For Faculty: Videos About Teaching and Learning

This article from The Chronicle of Higher Education highlights the work of Michael Wesch reflecting on high-impact teaching practices.  He has started a new website where he will post videos about teaching and learning.  It is worth a look, especially if you are feeling in a funk or need some inspiration to explore new teaching ideas.  From his classic, “A Vision of Students Today” to his more recent musings, you will find rich content for deeper reflection about your own teaching practices.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Home Page, Teaching and Learning Tagged with:

Canvas Tip of the Week: Notification Preferences

Did you know that you can customize what notifications get emailed to your E-Town email from Canvas?  All users – faculty, staff and students – should take a moment to be sure they are receiving the notifications they want.  For example, are you a faculty member who wants to get the same email notification your students receive when you post an announcement or email the class from the inbox?  You need to set those notification preferences, since by default they are set to never email the course instructor.  Learn more about customizing your notification settings here.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Canvas, Home Page

Canvas Tip of the Week – Unpublished Module and Published Assignments

The “draft state” feature, those green/gray clouds you see next to every module and item in Canvas, is a great way to control what students see that is similar to the “Make the link available” radio buttons that were part of every content item in Blackboard.  But, be careful. If an unpublished module contains published assignments or other content, the assignments/contents will NOT be accessible anywhere in the course.  The status of the Module overrides the state of the individual module items. Keeping module items in an unpublished state until you are ready to publish the entire module may help you notice what is unavailable to students. Learn more about Draft State in Modules.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Canvas, Home Page Tagged with:

It’s Not Me, It’s You…

Dear Blackboard,

You’ve been a great LMS, but I just wanted to let you know that things are just not going to work out between us. You’ve done a lot for me over the years, but to be completely honest, I’ve found someone new. Someone who’s a lot more user-friendly, someone who’s easier to navigate, someone who is simply just a lot less of a hassle. That someone’s name is Canvas.

Now I know you must be thinking, “Why, Etown, why? Where did I go wrong?” But it’s not about what you did; it’s about what you didn’t do. You just didn’t provide for me in the way that Canvas does. I need a learning management system that isn’t going to stress me out. I need a learning management system that’s straightforward and simple.

Blackboard, let’s face it, you just can’t compete. With Canvas, everything I could possibly need for a course can be found under the Modules tab. Blackboard, I just can’t keep getting lost within your website. I need to be able to find exactly what I’m looking for right away. Furthermore, communication in Canvas is a walk in the park with its Announcements and Inbox system. Did you know that I can sync my Etown Email with my Canvas notifications? I know, pretty great, right? Canvas tells me what I need to get done and when I need to do it. You know, for a while, I thought that you were the one. But truth be told, I’ve grown over the past few years and I’ve learned what I do and don’t want in a learning management system. Blackboard, I’m sorry, but, it’s not me, it’s you. Thanks for being there for me for so long, but I’ve moved on.

My best,

Etown

For more information on the transition from Blackboard to Canvas, please visit this website on Canvas Implementation.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Canvas, Home Page

Canvas Tip of the Week: Recent Updates to Canvas

Every three weeks, Canvas makes small enhancements to the learning management system.  The update this past weekend includes a preview of a new user interface.  We will switch our Canvas instance to this new interface on October 25th.  Although this switch will be mid-semester for the traditional programs, we do feel that the interface is easy to get used to and even easier to locate content, so a mid-semester switch will not be terribly disruptive.  Take a look at this video to see the new user interface and learn more about the other recent updates to Canvas.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Canvas, Home Page

What is Phishing?

Phishing emails are messages in which cybercriminals attempt to access somebody’s sensitive personal information. These messages can often appear to be sent from legitimate websites, but are actually being sent from people posing to be someone or something they’re not. These messages may try to steal account information, banking information, or any other kind of personal info that could lead to identity theft or an infected computer. Phishers may also use your personal information to install malicious software onto your computer.

What to Look For

  • Links – Many phishing emails will provide links within the message that will ask you for your information. To test whether or not a link is legitimate, hover over the link without clicking it, and the domain of the real website will pop up. If the name of the domain that pops up is different than the link provided, it is most likely a scam.
  • Threats – If an email contains a threat along the lines of “Fill out the provided form or else your account will be locked”, don’t trust it. It is likely an attempt to persuade you to give out your personal information. Cybercriminals will often use this tactic to make the victim feel obligated to fill out the illegitimate form.
  • Spelling or Bad Grammar – If you receive an email claiming to be from a legitimate organization but the message contains incorrect spelling or bad grammar, it is likely a phishing attempt. Legitimate organizations will have a team of editors that will make sure the email is typo-free before sending it out.
  • Illegitimate Use of a Company’s Name – Phishing emails will often fraudulently use a popular company’s name, such as Microsoft, to make the message sound more believable. If you ever receive an email that contains something such as “Microsoft requires your credit card information in order to validate Windows Updates”, do not trust it.

