Category Archives: Weekly Tips

Now Accepting Project Applications for Animation, Simulation, or Interactive Websites

Do you have an idea for an innovative way to use technology to enhance your course content and improve student learning by explaining difficult concepts, providing a visual narrative for historical events or processes, creating an interactive timeline, or using a 3D model to describe a real life process? If you do, but don’t have the technical skills to create an animation, simulation, or interactive website, our multimedia experts can work with you to plan, design and develop a custom solution to meet your instructional needs.

The University Multimedia Center (UMC) is a faculty resource that promotes the use of instructional technology and enhances the technology-rich learning environment. The UMC provides assistance to faculty to support the planning, design and development of high quality multimedia components that enhance student learning, increase retention, and achieve efficient and cost-effective instructional methods.

To initiate a project, Submit a Project Application.

Links to Sample projects:

(ELI) Virtual: ANNUAL MEETING 2015

Designing our Thinking: Crafting New Directions for Digital Engagement
Online February 9 -11
Joyner East 204

The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI’s) annual meeting is the premier event for those committed to the advancement of learning through the innovative application of technology. Visit the full conference site for more information: ELI ANNUAL MEETING 2015.

ITCS will host the following online sessions in Joyner East 204 (one session in Self-Help 300G*). Join us to participate in any or all sessions, which will also give you access to on-demand sessions recordings. Register in Cornerstone to reserve your seat.

ELI Virtual Annual Meeting 2015 ECU Online Agenda for ECU Participants
(download or print the agenda)

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Bob Heterick Memorial Lecture: Online Learning: Shaping the Future of Higher Education On and Off Campus
4:00 pm to 5:15 pm
Joyner East 204

Eric L. Grimson, Chancellor, MIT

The landscape of higher education is changing, with the advent of digital tools that support immediate feedback, enable news modes of communication, and provide opportunities to mine massive data sets to create more personalized learning experiences. These changes hold the promise of providing better learning experiences for students, through more individualized access to material, flexibility in scheduling, and opportunities to access educational material anytime, anywhere. But these changes also raise challenges. What is the role of traditional classroom space in this new domain? What types of learning spaces best provide hands-on, context-driven experiences to complement online acquisition of knowledge? How do we encourage communication and team building when increasingly a student’s access is online? How do we restructure curriculum to better support modularity in degree design, and what impact does this have on financial models of higher education? How can we use flexible degrees to meet the interests of students, while ensuring adequate disciplinary depth?

OUTCOMES: Learn how online tools that support immediate feedback can substantially improve students’ acquisition and retention of knowledge * Understand how online educational tools provide a basis for more modular design of degrees and courses * Learn how online tools create opportunities for learning environments with different spatial needs from traditional classrooms.



Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Designed to Engage
11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Joyner East 204
Diana Oblinger, President & CEO, EDUCAUSE

The next generation of digital learning is emerging, integrating formal and informal experiences, personalizing learning, and providing clear pathways to student success. The digital environment of social, mobile, cloud, and big data creates unique settings that go beyond replicating offline activities online. Digital learning uses the best that technology has to offer, combining the physical and the virtual, engaging each learner to maximize student success.

OUTCOMES: Explore the concept of “digital engagement” * Learn how physical and virtual environments can be used in new ways * Consider how communities beyond the campus can benefit from digital engagement with colleges and universities.

Faculty Mentoring Faculty: Lessons Learned from a Formal Learning Technology Mentorship Program
1:45 pm to 2:30 pm
Joyner East 204
Carin Chuang, Annette Coates, Karen Klosinski, Christabel Rogalin, Anastasia Trekles, and Sarah White
Purdue University North Central

In an effort to improve the quantity and quality of online and blended courses taught at Purdue University North Central, a new program was put into place in fall 2014. Based on research in the value of peer mentoring in academic settings, a group of faculty mentors with extensive experience teaching with technology were paired with others who are just getting started. This presentation will describe the program structure, as well as the successes and challenges of the program from the faculty point of view, in order to assist other institutions in exploring similar models for improved faculty development.


The Flipped Classroom (TED-Style Presentation)
2:45 pm to 3:30 pm
Joyner East 204

Beyond the Flipped Classroom: Using Problem-Based Learning to Teach Millennials at the JMP
Jessie Heminway, Business Analyst/Curriculum & Technology Integration Specialist
University of California, Berkeley

Students don’t need to come to class to obtain information. Information is readily available and ubiquitous. So how do we keep students engaged and the classroom relevant? At the UC Berkeley–UCSF Joint Medical Program (JMP) the answer is problem-based learning (PBL). Through a progressive disclosure of information, role-playing, simulations and instant availability of information students teach each other the foundations of medical sciences. They not only learn the material, they learn to think deeply and creatively, solve problems, work in teams, integrate new knowledge into complex systems, and retrieve and synthesize information as doctors. And they love it.

OUTCOMES: Learn the UC Berkeley- UCSF Joint Medical Program method of delivering PBL in order to teach students how to work in teams and think like doctors, * Learn how PBL increases engagement in the classroom and promotes lifelong learning, * Learn how the Y Generation or Millennials are uniquely served by the intersection of the PBL model and current technologies.


A Math Class Flips over Blended, Team-Based Learning
Abby Grace Drake, Assistant Professor, Biology, Skidmore College


Math 100, a remedial class at Skidmore College, traditionally has been taught using a lecture-style format. With the assistance of Academic Technologies, the course was redesigned using elements of team-based learning extended to blend with a flipped classroom approach. All of the lectures were prerecorded and posted, and student preparedness was ensured using individual and team readiness assessment tests (iRATs and tRATs). After receiving an interactive lecture, the students would immerse themselves in team applications. Come hear how this innovative approach freed students from their math anxiety by creating a class atmosphere of empowerment and enthusiasm.


OUTCOMES: Learn how to capture lecture video using Surface Pro and Ink2Go * Learn how to use RATs to ensure that students complete preclass work * Learn how to leverage successful teams to increase student enthusiasm and engagement.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

 Ignite Session: Announcing the 2015 ELI Content Anchors
11:30 am to 12:15 pm
*Self Help Building 300G

 Kyle Bowen, Director of Education Technology Services, The Pennsylvania State University
Lois Brooks, Vice Provost / CIO, Oregon State University
Melody Buckner, Director of Digital Learning, The University of Arizona
Adam B.A. Finkelstein, Educational Developer, Teaching and Learning Services, McGill University
Susan E. Metros, Interim CIO, Associate Dean, Professor, University of Southern California


Come listen to a set of fast-paced, five-minute talks from thought leaders in teaching and learning! Since 2011, ELI has surveyed the teaching and learning community annually to determine the key themes and opportunities in postsecondary teaching and learning. We call them content anchors, as they serve as the framework, or anchor points, for our discussions for the coming year. A record number of community members voted to determine the content anchors for 2015. At this session, we will announce the results of the content anchor survey for 2015 and, in a series of Ignite-style presentations, you’ll hear what some of your colleagues think about these key themes and their significance for our work for the coming year.

OUTCOMES: Hear what teaching and learning thought leaders are doing within each of the top content anchors * Learn about the leading themes and opportunities in postsecondary teaching and learning * Learn about the ELI content anchor project


Announcing the NMC Horizon Report: 2015
2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Joyner East 204
Samantha Adams Becker, Derek Bruff, Veronica Diaz, Laurence F. Johnson

 Join NMC and partner ELI for the official release of the Horizon Report. This free report reaches nearly a million higher education educators across the world, is the result of a longtime collaboration between these two organizations and is released at the ELI annual meeting in this special session each year. Join collaborators Larry Johnson and Veronica Diaz in this session exploring the trends, challenges, and emerging technologies that will be impacting higher education teaching and learning over the next five years. We’ll also be announcing the winners of the Horizon Report Video Competition.


Blackboard Test Settings,, Save the Date

 It’s that time of the semester already, time to prepare for final exams.  Here is a helpful review of Blackboard Test Settings. 

TEST SETTINGS: Force Completion requires students to complete the test during that session. If they have a brief internet disconnection, they are locked out of the test. That’s when the emails begin. If you set the timer and do not choose Force Completion, students can easily resume their attempt without contacting you.  The Blackboard clock continues to run, so the student is not rewarded with more time..

. . We recommend using the timer settings and Auto-Submit instead of Force Completion. Do not use them both at the same time. A running clock is a deterrent to looking up answers elsewhere.
. . . Force Completion with LockDown Browser (LDB)? No. LDB does not like Force Completion. Use the timer and Auto-Submit instead.
. . . Randomize questions. That setting is just fine, but do not choose this option if you have a random block of questions in your exam.
. . . Test availability for just one student. Example: Student requiring accommodations per Disability Services. See the next paragraph “Test Availability…”
. . . Test feedback to students. What do they see and how do you control what they see? See the next paragraph “Test Availability…”

TEST AVAILABILITY EXCEPTIONS AND TEST FEEDBACK: We’ve had a few calls lately about how to make tests available to only one student who missed the test for a legitimate reason, and how to give extra time to a student who needs extra time per Disability Support Services accommodations. This is a new feature as of May 2014 – Test Availability Exceptions – and it is easy to use. The web page link at the end of this section includes information on Test Feedback that you will find useful.

One instructor’s best practice: She allows the students to only see the score upon submission; in the second setting she allows them to see their incorrect answers after the due date. She does this so students look up correct answers in their text, rather than seeing (and possibly sharing) all submitted and correct answers upon submission. You have many options – take a look.

Test Availability Exceptions AND Test Feedback to Students

Have Questions?  Please contact the IT Help Desk at 252.328.9866 | 800.340.7081 or Submit a Service Request.

Integrate tutorials on software, business and creative skills into your Blackboard courses. offers over 133,000 video tutorials that you can add to any content area of your Blackboard courses.  Link to these popular resources as you review course content or prepare to add content to your spring 2015 courses.  If your students need to learn how to use software such as PhotoShop, Microsoft Office, GIS, and AutoCad, be sure to check out the library. provides both short tutorials, full-length courses, and hands-on project files. The library also includes courses on job-search strategies, resume building, time management, and much more.To request access to add tutorials to any of your Blackboard courses, please visit ECU and submit the request form.Have Questions?  Please Contact the IT Help Desk at 252.328.9866 | 800.340.7081 or Submit a Service Request.
Save the Date: March 18, 2015
10th Annual Think-In
Think-In 2015: Teaching with Technology Showcase
Information Technology and Computing Services
Joyner Library
9 am to 12 pm
1st Annual DISSH Symposium
Digital Innovation and Scholarship
in Social Sciences and Humanities
Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences
Joyner Library
2 pm to 6 pm

Clicker Survey

February 7, 2014 

Clickers in the Classroom @ ECU

Audience Response Systems (clickers) are designed to actively engage students during class, gauge their level of understanding, and provide prompt feedback.  Turning Technologies is our current supported clicker, based on a campus recommendation from IT support, faculty, and students.  The purpose for maintaining this recommendation is to prevent students from having to purchase multiple clickers for different courses. The clicker recommendation/support includes integration with the Blackboard gradebook, as well as campus training and assistance.

As many of you know, last year Turning Technologies released Turning Point version 5, which was a major upgrade to combine multiple programs into one.  Now it’s time to check in with our clicker users and ask for feedback.  Please take a few minutes to tell us about your experiences using clickers in the classroom. Your feedback will help us in our planning efforts and in meeting your academic technology needs.

>>>Click Here to Start the Clickers Survey<<<

Think-In Call for Proposals (due 2/14/14)

February 3, 2014

ECU Faculty and Staff: Information Technology and Computing   Services (ITCS) would like to invite you to submit a proposal for the ninth   annual Think-In! This is a great opportunity to network with   colleagues and share the innovative strategies and learning technologies you   are using to enhance your classroom, both face-to-face and online.Think-In 2014 will be held in   Joyner Library on March 26th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. This year’s format will include poster sessions, complemented by a few presentations.The Think-In is always energizing and draws a crowd. Comments from your peers illustrate the value   of the Think-In:

  • “I learned a great deal that day, things that I can use in my teaching responsibilities.”  
  • “There was a useful focus on specific innovation/applications, and very engaging, helpful        presenters.”
  • “One of the obvious strengths was in networking and learning about the work of the other presenters.”

Mark your calendars and   submit your poster proposal today!  To learn more, please visit Think-In   2014.  Presentation proposals are due February 14th,   and you can access the proposal form here.  If you have any questions, please   contact Ginny Sconiers at If you are new to ECU or have never attended a Think-In, check out the highlights and webcast on the website.                                                                     

© 2014 ITCS at East Carolina   University. ECU Learning Technologies   Digest is published by Information Technology and Computing Services.

Think-In 2014 Call for Proposals

ECU Faculty and Staff: Information Technology and Computing Services (ITCS) would like to invite you to submit a proposal for the ninth annual Think-In! This is a great opportunity to network with colleagues and see some of the innovative strategies and learning technologies faculty are using to teach.

Think-In 2014 will be held in Joyner Library on March 26th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. The event will showcase faculty who use technology to enhance their teaching in both face-to-face and distance education courses. This year’s format will include poster sessions, complimented by a few presentations.

The Think-In always proves exciting and draws a crowd. Comments from your peers illustrate the value of the Think-In:

  • “I learned a great deal that day, things that I can use in my teaching responsibilities.”  
  • “There was a useful focus on specific  innovation/applications, and very engaging, helpful presenters.”
  • “One of the obvious strengths was in networking and  learning about the work of the other presenters.”

Mark your calendars and submit your poster proposal today!  To learn more, please visit Think-In 2014.  Presentation proposals are due February 14th and you can access the proposal form here.  If you have any questions, please contact Ginny Sconiers at If you are new to ECU or have never attended a Think-In, check out the highlights and webcast on the Think-In website.

Blackboard Course Purge: 2011 Summer and 2011 Fall courses

October 2, 2013

Every year we purge old Blackboard courses. We do so to stay within our storage goals and business policy of keeping only two years of Blackboard sites in our production system.  In a few short weeks, we will be purging the following courses (all of them) unless you submit a request to have your courses saved.

>>>>> The purge date is  October 23rd, 2013  <<<<< 

  • 2011 Summer #1 semester
  • 2011 Summer #2 semester
  • 2011 Full Term Summer semester
  • 2011 Fall semester

You have 2 choices for saving your course site. 

1 – Request us to save your Bb sites in Blackboard. If you choose this option you will need to list all FULL COURSE ID’s in your request submission. Here is the link to submission site:

>>>  <<<

2 – Export or Archive your Bb courses offline.  This is a suggested best practice for all used Blackboard courses at the end of every semester. Make sure you save all exported or archived sites on your ECU Piratedrive.

Export: Only course content
Archive: All course content, student interactions and gradebook data

In both an export or an archive you will be saving a .zip offline for your records. Please save these files in a secure location like Piratedrive.

  1. Go to the Control Panel in your Blackboard course, click Properties and Utilities.
  2. Click Archive course.
  3. Include Grade Center History if you want to save student work.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. Wait for an email confirming the archive process.
  6. Once you receive the email, go back to Export/Archive Course under the Control Panel. Click to download to a secure location (e.g., Pirate Drive).

Please download the one-page PDF, How to Archive Your Course for further details, including FERPA and HIPAA regulations regarding privacy. Note: The .zip file is only useful once uploaded to the Blackboard environment.

Questions? Contact us at

Classroom Technology Standards: Please Share your Input

May 1, 2013


We are reviewing classroom technology standards and would like your input. Please take a few moments to complete a four-question Classroom Technology survey.  This is your opportunity to share configuration recommendations and any new technologies you would like to see in the classroom. Your feedback will help us in our planning efforts and in meeting your academic technology needs.

Please share your input today or by May 24.

 >> Click Here to Start the Survey <<


Thank you for your time,
Information Technology and Computing Services

Blackboard: Assessment Creation Best Practices and Update Reminder

April 29, 2013

ECU Faculty: As we approach the end of the semester and final exams, it’s the perfect time to share Assessment Creation Best Practices and Information. This blog post reviews a list of tutorials and best practices for both building and taking Blackboard exams. If you ever experience any issues with students taking your Blackboard exams, please report these problems to the Help Desk ( as soon as possible. When reporting these issues please include the following information.

• Course ID
• Test location and name
• Student email ID
• Symptoms (behavior/details, browser, PC or Mac)

Important Reminder: The planned downtime for the Blackboard update will start at 1 pm on May 11th (grades due at 12 noon). During this downtime period you will not have any access to the ECU Blackboard system. Please consider getting your Summer 1 and Full Term Blackboard sites ready before this downtime starts.

