Mar 23

#TechTipThursday: Introduction to Task Labels

TTT_DEClogoTask Labels is an app that allows you to organize just about every aspect of your life into ‘labels’. You can separate different extracurricular activities, courses, occupations, and even tasks for your everyday life. Within each ‘label’, you can insert various tasks. This app helps you keep your busy life in order; you can access the web version here. The app and the web version sync so you will never lose your data. Both the app and the web version look similar, making toggling between the interfaces seamless for the user.

This post includes screenshots from the web version but, because the user interface is similar you should not notice a difference if you’re following along in the app. To begin you’ll need to create an account, on either the app or web interface, with an email address and password.

Navigating Task Labels

Once you are on the website, click the ‘+’ icon on the toolbar located in the top left on the screen. Once you do this, you have the option to create a ‘task’, ‘label’, or ‘label group’.

For your reference,

  • A task is something you need to do;
  • A label is a category in which you wish to place a task; and
  • A a label group is two or more labels you wish to group together.

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On the Road to Organization

You can create a ‘label’ by selecting the ‘+Label’ option. The screen seen below will appear. You can select a color and an icon to set your labels apart. Once you have chosen these criteria you can click ‘Save’.

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To begin adding tasks, click on the ‘+Task’ button. You will see a screen like the one seen below. Here, you can give your task a name, add additional notes, set the priority, and decide which label specific tasks should go under.

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Kristin, one of our Instructional Technology Collaborators, created this video overview of Task Labels as a supplement to this post.

 

If you have any questions, or difficulty duplicating the steps detailed in this post, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

 

*This post was drafted by Kristin, an Instructional Technology Collaborator.

 

Mar 02

#TechTipThursday: Staying Connected with Canvas

TTT_DEClogoRecently, the Canvas servers experienced a widespread outage that reached far beyond Longwood University. While we are hopeful that these situations will continue to be minimal, there are ways in which you can stay connected with Canvas. The Digital Education Collaborative is always a resource; know we utilize resources from Canvas directly as we monitor system status among other tasks. This post introduces several resources provided by Canvas to its user community.

How to Check Canvas’ Status

Canvas maintains a website devoted entirely to know system issues. Here is where each tool in the Canvas platform is associated with it current status. Refer underneath the component checklist for a key.

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Users can subscribe to updates using the button seen below. It is located in the top-right corner of the page just above the component checklist.
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At the bottom of the same page, Canvas provides a synopsis of each step that has been taken in the resolution process. This also lists, by date, actions taken to resolve Canvas server-related incident reports. You can visit http://status.instructure.com/ and read, in detail, about Tuesday’s outage.

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Staying Connected on Social Media

If you use Twitter, Canvas regularly posts updates regarding issues they are experiencing and new releases. You can follow them using the handle @CanvasLMS. Canvas’ platform is hosted by Amazon Web Services, so you can also follow @awscloud for more updates.

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Submitting a Feature Request

Canvas encourages its user community to submit requests for features not currently available. While there is no guarantee that your request will be addressed in an upcoming release, there is a process by which Canvas solicits input from its user community as it makes decisions regarding feature updates. Not only can you access https://community.canvaslms.com/community/ideas to search for ideas that other users have submitted, you can vote on them or add your own. To submit a feature request, scroll down the page and choose the ‘share new idea’ option located on the right side and highlighted with a red rectangle below.

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Canvas Community and Updates

The Canvas Community can be accessed using https://community.canvaslms.com/welcome. The Community offers answers to just about anything related to features in Canvas, a space to share your ideas and thoughts about the Learning Management System, and review documentation explaining updates made to Canvas.

Release Notes keep users informed about new changes to Canvas and the likely impact that it will have on functionality and the user experience. Anyone can access the Canvas Release Notes but know the DEC creates (when classes are in session) an FAQ for each set of Canvas release notes. These will be highlighted on our blog and available to users within Canvas directly. A schedule for Canvas Release Notes may be found here as well.

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If you have questions or concerns about anything described in this post, or believe we can be of assistance, please contact us directly.

