Another (good) angle to the lecture/active learning debate by the author of the Chronicle of Higher Ed’s “Pedagogy Unbound” column

David Gooblar is Associate Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching at Temple University and the author of The Missing Course: Everything They Never Taught You About College Teaching. Since 2013, he’s written a regular column on college teaching for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Gooblar posits that to grow and improve one’s teaching means adopting the right mindset vs. finding the “right” set of instructional strategies. In “Do Students Really Learn Nothing From a Lecture?“, Gooblar writes,

“A lecture delivered to students you see as fixed quantities — you think some are smart enough to handle the material while others aren’t and never will be — is going to take a certain shape. A lecture designed with the understanding that students can improve with the right combination of practice and feedback will probably look a lot different …

You are more likely to give an effective lecture if you are thinking about how students learn as you prepare it. If you compose and deliver a lecture thinking that you can just pour knowledge into students’ heads, you’re not going to succeed nearly as well. And that’s not because you “lectured.” It’s because you were working off of faulty pedagogical assumptions (and/or couldn’t be bothered to teach more effectively).

Learning works through active engagement by the learner. Only students can do the work of learning; all the instructor can do is try to create the conditions within which students are more likely to do that work.”

Read the entire article at

6 engagement strategies for creating temperament-inclusive classrooms

How to Care for Extroverts, from The Introvert’s Dilemma blogIn every classroom, students offer a mix of temperaments: extroverts, introverts, and ambiverts. Some crave sensory stimulation and are quick to speak up, while others are highly sensitive to noise or visual distractions and prefer conversing one-on-one in a quiet, calm environment. 

In “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”, New York Times bestseller author Susan Cain outlines a value system of the “extrovert ideal,” in which individuals that work well in teams, socialize in groups, and prefer action to contemplation are the ideal student.

Embracing the extrovert ideal is a grave mistake, says Cain. Many of the world’s best ideas are fostered by introverts, who fuel their learning with observation and engaging in deliberate practice alone. 

Poll Everywhere recently suggested 6 classroom strategies to reach introverted students:

  • Institute “Think Time”
  • Write Down Responses First
  • Pairs, Small Groups, Singles
  • Offer Different Paths to Complete an Assignment
  • Be Available
  • Perform Anonymous Polling

How to Care for Introverts, from The Introvert’s Dilemma blogIt’s definitely worth a read!

Need a Poll Everywhere account?

No problem! Contact the ITS Information Desk at, call 540-458-4357 (HELP), or stop by the Main Level of Leyburn Library!

Why You Should Always Keep Your Browser Up To Date!

firefox, chrome, opera, safari, IE logos -- for the best experience, keep your browser up to date!

*** We recommend having both Firefox AND Chrome! ***

I know, I know, ensuring that you have the latest version of a web browser is about as exciting as watching paint dry and as important of a task as ironing underwear, BUT updates will make a considerable impact upon your browser experience. How?

Most importantly, outdated versions of web browsers make you vulnerable to serious security flaws that can allow malicious websites to potentially read your files, steal passwords, and infect your computer with viruses, trojans, spyware, adware, or other sorts of malware.  Many browser updates are issued to specifically to combat these critical problems.

Not updating your browser regularly can also lead to technical difficulties or odd behavior with web-based tools like Canvas, Digication, and more.

Every newer generation of a browser improves the speed at which you can explore and use the Internet: web sites can load faster, making the tasks you carry out on those web sites quicker, too.

Another reason to keep your browser up-to-date is to have the best browsing experience otherwise. Web sites built using new technology for their display and features will look as they should and work better.

So, please, please, please, take the time to update your web browsers. If you need assistance, you can always call the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP), email, or stop by Leyburn Library!

NOTE: While making your browser more secure helps reduce the risk that a hacker will use it to compromise your computer, it is still important to employ safe computing practices! 

HELP! What the heck does that red eye in Gradebook mean???

animated eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings
If this is the red eye you see in Gradebook, please contact Public Safety at 540-458-8999 instead of the ITS Information Desk.

The eye icon will display in your Gradebook if you have applied a manual posting policy in a course — i.e. at some point, you clicked on the blue gear icon in the upper right hand side of Gradebook and chose to have grades hidden by default vs. automatically posting grades:

screenshot of Grade Posting Policy tab in Canvas Gradebook

— or applied a manual posting policy in an individual assignment.

red eye icon in Canvas GradebookThe red shaded eye icon indicates that there are grades within the assignment that are currently hidden and must be posted before they can be viewed by students.

transparent eye with slash icon in Canvas GradebookThe unshaded eye icon indicates that a manual posting policy is currently in place and future grades are hidden from student view or that a manual posting policy was previously used to hide grades in an assignment. If you have selected a manual posting policy for a course, all assignments that do not have hidden grades will display the unshaded eye icon.

