Final Vlog for Fall 2018

#TechTipThursday: Using Respondus LockDown Browser

Longwood University offers Respondus LockDown Browser (and Monitor)  as a means to ensure the integrity of the online testing environment. Easily accessible for instructors via Canvas integration, students’ ability to navigate outside of the exam window can be prevented by requiring LockDown Browser. In today’s post, we are going to show you what student’s see once LockDown Browser has been enabled for an exam.

Instructors: If you want additional information on how to require LockDown Browser for your Canvas quizzes, contact us and we will give you the required materials. 

After LockDown Browser has been downloaded, locate the software on your computer to open it as you would any other application. Once there, the Canvas login screen will appear. Type in your credentials and find the quiz as you would normally. After this, you will begin to navigate the steps to enable LockDown Browser.

NOTE: If other applications are open and running on your computer, LockDown Browser will ask that you quit those before you can begin the steps shown in the video below. 

The video below will demonstrate the steps a student will navigate before being allowed to access the quiz/exam. Instructors have the ability to toggle some of these requirements on/off within the Canvas integration.

Instructors who would like to require Respondus LockDown Browser for their assessments, or students who have difficulty installing/running LockDown Browser, are encouraged to contact us directly.

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



#TechTipThursday: Canvas LTIs for #edusocmedia

Today’s tip comes to you as a follow up to our earlier post on using social media as an educative tool. Now that you know how and why these tools can be used, we want to walk you through integrating these applications into your Canvas course.


To get started, choose a course in Canvas. In the left-hand navigation menu, choose settings >> apps. If you have an application in mind, you can search for it, by name, using the filter box (highlighted in blue in the second picture).

Choose ‘settings’

Choose ‘apps’ and search for app by name

Feel free to scroll through the entire list of apps to explore more of the options available to you. Examples of applications that can be found in the EduApp Center are Portfolium, ShareStream, and Twitter. Our focus today will be on integrating Twitter, but the steps are the same for most applications.

Select the tool that you would like to explore by clicking on the icon and choosing the ‘+ Add App’ button located directly under the application’s logo.

Choose ‘+ Add App’

Once you have the application installed, it is time to see how it works in the course! Navigate to your course’s assignments and walk through the steps to create a new assignment.  With the successful installation of Twitter, you will see the Twitter icon appear above the assignment text box. Once that has  been selected, a dialogue box will appear that will allow you to add a hashtag (#) or a handle (@), and how many tweets you would like displayed. Once you have embedded this, the tweets will appear in the assignment details.

Twitter icon

Choose hashtag or handle

Preview and embed

Tweets in assignment details

Certain applications, such as Portfolium, may require specific pieces of information that can only be obtained directly from the vendor.  If you would like help navigating the request process for this information or if you have questions duplicating the steps outlined in this post, please feel free to contact the Digital Education Collaborative.

*This post was drafted with assistance from Kayla, an Instructional Technology Collaborator 

Social Media in the Classroom

Social media is all around us; it is used by students and faculty alike. It helps us interact with others any place an internet connection is available. Social media connects people to shared personal information like never before. If you choose, you can connect with others one on one through email applications or you can connect to many at once using large platform social media. Social media isn’t only for sharing pictures of children and pets, it can be used for making personal connections with students, creating assignments, and can be used for research.

Students crave a connection with their instructors, they are not looking for the professor that stands at the front of the class and lectures, whether they realize it or not, they want a professor to be real and interact with them. This connection can be made in the classroom but it can be difficult to connect with each student on an individual level. Connections with an instructor can create a connection with the material. To create some of these connections a faculty member may want to create a Facebook Page or Group for their class. Every student would have to subscribe but once they do, information would be shared through Facebook. This can be used for announcements, interaction, and even some assignments like group presentations or marketing assignments. The faculty member can also choose to share a little about themselves in this private group and therefore make a more personal connection with their class. Twitter can be used in the classroom as a way to bring out the reluctant student with the use of hashtags; Google documents can be used for asynchronous and synchronous collaboration; and you as the instructor can be in the middle and watch the interaction in real time and create the personal connection by interjecting with the project as it is unfolding.

