Center for Educational Resources and Technology at DSU

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Fall 2015 DEIT Updates: Message from Dr. Eric Hagan

Faculty colleagues:

As the Fall Semester gets underway, I wanted to communicate to you about several items that may impact your teaching. To follow-up or get more information, contact DEIT at or 610-282-1100 x2290. In addition, my personal contact information appears at the bottom of this message.fallupdatesleaf2015

  1. Blackboard course template change

As you know, all DeSales University courses are associated with a Blackboard “course shell.” This course shell has a template applied to it that results in a default course structure. After testing a new template in the ACCESS program during the second half of last year with positive feedback from faculty and students, a new template is now being applied to all courses in all programs. This instructor-customizable template is intended to incorporate best practices in technology-enhanced learning and provide students with a better and more consistent navigation experience. The functionality of Blackboard is unchanged. Some of the cosmetic changes you will immediately notice are the addition of a “Start Here” section and the relabeling of “Content” to “Weekly Units”.

It is NOT mandatory to use all elements of the template nor is the intent to change the way you teach. Indeed, although application of the template can benefit many courses, aspects of the template may be inappropriate for some courses and teaching strategies. Instructors are free to hide or delete content elements that they do not wish to use (in fact, many items are already hidden by default). If you need assistance in configuring your course or in using (or not using) the new course template, contact DEIT. You are also invited to attend one of the upcoming evening online workshops on the new template (see

  1. Classroom tech upgrades

Under the leadership of Instructional Media Engineer Mike Yorgey, each summer DEIT takes the opportunity to perform various classroom technology upgrades. Here is a quick run-down of this summer’s activity:

Dooling Hall – 1st Floor Classrooms:

The 1st floor classrooms (104-109) have gone digital. Instructors that teach in these classrooms need to know that the DOOLING HALL 1ST FLOOR CLASSROOMS NO LONGER HAVE VHS VIDEOTAPE PLAYERS. The DVD/VHS players formerly in the Dooling 1st floor classrooms have been replaced with BluRay players (these players play both BluRay and DVD disks). The 1st floor classrooms also have new screens and projectors and digital HDMI connections for newer laptops. Instructors that rely on VHS tapes have several options, including replacing tapes with DVDs or BluRay disks or having DEIT digitize (free of charge) content from the tapes so it can be played from a DVD or streamed from our media server. If you anticipate the need to digitize VHS tape content, please contact DEIT as soon as possible for assistance as the conversion process takes time.

Dooling Hall lower level, New Social Sciences and TV/Film labs:

As part of larger projects involving Campus Environment and IT, Mike Yorgey did the instructional media work on the new Social Sciences lab and refitted the Academic Computing Center classroom, Dooling Hall Room 14-D, for use by TV/Film students.

Dooling Hall Room 227:

Replacement of SMART Board, addition of ultra-short throw projector.

Hurd Science Center:

Work to allow display of digital imaging microscopes, work in process to add projector to 2nd floor conference room.

  1. New faculty support (any faculty, for that matter!)

DEIT has a variety of support resources available for new faculty members or experienced faculty members that want to try something new. Our instructional designers, Jim Holton, Chris Hewatt, and May Truong-Merritt (new as of this summer), are here to help you use technology effectively in your teaching. Contact DEIT to schedule a one-on-one collaboration session or access to register for a scheduled workshop. DEIT staff are also available for hands-on technology walk-throughs in the classroom where you will be teaching. We also have a variety of self-service resources available in the faculty community in Blackboard as well as on the DEIT Web site

DEIT is here to support the faculty. Let us know how we can help!

Peace and blessings,


Eric J. Hagan, Ed.D.

Director, Distance Education and Instructional Technology DeSales University

edSurge Article: “The 3 Instructional Shifts That Will Redefine the College Professor”

reflectioniconThe role of the modern college professor is changing. In an article titled “The 3 Instructional Shifts That Will Redefine the College Professor”, Ryan Craig from edSurge cites three changes to the method of instruction in a university which are redefining what it means to be a college professor. These three instructional shifts are: The Dynamic Classroom, Smartphones and Apps, and Competency-Based Education.

To read more about these three shift and their effect on college professors, click here:

We’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts on this article! Comment with your opinion on these instructional shifts and their effect on professors in the comment section below this post!


DEIT Faculty Workshops September 2015

New faculty are encouraged to join DEIT in their monthly Distance Education Welcome Chat online workshop on 9/3/2015 from 7:00 – 7:30 PM to meet other new faculty, and learn more about the support and services that the DEIT and Library staff provide.

New to Blackboard or looking to refresh your knowledge of the basics? Faculty can join DEIT on To learn more about Blackboard on the online Blackboard Fundamentals workshop on 9/14/15 from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM. An additional in person Blackboard Fundamentals workshop will also be held on 9/26/2015 in Dooling 40-2 from 10:00 – 11:00 AM.

Starting with all Fall 2015 courses (including Traditional Day, ACCESS, and Graduate sessions), all course shells in Blackboard have the new “WEEKLY UNITS” template applied to their course. The New Course Template Overview for Instructors half hour online workshops will be held on 9/8/2015 and 9/22/2015 from 7:00 – 7:30 PM. These sessions will review the new look for courses and the best practices for using the new template. The new template will not affect the functionality of Blackboard, but does have a new, improved layout for the left navigation menu.

DEIT is also offering faculty workshops on Panopto and Blackboard Collaborate. The in person Panopto workshop will be held on 9/12/2015 in Dooling 40-2 from 10:00 – 11:00 AM. The online Blackboard Collaborate workshops will be held on 9/16/2015 and 9/30/2015 from 7:00 – 8:00 PM.

To register for a workshop, click here:



Faculty Focus Article: More Evidence That Active Learning Trumps Lecturing

reflectioniconMaryellen Weimer of the blog Faculty Focus, discusses the strengths of active learning over lecturing in her article Move Evidence That Active Learning Trumps Lecturing. Weimer refers to a study conducted of 225 STEM class students whose exam scores showed an average improvement of 6% on exam scores when taught using active learning practices versus traditional lecturing.

Weimer attributes the increased improvement in student retention with active learning to the fact that students are able to better mimic more life-like situations when they are actively learning as opposed to lecturing. Lecturing may instill students with a sense of what the correct information and actions are for learning process, but having students actively participate in the learning process is more engaging and enables students to put their knowledge to use.

To read the full article, click here:

Creating Instructor Presence: Instructor Module in Blackboard

Creating instructor presence in your Blackboard course, especially in a hybrid or online course, is a great way to engage students and provide an introduction to you and your background as the instructor of the course. One way to achieve instructor presence in your course is to add an Instructor Module containing your photo and some background information about yourself. Here is an example Instructor Module (show module). The Instructor Module can be added to the “Course Home” page of all your courses.

To request an instructor module, log in to Blackboard and enter the “DEIT Faculty Community” Organization found under the “My Organizations” module. Once inside the DEIT Faculty Community, click on the “Instructor Presence” link on the left navigation menu. See image below for a screenshot:



In the Instructor Presence section, you will see an explanation of the Instructor Course Module and an example of what an Instructor Module looks like. You can use this example module to help generate ideas for the content of your instructor module. To request the creation of an instructor module, click on the “Instructor Module Creation Request” link below the module explanation and example. You will need to submit a 150 x 150 pixel photo of yourself in JPG format and a short biographical text about yourself in the form of a Word document. See image below for a screenshot:




Once your request has been submitted, a member of DEIT will use the photo and text you have provided to create your own personal instructor module. This module can be added to any number of your courses on the “Course Home” page.

if you have any questions, please contact DEIT at

Panopto: Is the Flipped Classroom the New Norm?

The staff at Panopto, a lecture capture application which allows instructors to capture video, audio, screencasts, and/or PowerPoint in a recorded format to share to students, has found that since the dawn of the concept of the “flipped classroom” in 2007, there has been a radical shift towards the idea of the flipped classroom becoming more and more common in classrooms.