What to Do About It 

These are just a few of the common examples of phishing that you may come across. These obviously are not the only methods of phishing that you may encounter, however. Cybercriminals are getting more and more clever each day. Always be on the lookout out for illegitimate emails. If you ever encounter a suspicious looking email, mark it as spam or junk and report it to mailcop@etown.edu. We will investigate the issue and try to prevent it from happening again in the future. A good rule of thumb is that if the message looks fishy, it’s probably “phishy”. ITS will NEVER ask you for your password over email, so if you receive a message asking for personal information, it’s not real.  Click here to learn more.

Always be sure to keep an eye out for phishing emails. If it looks suspicious, don’t trust it!

 

Adapted from https://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/phishing-symptoms.aspx by Microsoft.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Digital Citizenship, Home Page

Password Change Reminder

When creating a new password, remember that it needs to contain at least three of these four elements:

  • Uppercase letter
  • Lowercase letter
  • Number
  • Special character (i.e. # $ ! * ^)

In addition, your password must be a minimum of eight characters, cannot contain your username or email address, and cannot be the same as any of your last five passwords.

You can change your password when logging on to a campus computer or through the Outlook Web App when checking your email. Again, be sure to also update your password on all of your devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) so that you don’t lock yourself out of your account. If your device repeatedly tries to connect to campus WiFi with the wrong password, your account may become locked.

For in-depth instructions on how to change your Etown password, please refer to the Change Network Password article of the knowledgebase.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Computer Tips, Home Page

What’s in the ITS Knowledgebase?

Personal Devices

Click here for articles that deal with personal devices such as laptops, phones, tablets, or gaming devices. These articles will show you how to do things such as setting up Email on your device, or registering your devices and connecting to our campus-wide wireless network.

Classroom Technology

Learn about different pieces of equipment such as the Swivl, iClickers, HoverCams, and more with the Classroom Technology section of the Knowledgebase. In this section, you can learn how to use new technology and incorporate it into a classroom setting.

Systems

The Systems section of the Knowledgebase is a great place to become familiar with several different systems that are commonly found around Etown’s campus, such as JClock, Printing, VPN, and more!

Web Based Apps

Articles in the Web Based Apps section of the Knowledgebase focus on software that you’ll find on the web. These articles are chocked full of useful information regarding online systems you’ll frequently find yourself using, such as Canvas or the new Office 365.

Software & Programs

In the Software & Programs section of the Knowledgebase, you’ll find comprehensive articles that will walk you through the basics as well as more advanced uses of certain programs such as Microsoft Office, Outlook, or Symantec.

 

The great thing about our Knowledgebase is that it’s constantly expanding. If you’re trying to figure something out, but there’s no article in the Knowledgebase about your particular issue, feel free to contact the ITS Help Desk at helpdesk@etown.edu or x3333 for assistance, or to submit a request for a new article. We’re always happy to help you!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Computer Tips, Home Page

What Can ITS Do For You?

Device Help 

Need help with device registration? ITS can help you with any of your mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, game consoles, and more.

Computer Help 

Come to ITS to receive help with registering your computer to the campus network. We’ll help you install updates and Symantec, as well as configure your WiFi settings. You can also schedule a diagnostic appointment to remove viruses or malware from your computer. We don’t, however, deal with hardware issues because that can void your computer’s warranty.

Software Support 

Be sure to give ITS a call if you are having difficulties with any kind of software or web-based application. Whether it’s help with Canvas, Microsoft Office, or some other program, we’ve got you covered.

Account Support 

Having trouble remembering your password? No problem. ITS can reset your password for you if you can’t remember it.

24/7 Support Documentation

Visit our extensive Knowledgebase for a collection a helpful how to’s and instructional documentation to help walk you through whatever you may be struggling with.

We are Here for You!

Contact the Help Desk at helpdesk@etown.edu or 717-361-3333 for assistance.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Home Page

Canvas Updates – August 2015

Lots of new features have been added to Canvas recently that you may want to explore.

