November 15

Some Highlights of the November 28th MR3 Update

Just a few highlights from the update. Some are new features, others are fixes to issues experienced by on-campus users.

HTML Accessibility Checker. (new feature)

  • An accessibility checker is now available within the HTML Editor for use within Content, Widgets, Quizzes, Assignments, Calendar, and any other tools where an instructor or student can access the HTML Editor.
  • The accessibility checker is available on the HTML Editor bar. After you add content to the HTML Editor, you can click the checker to ensure that the HTML page conforms to WCAG and Section 508 accessibility standards.
    • location of the new accessibility checker in the D2L WYSIWYG editor

Assignment folders available as release conditions again! (fix)

  • This is a fix. Since the last update it has not been possible to use any of the Assignment folder conditions as a release condition. With this release this bug has been squashed!

Long Answer (LA) question renamed Written Response (WR) (change)

  • The Long Answer (LA) question type (Quizzes, Surveys) has a new name: Written Response (WR). Nothing about the functionality of the question type has changed.

THE ICONS ARE BACK!!! (update)

  • Previously, icons displayed in Content to help users distinguish between content file types (for example, an icon for a video topic or an icon for a discussion topic). Now, icons reflecting the Daylight look and feel are re-introduced in Content. These icons are visible in the main Table of Contents view, the Module Content view, and the Table of Contents fly-out menu when viewing a topic or activity.
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Quizzes – shuffle question order at quiz level (new feature)

  • To discourage cheating in quizzes, instructors can now shuffle the order of all questions in quizzes or specific groups of questions (sections) in quizzes. For example, an instructor could shuffle questions 1-10 in a quiz, or shuffle questions 3-10 (grouping those questions into a section) and retain the order of questions 1-2 at the start of the quiz.
  • When editing a quiz in the Quizzes tool, a new option to Shuffle order of questions at the quiz level displays in the Quiz Questions section. When creating a new section to group specific questions in a quiz, a new option to Shuffle order of questions in this section is visible in the Display Options section.
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  • Once the shuffle option is selected, a shuffle icon appears next to each affected question in the quiz.
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Hide Assignment folders (new feature)

  • Instructors can now set the visibility state for draft content within assignment submission folders in Content and Assignments. When content is in a draft state, it is not visible to learners in Brightspace Learning Environment.
  • When instructors have set the visibility to draft, the hidden icon appears in the instructor view of the assignment.

 

The full release notes: MR3 Release Notes and Fixed Issues (PDF)

August 15

Technology for Teaching & Learning (T4TL) Showcase Today!

Faculty members, library staff, and our Academic Technologies Team staff will be presenting on specific educational technologies today from 1 pm until 3 pm in Voyageurs rooms in Atwood, as part of the Fall 2017 Convocation.

There will also be instructor workstations and help available.

Come and learn about Virtual Reality in the classroom, Syllabus Re-Design and Development, Open Educational Resources, Library D2L Widgets , D2L Awards Tool and Intelligent Agents, Adobe Connect and Media Space, among other topics.

We will continue to promote T4TL at other campus events in the future!

 

March 1

Books on Technology and Teaching and Learning

Nowadays, the majority of articles and news come to us instantly via blogs, websites, newsletters, online magazines. However, if you prefer to glance through books and have them as a manual while you are working on your courses, our library can offer plenty of good resources… and there is always the Inter-library Loan.

You can go to SCSU’s Center for Excellence in Teaching on the third floor of our library and loan them.

Below are a few recommended ones from the list, if you want to start thinking about facilitating an online course or building content for a future class:

  • Conquering the Content: A Step by Step Guide to Online Course Design, by Smith
  • Work by Palloff and Pratt (one of the books is The Virtual Student:A Profile and Guide to Working with Online Learners, there are a couple more)
  • E-Moderating, by Salman
  • Engaging the Online Learner: Activates and Resource for Creative Instruction, by Corrad and Donaldson
October 12

Free Open Online Course: Designing Digital Media for Teaching & Learning

This four week long open course (digitalmediaeducation.org – Join here) offers different paths of engagement with digital media. You will be using free tools to create, implement, and assess digital media for teaching and learning.

The course started this Monday, October 10, and will be running until November 6. It requires about 2-3 hours of work per week. There is also a possibility of getting a certificate from ISTE Teacher Education Network. The course is designed by faculty and graduate students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Education. They also lead a Google+ Learning Community (for which a gmail account is needed).