According to Panopto’s article:

  • One in three instructors have flipped their classroom
  • One in three instructors are planning to flip their classroom
  • Two in five instructors have not tried flipping their classroom

Panopto projects that by next year at least half of all instructors will have tried flipping their classroom.

To learn more about Panopto and the flipped classroom, read the full article here:


DEIT is happy to work with instructors on learning how to flip their classroom with Panopto. Schedule a personal workshop with a member of DEIT through our Workshop Session Request Form found here: .

Call DEIT at 610-282-110 x2290 or email us at to learn more!



NMC Horizon Report 2015: Higher Education Edition

The NMC (New Media Consortium) Horizon Report for 2015 in Higher Education studies the projected upcoming short-term, mid-term, and long-term trends for educational practices and technology. Technologies which are near-term, mid-term, and far-term for implementation in education are also discussed. This report also addresses the challenges that instructors will face in upcoming years, broken into three groups: solvable, difficult, and wicked.

To read the full report, click here: NMC Horizon 2015 Report: Higher Education Ed

The Chronicle of Higher Education Article: Could Video Replace the Red Pen?

The emerging of new educational technologies is changing the way instructors and students communicate, including instructor feedback on student submissions. With the development of online video recording technology software, instructors now have the option to leave students video feedback about their performance on assignments and tests rather than the traditional written markups. Instructors who have employed the video feedback method have found that the majority of students prefer the videos to written feedback, stating that it seemed more authentic and honest. To read the full article “Could Video Replace the Red Pen?” on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s website, click the following link:

If you’re interested in trying the video feedback method, all instructors at DeSales have video recording software like Panopto, ApprenNet, and Video Everywhere in Blackboard available to them. Panopto and Video Everywhere are even directly integrated into Blackboard, making it easy for instructors to record and send the recordings to students through the learning management system. ApprenNet, a new video student response tool piloting with the Nursing program, not only allows students to provide video feedback to a case study, but also allows the instructor to respond to the student video submission with their own video feedback. More information about ApprenNet can be found here: .

DEIT is happy to help instructors learn these video software tools and any of our other instructional technologies in the form of monthly workshops, custom workshops, or just by emailing ( for more information. In February 2015, DEIT has a workshop for Panopto, one of our asynchronous video recording tools, either online on 1/18/2015 from 7 – 8 PM or in person on 1/21/2015 at Trexler Library PC2 from 10 – 11 AM. Sign up for these or any of our other monthly workshops by registering using the following link:

If you want to learn more and meet with a member of DEIT but are unable to attend one of our scheduled monthly workshops, you can request a custom workshop on a date and time that works for your schedule. To schedule a custom workshop with a member of DEIT, click here: .



NEW: DEIT Two Minute Tips (YouTube Video Series)

DEIT would like to present their new “Two Minute Tip” video series on YouTube! New videos will be posted to DEIT’s YouTube channel,, every other Wednesday. Links to the videos can also be accessed through the DEIT Faculty Community organization in Blackboard by clicking “Wednesday Tips” left navigation link, then clicking the “Two Minute Tips (Videos)” Learning Module.

This week’s Two Minute Tip shows instructors how to enable subscriptions to Discussion Boards, then subscribe to either the Discussion Forum or a thread. View this Two Minute Tip here:


Faculty Focus Article: Building Community and Creating Relevance Online

Much like a traditional face-to-face class, the first days of an online class can make students new to the online learning environment nervous as well. Faculty Focus has created some helpful tips and tricks to make the online learning environment less intimidating, especially to new students. Here’s a quick overview of some highlights from the “Building Online Community and Creating Relevance in the Online Classroom” article:

  • Record Weekly Video Announcements: This gives students an introduction to each week’s objectives, assignments, and other important information in an audio or video format rather than being entirely text-based
  • Build Relevance in Your Course: Incorporate relevant recent articles or news stories into your lessons to boost the connection to current events and ideas
  • Formula for Success: Weekly introductions with office hours, feedback to previous student questions, discuss and display exemplary student work from the previous week, communicate weekly objectives to students with special attention to upcoming projects and resources necessary for the course, connect course material to relevant current events to promote course material significance.

To read the full article, click here:




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