Center for Educational Resources and Technology at DSU

Month: September 2020

Recorded Course Design and Pedagogies Workshops from Assoc Colleges of the Midwest

The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) is a consortium like our own LVAIC consortium.

The ACM member colleges collaborated in summer 2020 to offer a series of ACM Online Course Design and Pedagogies Workshops. Addressing concerns and uncertainty about how faculty and students would engage each other in fall 2020, the workshop series offered guidance and best practices on the concepts, skills, and techniques needed for ACM faculty to redesign and reimagine residential face-to-face course content for the online environment in ways appropriate to the liberal arts context.

Topics included:

  • Teaching and learning with care and hope: Ways of being with crisis, trauma, and uncertainty in the classroom and beyond
  • The liberal arts mindset at a distance: Tactics for building a hybrid course
  • Reimagining your syllabus for responsiveness: Aligning goals, assessment, and strategies for teaching
  • Developing effective assignments for the hybrid context and beyond
  • Design your course once for multiple modalities
  • Considerations for hands-on/performance/embodied experiences in remote learning environments
  • Fostering student collaboration and group work in remote and socially distanced learning environments

View the recordings here.

Classroom Technology Tips

  1. Login to Zoom right away, not after you have everything else set up. Once you’re logged into the PC and have Blackboard running, start your Zoom session right away so you can identify any problems early. If you have a lot of materials to get ready on the PC that you don’t want the students to see until you are ready, delay Zoom screen sharing. You can also temporarily switch to another input from the podium button panel if you don’t want the students in the classroom to see what you’re doing.
  2. To check Connected Classroom audio function
    1. Method #1: Select the Test Speaker & Microphone link from the Zoom dialog box that pops up upon login where you join computer audio.
    2. Method #2: In Zoom under the menu found next to the Mute/Unmute button, select Test Speaker & Microphone and follow the prompts.
    3. Method #3: Ask early arriving Zoom students whether they can hear you. Have one of them say something to you to confirm you can hear them.
    4. If any of the tests fails, try to change the speaker or mic settings in Zoom using the menu found next to the Mute/Unmute button or contact the Help Desk.
  3. If the sound fails on the podium PC and you know the correct speakers and mic are selected, restart (reboot) the PC. If that doesn’t work, or if the problem persists on multiple days, contact the Help Desk so CERT or IT staff can correct it.
  4. If the podium PC is hanging up upon login or acting strangely (responsiveness starts and stops, persistent slowness), immediately contact the Help Desk. It could be a serious problem that requires IT to replace the PC.
  5. Please log off the podium PC at the end of class (but don’t shut down the computer entirely). If you don’t log off and the next person logs in on top of you, some system resources may be “captured” by the previous login and not be available to the next instructor, particularly the document camera. To log off on a Windows 10 machine, select the Windows logo at the bottom left and then the person silhouette icon and select Sign out (some in CERT refer to selecting the silhouette as “punching the face” – not very Salesian, but memorable).
  6. Keep the tablet plugged in and charging. If you end up disconnecting the podium or cart tablet charging cord in order to make it easier to enter your Zoom meeting information, be sure to plug it back in, otherwise the tablet will run out of battery and the next instructor will be unable to start the room system.
  7. Call in the Orange Shirt Army. Hopefully you have met any CERT student workers on duty when you teach (recognizable by their bright orange shirts). Feel free to flag one of them down in the hallway or when they poke their head in your class to check on you. If they can’t help, they will escalate your issue to someone that can. The orange shirts can also help you outside of normal class time to test tech things out that you’d like to try.
  8. I’d like to speak with a manager, please. Now you can! CERT’s new Classroom Support Manager is Tom Cobb. A six year veteran of DeSales classroom technology support, Tom now coordinates and supervises our classroom support team of staff and student workers. Contact him at x1567 or tom.cobb@desales.edu. For classroom emergencies and routine issues, contact the Help Desk.

Setting the password for the LockDown Browser

The CERT team has confirmed a bug with the use of passwords on the Blackboard test options screen. The bug in Blackboard also affects the use of Respondus LockDown Browser for Blackboard tests since Respondus uses a Blackboard password as part of the security it adds. Students are getting prompts for a password or being told that the configuration is incorrect even though the LockDown Browser is being used and is configured correctly. Blackboard has confirmed the presence of the issue and has provided a temporary workaround when using the LockDown Browser.

To avoid the issue, set a password on the exam when requiring the LockDown Browser. There is a field in the LockDown Browser settings area for Password to access exam (optional).

Figure 1

If you have already added the LockDown Browser, go back to the Respondus LockDown Browser dashboard by going to your course and click on Course Tools…Respondus LockDown Browser. Click on the chevron in front of the test and choose Settings.

Once the password has been set – please provide it to the students. Note: this is not the string of letters/numbers set by Respondus when looking at the Test Options screen.

Figure 2

Your students will still need to use the LockDown Browser. When students take the test, they will be prompted for the password you put in the Respondus settings (Figure 1)

The login screen should look like one of the following

Figure 3
Figure 4

If the students get a screen with a password prompt that also includes a warning message there is either an issue with the exam settings, or more commonly, the student is not using the LockDown Browser. Please confirm with the student that the LockDown Browser has been downloaded and is being used. The warning screen looks like this

Figure 5

Please contact the DeSales Help Desk with any questions. An additional notification will be sent out once the problem is resolved.

Thank you,
The DeSales CERT team

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