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Extended Blackboard Technical Support for Faculty

Learning Ventures is pleased to announce that we have extended the weekday hours for Blackboard technical support for faculty. These extended hours now match those previously provided to students.

Faculty can now received technical support Monday through Thursday from 8:30 AM till 8:00 PM and on Friday from 8:30 AM till 6:00 PM.

To contact one of our Educational Technologists for technical assistance and support with Blackboard, please call 419-530-8835 or email UTLV@utoledo.edu.


Problems with Classroom Technology Due To Warm Weather

Spring has sprung and the warmer temps have caught everyone off guard. As you are well aware, many of the General Classrooms are much warmer than normal, which has led to issues with the mediation equipment (primarily projectors). As a safe guard, the projectors may shut down to save the  unit from overheating and damage.  Please feel free to continue to contact us directly (419-530-2656) if you have any problems. Facilities is very aware of the temperature issues and continues to work on those for ALL of  us.

Thanks.

Michael Haar
Assistant Director of Classroom Support Services


What is Echo360?

Learn what Echo360 is and all the features available. We are holding two seminars on March 15th.

Health Science Campus: 10 – 11:30 am in COB 2401

Main Campus: 2 – 3:30 pm in SU 2591

Join Learning Ventures and the Echo360 team to see what this great tool has to offer UT education! Register at https://utdl.edu/DL_training/. Click on “What is Echo360?” under the Hone In category.


Welcome To Tech Blast!

Over the past 20 years, technology has transformed the learning environment, and educational technology is a trend that is here to stay.  Whether teaching fully online or in a blended or web-assisted environment, there are many technological tools that can greatly facilitate teaching, learning and student engagement.

Each session of TechBlast will detail one particular tool that instructors can use to improve their teaching methods.  Instructors are then welcome to share their comments and experiences in using technology in teaching.  Our eventual plan is to combine all of our articles and user feedback into a book that can serve as a single reference point for using technological tools in education.

As we go through each session, we welcome your comments and feedback.  Also if you have a specific tool or method you would like us to feature, please let us know.


Email and Messages tools in Blackboard 9.1

Blackboard 9.1 has two different communication tools for sending communication to students.  The first tool is “Messages” and the other tool is “Send Email” The Messages tool allows instructors and students to send messages to other users in the course.  Communication sent by the Messages tool remains within the course, and students must check the course to see their messages.   This is similar to the old WebCT “Mail” tool. Users can send a message to one or more course users by using the selection tool that is shown below.:

 MessagesTool

 

 

 

 

 

The “Send Email” tool sends messages to the user’s UT email account, and the message is not stored in the course.  Students can view and reply to communication using their UT email account.  In addition, the “Send Email” tool offers the following presets for sending communication, allowing users to quickly send their communication to one of the following audiences:

All Users

  • Send email to all of the users in the Course.

All Groups

  • Send email to all of the Groups in the Course.

All Teaching Assistant Users

  • Send email to all of the Teaching Assistant users in the Course.

All Student Users

  • Send email to all of the Student users in the Course.

All Instructor Users

  • Send email to all of the Instructor users in the Course.

All Observer Users

  • Send email to all Observer users in the Course.

Single / Select Users

  • Select which users will receive the email.

Single / Select Groups

  • Select which Groups will receive the email.

Single / Select Observer users

  • Send an email to selected Observer users.

 

 

Best Practices for using course communication tools

Instructors should indicate their preferred communication method for online courses, and should provide the appropriate tool link and contact information to their students.  In addition, instructors should also set a policy for when they will check their communications with students and provide a timeframe in which students should expect a response.


From Epsilen’s CEO

According to Evan Nisonson, Epsilen CEO,  “a leading marketing and communications company based in Dallas, Epsilon, discovered what the press has described as a substantial breach of some of its client data and is currently investigating the situation. Due to the similarity with the name of our companies, I wanted to simply assure you that Epsilen has nothing to do with this issue.  At Epsilen, we take the security of our customer’s and user’s information very seriously and would never request any personal information, login credentials, or sensitive personal information such as credit cards or social security numbers in an e-mail.”

For further information, Epsilen users can always access the company’s  privacy statement at www.epsilen.com. If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Epsilen at privacy@epsilen.com.


The Offacc Account in Your Course

In addition to receiving communication from the Office of Accessibility regarding students enrolled in a WebCT/Blackboard course that are in need of academic accommodations, instructors may also notice a student view account with the username “offacc.” This account is added for use by the Office of Accessibility to ensure that the requested academic accommodations have been made available to the student.  

This account has the same access to your course as the students who need academic accommodations (time and half for tests, e-text etc.). Adaptive release settings for tests can be properly applied to the “offacc” account as well as to the students registered in the Office of Accessibility.

Should you have any question feel free to contact UTLV@utoledo.edu or 419 530 8835.


COIL “Blended Learning” Roundtable

Faculty from all colleges are invited to attend the “Blended Learning Roundtable.” The first meeting will be on January 5, 2010 in the Memorial Field House room 1910. Subsequent meetings will be held on Feb 9, March 2, and April 6. All meetings will be held at Noon.

The sessions will be devoted to the definition, implementation, and assessment of “blended learning.” Blended learning is distinct from “blended teaching”–it is not, for example, a “blend” of face-to-face and online modes of instruction. But then what exactly is blended learning? This series will be devoted to the discussion of learning-centeredness, the role of the instructor in “blended learning,” the use of “differentiated instruction,” and the role of technology in an emerging concept of blended learning that focuses exclusively on the needs of diverse learners.

Seating will be limited (at least in the first session), and priority will be given to faculty teaching ALS seminars and to faculty associated with COIL learning communities. Please RSVP to utlv@utoledo.edu.


Teaching “Carnival”

Time to head over to the Chronicle and Prof. Hacker’s “Teaching Carnival” (a curated collection of links from around the web on a specific topic). Good stuff.


Accessibility and Teaching Online

This article at the Chronicle today reminds us that accessibility in our online courses is an important issue. ProfHacker is thinking broadly about accessibility and universal design principles and it’s worth a look, but it is important to remember that our courses must remain accessible to all students. Blackboard 9.1 is fully compatible with technologies that ensure accessibility (screen readers, various forms of input, etc.), but your course’s accessibility depends in part on what you put on it. For instance, many faculty are opting to teach with open-source materials freely available on the web or using scanned copies of articles, staying within boundaries of “fair use.” However, unless your scanned copy is easily “read” by an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) program, what the seeing-impaired student gets will be either nonsense or nothing. If you use media files, are they accessible? Is your You-Tube video close-captioned?

If your course–whether online, face-to-face, or “hybrid”–needs to be made fully accessible, we strongly recommend that you contact the Office of Accessibility long before the beginning of a semester to make suitable arrangements. LV will work with the Office of Accessibility to ensure that exams and documents are accessible for all online or web-assisted courses in which accommodation has been requested.

Finally, please be sure to submit your book orders on time. This is not just to satisfy the bookstore’s need for an early order. The primary reason to submit your book order early is so that the Office of Accessibility can help make arrangements (digitizing textbooks, captioning, etc.) for students who need help accessing course materials.