Feb 23

#TechTipThursday: Overview of Bear

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Bear is a flexible writing app for composing anything from notes to prose to blogs. It works on all OS devices so you can write whenever, wherever. You can link notes to each other to build one comprehensive body of text. Its functionality is beyond Apple’s built-in Notes application and offers a, free, simple white theme. Users can upgrade to the pro version and unlock access to additional themes and features. You can download the app here! A brief video introduction is included at the conclusion of this post.

To start composing notes choose the red “plus page” icon, shown below, located on the left of your screen.

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Tap the icon in the top right corner of your screen to quickly view your word count, number of paragraphs, and a list of ways you can export your note.
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Bear has markup shortcuts that allow you to add style to your, and other elements to your note, with just a tap or keystroke.

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When you use a hashtag (#), the Bear app treats it as something comparable to a folder. For example, everything with #Bear would be stored and searchable together. This is a great way to group multiple notes on a similar subject, such as a class or research project.

Emmy, one of our Instructional Technology Collaborators, created this video overview of Bear as a supplement to this post.

If you have any questions, or difficulty duplicating the steps detailed in this post, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

 

 

Feb 08

MakerMondays Come to Longwood

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The Digital Education Collaborative is excited to announce that we are hosting a series of MakerMondays this semester! The DEC is currently developing its makerspace, called the DIGILab, in partnership with the Greenwood Library. While we continue to put the finishing touches on the DIGILab, we want to give you a preview of its possibility. The DEC will host bi-weekly MakerMondays through the rest of the semester. See the schedule at the bottom of this post.

Each MakerMonday gives you an opportunity to be creative, imaginative, and explore something new in responding to the challenge of the day. MakerMondays will take place in the future home of the DIGILab, room 147B on the first floor of Greenwood Library. Walk in and to the back of the atrium; take a left at the stairs and we’ll be on your left. Look for our logo on the door!

Join us for our first MakerMonday next week, February 13th, at 4pm. You’ll be challenged to explore and master the use of a Sphero, a small robot that can be programmed to move, turn, change color, and even talk in various ways! Do you think you can rise to the challenge?

Join us for one or all MakerMondays this semester!

Date Time Location
Monday, 2/13 4pm 147B, Greenwood Library
Monday, 2/27 5:30pm 147B, Greenwood Library
Monday, 3/13 4pm 147B, Greenwood Library
Monday, 3/27 5:30pm 147B, Greenwood Library
Monday, 4/10 4pm 147B, Greenwood Library
Monday, 4/24 5:30pm 147B, Greenwood Library

Want to know more about what a makerspace is? Check out this article.

If you have questions about the DIGILab, or want to learn more about what we’re doing with MakerMondays, please contact the Instructional Technology Assistant.

Feb 07

LearningLabShow | Season 2 Ep 1 Life at LU after 2016 VP Debate

Welcome back! We are excited to be starting Season 2 of the LearningLabShow! In this episode, new host, Chuck Faison, interviews the Chief of Staff and Advisor to President Reevley, Justin Pope, about his thoughts and perspectives on what the Vice Presidential debate means to Longwood and how it will affect Longwood in the future.

Feb 06

Now hiring students for fall 2017!

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Did you know that the Digital Education Collaborative employs undergraduate students to assist us in supporting the university’s commitment to academic success and pedagogical excellence through the effective application of instructional technology? We are currently accepting applications for new student workers to start in the fall 2017 semester.

We are seeking students who are detail-oriented, self-starters, highly responsible, effective multitaskers, strong written and verbal communicators. Applicants do not need a technical background but must be willing to learn; we’ll provide in-depth, comprehensive, and ongoing training that supports student success in this position.

If you want to nominate a student for application, please contact us and we’ll reach out to them individually

Click here for more information on how to become an ITC.

Feb 02

#TechTipThursday: Assess Student Learning in Panopto

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Panopto is Longwood University’s screen capturing solution and replaced Echo 360 in June 2016. Serving a multitude of functions, instructors are able to use this tool to record lectures for viewing by their students at a later time. Panopto’s direct integration with Canvas facilitates and simplifies an instructor’s ability to record a face-to-face class or provide a lecture to an online class. Recordings are accessible directly within the Canvas class with which they are affiliated and thereby easily accessible by students, but can be shared broadly contingent on the content creator’s preference. Privacy, or sharing, settings are chosen by the content creator and are unique to each recording.

