Center for Educational Resources and Technology at DSU

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Transition from Collaborate to Zoom

DeSales University recently executed a multi-year agreement with Zoom Communications, Inc. to provide web conferencing services to the university community. We are phasing out use of our other web conferencing platform, Blackboard Collaborate, between now and June 2019.

Collaborate-to-Zoom Transition Table
ProgramMAY use Collaborate through the end ofMUST switch to Zoom by the beginning of
Traditional DaySpring Semester 2019Fall Semester 2019
ACCESSACCESS Session 4ACCESS Session 5
DPT, M.Ed, MFA, MSPASSpring Term 2019Summer Term 2019
DNP, MACJ, MBA, MSIS, MSNWinter Term 2019Spring Term 2019

 What you need to know:

  • Both Collaborate and Zoom are available for use through June 15. However, DEIT encourages switching to Zoom as soon as possible since Zoom is our platform moving forward. The table above describes when your program needs to be completely cut over to Zoom.
  • Collaborate recordings will NOT be available in Collaborate after June 15. If you need to save a recorded Collaborate session, download it as an mp4 file and save it elsewhere. (The steps to locate and download recordings are available online – https://help.blackboard.com/Collaborate/Ultra/Moderator/Get_Started/Record_Sessions) Recommended locations to store downloaded mp4 files include the DeSales media server or Panopto. Storing media files in Blackboard is not recommended. Contact DEIT for assistance.
  • Zoom is great! Try it. You can use Zoom both in and outside of Blackboard. Instructors can create a Zoom account by clicking the Zoom menu in a Blackboard course. Anyone in the university community (faculty, staff, students) can create a Zoom account by visiting http://desales.zoom.us. You may use Zoom for both university-related and private communications, subject to the university’s Computing Use and Internet Policy.
  • Documentation for Zoom can be found at http://support.zoom.us or, for instructors, within the DEIT Faculty Community in Blackboard.
  • Group and one-on-one Zoom training is available from DEIT.

Questions? Contact DEIT at 610-282-1100 x2290 or deit@desales.edu.

Internet Explorer and Blackboard, not so perfect together

Internet Explorer logo with no symbolA number of issues have been identified with Blackboard Learn when using the Internet Explorer browser. Recent issues include:

  • Problems with hyperlinks in Blackboard Portfolios
  • Intermittent issues with the inline grading tool
  • Images and fonts change in Modules when using the Back button
  • Problems uploading files to assignments

The DEIT team would like to remind everyone that Internet Explorer is not a supported browser when using Blackboard (support ended in Q4, 2018). Please use a different browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge.

Additional information

Microsoft is no longer actively developing Internet Explorer and has recommended it not be your default web browser – https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Windows-IT-Pro-Blog/The-perils-of-using-Internet-Explorer-as-your-default-browser/ba-p/331732.

A security exploit was found in March 2019 with Internet Explorer that “allows hackers to spy on you and steal personal data from your PC” (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevangelho/2019/04/15/warning-internet-explorer-just-became-a-silent-but-serious-threat-to-every-windows-user/#7c4c9cb886d8)

Unless needed for a specific site, it may be best to remove Internet Explorer from your computer. The steps outlined by Microsoft to remove Internet Explorer are below.

  • Press the Windows logo key+R to open the Run box.
  • Type appwiz.cpl, and then select OK.
  • In the the Programs and Features item, select Turn Window features on or off.
  • In the Windows Features dialog box, locate the entry for the installed version of Internet Explorer. For example, locate the Internet Explorer 11 entry. Then, clear the check box.
  • Select OK to commit the change.
  • Restart the computer.

The end of Flash as we know it…

Adobe Flash logoWhat we now know as Adobe Flash was previously a dominant platform for online multimedia content, however, it is slowly being abandoned as Adobe favors a transition to HTML5 due to inherent security flaws and the significant resources required to maintain the Flash platform. In fact, Adobe plans on ending their support of Flash at the end of 2020.

Apple has already restricted the use of Flash on its iOS devices, and major web browser companies are reacting to the announcement. Firefox (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Plugins/Roadmap), Google (https://www.chromium.org/flash-roadmap), and Microsoft Edge (https://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/2017/07/25/flash-on-windows-timeline/) indicate Flash will be disabled by default by the middle of 2019 (but there will be an option to enable it), and all support for Flash will end in 2020.

What does this mean for DeSales? The DEIT team has already reviewed most of the major educational platforms in use. Blackboard, Panopto, Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom, and the DeSales streaming media server do not require Adobe Flash to function. The remaining issues could be with other third-party content from textbook publishers, external websites, and any locally stored material.

The main recommendation coming from DEIT is to review the multimedia you use in courses. If you have local media files that end in either .FLV or .SWF you will need to find alternate means of showing the content once Flash is disabled. The DEIT team can help with the conversion of .FLV files.

The other step faculty should take in the near future is to see if a prompt to activate the Flash plugin is received when clicking on web links in Blackboard. (These prompts typically come up with video links or other interactive multimedia content)

Prompt message to activate Flash

Please contact DEIT with any questions or if you suspect some Flash content is in a course. DEIT can help determine if an alternate method of providing the material is available.

