Center for Educational Resources and Technology at DSU

Month: December 2017

January 2018 Workshops

DEIT Christmas Break Schedule

  • December 22: in-office until 4:30 pm, available by phone/email until 9 pm
  • December 23: Available by phone/email from 8 am – noon.
  • December 24 – January 1: DEIT office closed. Immediate response to emergencies only. Response to non-emergencies will not be immediate.

Use the Help Desk

During the Christmas break (and always), make your first call to the DeSales University Help Desk at 610-282-1100, ext. 4357 or The Help Desk can immediately answer most “how to” questions about Blackboard and other DeSales instructional technologies. Issues they cannot handle directly they will escalate to a DEIT staff member. In the case of emergency issues, the Help Desk will promptly contact an on-call DEIT staff member.

May God bless our university community and our families and friends during this joyous holiday season!

Eric Hagan
Director, DEIT

Blackboard and Panopto Down for Maintenance December 21

Both Blackboard and Panopto will be unavailable on Thursday, December 21 from 6:30 am until 6:30 pm.

Once Blackboard comes back online on the evening of December 21, Panopto will be unavailable for 2 additional hours, from 8:00 pm until 10:00 pm.

The downtime is for system maintenance and upgrades.

If you or your students need to access Blackboard or Panopto to prepare for the Winter Minimester that begins on December 23 or for any other reason, please plan around the system downtime on December 21.

Questions? Contact DEIT at 610-282-1100 x2290 or

DEIT Video Game Christmas Party, 12/21, 1-4 pm, Gambet Center

Panopto in Chrome

Chrome icon

If you’re a Chrome user, you may have noticed recently that a Panopto video stops playing if you toggle to a different tab. This has been enabled by default.

If you’re multitasking like a lot of us, this can be really annoying. If you’d like to continue to be able to play videos in the background while navigating different tabs, you can change your Chrome settings to do so.

How to change the video playback setting:

  1. Inside of your Chrome browser, type: chrome://flags/
  2. A list of “experiments” should pop up.
  3. Find Optimize background video playback in the list.
  4. Click on the dropdown box and select Disabled.
  5. Restart Chrome.

The New Box View

The Blackboard Assignment feature has an online document viewer and online marking interface named Crocodoc, which is a third party technology licensed by Blackboard. Crocodoc will stop working on January 15, 2018 as the technology has been deprecated by the third party supplier. A replacement document viewer and online marking interface will be made available as part of an update supplied by Blackboard. The new inline grading tool is known as the new Box View and will be activated on December 21st as part of the upgrade to Blackboard.

What happens when we move to the new document viewer and online marking interface in December?

When we move to the new document viewer and online marking interface all existing assignments that were submitted in Blackboard will be transitioned to the new interface. There will be a short time where it will not be possible to view Blackboard assignment submissions using the marking interface, but the submissions can be downloaded directly to your computer.

Once the transition to the new document viewer and online marking interface is complete assignments that were marked with the old interface will have any annotations that had been made during marking “burned in” and those existing annotations will no longer be editable. Blackboard has also informed its customers of an issue where comments made within Crocodoc, especially lengthy comments, may get cut off by the right margin within the new Box View. Additional annotations can be made over the top of these old assignments if required.

New and existing assignments will then use the new document viewer and online marking interface.

What changes will I notice with the new document viewer and online marking interface for Blackboard Assignments?

The new document viewer and online marking interface for Blackboard Assignments will have much better support for file types and fonts and will resolve a known issue with rendering of some documents.

The new document viewer and online marking interface will not immediately support “freehand drawing” over a submission – only comments and highlighting.

The image below shows the old and new interfaces side by side.

Assignment view comparison

This table compares the two annotation services.

Functions and DetailsCrocodocNew Box View
File types for conversionPDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, DOC, and DOCXOver 100 different file types, including video, audio, image, and programming code

File Types and Fonts Supported in Box Content Preview

File types for annotationPDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, DOC, and DOCXPDF, DOC, DOCX, ODT, PPT, PPTX and ODP

New Box View also supports only point-based annotations on these file formats: AI, BMP, DCM, EPS, GIF, PNG, PS, PSD, SVS, TGA, TIF, and TIFF

Course areasOriginal assignments, Ultra assignments, and in Ultra tests’ additional submission areaOriginal assignments, Ultra assignments, and in Ultra tests’ additional submission area
Annotation typesText- and point-based comments, highlighting, and drawingPoint-based comments and highlighting
DownloadUsers download a copy of a student file with the option to download in the original format or in a PDF version that includes the annotationsUsers can download a copy of a student file, but annotations won’t appear
Print functionNoYes
StudentsCan’t add annotations to documentsCan’t add annotations to documents
Bb GraderCan add annotations to documentsCan add annotations to documents with workaround

Annotate submissions in Bb Grader app


What do I need to do?

If at all possible, consider not grading assignments during the week of December 17th unless all of the assignments can be graded prior to the 20th. Delaying grading will avoid any problems if grades/comments need to be changed for recently graded assignments.

Guest Post: Tips for Teaching Adult Students with Work Experience – Eileen Schiffer, Faculty Focus

Learn how to leverage the wealth of personal and professional experience that non-traditional students bring to their pursuit of a degree.

By 2021, it’s expected that nearly 7 million postsecondary students will be attending part-time, and enrollment of students over age 35 will increase 25%.

Read the post here:

Using Classroom Tech for Your Final Exam?

Do you plan to use technology such as audio, video, Web sites, or software as part of your final exam? Be sure to do a tech check or have DEIT do one for you.

The Distance Education and Instructional Technology department (DEIT) strives to keep DeSales’ classroom technology in good working order at all times, but it is always best to test technology in advance, especially if your final exam is scheduled for a room that you do not ordinarily use where the technology configuration may be somewhat different than that with which you are accustomed.

If you are using technology as part of your final exam, DEIT suggests that you perform an authentic technology dry run a few days (or more) before the final exam will be administered. “Authentic” means actually playing the media or using the technology you plan to use in the room where the exam will be held using the devices and media you plan to use. If you run into problems or need assistance, contact DEIT. If it is inconvenient or impossible for you to conduct an authentic media dry run, contact DEIT and tell us where your exam is scheduled and what you plan to do and we’ll test things for you as best we can.

DEIT is here to help with your instructional technology and instructional design needs. Contact us at or 610-282-1100, ext. 2290.

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