Center for Educational Resources and Technology at DSU

Category: tech matters Page 2 of 6

Coming December 15th – Panopto 6.0

Panopto iconA new version of Panopto is being released the evening of December 15th. While most of the updates are administrative there are two changes that could affect faculty and students.
  • A new user interface. The Panopto web site ( will be getting a new look. It features a new collapsible navigation bar and resizable folder and system settings trays to improve site browsing and navigation.
  • A recycle bin. Administrators will have access to a recycle bin so deleted videos will be able to be restored. Note: to take advantage of this feature please contact the DeSales Help Desk ( or 610-282-1100 x4357).

Panopto will need to be taken offline temporarily to roll out the changes. On December 15th from 7:00 PM until approximately 11:00 PM Panopto is going to be unavailable . During this time recordings will not be available and new recordings will not upload. Note: recordings can still be made offline and uploaded after the outage ends.

Upcoming Practice Maintenance Event

Maintenance is being performed on the Practice platform on Sunday, December 8th with an 8 hour maintenance window starting at 3:00 AM ET / 8:00 AM UTC. During this time, users will not be able to access or interact with Practice.

The purpose of this event is to significantly upgrade the technology stack supporting Practice. This upgrade will make the service more stable and performant and allow our engineering and professional services teams to innovate upon, extend, and customize the product to better meet customer needs.

Zoom and Flex: What’s What?!?

Zoom – a tool; Flex – a class format

You may have heard the terms “Zoom” and “Flex” bandied about DeSales recently. If you’d like some clarity about what Zoom and Flex are and how they are different, read on!

In brief, Zoom is a web conferencing service (like Blackboard Collaborate) whereas Flex is an innovative, flexible class delivery format that uses Zoom as a tool to support the class.


Zoom Video Communications, Inc. markets a web conferencing service called, you guessed it, “Zoom.” Zoom is used to hold live video-based online class sessions and other online meetings. It is an alternative to Blackboard Collaborate, Skype, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, and others.

Due to high customer satisfaction rates, Zoom has gained market share over its competitors, especially in higher education. All of our sister institutions in the LVAIC consortium use Zoom.

Although Blackboard Collaborate is currently DeSales’ primary web conferencing service, DEIT has been using Zoom for selected applications with excellent results. If all continues to go well with Zoom, DEIT plans to entirely replace Blackboard Collaborate with Zoom for the 2019-2020 academic year. If you don’t want to wait, Zoom is available to DeSales instructors now as an alternative to Blackboard Collaborate (contact DEIT to make the switch).


Whereas Zoom is a specific company’s web conferencing service, Flex is an innovative class format that has a web conferencing component. We are using Zoom as our web conferencing tool to help deliver Flex classes, but any web conferencing service could have been used.

Pioneered by the ACCESS program and being evaluated by our graduate programs, a Flex class has a live component and an asynchronous online component. In the ACCESS case, 24 hours of instruction are delivered live and 21 hours are delivered through asynchronous online coursework. Where the flexibility comes in is that students can choose to experience the live portion of a Flex class either in a traditional classroom or live online via Zoom. The remote live students appear in the classroom via a 2nd large video monitor and are expected to participate in the live class just like the students in the classroom.

Below is a 2-minute video on the Flex class format.

4th Annual Instructor Roundtable and Dinner June 13 Trexler Library

Blackboard Unavailable July 24-25 for SaaS Migration

Blackboard will be unavailable on July 24 and 25 as we transition from “managed hosting” to “software-as-a-service (SaaS)”. System users will not encounter any major changes to the interface on July 26 other than some minor upgrades. The SaaS infrastructure is designed to eliminate the need for system shutdowns for upgrades in the future and will assure that DeSales always has the latest version of Blackboard deployed. Questions? Contact DEIT at 610-282-1100 x2290 or

Dooling VCRs, R.I.P.

Over the summer, the last remaining DeSales classroom VCRs on the 2nd floor of Dooling Hall will be replaced with BluRay players. Instructors that wish to retain material that only exists in VHS tape format (what, no Betamax?), should contact DEIT to have such material converted to digital format. Questions? Contact DEIT at 610-282-1100 x2290 or

StudentLingo to be Discontinued at DeSales 7/31/2018

Due to lack of interest / use, DeSales subscription to the StudentLingo / TutorLingo video service will not be renewed upon expiration on July 31, 2018. Questions? Contact DEIT at or 610-282-1100 x2290.

May 2018 Workshops

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

Blackboard assignments and Safari 11.1

Appple logoApple Inc released a security update to the Safari 11 browser on March 29, 2018 ( Safari 11.1 contains a number of improvements. However, the update appears to cause problems when trying to submit assignments to Blackboard.

Blackboard Inc has identified a known issue with Safari 11.1 when it comes to submitting assignments. Students attempting to use Safari 11.1 to upload files to assignments will receive an error message – Failed to submit Assignment. Please try again.

Blackboard is working on some fixes but it appears likely the issue will not be resolved at DeSales until the switch to SaaS this Summer ( The workaround is to use a different browser – Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, for example, to submit Blackboard assignments.

The DeSales DEIT team

Guest Post: Why It’s Almost Impossible for Fastballs to Get Any Faster (Wired, Robbie Gonzalez)

As baseball season gets underway, here’s a story (and video) for baseball fans and virtual reality fans, featuring Villanova’s baseball team and CAVE VR room. Learn why we’ve already seen fastballs as fast as they are going to get (spoiler: it’s all about ligaments) and how VR can help baseball players be better hitters.

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