to specific areas or tools within a course.

By default, guest access to Blackboard courses is disabled. IT has recently performed some updates to Blackboard that may have disabled guest access for some courses where instructors had allowed guest access to specific users. Instructors who have previously enabled guest access may have to do so again.

Please be aware of  the following caveats with regard to use of guest access in Blackboard.

  • When guest access is enabled, ALL Missouri S&T authenticated users will be able to see your course.
  • If you use copyrighted materials as part of your course, IT strongly recommends that you do NOT enable guest access for your course, as this could make you liable for copyright infringement (only fully enrolled students are permitted to view the copyrighted materials for educational purposes).
  • If you have students enrolled in hearer or auditor status through the Registrar’s office, then IT recommends leaving the students enrolled as students. You can limit their access to content through the Adaptive Release options, if restricted access is desired.
  • Guests DO NOT have access to the communications tools, discussion boards, or other collaboration tools.

Given the above, there are three primary ways to enable Guest Access in Blackboard:


  1. Enable guest access to a course area.
    1. Select Manage Course Menu under Course Options on the Control Panel.
    2. Click Modify next to the course area (e.g. Announcements).
    3. Click the checkbox next to Allow Guest Access.
    4. Click Submit.
  2. Enable guest access to a specific course tool.
    1. Click Manage Tools under Course Options on the Control Panel.
    2. Click Tool Availability.
    3. Select the checkbox for the tool to allow guest access. Most tools will not allow guest access at all.
    4. Click Submit.
  3. Enable guest access for the entire course.
    1. Click Settings under Course Options on the Control Panel.
    2. Click Guest Access.
    3. Select Yes.
    4. Click Submit.

Under option 3, above, the default content guest users will see are the following areas in your Blackboard course:

  • Announcements
  • Course Information
  • Staff Information
  • Course Documents
  • Assignments — assignments can be viewed by guests, but any attempt to complete an assignment by a guest will result in “Access Denied” message.
  • External Links

Additional course areas can have guest access enabled through option 1, and default options can be turned off through option 1 as well.