The course is very easy to navigate and has set learning objectives and the schedule. If you were wondering how to engage digital media in your course, this can be a great start!photo-credit-to-designing-digital-media-course-website-welcome-page-screenshot

 

June 15

Educause: 7 Things You Should Know About…™

EDUCAUSE 7 Things You Should Know About …™ is a series of publications that provides concise information about diverse range of professional challenges in higher education IT, from updates on current developments to explorations of important overarching issues. Use these quick reads to get essential information on emerging technologies and related practices, including potential implications and opportunities. Each two-page brief focuses on a single technology or practice and how it relates to higher education.

Here are the seven questions they answer in each publication:

  1. What is it?
  2. How does it work?
  3. Who’s doing it?
  4. Why is it significant?
  5. What are the downsides?
  6. Where is it going?
  7. What are the implications for higher education?

Among the most interesting topics, which you can skim through in less then a minute yet learn a lot, are: Remote Proctoring, One-Button Studio, Institutional Self-Assessment, Universal Design, Games and Learning, Open Educational Resources, E-Books, Podcasting, and many more.

They group the topics into two themes: Campus-Wide IT and Learning Technology Topics (click on each to access the list of publications).

May 11

The Humanities and Technology Camp in Twin Cities

You might be unfamiliar with the format of THAT Camp, which was started as an unconference. So what does that mean? First of all, as you may assume, it is an informal gathering, open to people of various interests and skill levels. It still is a conference of sorts, so you can propose a session, hold a presentation, or discussion. However, the decisions on proposals are decided by all the participants, on the day of the conference. Here is a video to help you understand it:

There are several unconference rules: be productive, have fun, and stay collegial.  New sessions are added last minute, and you are encouraged to switch to a different session that would be more interesting for you. So, save the date: May 23, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Free for all! 🙂

February 17

8 MOOCs that Support Technology in Teaching

online_livingroom 011An article written by Dian Schaffhauser on Campus Technology website has listed 8 MOOCs that can help faculty learn more on technology use in classroom (“8 MOOCs for Better Technology-Enhanced Teaching”). These professional development opportunities are, of course, open and offered through different universities. They are offered at different times, are self paced, and you can take what interests you the most from them. I will list them as they appear in the article.

1) Instructional Design Service Course: Gain Experience for Good    (starts February 22; runs 12 weeks; requires 2-3 hours of work per week, Canvas platform, Description: Learn how to create open educational resources (OER) for people in adult basic education programs.)

2) Becoming a Blended Learning Designer    (starts February 22; runs for 5 weeks; requires 2-3 hours of work per week, canvas paltform, Description: This MOOC will talk you through the Blended Learning Toolkit, a free, open resource for institutions that want to develop or expand their blended learning programs.)

3) Teaching with Tablets  (February 29, 2016; runs for 5 weeks; requires about 3 hours of work per week, Blackboard platform, Description: Intended for educators from elementary school through higher ed, this MOOC will cover the use of iPads and other tablets for teaching and learning.)

4) Accessibility: Designing and Teaching Courses for All Learners  (February 22, 2016; runs 6 weeks, Canvas, Description: Your chance to gain the knowledge and skills to design inclusive learning experiences, especially for students with disabilities.)

5) Disability Awareness and Support  (Timeline: Self-paced, Coursera, Description: Advance your understanding of accessibility issues in education, including legislation, universal design and assistive technologies.)

6) Prior Learning Assessment for Educators and Industry (February 22; runs 3 weeks; requires 2 hours of work per week, Canvas, Description: This course will teach you how to develop policies and articulations for credit for prior learning (CPL), explain the use of portfolios and assessments and introduce you to existing credit “crosswalks” and assessment resources.)

7) Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started (March 7; runs for 5 weeks; requires about 4 hours of work per week, FutureLearn platform, Description: This UK-produced course covers multiple practices and pedagogies to help participants learn how to use blended or hybrid tools and technologies “with confidence.” The “getting started” session is followed by an additional series on “embedding the practices.”)

8) Leaders of Learning (May 2016; runs 6 weeks; requires 2-4 hours of work per week, edX platform, Description: Richard Elmore, a professor of educational leadership in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, takes participants on a tour of the “shifting landscape of learning.” You’ll explore how learning is changing in a digital culture.)

November 9

Free online course: Designing Digital Media for Teaching and Learning

A team of students and a teacher at the UMassAmherst College of Education have created a 4 week long open online course on digital media in education. The course has its own website and a Google + community.

I have enrolled in this course in just a few easy steps, and its open access to anyone. Today, Week 2 started, but the course has Week 1 materials available and the only firm deadline for completing the assignments is the end of the course, December 7th, 2015.

The activities are there to help “explore, evaluate, and choose digital media tools for use in your own classroom.” I would recommend it both to beginner and advanced users of digital media. It suggests and teaches many useful tools, so this could be a good starting point if you have thought about using digital media in your classroom.

photo credit to Designing Digital Media course website, welcome page screenshot