Center for Educational Resources and Technology at DSU

Month: August 2017

Blackboard and Dropbox – Perfect Together

DeSales University’s Blackboard-Dropbox integration allows instructors and learners to easily link to and upload their Dropbox content into their Blackboard Learn courses.

Instructors and learners can link to their Dropbox content directly from Blackboard Learn using the mashup menu found in most content creation workflows: content creation, tests, discussion boards, blogs, journals, wikis, announcements, feedback, and grading notes. Instructors and learners enter their Dropbox credentials to access their content the first time this feature is used, and the credentials are cached for future use.

Benefits of the Dropbox integration

As a cloud storage platform, Dropbox is available anywhere there is an Internet connection. Cloud storage of files also allows instructors to quickly update content. Instructors can post links to Dropbox content in multiple courses. As changes are made to the files in Dropbox, the changes will be reflected in each course containing the link. Does this mean students can change an assignment submission after the fact if they use Dropbox? Answer: no, it does not. Assignment submissions made in Blackboard link to a specific revision of the file that was current as of the time it was submitted. Any changes made to the file after the point of submission will be ignored. Students would need to resubmit the file for the changes to be available.

For more information …

Additional documentation is available here (pdf format). For additional information, contact DEIT at 610-282-1100 x2290 or or come see us in Dooling Hall, Room 40.


Reporting Classroom Tech Problems

If something is not right in a classroom, don’t assume someone else reported it. If it is a classroom emergency that you’d like to be immediately addressed, call the Help Desk at x4357 (xHELP) and a technician will be dispatched to your room. If it’s a less time sensitive problem, when you have the opportunity, contact the Help Desk either by live chat (see MyDSU), email ( or phone (x4357/xHELP).

DEIT and IT check all classrooms before the beginning of the term, but sometimes we miss something or something goes bad after we do our checks. We make every effort to fix problems that affect your ability to teach ASAP or come up with an effective workaround.

Create a Welcome Video to Connect With Your Students

DEIT’s motto is “We Help Faculty Connect With Their Students.” A great way to add your personality to a course in a way that connects with today’s students is to create a brief welcome video. Video is a great tool to bring your humanity to an online class, but even in a hybrid or traditional class you can use video to introduce yourself and set the tone before you meet with the students in person.

DEIT can help you create or post a welcome video, or you can do it on your own. Two great DeSales tools for recording yourself are Panopto and the One Button Studio in Trexler Library.

Here are some examples of welcome videos created by our faculty members (used by permission). Login may be required to view some videos – if prompted to login to Panopto, select “Blackboard” and enter your normal DeSales username and password.

Dr. Brennan Pursell FN-455 Money, Booms, and Busts Recorded by instructor in his office using Panopto.

Dr. Tom Craig MG-201 Principles of Management Recorded by instructor in his office using Panopto.

Dr. Anna Berger TH-234 Study of the Old Testament Professionally recorded and edited by DEIT and hosted on DeSales media server.

Dr. Joshua Schulz TH-262 Medicine and Morality Instructor created video hosted on YouTube.

Whatever your skill and comfort level with technology, DEIT can help. Contact us at or 610-282-1100 x2290.

Teacher Characteristics and Behaviors that Make a Difference – Maryellen Weimer, Faculty Focus

This Teaching Professor blog post describes student-desired teacher characteristics. The list was compiled with attention paid to three criteria: 1) the behavior or characteristic increases learning outcomes; 2) the behavior or characteristic is “historically prominent” in the communication education literature (communication education has a long history of impressive research and scholarship on teaching); and 3) the list includes a wide variety of teacher qualities.


Goldman, Z. W., Cranmer, G. A., Solitto, M., Labelle, S., and Lancaster, A. L. (2017). What do college student want? A prioritization of instructional behaviors and characteristics. Communication Education, 66 (3), 280-298.

First Day of Class Activities that Create a Climate for Learning – Maryellen Weimer

Article from the Teaching Professor blog on ideas for setting the tone on the first day of class.

Effective Teaching Online – Sharon O’Malley, Inside Higher Ed

Four authors of books about online course development offer guidelines for engaging learners in distance education courses. Inside Digital Learning asked for their expert advice on how instructors and their institutions can excel in virtual course instruction. The authors agreed that the online classroom is different enough from the traditional one that faculty members and adjuncts need to create courses for digital delivery that are substantially different from those they teach on campus. And they said teaching online requires an even keener focus on student engagement than the face-to-face model does.

h/t UPCEA Professional Continuing and Online Education Update

The role of instructional technology at DeSales University

By Eric Hagan, Ed.D., Director, Distance Education and Instructional Technology

DeSales University is a teaching university. It is characterized by small class sizes, the development of personal relationships, and is enlivened by the rich tradition of Salesian Christian humanism. What is the role of instructional technology in such a place?

Quoting the DeSales University website, “Interest in the human person and the positive affirmation of human life and culture which stems from faith is the hallmark of any humanism qualified as ‘Christian.’ ” A Christian humanist education is, therefore, by, for, and about human beings, human beings striving to discern God’s path for them and to find the courage to choose that path and walk it well. Students in such a Christian humanist educational system ought to be guided by human professors who not only impart content and skills but also good judgment and wisdom.

Consistent with the university’s Christian humanist philosophy, the role of instructional technology at DeSales is to facilitate relationships among faculty and students, not to replace or diminish such relationships. To this end, at DeSales we use technology to enrich and extend what occurs in the face-to-face classroom, to bring faculty and students together through time and space, to give voice to students that communicate most effectively in the virtual classroom, and to automate routine tasks to allow more time for person-to-person interactions.

Instructional technology at DeSales is a toolbox at the disposal of our faculty. It exists to allow our faculty to more fully realize their vision for their teaching and their aspirations for their students. DeSales’ instructional technology and the people that support it are here for the faculty and students, not the other way around. Because instructional technology is rightly understood to perform a supporting role to the human actors in the DeSales educational process, it is not feared and walled off in an online learning department but rather embraced and infused across the university’s many academic disciplines and our three major program areas: traditional day, ACCESS, and graduate.

Technology, however, has changed the role of the professor by making effective teaching a more collaborative endeavor. Much like a modern physician, a modern professor recognizes that he or she is the leader of a team. In the same way that an effective physician relies on medical technologists, today’s effective professor knows to call on instructional technology experts to complement the professor’s pedagogical and content expertise.

As stated in its mission statement, DeSales University enriches the human community and enhances the dignity of the individual through its educational endeavors. Instructional technology at DeSales, when employed well, supports and enhances the humanity of all those involved in the educational process.


Know Your Classroom’s Tech

If you are new to DeSales, teaching in a classroom with which you are unfamiliar, or just like to minimize the chance of problems, do a classroom technology dry run before the first day of class. Make sure you can project your slides, play your YouTube videos, DVDs or BluRays, use the document camera, hook up your laptop – whatever it is you do. If you like, a member of the DEIT staff can meet you in your classroom and do a walkthrough of the technology with you.


Video: Classroom Technology in Dooling Hall

Video: Lecture Capture Rooms

Policy: Class Recording Policy

For more information on DeSales’ instructional technology, visit the DEIT Faculty Community in Blackboard. To schedule a classroom technology walkthrough or to ask questions, contact DEIT at 610-282-1100 x2290 or

Everything You Need to Know About Respondus in 3 Minutes

Check out our 3-minute video on Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor – DeSales’ tool for deterring cheating on online exams.

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