When grades are hidden from student view, the Total column also displays the unshaded eye icon to indicate that the total grade in the Gradebook differs from the total grade viewed by the student.

Have questions about Canvas? Contact the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP), email, or stop by Leyburn Library!


Migrating Sakai Courses to Canvas – Round 1!

As part of our continuing transition from the Sakai learning management system to Canvas, ITS Academic Technologies is initiating our first round of bulk migration requests to move your course and project sites from Sakai into Canvas.  Beginning now and continuing through October 28, 2019, you may request to have up to 10 course or project sites migrated from Sakai into Canvas by filling out the Sakai-Canvas Course and Project Site Migration Request form.
This first round of migrations is intended to facilitate faculty in migrating content for their Undergraduate Winter 2020 and Law Spring 2020 courses into Canvas, although you are welcome to request course or project sites from any term.  
We will have two additional rounds of migrations to accommodate Undergraduate Spring 2020 courses, as well as any remaining courses or project sites that need to be migrated out of Sakai before it is retired at the end of June 2020.  
Please refer to the following bulk migration schedule for more details and deadlines:
  • First round: Requests due by October 28, 2019.  Courses will be ready in Canvas by November 4, 2019
  • Second round: Opens January 27, 2020.  Requests due by February 17, 2020.  Courses will be ready in Canvas by February 24, 2020
  • Third (and Final) round: Opens April 1, 2020.  Requests due by May 29, 2020.  Courses will be ready in Canvas by June 15, 2020
If you request to have courses or project sites migrated, you will be notified when the courses will be available in Canvas.  Please note that you must check your courses after migration to ensure that they are set up properly. While the migration pathway from Sakai to Canvas is robust for Resources, Assignments, Forums, Tests & Quizzes, and Lessons, there are a number of items and settings that will not migrate over and will require positive action on your part in Canvas to correct or address.  
You are also welcome to migrate your own course content from Sakai into Canvas at any time.  The first step is creating a sandbox course in Canvas to host your migrated content.  After that, you may follow these detailed migration instructions.  
For those of you beginning with Canvas, we have daily Canvas sessions scheduled for faculty during Winter Academy (December 9-13), and are also offering a 2-day Camp Canvas workshop during Undergraduate Reading Days (October 10-11).  As always, Academic Technologies staff will also be available at any time for one-on-one faculty training, migration requests, and support sessions.  
Please contact Brandon or Helen directly ( or x8651; or x4561) or via to ask any Canvas questions or to request personal training.

3 New Courses in LinkedIn Learning That I Need to Watch!

Wow! Each week, LinkedIn Learning offers a plethora of new skills to learn. Here are three videos from this week’s 44 new additions that I’ll be watching!

iOS 13 and iPadOS: iPhone and iPad New Features 

screenshot of LinkedIn Learning video, iOS 13 and iPadOS: iPhone and iPad New Features

Explore new features of iOS 13, including improvements to existing apps including Reminders, Health, and Photos, and discover features completely new to the iPhone and iPad, including Dark Mode, QuickPath typing, and the ability to attach external storage devices. Instructor Garrick Chow covers ways to remove location data from your photos before sharing, and new, easier ways to share and manage files. Find out about unique features of iPadOS, including Slide Over and Split View, and the ability to use a Bluetooth mouse with your iPad.

Illustrator Quick Tips

screenshot from LinkedIn Learning video, Illustrator Quick Tips

This collection of quick Adobe Illustrator videos is designed to show you workarounds, demonstrate helpful tricks, and explain useful features. Explore how to change the shape of text, use a single tool to create beautiful ranges of color, and distort shapes and drawings. Find out how to quickly build simple shapes, add arrowheads to lines, and more.

Women Transforming Tech: Breaking Bias 

screenshot from LinkedIn Learning course, Women Transforming Tech: Breaking Bias

Break into the tech industry by breaking bias. Learn skills to level the playing field, gain visibility, build a network, pick the right projects, and pave the way for change. The Women Transforming Tech series is focused on helping women interested in working in and staying in the tech industry. In this short course, Lori Mackenzie, a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business and executive director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, explains what women can do to break implicit and explicit bias and come out ahead. Using these tips, you can start your career off strong—and transform the tech industry from the inside out.