We are excited to share the ability to assess student learning directly within Panopto. Resulting from a recent system update, Panopto provides instructors the opportunity to create quizzes directly within the recording. Though there are several options available for instructors to informally gauge student learning during class, this feature is built directly into Panopto, which then lends itself to similar use statistics.

This week’s Tech Tip Thursday offers a video tutorial demonstrating how to use the Panopto quizzing feature. We will also review quizzing within Panopto during any of our upcoming Panopto workshops. For ease of reference, those dates have been included below.

If you have difficulty viewing the video embedded below, you can access our tutorial here.

Upcoming Panopto workshops

Tuesday, 2/21 at 11am – 12pm [Digital Den, Ruffner 136]

Wednesday, 3/15 at 11am – 12pm [Digital Den, Ruffner 136]

We are able to provide Panopto training by request, within our operating hours, on an individual or group basis. To request a Panopto workshop, please contact the Panopto administrator directly.

If you have any questions, or difficulty duplicating the steps detailed in this post, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

 

*This video was created by Muneeb Mobashar, the DEC’s Instructional Technology Specialist.

Dec 08

#TechTipThursday: Troubleshooting Respondus LockDown Browser

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At Longwood University instructors have the ability to use Respondus LockDown Browser (with or without Monitor), intended to serve as a cheating deterrent, to enhance the integrity of the online testing environment. You may recall our introduction of the LockDown Browser, in addition to other Respondus products, in 2015. The LockDown Browser is a browser, which opens as would any other, that essentially locks down a user’s machine. When LockDown Browser is required on a quiz or exam, students are unable to print, copy, screenshot, navigate to another URL, or access other applications; they can only complete the assessment or exit the LockDown Browser. This post is designed to assist users troubleshoot difficulty with LockDown Browser (and Monitor, if applicable) and its contents will be provided to instructors.

Check for the Help Center Icon

If you are receiving an error, begin by opening Lockdown Browser and logging in. Once you have logged in, look at the top of your screen for the blue icon like the one below. If you see the ‘Help Center’ icon, proceed to the “Run the System Check” section of this post. If you cannot see the ‘Help Center’ icon, please continue to the “Update Flash” section.

help

Update Flash
If you do not see the ‘Help Center’ icon, the problem may be because of Adobe Flash Player.

If you are using a Mac:

  1. Open either Safari or Firefox
  2. Navigate to get.adobe.com/flashplayer
  3. Select the yellow ‘Install Now’ button
  4. Download and install the file

If you are using a PC:

  1. Open Firefox
  2. Navigate to get.adobe.com/flashplayer
  3. Select the yellow ‘Install Now’ button
  4. Download and install the file

Once the installation is complete, open Lockdown Browser, log in, and look at the top of your screen for the blue icon shown in the first section. If you see the icon, proceed to your quiz and select the “Take” button. If you receive an error or if you still cannot see the help center icon, proceed to the “Change Settings” section below. [*Note: updating Flash Player in Chrome will not solve the issue. You must update using the browsers identified above.]

Run System Check
To run the system check, click on the blue ‘Help Center’ icon at the top of your screen. Next, select the yellow ‘Run System Check’ button.

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Once the check completes, select the yellow ‘Email Results’ button and send the results to dec@longwood.edu for further investigation with Respondus Support.

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The ‘Email Results’ function will have a checkbox available (before 12/16/16) which can be selected to send the results directly to our office. Once this has been enabled, individuals can select the ‘Send a copy to the Longwood Help Desk’ checkbox instead of entering our email.

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While we cannot estimate the time it will take to resolve the issue, the DEC has both PC and Mac computers, with Lockdown Browser, available for loan to students.

Change Settings
If the earlier steps have not solved the issue, Respondus recommends adjusting certain settings on your computer to allow these programs to function properly.