  • Differentiated Assignments – You can now assign assignments to different sections AND individuals or groups of students and have different due dates.  This is helpful if you have a student that needs an extension for an assignment or if you want to assign different things to different sections or groups of students.
  • Repeating Events on the Calendar – Do you like to list items on the course calendar that repeat each week?  Now you can!
  • Feeds – Would you like your students to be able to easily read content from blogs that either they each create or from experts in field?  You can add the RSS feed for any blogs that you would like via the Feeds button in the course navigation menu.
  • Class Notebook – Would you like your students to easily be able to collaborate with each other on a project without having to login to a Google Doc or other collaboration tool outside of Canvas?  This may be a way to accomplish your goal.  Class Notebook is a special OneNote (from Office 365) that allows students to have a private space between you and the student (similar to a journal, but much more fully-featured), a whole class location where everyone can collaborate and share content, and a space for the instructor to post content that is viewable, but not editable by students.
  • OfficeMix – This is a free plug-in for Microsoft Powerpoint that can also be used outside of Canvas to create screencasts, annotated and interactive Powerpoints with assessment.  If you integrated an OfficeMix into Canvas, though, you can integrate the assessment feature within the OfficeMix Powerpoint right into the Canvas gradebook.  Have you wondered if students actually watched your recorded PPT lectures?  This tool could help you find out!
  • Canvas Badges – Badging is popular right now as a way to showcase mastered skills in a more tangible way.  You can add a badge to a module and design what it will look like and what criteria needs to be met for the student to earn the badge.  Then, the instructor can view which students have earned the badge.  If you like competency-based learning, this is a way to implement and measure competencies.
  • Atomic Learning – Add Atomic Learning videos or assessments as Assignments to a Module (via External Tool) and they can be added automatically to the Canvas gradebook.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Canvas, Home Page

Microsoft Office Free for All

Did you know that all faculty, staff, and students now have access to Office365?  This is a web-based version of Microsoft Office that you can use online on a computer and also via apps you can download on your mobile devices.  As part of the licensing agreement, all faculty, staff and students also can download the full version of Microsoft Office for Mac or PC on their personal machines for FREE.  Click here to learn more about how to access this great benefit.

Office365 gives you more than just free Office, though.  With this online tool, you have access to simplified versions of Word, Powerpoint, Excel, and OneNote.  It gives you online file storage space in OneDrive for Business.  Office365 also adds the ability to easily share and collaborate on files with anyone.  In many ways, it is very similar to Google Drive or Dropbox, but since we all just need to use our E-Town username and password to access the content, it is easier to use. Click here to learn more about using Office365 and here to learn about OneDrive specifically.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Computer Tips, Home Page, Office 2013

Canvas Tip of the Week: Course Availability

When you access Canvas, you may wonder if a course is available to students.  Here are some general guidelines.

1. Students only see courses two weeks prior to the semester beginning if the instructor publishes the course to make it available to students.

2. An instructor may choose to allow student access to a course during a different time frame than the actual course term dates via their course settings.  See this help guide.

3. When a course ends (term end date is reached), it is now is accessible via the “View All or Customize” link under courses in a “read-only” state.

Note: Until a course is published, notifications are not sent and email conversations can’t be sent via the Canvas Inbox.  If you need to communicate with students before the course is published in Canvas, use the email feature in Jayweb.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Canvas, Home Page

Canvas Tip of the Week: Peer Reviews

Building Engagement Through Peer Reviews

Consider building student engagement in your courses by using peer reviews.  You can make it so that your assignments automatically assign peer reviews once the students have submitted their assignment—whether it’s a draft or a final product.  Only you and the student who is being reviewed can see all of the comments; other students can simply see what they reviewed.

Here is some additional information on using the peer review tool in Canvas: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-2656

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Canvas, Home Page

Canvas Tip of the Week – Recent Updates to Canvas

Canvas makes updates and enhancements every three weeks.  The most recent update includes some very useful features that have been requested by the Canvas User Community.

Take a look at what is new:

Video Overview: https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/1609

Full Overview: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-4224

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Canvas, Home Page

Atomic Learning: Ten Ways Faculty Can Use These Videos

E-Town has a campus-wide subscription to Atomic Learning training videos.  This service provides over 10,000 videos on common technology and teaching topics and now also includes web-based assessments for many of the video series.  Are you wondering how other faculty are using this rich resource?  Take a look at this Top Ten List.  Need help integrating Atomic Learning into a Canvas course?  Contact Linda Macaulay for help.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Home Page, Teaching and Learning, Training Tagged with: