#TechTipThursday: Interactive learning through Panopto Quizzes

Earlier this week our blog featured a post discussing the importance of and pathways for learner interaction. Today’s #TechTipThursday will highlight one of the Digital Education Collaborative’s supported technologies, Panopto, and the steps required to capitalize on its possibilities for learner to content interaction. Panopto, first and foremost, is Longwood University’s lecture capture solution. Offering the ability to record multiple video inputs (e.g., computer screen and webcam view of a speaker), individuals can add narration to content and simulate a face-to-face lecture environment. While this is the most common use at Longwood there are a variety of possibilities through Panopto.

Once video content is available in Panopto, whether through direct upload or newly created recording (in Windows or in Mac), creators can take advantage of the Quizzes feature. A pathway to assess for learner understanding, questions placed strategically throughout recorded lecture content provide regular opportunities for learners to interact with content as well. Panopto offers a guide detailing the steps required to add a quiz to your video. Their video tutorial demonstrating how to add, and complete, Panopto quiz questions is embedded below followed by a video overview of quiz results.

David presented “Going Green with Panopto Quizzing” at our 3rd semi-annual Student Tech Showcase; his presentation is embedded below and offers a nice supplement to the information within this post.

Panopto integrates seamlessly with Canvas and now includes a grade pass back; watch a brief overview here. At this time, Panopto/Canvas quiz reporting is a feature only available by instructor request to the DEC. We welcome the opportunity to partner with you as we maximize the interactive learning opportunities available with Panopto. If you have any questions, or difficulty duplicating the steps detailed in this post, please contact the Digital Education Collaborative.

Increasing Learner Interaction

As educators, we know the purpose of learning activities is to guide learners down the path of mastering the course learning objectives. Well-planned learning activities align with course objectives and encourage learner interaction. Learning activities must have a clear purpose within the course and can take place in three different formats: learner to content, learner to learner, and learner to instructor.

Active learning involves the learner being responsible for, and aware of, their own learning. Even with a heightened level of personal accountability with active learning, learners are still provided clear instructions, expectations and requirements for learning activities. The DEC provides a wide variety of tools to support active learning in both online and face-to-face formats. Let’s explore some of them now!

Activities involving learner to content interaction are the most critical in a course, it’s where learners are immersed with instructional materials and course concepts. Canvas offers an extensive array of tools to engage students with content in the online format. For example, links to online articles, journals or YouTube videos can be placed directly in Canvas for quick and easy access by students. Once students have reviewed URL’s provided by the instructor they could complete their own research, then add their findings to a class wiki page. These tools provide learners with hands-on access to resources, while encouraging them to share information with others. Panopto Lecture Capture is another tool that can be used to engage learners with content. Panopto allows faculty to add audio to PowerPoint presentations, record course topic introductions or unit reviews. Once a recording is complete, faculty can utilize the Panopto Quiz feature to add questions throughout the recording. This learning activity allows students to interact with course content, while gauging their own knowledge and understanding of the material.

Activities involving learner to learner interaction allow learners to feel a sense of community and form connections in the online environment. Online conference tools such as Canvas Conferences or WebEx allow students to interact for review sessions or Q&A sessions. Canvas Groups is also a tool which allows students to interact with one another on group projects or presentations. Peer reviews, which can also be done through Canvas, allow students to provide valuable feedback to one another in order to revise and improve assignments before submitting for grading.

Activities involving learner to instructor interaction enable students to feel instructor presence in the course, which can improve both student satisfaction and success in the online environment. Again, online conference tools such as Canvas Conferences or WebEx are wonderful resources that allow learners to connect with the instructor. These can be used for office hours, Q&A sessions, or meet and greets. Assignment feedback is another way instructors can interact with learners. Canvas Rubrics and the Media Comment tool within SpeedGrader are wonderful resources to bring assignment feedback to life.

If you would like to learn more about any of these tools to enhance learner interaction or if you’d like assistance designing active learning opportunities in your courses, please contact the DEC to set up a meeting with one of our instructional designers!