If you are using a Mac:

  1. Open ‘System Preferences’
  2. Select ‘Flash Player’
  3. Select ‘Camera & Mic Settings’
  4. Add ‘smc-service-cloud.respondus2.com’
  5. Select ‘allow’

If you are using a PC:

  1. Open the control panel;
  2. Select ‘System and Security’
  3. Click on ‘Windows Firewall’
  4. Select ‘Allow an App or Feature through Windows Firewall’
  5. Click on ‘Change Settings’ and enter the administrator password when/if prompted;
  6. Select ‘Allow another App’ and choose ‘Respondus Lockdown Browser’

Once you have completed these steps, reopen Lockdown Browser, log in, and check for the blue icon. If you see the icon, attempt to take your quiz. If you receive an error proceed to the “Run the System Check” section of this post. If you still do not see the icon, proceed to the “Try an Alternate Machine” section of this guide.

Try an Alternate Machine
If the above steps have not worked, your next step is to seek out another machine on which to take your exam. We recommend asking a friend or family member, or perhaps the local library.  If the university is open you can visit our office in Ruffner 128 and either borrow one of our computers or take the assessment in our space. Our office is open, during the academic semesters, from 8 AM – 8 PM Monday through Thursday and from 8 AM – 5 PM on Fridays.

The Digital Education Collaborative remains available to assist you if you run into difficulty with Respondus LockDown Browser (and Monitor). Although the above steps did not specifically address Monitor, we have been advised to follow the same sequence if users experience difficulty, after clicking “Take,” with Monitor addition. Please know that due to the way the program was designed, our support team is permitted with access such that we work directly with Respondus Support to resolve issues persisting beyond the above steps. If you have difficulty with your use of Respondus LockDown Browser (and Monitor), please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

 

*This post was drafted by Paige, an Instructional Technology Collaborator.

Dec 01

#TechTipThursday: Managing a student’s Incomplete in your Canvas class

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As we approach the end of a semester and receive many inquiries on the subject, today’s post focuses on course completion. There may be any number of reasons why a student is unable to complete the requirements of an academic course. Fortunately, instructors have the option of granting students an “incomplete” grade in the course. This option, familiar to students and instructors alike, enables the student and instructor to develop an alternative timeline for completing course requirements. Specific policies governing the resolution of an “incomplete” grade may be found in the appropriate catalog (undergraduate catalog or graduate catalog). This post will focus on the management of an “incomplete” through Canvas: identifying common adjustments that need to be made so a student is able to complete learning activities outside of the class term.

 

Extend access to Canvas course
If your student has to complete assignments in a course that has ended, you are able to change the course end dates, but only if the term has not ended (fall 2016 terms ends on 12/31). You can do this from the ‘Settings’ tab in the left-hand course navigation. After navigating to the settings tab (1), you will see boxes for the start and end dates (2). Once the date has been chosen, be sure to check the box (3), which overrides the term dates. If the term has ended, contact the DEC for assistance changing your end date.

extending-access-to-canvas-course

Create due dates for individual students
Enhancing efficiency, instructors don’t need to recreate assignments to accommodate a student’s “incomplete.” Identify the assignment in question and edit its details. You can add additional due date information, for separate groups of students (i.e., Joe and Mary each has an “I” in your course. You can have Joe’s assignment due on 12/27 and Mary’s on 12/28) in the assignment settings (1) just below the due date you identified for your course.

adding-assignment-times-and-due-dates

After you click “+ Add” you will see additional “Assign” boxes; you may create as many as necessary. To “assign to,” start typing the name of the student.

Changing quiz settings
Using the ‘Moderate this Quiz’ function (highlighted with the blue box below), you can add time (whole number increments only) to a specific student. This option can be found once you have chosen a quiz that has been previously published in Canvas.

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Locate the student and select the pencil icon next to their name (1). A dialogue box, “Student Extensions” shown immediately below “Moderate Quiz,” will then appear. Here you can add extra attempts and additional time to a student’s quiz. Remember to save these changes!

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Using past test/quiz questions to create a new test/quiz

With the question banks feature you can create a new assessment using questions from previous tests/quizzes. When you create a quiz, unless you pull questions from an existing question bank, Canvas sorts the questions into an Unfiled Question Bank. Create the quiz as you would any other but follow the steps below to pull questions from your existing question banks.

