I am stealing from Rutgers Office of Instructional & Research Technology

But it says it all! From https://oirt.rutgers.edu/end-of-semester-tips-for-instructors-using-lmss-learning-management-systems/

There is a lot for instructors to keep track of at the end of the semester.  Here are some tips on how to avoid some of the common problems we see instructors run into at the end of the semester:

  1. Get your Gradebook in order.
    If you have any questions about setting up your gradebook, setting up extra credit, or excluding some items for specific students, it is much easier to get help now than it will be during the rush period at the end of the semester.
  2. Make sure your Final Exams are setup with the settings that are the least likely to cause issues.
    The Internet is a wonderful thing that still fails on a regular basis. With the right settings, you can make sure that a small connection issue doesn’t cause you or your students major headaches.
  3. Make sure all assignments are setup correctly and clearly so students can submit their work.
    Which tool(s) are you using for assignments? Did you want to have SafeAssign review the paper? Make sure you have the settings correct!
  4. Are you planning on allowing some or all students to make up missed work?
    Many tools can all be set up to allow a student to take them after the due date, or even retake them in some cases, but each tool requires specific settings to allow this to happen.
  5. Preparing for a summer course? Want to reuse some of the material from your spring or earlier course?
    There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel every semester. Reuse your best material by duplicating an existing site.

So since systems were down, what do you do?

I had another post for this week’s blog but since WordPress was one of the system unavailable yesterday it gave me time to think about what to do when you can’t get your “stuff’!

The usual advice is to save everything to your PirateDrive for easy access but that may not have helped yesterday as neither Blackboard nor PirateDrives were available.  It is always good practice to have your course content files in two locations.  Printed content could be used with the Document Camera in the classroom.

One system that was working was Mediasite!  You may say but students could not access the recordings because Blackboard was down but you can send presentation links by accessing your recording via My Mediasite.  Alternatively if you were recording every semester you may have been able to rerelease content from a previous semester.

Want to explore other alternatives?  Contact OET.



Inviting a Guest to Speak

I often get the request to assist with enabling a guest speaker to present to a class from outside the college.  We do have SABA web conferencing software which easily allows guests to share content but often the technology gets a bit frustrating for some guests.  Did you know that in recent versions of Skype a guest can present their desktop i.e. PowerPoint, word files etc.  Easy to use, and easy to test. Questions?  Contact OET.


Three things this week!

Tagging onto the today’s Technology Digest if you haven’t checked it out I recommend it as there are some neat tips and good information.

One I want to highlight is Skype for Business/Microsoft Lync which can be used for communication and interaction in the classroom.  Guest lecturers can join your class and even present content from their computers.

I attended the Blackboard Analytics information session today.  This could be a handy tool for generating reports on courses within a department providing data on student access, tool interaction, activity reports by time, dates, device as well as analyzing what content is being accessed and what tools being used.  More to come on this tool and whether it will be adopted!

Contact OET for more information.


Not a fan of Respondus Lockdown Browser? Well have you tried Proctoring?

Distance Education Proctoring Center

The ECU DE Proctoring Center is an approved site in the UNC Online Proctoring Network.  This site serves students enrolled in distance education courses that require proctored exams. If your professor is currently using this system, you must submit your appointment information through the UNC Academic Services Portal; otherwise, we will not have access to your exam materials. If your professor is using this system, you must schedule all exam appointments with the ECU DE Proctoring Center through the system (not via phone). It is your responsibility to check with your professor to find out if they are implementing this automated proctoring system.

Information about the UNC Online Proctoring Network is available at http://online.northcarolina.edu

To quote a colleague “this is one of the easiest systems to use on the network”



Mid semester projects coming due!

You planned your semester and all was going well, of course until we have had these class cancellations.  Yes I talk about lecture capture and that is always available but perhaps you planned on having your students do something different this semester and you were going to review the “how-to” during class.  Perhaps there is a solution to avoid using class time for “how-to”  by adding Lynda.com video courses to any content area of your Blackboard class. If your students need to learn how to use software such as PhotoShop, Microsoft Office, GIS, and AutoCAD, be sure to check out the Lynda.com library: ECU Lynda.com.

This is also a great resource to enhance your own skills in any number of different topics.  Check it out!


I was going to repeat myself

You know the same old in case of closings, lecture capture is a great tool to makeup class time either in the classroom or a desktop recording but came across this article which is a testimony to the use of video for classroom organization

Sonic Foundry: 2016 Online Video Industry Prediction – Communication is the New Video Content

But if you don’t want to hear any more about lecture capture do check out the tips from your Blackboard Administrators sent out this morning  Blackboard Grade Center Best Practices and take their survey click this link.


As the first month of Spring semester is complete

First exams are being taken and assignments handed in.  How are your students doing?  Hopefully they are doing well but if not perhaps you might want to change something, add student response questions using Turning Point or the recent app I wrote about Socrative.  If you are in one of the general classrooms we can easily record your lecture, you can control whether students view the lecture and/or how long it is available.  We can even make podcasts or vodcasts for those students who have to commute daily.

Perhaps you would like to explore different ways students can collaborate or create their own content to share with class.

As I posted in the summer ITC’s can help with online and face to face classes.

Check out the training calendar or schedule something specific.

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