#TechTipThursday: Test Bank Network [Respondus 4.0]

The Digital Education Collaborative began its relationship with Respondus in 2015 to support Longwood University’s online testing environment. Many within our teaching and learning community are familiar with the vendor’s cheating deterrent tools (i.e., LockDown Browser with or without Monitor) as a means to foster integrity in Canvas-based assessments. Few, however, are aware of the enhanced efficiencies afforded through Respondus 4.0. In a post earlier this week, Marcus offered broad strokes on Respondus 4.0; a tool specifically for faculty, this post re-introduces the test bank network, specifically, and offers guidance on use.

Respondus 4.0 is one of the tools available to Longwood University through our license agreement; other tools include the LockDown Browser, which can be used with or without Monitor, focus on deterring cheating behavior. Similarly focused on an assessment of learning, Respondus 4.0 is a tool through which faculty can create quizzes, exams, and/or answer keys using resources provided by the textbook’s publisher; the test bank network enhances the efficiency with which this can be accomplished.

In under 5 minutes you can learn how to capitalize on the test bank network. After watching the video below, produced by Respondus, you will be able to:

    1. identify the location of the test bank network wizard;
    2. demonstrate the steps required to search for, and request access to, a publisher’s test bank;
    3. explain how the instructor is notified that the request for access was approved;
    4. articulate the DEC’s role in approving instructor access to Respondus test banks;
    5. register an approved test bank;
    6. identify the location for approved publisher test banks;
    7. articulate the differences between the two (file) options available after selecting an approved publisher test bank;
    8. locate and explain the question-specific (i.e., in-line; not just the column headers) options available when viewing all questions in a test bank;
    9. import questions to a Respondus project manually or automatically
    10. locate and explain the question-specific (i.e., in-line) options available after test bank questions are copied to a Respondus file
    11. duplicate the steps required to publish the Respondus file to Canvas

You are welcome to visit Longwood’s Canvas Corner for additional self-guided resources in support of learning technologies integrated with Canvas, including all licensed tools from Respondus. If you have any questions, or would like additional detail surrounding information in this post, please contact the Digital Education Collaborative.

Respondus 4.0

When you think of Respondus, what comes to mind? From my discussions with professors, the first thing that comes to mind is Respondus Monitor and LockDown Browser. Respondus Monitor and LockDown Browser are very useful programs that allows for better online testing. They deter students cheating efforts. If your course runs LockDown Browser, it prevents students from visiting other sites or programs on their computer while they are attempting an exam. Respondus Monitor acts as an online proctor of sorts, allowing instructors to watch a recording of the student while the exam was attempted. While these are great tools, they do not always deter the student that is determined to cheat. To further inhibit students from cheating, there is another option to add to your arsenal. Respondus 4.0.

On the surface, 4.0 formats online exam questions for Canvas deployment with ease. Basically, you will format the questions as required in a Word document or Text file and import this information into 4.0. After checking through the file, you can upload it directly to your Canvas course. Then, within the course, you would use this file to create your exam. Simple. Respondus 4.0 is not just for true or false or multiple choice questions either. You can create a variety of question types: fill-in-the-blank, essay, long answer, short-answer, text only (no answer), numerical answer, answer keys, and surveys.  In addition to this, regularly revising exam content and structure is the most effective cheating deterrent strategy and this tool makes it manageable

An advantage to using Respondus 4.0 is the ability to create test banks, and this is where you will find one of the greatest assets of 4.0. For example, you can create a test bank of 40 questions for a 10-question quiz and you can use this test bank, randomize your questions, and randomize the answers in each instance. Therefore, 10 students sitting next to each other should have 10 completely different exams.

Besides creating your own test questions, it is very possible that the textbook you are working with is part of the Test Bank Network. With the Test Bank Network, you can find publisher-created test questions and import them into a test bank to use for your exams. You can download the entire bank or select specific questions from the Test Bank Network to create your test banks.

The variety in question type and question sets will greatly diversify your tests and quizzes within Canvas. And because the tests are housed in Canvas, they will auto-grade (unless you have a fillable option like essay or fill-in-the-blank) and post to the gradebook as soon as the student hits submit. This will not only save you time, but will guarantee students work is graded quickly and accurately.

One small caveat: Respondus 4.0 works for PC only, but don’t worry, the DEC has many computers available to borrow. If you have a PC and would like to try to create test banks on your own, you can contact the ITS Help Desk and they would be happy to add Respondus 4.0 to your machine.

If you would like to learn more, please contact the DEC and we will help you take your testing to the next level.