Once you choose to add questions from a group/question bank (1), you will see a screen like the one below (2).

question-bank-1

Here, it is important to choose how many questions you want Canvas to pull from the question bank. In addition, you can select how many points each question is worth. You will choose the “Link to a Question Bank” option to display a list of previously saved questions. After you have chosen the desired question bank, typically from the Unfiled Question Bank, select the create group option which places those questions into the quiz.

question-bank-2

The questions are grouped by which assessment they appeared in. You can add questions in two ways:

  1. You can choose a group and Canvas will add all of the questions in the group (unless you specified otherwise in the preceding step); or
  2. You can choose specific questions from various questions banks by choosing the option to “View Course Question Banks” located in the top right of dialogue box shown below; this box appears after choosing to link the quiz to a question bank.  

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Once you choose to view course question banks a list of your question banks will appear as shown below. Choose the group from your list from which you wish to import quiz questions.

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The questions from the specific bank you selected will appear. To the right of those questions you will see the options shown below; choose to move multiple questions.

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You will see a dialogue box like the one below. You can then choose the specific questions at the top (1) and the destination exam, at the bottom (2). If you need questions from multiple question banks you can repeat this process until you have all the desired questions in the destination exam. We always recommend previewing your quiz to make sure all questions are there, the point values are set correctly, and the formatting is easy for students to read.

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If you have any questions, or difficulty duplicating the steps detailed in this post, please contact the Digital Education Collaborative.

Nov 17

#TechTipThursday: Change with TurnItIn for Instructors

TTT_DEClogoLongwood University uses TurnItIn, primarily within Canvas, to assess student submissions for originality. In other words, TurnItIn functions as a plagiarism-checker for any assignment in which the instructor has enabled TurnItIn and is submitted to Canvas. Although instructors have the ability to submit any student work through TurnItIn’s website, that is rarely done. *Note: the account administrator can assist any instructor who wishes to submit student work directly via TurnItIn. Please contact the DEC for further assistance.

To improve the efficiency of the TurnItIn/Canvas integration, Instructure Canvas advised all account holders to make a slight behind-the-scenes adjustment; we will do so on Monday 11/28/16. This change impacts the way in which instructors enable TurnItIn for a Canvas-based assignment. Today’s post will detail the steps needed to require that assignments submitted to Canvas are, jointly, submitted to TurnItIn.

  1. From your course homepage, click on “Assignments” from the left-hand course navigation menu tii1
  2. Once in “Assignments,” select the blue ” + Assignment” button at the top right 
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  3. You will see familiar assignment options – the only difference is the checkbox to “enable TurnItIn” for the assignment has been removed. To require TurnItIn for the assignment in question you will need to change the submission type to “External Tool” tii3
  4. Once you select “External Tool,” you will see the option to enter or find an External Tool URL. Select the Find option to the right of this text entry box tii4
  5. In the window that opens, scroll down the list and select “TurnItIn” (1) and then click “Select” (2) tii5

The above steps will enable TurnItIn for an assignment. You can continue to adjust the assignment’s settings before saving and publishing. Note that both instructors and students will see a new user interface when accessing an assignment that requires TurnItIn.

As an instructor, you’ll see this new interface when you access a TurnItIn-enabled assignment by clicking on the assignment’s name. For information on how TurnItIn has changed for students please see a related post written specifically for students. When you access an assignment with the TurnItIn LTI enabled, you will see a screen with your assignment inbox. tii6At the top of the new Canvas/TurnItIn interface you will find a “Settings” (1) option, which can be used to change settings specific to TurnItIn (i.e., portions of the paper to check; sources against which the assignment will be compared; etc.). You can access Canvas’ assignment editing interface through the “Edit Assignment Settings” button  (2) on the right side of the inbox. You can access Canvas’ Speed Grader on the right hand side through the Speed Grader button (3). picture1

If you have any questions, or difficulty duplicating the steps detailed in this post, please contact the Digital Education Collaborative.

This post was drafted with assistance from Paige, an Instructional Technology Collaborator.

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