Archives for February 2014

GRANT OPPORTUNITY: UM Inter-Campus Course Sharing

UM-System-LogoUniversity of Missouri-System is providing funding to encourage faculty members to share their expertise with other UM campuses.

Grants will be awarded to faculty interested in developing and offering “shared courses” to be made available on at least two UM campuses.

The RFP linked below provides the full details of the Inter-Campus Course Sharing grant program.

ATTACHMENT-Course sharing- RFP – 01.27.14

Blackboard and Internet Explorer 11 Crashing Issue

icon-GoogleAppsEdTech and IT have recently become aware of some important issues regarding the compatibility between Blackboard and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 11. Users have reported that IE 11 will unexpectedly crash when attempting to login to Blackboard.

Information Technology and EdTech are working to resolve these issues in a timely manner. In the meantime, if you are encountering any problems with using IE 11 in combination with Blackboard, Joe’SS/PeopleSoft, or any other web-based applications, then please use a different browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Apple Safari.

Stay tuned for updates!

Research Opportunities for Undergraduates at Clemson University

MST-and-ClemsonClemson University in South Carolina is offering several research opportunities for undergraduate students involved with data-intensive computing projects. All students participating in the REU program will take part in tutorials on tools and techniques that are widely used in data-intensive computing research, as well as on useful professional development topics (e.g., applying to graduate school, writing NSF graduate fellowship applications). Students will receive a stipend, low-cost housing on the Clemson campus, and assistance with travel costs to/from Clemson.

The deadline for application is MARCH 1, 2014!

Application review will begin in March, and applications will be accepted until all positions are filled. The program starts on June 2, 2014.

For more information and application materials, visit the link below.

Data-Intensive Computing Research Experiences for Undergraduates:

Research Opportunities for Undergraduates at Louisiana State University

MST-and-LSULouisiana State University (LSU) is offering TWO research opportunities for undergraduate students involved with computational (CCT) or materials sciences (LA-SiGMA). Students will spend the summer (10 weeks) at the LSU campus working on research projects in very diverse fields, so any student in a STEM field is encouraged to apply. Students will receive a stipend, free housing in LSU dormitories, and a travel allowance.

The deadline for application is MARCH 1, 2014!

Accepted undergraduates will be notified by April 1, 2014. The program starts on May 26, 2014.

For more information and application materials, visit one or both of the links below.

CCT REU: Interdisciplinary Research Experience in Computational Studies

LA-SiGMA REU: Interdisciplinary Research Experience in Materials Science

Clickers – Student attendance device (SAD)

clickers-iconStudent Response Device

The use of clickers is much more than as an attendance device. Students frantically enter the classroom to find a clicker slide on the screen waiting for them to respond to the question. The slide may have a relevant question pertaining to material or concepts covered in prior lectures, but after answering the question the student’s results are only used to give them credit for being in class. There is nothing wrong with this, but I say clickers are an awesome tool with which to engage students during your class period. So you want to engage students in your class, but are not sure how to go about it. Here I will discuss some of the techniques our faculty use with clickers to engage students during class.

Concept Understanding

The first technique is to make sure students are grasping the concepts covered either through readings, videos or prior class periods.  This could be in the form of well worded challenging multiple-choice or short answer questions for example. These are designed to make the student think and analyze the material about the important learning outcomes before answering the question. Instructors also use these questions to reveal misconceptions before moving on. This feedback is both important for the students and the instructor.  For instructors, the results may mean the material wasn’t covered well and a new approach is needed. For students, their immediate feedback may mean they need to study the concept more before tackling more challenging material.

Peer instruction

This technique is used to get students discussing the concepts and learning outcomes prior to answering the clicker question.  This technique is great for classes that are based on discussion or reflection.  The clicker device is a way to engage students in their learning by posing questions the students respond using the device.  The class results are shown, but without showing the correct answer if there is one. The instructor then lets the students discuss amongst themselves in small groups for a short period and the students resubmit an answer to the question. During this process the students are learning from each other to better understand the material presented.  If you want more information about Peer Instruction see:

Exam review

Using your course learning outcomes to create challenging conceptual questions to review prior to an exam is another technique in using clickers. Instructors have constructed questions that provide the student an idea of what concepts are covered on the exam. Depending on how well the student performs gives them an indication of what they need to go back and review prior to the actual exam. This is not teaching to the test, but provides a focus for the student’s shortcomings in understanding the concepts and material. If there is a large discrepancy in the results, then using the Peer Instruction technique, list above, can assist the learning process for students.

Missouri University of Science and Technology has on average about 30 to 35 faculty using the student response device or software to engage their students during the class period.  For more information on clickers use this link:

IT Maintenance on Thursday, February 13 affects Virtual Desktop Systems

Information Technology will be performing some routine maintenance during the Applications maintenance window (5 – 7 PM) on Thursday, February 13, 2014.

During this maintenance window, users will be unable to connect to virtual machines in the VDI pools. Already connected users will most likely lose their connection while systems are being updated.

Questions, comments, or concerns can be directed to the IT Help Desk (573-341-HELP or online at