Archives for February 2015

Tegrity will be undergoing maintenance on Sunday, March 1st from 1:00AM-5:00AM

The Tegrity lecture capture software will be unavailable for a short period this Sunday while undergoing a software maintenance process. This maintenance is expected to solve the browser permission issues resulting from the most recent Tegrity update. Tegrity is the only service to be affected; Blackboard and Canvas services will be unaffected.

If you have questions or difficulties, please contact the IT Help Desk at (573) 341-4357

Using Tegrity? You must explicitly allow it to run in your browser.

The Tegrity lecture capture software was recently updated, and this update is causing browsers to flag Tegrity as a potentially unsafe program. This situation can cause problems when attempting to record or playback video; it may appear that the program has stalled or that nothing is happening, but the program is waiting for your permission to run in your browser!

Educational Technology is currently working with Tegrity to remedy this situation. For the moment, please follow the steps in these short visual tutorials when attempting to run the Tegrity software.

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firefox

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Remember: You must explicitly allow the program to run in your browser.

If you have questions or difficulties, please contact Educational Technology at (573) 341-4131 or at edtech@mst.edu

Instructors: S&T connect is now used for sending Academic Alerts

S&T Connect is the new system for sending out Academic Alerts. Instead of sending out an “Alert”, you “Raise a Flag.” As before, challenged students and their academic advisors will receive a copy of your communication so that corrective actions can be identified and taken.

Here’s a quick visual tutorial to help you start using the S&T connect system.

1. Access S&T connect via the Blackboard top navigation bar.

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2. Click the “Students” tab:

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3. If you teach multiple sections, choose the desired section from the drop down list.

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4. Place a checkmark next to the challenged student’s name and click the “Flag” button:

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5. Select the appropriate type of Flag, fill in the details, and click “Save.”

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That’s it!
S&T connect is your one-stop-shop for communication with challenged students and their academic advisors. For more detailed support, contact Rachel Morris in the Office of Undergraduate Studies at (573) 341-7276

“Electronic Blackboard” technology of the 1960’s – A quick look back

Did you know that electronic learning systems have been in use at American universities for over 50 years now? While Blackboard itself isn’t quite that old, its predecessors such as the PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations) system—pictured here—date back to the early 1960s, well before the implementation of the internet as we know it, and 20 years before the consumer computer market began to expand beyond a core group of dedicated hobbyists.

smart-blackboard-1974

While electronic learning systems have changed quite a bit over the years, they continue to share a common set of core functionalities. An instructor presents course material to multiple students, lessons and quizzes may be automated, and the system records user actions and results. Becasue all modern electronic learning systems share some similar core features, modern learning systems are largely differentiated by ease of use and the effectiveness of the user interface. The basic technical challenges involved were (mostly) solved over 50 years ago, but the ongoing struggle for a friendly, easy-to-use, easy-to-learn interface continues.

As technology and the way we use it evolves, will new learning management systems such as Canvas carry on the proud tradition of electronic learning systems here at S&T? We here in Educational Technology certainly hope so!

BigBlueButton – Your Bad Weather Backup Plan

Bad weather happens, but that doesn’t mean you have to cancel class. Instead, hold class online with BigBlueButton!

BigBlueButton is a free-to-use virtual classroom integrated into Blackboard. To use BigBlueButton, simply create a meeting room, and let students know they are to join you in that meeting room. With BBB, you’ll have video, audio, and text support with the ability to share your screen, notes, and files with students.

EdTech has written an easy-to-follow visual tutorial for creating and using a BigBlueButton meeting room. You can view the tutorial here: http://edtech.mst.edu/support/blackboard9-1/createbbblink/

Having a bad weather backup plan is a wonderful way to maintain continuity in your classes, promote accountability, and avoid losing valuable instruction time. I (Raz Kerwin) teach a technical communication class, and the Monday morning after our recent snowfall I held the morning meeting for my section online. I was impressed with the level of student buy-in and participation. I provided my students options, and I got results.

Successfully laying the groundwork to take your class online for a session or two is easier than you might think, and EdTech is here to help! Call or email today if you’d like to expand your options, and show Old Man Winter that you don’t cancel class just for a little bit of snow!

Teaching and Learning Technology 2015–Register Now!

Register NOW!

Turnitin or iThenticate – Which is right for you, and which is right for your students?

The Missouri S&T campus subscribes to two different originality-checking services. Both are free to use, but each serves a different audience. To best use each tool, carefully match your needs and desired outcomes to what each tool offers.

What are the key differences?

Turnitin was made specifically for classroom use; its focus is on undergraduate-level student compositions and reports. Turnitin focuses on indexing and checking against the major journals, casual web sources, and other student-submitted papers from Missouri S&T and colleges around the country. Turnitin offers tools for student feedback and revision, and also allows for students to see their own originality report which has a formative benefit for them. Turnitin is integrated into the campus LMS (Blackboard), and there is no limit to the amount of papers that can be uploaded. Turnitin is primarily intended for undergraduate-level student work.

iThenticate is not intended for classroom use; its focus is on theses, dissertations, and research articles for publication written by authors at or above the graduate-level. iThenticate focuses on indexing and searching against all accessible web sources and other published field literature not typically found on the casual web, and it has none of the classroom-specific features that Turnitin offers. iThenticate is a standalone web service, and is not integrated into the campus LMS. iThenticate does not allow non-account holders (i.e. undergraduate students) to see originality reports, because iThenticate is intended to be a confidential and formative document review tool for academic authors. iThenticate DOES NOT upload or index a copy of the document being checked. iThenticate is primarily intended for professional and higher-level academic work.

You can read a bit more about the differences between Turnitin and iThenticate here: http://www.ithenticate.com/resources/academic#compare

To use Turnitin, simply create a Turnitin assignment to which students may upload a file. You can find a tutorial here: http://edtech.mst.edu/support/blackboard9-1/createturnitin/

To use iThenticate, submit a request via the IT Help Desk ticketing system by calling (573) 341-4357, or visit http://edtech.mst.edu/support/ithenticate/ and fill out the online access form.

I hope this information will help save you time and aid your teaching and scholarly publication.

TL;DR – Turnitin is for undergraduate students, iThenticate is for graduate level and above authors

BLACKBOARD MAINTENANCE: Sunday, February 15, 2015

IT will be performing Blackboard maintenance on Sunday, February 15, 2015, starting at midnight.

Blackboard will be unavailable for approximately 6 hours between midnight and noon.

Please contact the Help Desk with questions about this or any other IT issue at 573-341-HELP (4357) or submit an online Help Request at http://help.mst.edu.

Metacognition And Learning: Strategies For Instructional Design

“Metacognitive strategies facilitate learning how to learn. You can incorporate these, as appropriate, into eLearning courses, social learning experiences, pre- and post-training activities and other formal or informal learning experiences.”

Source: theelearningcoach.com

This article provides ten strategies for incorporating metacognitive strategies into teaching and learning.

  1. Ask Questions
  2. Foster Self Reflection
  3. Encourage Self Questioning
  4. Teach Strategies Directly
  5. Promote Autonomous Learning
  6. Provide Access to Mentors
  7. Solve Problems with a Team
  8. Think Aloud
  9. Self-Explanation
  10. Provide Opportunities for Making Errors

One simple thing you can do is have the students write two or three points that they felt were important during class that day.  Once they have had a chance to write, you as the instructor can give your two or three points that you thought were important and model how students can begin to understand what is important in your course.

“Thinking About One’s Thinking” Metacognition | Center for Teaching | Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University

Source: cft.vanderbilt.edu

This link has two articles in it. It defines what Metacognition is and gives some practical ways to implement it in learning.  How often do you stop during a lecture (or other activity) and give students a chance to process what you have been saying or doing?  Sometimes, we get so caught up in fitting everything in an 50 minute slot that we forget processing time. Those are the days that students leave dazed, with notes but maybe not a clear understanding of what the lesson was actually about.  Taking time to pause and reflect is one way to help students connect with content and with their own learning strategies.