Catching Up!

So much going on so many emails.  I even missed sending last week’s blog so will do double duty today!

First here is a neat slide show on Disruptive Technologies 2015-2106 will give you something to think about.

Now if you have missed the recent posts from ECU Learning Technologies Digest let me just highlight some of the postings!

Classroom Selection for Summer and Fall 2015: New Options

As you consider your future classroom technology needs, here is a description of some of the equipment you will find in the classrooms across campus. New options include AirMedia, which allows you to present wirelessly from any device, Desktop Recording with MDR or Tegrity, and Video Conference using Saba or Jabber. Visit the Classroom Technology Database for even more options and to see the complete list of equipment offerings per room.

Continue reading


A New Year, a New Semester and there is cold and flu out there!

All does not have to stop.  Yes please all be careful but with the aid of our technological devices, we can continue to deliver course material to students during a shutdown.   Preparedness is the key.

All faculty should have all course content on blackboard or some other web site for students who can’t get to class.  Such blackboard sites need not be elaborate.  OET can help set up these “emergency” blackboard courses but it does need to be done in advance.

Students can’t make it to class but the faculty can

If a class with absences is normally scheduled in a classroom with mediasite recorders, we can simply activate the recorder during class.  We can then deliver these lectures to selected students.  Note that we have fine granularity and can make the presentation available to individual students for instructor-specified time periods.

But if you can’t make it in there is Mediasite Desktop Recorder (MDR) which can be used from any location with an up to date operating system, Windows or Mac. Contact OET for access.

For courses currently being recorded but not normally providing viewing access to in-class students, upon faculty request we can give access to selected (or all) in-class students for a faculty-specified period of time.

Faculty absences or university closure

If we know about this enough in advance, we can make some recordings before the university shuts down.  Students can watch them during the closure since the mediasite and blackboard servers will, presumably, remain up during closure.

OET absences

OET personnel have access to all necessary equipment from home.  To such extent as the security of our own homes allows, we will continue operations as usual from home.  We can consult with faculty by e-mail, skype, lync or telephone.  We can manage mediasite recordings and delivery.  We can provide on-


Reading, writing and everything else!

Yes today is Reading Day and hopefully students aren’t trying to read, watch, etc their class content from the beginning of the semester!  Remember to download grades go to grade center and click work offline to download to an excel worksheet.  Be a good steward of student information and make sure you save this file to a pirate drive location not your desktop of flashdrive.  If you Safe Assign remember to “Synchronize your course” each time you submit a Safe Assignment so that it checks against the most up to date database.

Need to create your final exam quickly in Blackboard?  Use Respondus Test Generator it can convert a word document into a Respondus file which uploads to Blackboard.

Need help with weighting grades, or spring prep contact OET and check out our training calendar.


Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!


From OET, here’s hoping you have a good Thanksgiving break and as we head into the final days of Fall 2014 semester remember that our office will be happy to assist in closing out semester tasks or prepping for Spring 2015 semester needs.


Just under three weeks . .

And no I will not start the countdown for the end of classes as I did for the beginning of the semester!  Just a few tips as we get closer -

  • Downloading your grade center? remember put it on your pirate drive not on your hard drive be a “good steward of student information”,
  • Want to make a review for your students, consider using Mediasite Desktop Recorder, quick install and you can do it right from your office,
  • Distance Ed students asking questions, you can get great analytics from Mediasite to find out who watched what, for how long and when,
  • Respondus Test Generator makes test creation simple and uploads easily to BB
  • Thinking about Spring Semester, contact OET for consultation and some new ideas!

And since this is my blog I can brag so let me introduce you to my newest grandchild, Claire Amelia, born 11/11/14,

Claire Amelia


In case you hit delete . . .more on security

So much comes across our desks but take time and review –

Ensuring the security of your Internet sessions and sensitive information
Posted 10-17-2014 

Please use the following directions to disable SSL on your Windows computers that are not installed by ITCS. This is the only way toensure the security of your encrypted Internet sessions and the sensitive information they contain.

The SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption protocol has been used for many years to establish secure connections between computers (e.g., for credit card transactions on the Internet). However, the SSL protocol no longer provides adequate protection for encrypted Internet sessions.

On the ECU campus, ITCS will disable SSL in Microsoft Internet Explorer on university-owned faculty and staff Windows computers connecting to the campus data network. However, ITCS cannot fix this condition in other browsers installed on university computers or on any browser on your home computer.



Tagging onto to my cohorts email!

In case you hit delete when this came across please take a moment and review!

Having trouble viewing this e-mail?
Visit the Learning Technologies Digest blog for the past newsletters archive.

September 9, 2014


ECU Faculty and Staff: We hope your semester is off to a great start.  We invite you to take a few minutes to catch up on the latest learning technology news.


In this issue:

-        Blackboard New Feature Spotlight
-        Best Practices for using SafeAssign
-        SabaMeeting: Set up your Class Meetings
-        Lecture Capture using My Mediasite
-        Training Feature: Classroom Technology Class
-        Videoconferencing: Collaborate from Anywhere
-        Faculty: Integrate into your Blackboard Courses
-        Read & Write Gold Software for Faculty and Students
-        The Online Tools Guide
-        Register for IT Training in Cornerstone


Blackboard News
Have you had a chance to try any of the new Blackboard features?  Here’s a summary of some of our favorites and a brief description of each.  You’ll find most of these are helpful timesavers.


  • Test Options now includes Test Availability Exceptions.  This feature allows you to adjust the time or number of attempts for specific students.  This will be very helpful if you have students that require additional time to take a test.
  • The Discussion Board is more user-friendly and offers visible avatars (pictures).  You have more options to control what your students see.  For example, you can create a ‘post-first’ forum that requires students to create a thread before they can see other posts in the forum.  The ‘post-first’ option encourages the submission of original threads before reviewing other classmates work.
  • The new Inline Grading feature will save valuable grading time.  This feature allows you to view and provide feedback on student submitted work within Blackboard, rather than downloading and uploading student files.


To learn more about these and other new features in Blackboard, please visit the Blackboard Blog: New Features.


Best Practices for using SafeAssign in Blackboard
SafeAssign is a product within Blackboard that can be used as an educational tool to help students identify and properly attribute sources.  There are two ways instructors can use SafeAssign: (1) Create a SafeAssignment and (2) Direct Submit.  When a student submits an assignment via SafeAssignment, it is compared to an Institutional Database (ECU) and the Global Reference Database (optional) in order to identify areas of overlap.  In addition, SafeAssign provides a Direct Submit option for instructors, this feature allows an instructor to submit a student’s paper.  We do not recommend using the Direct Submit option to “only add papers to the Institutional Search Database”.  This option requires student consent.  The recommendation, which maximizes the benefits of the tool for both instructors and students, is to use the SafeAssignment option.  Here are a few of the benefits.


  • SafeAssignment automatically creates a gradebook column and options for private and public feedback.
  • SafeAssignment allows for multiple submissions using the Draft option.  This is helpful if students will need to submit revisions.
  • SafeAssignment organizes files submitted by user and assignment name.
  • SafeAssignment provides an area to add directions and guidance for the assignment.


Visit the Blackboard Blog for even more information.


SabaMeeting Web Conferencing – Set up your own Class Meetings
SabaMeeting provides a virtual classroom environment where faculty and students can communicate and collaborate via audio, video, text chat, whiteboard and more.  If you are new to SabaMeeting or looking for some helpful tips, visit our SabaMeeting Resource Center and be sure to check out the SabaMeeting Best Practices.


Just a reminder, faculty and students can create and edit their own SabaMeeting events without having to complete the Course Request or Student Request forms. Students can create meetings for small groups, study sessions, or practice for class presentations. Just visit the SabaMeeting Request forms area on the SabaMeeting website for a tutorial on how to setup your meetings.


Lecture Capture using My Mediasite
Lecture capture enables you to record, develop, and deliver instructional content. Your class lectures, test-reviews, navigation guides and course introductions can all be delivered through a streamed, real-time, synchronous environment or recorded for asynchronous, anytime-anywhere viewing. Students can view recorded content as often as needed, which not only increases accessibility, but allows for active control over learning. Lecture capture provides flexibility for non-traditional students and those learning at a distance. Students enjoy having access to recorded lectures and when surveyed, they ask for more lecture capture usage campus wide.