How do I create a YuJa recording on a PC?

Here’s how! Watch this short video tutorial (created in Camtasia) by Director of Academic Technologies, Julie Knudson:

Still need help? Contact the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP), email, or stop by the ITS Information Desk on the main level of Leyburn Library.

P.S. Those big ol’ eyes belong to sweet little Molly, Julie’s fur baby, the cutest little cocker spaniel!

Be a Part of the 2020 Active Learning Fellows Initiative (ALFI) Cohort!

Active Learning Fellows Initiative logo of yellow lightbulb

We are now accepting applications for the 2020 ALFI Cohort.

If you’re ready to incorporate active learning in the classroom and interested in examining and making thoughtful adjustments to your teaching methodology with a group of like-minded colleagues and the gentle guidance of ITS Academic Technologies, then you should apply! 

Professors selected to participate will receive a stipend of $1,000 and must be able to meet the following requirements:

  1. As part of the cohort, you agree to read and discuss the recommended articles and chapters on active learning prior to meetings.
  2. You will incorporate active learning elements into a Fall 2020 course. (You should have taught the course at least twice  previously so that the content is very familiar.)
  3. You will identify at least one module in the course that can be reworked using active learning techniques.
  4. You will attend up to four meetings over the summer (late May through early August) with Academic Technologies and CARPE staff and/or other cohort members to work through the process of planning and building the active learning module, and one meeting in the fall to discuss progress.  If you’re planning on being away/abroad for most of the summer, this program may not be for you.
  5. You will provide feedback to Academic Technologies on what worked, what needs improvement, and give suggestions on how to improve the program in the future.
  6. You agree to participate in a Fall or Winter Academy panel session on active learning, sharing results of the program.
  7. You will participate in future ALFI cohort meetings/luncheons, when new participants are ready to discuss how to rework modules, and other sessions, when available.

Ready? Set? Go! Visit to apply now!

Update from Classroom Technologies: Classrooms and Learning Spaces That Got a Facelift!

Classroom Technologies has been super busy this past spring and summer making modifications and upgrades to classrooms and spaces around campus.

  • Ruscio Center for Global Learning 123 – Two new 80” flat panel displays!
  • Early Fielding Conference RoomSolstice Pod and 65” flat panel display!
  • Huntley Hall 323 – New touch panel, Solstice Pod for wireless connectivity, new Blu-ray player, new laser projector!
  • Sydney Lewis Hall Classrooms A, B, C and D – New light controls!
  • Sydney Lewis Hall Classroom B – Digital switching upgrade along with new touch panel, new ADA-compliant lectern. Solstice Pod for wireless connectivity, Blu-ray player, front camera and ceiling mics for videoconferencing, new dual laser projector, and new screens!
  • Sydney Lewis Hall Classrooms E and G – New touch panel screen, new ADA-compliant lectern! Solstice Pod for wireless connectivity, Blu-ray player, front camera and ceiling microphones for videoconferencing, and dual flat panel displays!
  • Stackhouse TheaterNew assisted listening system, new surround sound system, new screen, new rear camera for lecture capture, new front camera and ceiling mics for videoconferencing, new touch panel screen in control booth, along with the ability to control resident PC and monitor event audio! 
  • Wilson Hall 2017 – New touch panel screen, Solstice Pod for wireless connectivity, Blu-ray player, front camera and ceiling mics for videoconferencing, new laser projector, and a new larger screen!
  • Wilson Hall 2020 – New touch panel screen, Solstice Pod for wireless connectivity, new amplifier and speakers, new laser projector, and new screen!

Hats off to Tom Capito, Alicia Shires, Todd Goetz, and Andy Briggs for all the amazing work you’ve done with these updates!

If you have any questions about the technology upgrades, please contact the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP) or email

Submit your Winter Academy session proposals! 

Winter Academy 2019 will run from Monday, December 9 through Thursday, December 12.

If you have an idea for a session, please email Julie Knudson and/or Helen MacDermott and tell us the following:

  1. Title
  2. Description
  3. Presenter(s)
  4. Presentation format: Panel, guest speaker, workshop, information session,  discussion, demonstration (you can select more than one)
  5. Duration
  6. Preferred day(s)/time(s)/location
  7. Technology required 
  8. University account number (if you’d like to have the session catered)

Thanks! Registration will open in late November/early December at