Besides the personal connection, you can also use social media to help students complete assignments or complete the assignment through a social media portal. For example, students can use Twitter or Instagram in a Marketing class. These platforms offer many insights and analytics that are available to each user to see their individual global reach. Students can create a marketing plan and post using these social media outlets, they could collect the data offered by the platform and submit this as part of their write-up. Because of the far-reaching aspect of the platforms, it is possible that students would see a reach they could not achieve without the use of social media. This type of real-world interaction could get them walking in the right direction for a career.

Assignments that completely live on social media are possible, but grading them and understanding the whole scope of the project can be a little difficult for the unaccustomed instructor. Because of this, social media can be a platform for research. There are countless experts in a field on social media at any time. Besides the bevy of celebrities, there are writers, politicians, business professionals, sports professionals, and more. As the instructor, you could use these professionals as a source of information for your students. You could require them to follow a writer or politician for a month or week to see how their daily schedules unfold. They could see what the life of a writer is like as they are working on their next project. Following a politician on social media could help the government student to see the pathway, in real time, of a member of congress’ writing of a law or bill. Many of these professionals share not only what they are doing, but how they came about such information. Students can make a personal connection with these professionals and can use this connection for networking or just for research. The possibilities are quite extensive.

There are many more uses for social media in the classroom that could not be touched on in such a short time. We would be happy to connect with you to brainstorm ideas of uses for social media or any other aspects. Social media is more than posts on Twitter and Facebook, likes and emoji’s, social media is a way to draw the student in and make a connection with them outside of the classroom. And, isn’t that connection something that we all crave?

#TechTipThursday: Changing Availability Dates in Canvas

Canvas courses become available to students only after two steps have been completed: (1) the course ‘unlocks’ based on the start dates for the specific term, the night before classes are set to begin, and (2) the course has been published. As an instructor, it may be beneficial for students to access to course materials in Canvas in advance of the course’s start date. Some internship and practicum experiences start before courses begin on campus; students may need access to Canvas during that time. This week, we have created a video for you that details how to make courses available in advance of the set start date.

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



Benefits of e-Portfolios

An electronic portfolio, also known as an e-portfolio, is a digital collection of one’s learning or experiences over a period of time. Typically, e-portfolios include text, documents, images, multimedia, and articles, as well as personal interests, experiences, and achievements of the creator. When considering e-portfolios in education, there are many benefits for both faculty and students, let’s explore some of them now.

For students, e-portfolios offer an excellent platform to showcase their learning and growth throughout an academic program. Students can collect and showcase coursework, highlight projects or research they have been involved in, and monitor and reflect on their own learning. E-portfolios also offer another dynamic for the students, which is creating their online presence in a professional manner, which is often a new experience traditional higher-education students. E-portfolios provide a digital space for students to display their professional training, certificates, and overall growth in a specific field or program. One of the major benefits of e-portfolios for students is the ability to and use the site as a comprehensive digital resume to share with future employers.

For faculty, student e-portfolios offer a unique perspective into student learning. Long-term e-portfolios are becoming more popular in higher education, with students starting them early in their academic courses or programs and building on them throughout course or program completion. Faculty can explore student learning and progression of knowledge and mastery of content through the evidence presented. Examining student e-portfolios also provide faculty and departments opportunities to explore teaching methods and identify areas for improvement or gaps in content. Faculty can also create their own e-portfolios to showcase their professional interests, research and growth in their fields which can then be used as models to share with students.


Basken, P. (2008, April). Electronic portfolios may answer calls for more accountability. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Miller, R. & Morgaine, W. (2009). The Benefits of E-portfolios for Students and Faculty in Their Own Words. Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Second Vlog

#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.