Lecture capture news…Mediasite now offers desktop capture and personal media management through My Mediasite.  My Mediasite gives users the ability to record, upload, manage and publish rich video content.  My Mediasite is a great complement for faculty already using Mediasite in the classroom.  With My Mediasite, you can easily upload existing video or capture content from your desktop.  You call also take advantage of the Mediasite Blackboard Building Block and integrate video content into any content area within Blackboard.

To get started with Mediasite, contact the Instructional Technology Consultant (ITC) for your college or email To locate Mediasite rooms on campus, visit the Technology-Enhanced Classroom database and select Record Your Class.

Training Feature: Classroom Technology Training Class (9/24/14)
Classroom Technologies are the tools available to you in classrooms all across campus. Technologies include the physical equipment located in many rooms such as touch panels, document cameras and videoconferencing codecs, as well as, lecture capture, clickers and more. This training class is designed to help introduce you to the various technologies available, as well as assist you in developing a plan for utilizing these technologies. We will spend time looking at both how and why to use these technologies and how they can enhance your courses. Come see what Classroom Technology has to offer.  Register for the September 24th session in Cornerstone.
Videoconferencing: Collaborate from Anywhere
Do you need to schedule a videoconference this semester?  ITCS is here to help you select the technology, schedule the session(s), set up, and practice.  Visit the new Videoconferencing website to learn about the technologies available and locations.


Faculty: Integrate content into your Blackboard Courses
New this semester!  Faculty can integrate video tutorials into Blackboard courses. is an online library of instructional videos teaching the latest software tools and skills. Taught by accomplished instructors and recognized industry experts, is a high-quality resource for students and faculty. View the Welcome to video to learn more. Interested faculty, please visit the ECU login page to request an account for your fall courses.


Read & Write Gold Software
Students, faculty, and staff can get a free copy of Read & Write Gold!  This innovative literacy software is designed to support and improve reading, writing, research and study skills for all individuals, including English language learners. Features include:


  • Text-to-Speech – listen while your computer reads aloud electronic text
  • Vocabulary List Builder – create vocabulary lists with definitions for studying
  • Speech Maker – create an MP3 version of electronic text for audio playback
  • Word Prediction – compose papers using this tool, which helps improve writing skills
  • Translator – translate single words or paragraphs


Download Read & Write Gold for Windows at:

Have questions or need assistance?  Please contact the IT Help Desk.


The Online Tools Guide
ITCS supports a suite of learning platforms to meet your course management, communication, and collaboration needs. ECU hosted tools are all reviewed for FERPA, state contractual rules, ADA accessibility, and security compliance requirements. We recommend you work with the university to review products, pursue contracts, and confirm that tools are ADA compliant. If you have determined that there is not an ECU hosted solution available to meet your course needs, please visit the Online Tools Guide.  The Online Tools Guide contains the requirements for two scenarios: (1) when you ask students to upload course content into a non ECU hosted system, and (2) when you place student data in the cloud.
Register for IT Training in Cornerstone

Cornerstone is your access point to register for training and to take online training courses delivered by many of the departments on campus, including IT Training provided by ITCS.  Your personalized training center within Cornerstone provides access to your training transcript, upcoming sessions, and any online training in progress.  In the Browse for Training area you will see a link to ITCS training.  This month’s IT Training classes include: Blackboard Overview, ECU BIC,  Classroom Technology, CommonSpot, iWebfolio QEP Training, SabaMeeting Virtual Classroom and Intermediate Training, and Tegrity Lecture Capture. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you Register for Training in Cornerstone.



Double Dose Wednesday

Great article on helping students prepare for Online Quizzes and Tests some of the tips mentioned are 

Practice makes perfect! 
Get your computer ready for the exam. 
Only launch the test when you are ready to begin. 
Go over the entire test and answer the less challenging questions first.
Read each question carefully and pay attention to the clock.  Check out the article for more!

Got questions but no training focuses on them?  Why not arrange for a 1 hour consult with OET, in your office, classroom or lab!  Ask questions, get a demo or just pick OET’s brain!