DEIT Winter Classroom Projects 

DEIT completed several projects over the Christmas break, including the addition of “Flex class” capability in Dooling Hall rooms 204 and 209, audiovisual system upgrades on the first floor in Dooling rooms 104 through 109, and enhancements to the Trexler Technology Center (TTC) audiovisual system.  

Flex Classrooms: Dooling 204 and 209 

Two video displays have been added in Dooling Hall rooms 204 and 209, one on the back wall and one on the side wall. A PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) camera has also been added on the rear wall. At the podium there is a digital tablet that acts as a control. 

The new technology is used for evening Flex classes for our ACCESS and graduate programs. With a Flex class, students have the option of attending either in the traditional classroom or live online. The extra classroom displays show the remote students “Hollywood Squares” or “Brady Bunch” style (if anyone has an updated cultural reference, let us know).  

DeSales can now has seven specially-configured Flex classrooms: Gambet 206, 210, 228 and 232; and Dooling 051, 204, and 209. Flex classes may also be run using our three mobile carts and the distance learning classrooms in Campbell Hall and on the Bethlehem Area and Lansdale campuses.  

Dooling 104 through 109 Classrooms: Improved Reliability 

To improve the reliability of the audiovisual systems in the first floor Dooling Hall classrooms, DEIT staff upgraded the Crestron processors in the podiums and the Elmo document cameras. The systems are now simplified with all digital equipment and connections, which will increase reliability. 

 

Trexler Technology Center (TTC)

The systems now have all digital connections, which will increase reliability.  Also, the old screens have been upgraded to new widescreens and have been centered for both the left and right sections of student seating. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions or comments? Contact DEIT at 610-282-1100 x2290 or deit@desales.edu.   

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.

Results of IHE Survey of Faculty Attitudes Toward Technology

The trade publication Inside Higher Ed recently published the results of its 2017 Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology.

Much of the survey focused on faculty attitudes toward online classes. In my view, like “regular” classes, online or hybrid classes can be taught poorly or well. Due to the increased use of technology, in my view, faculty members need to take more of a team approach and lean on support resources such as DEIT’s instructional designers.

Some highlights from the national faculty survey:

  • 62% agree with the statement “I fully support the increased use of educational technologies.” Only 8% disagree.
  • 42% of instructors reported having taught at least only one online class (but only 21% at private institutions).
  • An increasing minority of faculty (33%) agree that student outcomes are as good or better in an online class as an in-person class (roughly equal proportions either are neutral or disagree). But among faculty members that have taught online themselves, 45% agree.
  • Faculty concerns about online classes include lack of interaction during class (86%), reaching at-risk students (79%), rigorously engaging students in course material (60%), maintaining academic integrity (60%), and delivering necessary content to meet learning objectives (51%).
  • 70% of instructors that have taught online say the experience helped their teaching. Even more say teaching online helped them learn to use multimedia content and the learning management system. About 50% say they are more comfortable using active and project-based learning techniques and better at communicating with students outside of class as a result of teaching online.

If you have ideas for incorporating instructional technology in your classes, contact DEIT to either talk things out or to get help with implementation. DEIT is here to support the faculty.

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

 

Panopto 5.2 Update

Panopto5Logo_Small

Panopto 5.2 Update

The DeSales Panopto server was updated on June 25th, 2016. With this update came several new features and a few updates to the interface. New features include:

A new web-based editor

The new Panopto editor can be used in multiple browsers and does not need Silverlight for basic edits. If all you need to do is create, edit, or delete cuts to a recording, edit table of contents entries, or edit slides, stream start times, you can use the new editor to make those basic changes. The editor does also have a new look. The individual streams now have an icon in front to help you identify them, many of the tools are now highlighted in blue when in use, making it easier to determine which tool is in use, and changes will be automatically saved. Note: Changes will not be displayed to viewers unless the Publish button is selected. You can also more easily undo any changes. More information can be found on the Panopto support site at http://support.panopto.com/articles/Documentation/Basic-Editing.

*More advanced editing is available through a link found under the More… link at the top-left of the editor, but will still require Silverlight for the more advanced functions.

Automatic upload timer

When using the Panopto Recorder for Windows, a timer has been added that will automatically upload videos if the user forgets to select the Upload button.

Revised styling of embedded videos

If you embed Panopto recordings in Blackboard using the embed code available when viewing the Share options on the Panopto web site, the embedded video will look at bit different. The branding of DeSales University is more tightly integrated with the video itself, and the video will take up less room on the page.

Drop boxes renamed to Assignment folders

When allowing students to create videos for a course, when accessing the settings of a Panopto course folder, the link on the Folder Settings screen is now listed as Create Assignment Folder. The folder listed for students when they access the Recorder themselves should include the course ID & name, followed by [assignments].

Home page updates

The Panopto web site for DeSales (https://desales.hosted.panopto.com) has been redesigned. Several changes have been made, such as:

  • The left navigation bar has been removed for unauthenticated users.
  • A new grid layout has been added to all session list pages. The grid layout responsively scales to accommodate different browser sizes.
  • A “Shared with Me” view has been added which shows all sessions shared directly with the user or with a group in which the user is a member.
  • The “All Sessions” view has been renamed “Everything” in the navigation.
  • The “Folders” section has been renamed “Browse” in the navigation.

Contact DEIT regarding any questions about these changes.

Blackboard UPGRADE DOWNTIME on 5/16/2016 @ 8 PM

Blackboard will be upgraded to the October 2014 Service Pack on 5/16/2016 at 8 PM until 8 AM on 5/17/2016.

BLACKBOARD WILL BE UNAVAILABLE DURING THIS ENTIRE MAINTENANCE WINDOW.

Normal service for Blackboard will resume after 8 AM on 5/17/ 2016.
Some new features coming to Blackboard with this upgrade include:
  • SafeAssign integrated as an option in regular Assignments
  • Student Preview mode allows instructors to view a course exactly as a student would see the course
  • Ability for instructors to delegate specific users in a course as graders

For more information about these new and updated features, click here: https://en-us.help.blackboard.com/Learn/9.1_2014_04/Instructor/010_Whats_New

Questions? Contact DEIT at deit@desales.edu.

Instructor Training Webinar from Respondus – Prevent Cheating during Online Exams

To register and find more information, click here: www.respondus.com/webinars

Are you worried about cheating during online exams in your course?

Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor are two academic dishonesty prevention tools licensed by DeSales and available to all instructors to use in their Blackboard courses. The Lockdown Browser prevents students from actions such as copying and pasting, viewing additional web pages, and having other programs open on their computer on Lockdown Browser-enabled exams. As a second layer of cheating prevention, adding Respondus Monitor to a Lockdown Browser-enabled exam will record students via webcam throughout the duration of the online exam to ensure there are no books, notes, or other outside help sources.

If you would like to learn more about these two academic integrity testing tools, instructors are invited to attend the LockDown Browser & Respondus Monitor: Prevent Cheating During Online Exams webinar sessions hosted by Respondus. These webinars will be held on Wednesday, 2/17 at 1 PM ET and Wednesday, 3/2 at 8 PM ET. Please note these webinars are open to instructors from all institution, since this session is hosted by the Respondus Training team and is not specific to DeSales University faculty – feel free to pass this opportunity along to colleagues at other universities!

The FREE, 45 minute webinar will include:

  • How Lockdown Browser and Monitor prevent cheating in proctored and non-proctored exams
  • Live demos of software
  • Helpful tips & tricks on getting started with both tools

To register for either session, click here: www.respondus.com/webinars

If you have additional questions on how to get started with Respondus Lockdown Browser or Respondus Monitor right away, please contact the DEIT Department (x2290 or deit@desales.edu), and we will be happy to walk you through enabling Respondus for your exam.

Questions? deit@desales.edu

DEIT Satisfaction Survey – Results

Thank you to the 145 DeSales faculty members that responded this past fall to the Distance Education and Instructional Technology Department’s Faculty Satisfaction Survey. The following are the key findings and planned actions from the survey’s results.


 

Key findings:

  • Ninety percent (90%) of respondents expressed overall satisfaction with DEIT’s faculty support services.

  • Sixty-five percent (65%) of respondents rated DeSales’ level of instructional technology infrastructure and support as better than peer institutions.

  • Eighty percent (80%) of respondents were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with DEIT’s Instructional Design Consulting, Workshops, and Response to Routine Requests.

  • Faculty opinion was very mixed about the impact of the implementation of Help Desk as it relates to DEIT-related issues. 37% thought the addition of the Help Desk was positive, 45% thought it was a negative, and 18% thought it was about the same.

Planned actions:

  • To improve awareness of DEIT’s services, DEIT will send a service reminder message to faculty each semester.

  • Through collaboration with the Academic Technology Committee and the Information Services Department, DEIT is working to better understand faculty infrastructure and support needs so as to improve the perception of DeSales in these areas relative to peer institutions.

  • In response to comments regarding workshops, DEIT has launched a series on instructional design theory and practice.

  • In partnership with the Information Technology Department, DEIT is working to improve satisfaction with response to emergencies by improving procedures and communication related to the Help Desk “dispatcher” model. The university has already taken action to improve satisfaction with the Help Desk by switching to only US-based agents during peak service hours.

  • To support continuous improvement, DEIT will repeat the Faculty Satisfaction Survey annually, beginning in spring 2017.

You may access PDF versions of the complete survey results, a slightly more detailed analysis, and a copy of the survey questions by clicking this link or by cutting and pasting this URL into your favorite Web browser:

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B4nIGMhnNLnmZFZBS3pGQmh2YlU&usp=sharing

Please contact DEIT  if you have any questions or any feedback on the survey process.


 

Warm regards,
Eric J. Hagan, Ed.D.
Director, Distance Education and Instructional Technology

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