Beginning May 13th, you will have access to new features in Blackboard, which will make your Blackboard experience that much better. We invite you to visit the Blackboard 9 Service Pack 9 blog post to learn more about this update and the new features.
As always, if you have any questions please call or email Matt Long, Cindy Bowers, or Allen Dennis. / 328-9074 / 328-9167 / 328-2841

New Features Coming Soon…Blackboard, SabaMeeting, and TurningPoint

April 11, 2013

This is the time of the year when we upgrade our learning platforms to provide new functionality for faculty and students.  The time period in between spring and summer semesters is the optimal time for us to release new features and updates that will enhance your teaching and learning environment. In May, you can expect to see new features in Blackboard, SabaMeeting (formerly Centra) and TurningPoint.

 Blackboard: May 11th

 Beginning May 13th, you will have access to new features in Blackboard, which will make your Blackboard experience that much better. We invite you to visit the Blackboard 9 Service Pack 9 blog post to learn more about the new features.

 New Feature Summary:

 Course to Course Navigation – You will be able to quickly jump back and forth between your courses.

  • Auto Regrading – Have you ever found an error in a test (after students took it) and you had to manually change each student’s grade? With “Auto Regrading” you can correct the error in your test, and Blackboard automatically gives those extra points to each user who requires a grade change.
  • Copy and Paste from WORD option – How many times have you heard us say that copying/pasting from Word can cause problems? Another new feature is a cleanup tool; it strips html code that comes from pasting from a Microsoft Office document.
  • Course Structures – choose between a wide variety of pre-built course structures.  These course structures have a predefined navigation setup, such as menu tool links and content area. They “add” to your course and never overwrite anything (e.g. a menu item you created).

 **Please note that planned downtime for Blackboard will start at 1 pm on May 11th (after grades are due). You will receive notification when the Blackboard update is complete.  Please contact us at if you have any questions.

SabaMeeting (Centra) Upgrade: May 25th  

 We are upgrading from SabaCentra 7.7.2 to SabaMeeting 8.1.1 during first summer session. This upgrade will introduce several new product changes and enhancements. One of the biggest changes that users will see is the change in the name of the program. Saba has changed the name of their web conferencing program from SabaCentra (which we’ve always just called Centra) to SabaMeeting. After this upgrade, the Resource Center will be located at, the login page will be located at: and our e-mail address will change to

 Another of the big changes in this release is that of a fully functional browser client. Saba is continuing movement from a client that has to be downloaded and installed to a version that runs within any browser. With this release, the browser client will have all of the capabilities of the desktop client and more because the browser client is where Saba will now be placing all of their new features. It’s important to note, that even after the summer 2013 upgrade, the desktop client that everyone is familiar with using will still be available for everyone to use alongside the browser client, so you will have plenty of time to get comfortable with the browser client.

 Just a few of the additional changes and enhancements include:

  • Ability for ECU faculty/staff to create their own meetings
  • Android client release
  • Option to make one primary live video large
  • As well as several more…For a full list of product changes and enhancements with descriptions of each, please visit:

This upgrade is planned for Memorial Day weekend (May 25th through the 27th).  Please contact us at if you have any questions.

TurningPoint Upgrade: May 11th

We will be upgrading the TurningPoint Blackboard building block in May, which will allow you to begin using TurningPoint 5 software with Blackboard. TurningPoint 5 combines polling in PowerPoint, polling in any application, Self-Paced Polling and Results Manager all into one single program. Once we upgrade the TurningPoint building block, you must upgrade to version 5 of the software or you will no longer be able to upload clickers data into Blackboard.

The TurningPoint 5 software can be downloaded for free at Turning Technologies in the downloads area of the website. You are encouraged to download the “PC – No Install Version” or the “Mac – No Install Version” and install it directly onto your Piratedrive. By doing so, your program settings and clickers data will follow you to any computer that you use on campus, regardless of whether it is a computer in your classroom or the computer in your office. If you plan to use TurningPoint for Power Point to embed polling in your Power Point slides, you will also need to install and run TurningPoint 5 on your desktop. **Please note: student clickers data should only be stored on Piratedrive or a secure encrypted USB flash drive. Visit the ITCS Data Encryption page in the ITCS Service Catalog to learn more.

If you upload clickers data to Blackboard, we recommend that you go ahead and give the new version a try. Right away you will see the new enhancements and simplified interface changes between version 4 and version 5. The next training session will be offered on April 25th from 10:00 am to 11:30 am in Laupus Library Room 2502 G (West Campus). To sign up, just login to and locate the training titled “New TurningPoint 5 Clickers Training”.

 Please contact us at if you have any questions.