#TechTipThursday: Canvas’ New Gradebook

As mentioned earlier in the week, Canvas has started rolling out changes to their gradebook. If you missed our post on the new late policy, you can find it here. In the video below, we will not only show you how to switch to the new gradebook, but talk more in-depth about additional features. Remember to check out our Canvas Corner, your one start shop for everything related to Longwood’s instance of Canvas.

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

Canvas’ New Late Policy

Canvas has released a number of new innovative features along with the new gradebook, many of which will be detailed in this week’s #TechTipThursday post. The video below will focus on the newly added late policy. The Canvas Guides offer more in-depth information about applying late policies to student submissions.

We encourage you to check out our Canvas Corner for your one start shop for Longwood’s instance of Canvas.

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

#TechTipThursday: Setting Up Your Canvas Gradebook

The Canvas gradebook is utilized by professors from all disciplines. Canvas has released some new features, that we will talk about in the coming weeks. This week’s post will focus on setting up your gradebook using total points or weighted percentages. It can be difficult to navigate Canvas and all of it’s features, but we are certain our tips below will have your gradebook set up and no time! In addition, if you are looking for more updates on Canvas, do not forget to check out our Canvas Corner

Weighted Vs. Unweighted Gradebook
Users can have either a weighted or unweighted gradebook; unweighted is the default option. In a weighted gradebook, categories or assignments are worth more than others. A weighted gradebook will calculate final grades based off percentages and an unweighted gradebook will calculate all scores together. To set up a weighted gradebook, you will navigate to the assignments tab in the left-hand course navigation (picture 1). In the top right of the screen, you will notice three vertical dots. Once you select those, you will see the option to add group weights (picture 2). A dialogue box will appear that allows you select the option to weight your grades (picture 3).  The final screen will allow you to enter  the percentages for assignment groups (picture 4).  Be sure to select ‘save’ once you are done. 

Note: You must have assignment groups in your course to use a weighted gradebook. 

Picture 1


Picture 2


Picture 3

Picture 4

Points Gradebook Vs. Percentage Gradebook
By default, total grades in Canvas are shown as percentages, but as an instructor, you can choose for student grades to be displayed as total points. Students will have access to the points earned, related to total points possible, when viewing the ‘Grades’ tab in the course. 

Student View

First, you will navigate to the grades tab in the left-hand course navigation (picture 1). Next, you will need to scroll over to the far right of the screen until you see the totals for each student appear (picture 2). When you hover over the title of the column, you will see the option to ‘switch to points’ appear. Once you select that option, you will receive a warning on the screen (picture 3). This is alerting you that once you change it, students will now see their grades appear differently. Be sure to choose ‘continue’ to save your options or ‘cancel’ if you change your mind. Following these same steps, you can toggle between a total points view and a percentage view for total grades.

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

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

What’s Your Canvas Role?

What’s Your Canvas Role?
Within a Canvas course, participants are designated with a specific role that has pre-determined permissions. The course-role and role permissions determine the type of interaction a user has with a course and the content within the course. At Longwood, there are five Canvas-roles that are used most often: Teacher, Teaching Assistant, Teaching Assistant 2, Student and Observer.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these roles, the permissions they have, and why they might be used within a course.
Teacher: When designated with the teacher role in Canvas, users are given full course administrative permissions. The teacher role is given only to those users responsible for course creation, instruction, and management. They are given permissions that allow them to provide feedback on assignments, submit grades, view course data and analytics, and lead course communications.
Teaching Assistant (TA): When given the teaching assistant role, users have permissions similar to teachers except they do not have access to data within Banner. The TA role is meant to support the teacher role. Users with the TA role can create course content, access and manage course material, and assist the teacher with grading and providing feedback to students on assignments. The TA role is most commonly used when an instructor wants a user to have a similar role and permissions as the instructor.
Teaching Assistant 2 (TA2): The TA2 role functions similarly to the TA role. However, users with the TA2 role do not have access to assignment submissions, course grades, or data within Banner. The TA2 role is most commonly used for users completing QM reviews or when faculty want to enroll peer faculty within their course to share content.
Student: In Canvas, the student role is assigned to users who will participate in a course for-credit. Users with the student role have restricted permissions within a course. The student role cannot view or participate in a course until it is published and the course has started. Students are allowed to view published-unlocked content, post to discussion boards, submit assignments, take quizzes  view grades and feedback, etc. The student role enables users to access and interact with course materials.
Observer: The observer role within Canvas has the fewest permissions and is allowed to do the least activity within a course. Observers can only view content that is published within Canvas and cannot submit assignments or post to discussions. This role is commonly used for enrolling guest presenters or speakers in a course, for those users auditing a course, or simply to enroll someone who only needs to view course content without participating.

If you would like more information on Canvas roles at Longwood, please see our detailed description on the Canvas Corner or contact the DEC!

Makerspace Myths

Welcome back, Lancers! The beginning of the Fall semester is always an exciting time. A new year, a new schedule, new classes, and so much more. Last year, you may have even heard of something else that was new, the DIGILab. In case you did not hear of the DIGILab last year, it’s a makerspace located in the Library. The space has different pieces of technology, like sewing machines, Spheros, and a 3D printer, that Longwood students, faculty, and staff can use. Additionally the space has space for students to work with these pieces of technology.

As we’ve told more and more people about the DIGILab, we’ve found that we are constantly hearing things like: “Oh, that sounds cool but I don’t know how to use any of that stuff,” or “Man, I wish I was the right major so that I could use that space!” but the truth is that everyone CAN use the DIGILab! These ideas are just myths. We’ve compiled a list of other myths to set the record straight:

I’m not the right major to use the DIGILab.

Yes, you are! The DIGILab and all of its equipment is open to all Longwood students and faculty. As long as you are enrolled as a student, you are not limited in what you are allowed to use in the DIGILab.

I have to pay to use the DIGILab.

Nope! The DIGILab equipment is available for use free of charge for Longwood students and faculty. We do ask that you bring the supplies that you’d like to work with for your specific project. We have some materials available for practicing with the technology, but the best way to ensure that you are using the colors and types of materials that you’d like is bring those with you. If you’d like to make sure that you materials will fit in our equipment, feel free to contact the DIGILab staff or stop by!

I’m not able to go during any open hours, so I can’t use the equipment.

While we’ve tried to have hours that give everyone a chance to stop by, that’s nearly impossible with the endless amount of things that can conflict with our open hours. If you find that you’d like to come us the DIGILab but can’t make the open hours, just send the DIGILab staff a quick email with times that are available and we’ll schedule an appointment(s) so that you are able to utilize the space too.

I don’t know how to use a makerspace.

That’s the point! The DIGILab is a place for hands on learning, at your own pace. You will be your teacher in the DIGILab, with the guidance of the DIGILab staff. You’ll have access to different resources like videos, guides, and, of course, Google. Mistakes are part of the process, so we expect them and have designed the DIGILab to be safe space for learning.

I haven’t made a reservation to use the DIGILab, so I can’t go in there since other people are there.

Open hours are just that, OPEN! There is no need to make a reservation to use the space during this time. If you’d like more 1:1 assistance, please make an appointment to use the DIGILab technology. Faculty, if you’d like the DIGILab to come to your class, we are more than happy to discuss options with you! Please email the DEC at dec@longwood.edu for more information about what is available.  

Have more questions about the DIGILab? Let us know. We can’t wait to see what you make, Longwood!

#TechTipThursday: Longwood’s Canvas Corner

Longwood University utilizes Canvas, by Instructure, as its learning management system. Each academic course automatically receives a corresponding space in Canvas. Although the extent of its use varies throughout the institution, the Digital Education Collaborative considers its administration and oversight of Canvas a quintessential responsibility surrounding the intentional integration of technology in educational environment. Some members of Longwood community may recall “Canvas Corner” as a recurring lunch-and-learn topic circa 2013-2016. To streamline and offer near-instantaneous information sharing, Longwood’s Canvas Corner offers a one-start-shop for content surrounding the teaching and learning community’s use of the LMS.

An alternative to a one-stop-shop’s all-inclusive content, Longwood’s Canvas Corner presents its user community with direct access to information most frequently requested through the DEC’s learning technologies help desk; the equivalent of a “start here” menu. Highlights include the global status of Canvas components, known issues, video tutorials, information on the feature request process and feature ideas from select categories. Teaching faculty and staff will find a variety of professional development opportunities, both face-to-face and online, resources related to academic integrity in the online environment, and corresponding guides to share with learners. The featured screencast corresponds to the Canvas update cycle and will refresh every three weeks. See more for yourself: