New Year, New Look to Digication!

On January 1, 2020, Digication is changing its look! The  look is different—a bit more jazzy—but all of your content is still there! 

While the core-functionality will remain the same, this update gives the following areas of the platform a look and feel that matches New Digication ePortfolios:

  • The Dashboard
  • Featured ePortfolios and ePortfolio Directory
  • User Profile and User Directory
  • The Login Screen
  • Course Set-Up

Questions? Want a preview? Contact Julie Knudson ( or Helen MacDermott ( in Academic Technologies.

Meanwhile, continue reading below if you want to know what will look different!

Navigation Menu

The navigation menu is located on the left side of the page and includes the following options:

  1. Home
  2. People
  3. Courses
  4. ePortfolios
  5. Subscriptions 
  6. Administration
  7. Administration Beta
  8. Reports
  9. Help
  10. Logout


My ePortfolios

At the top of your dashboard, you will find the My ePortfolios section, displaying the six most recently updated ePortfolios to which you have access.  Click the filter button (1) to change which ePortfolios you see in the list. To create a new ePortfolio, click the blue Create button (2).  The Show more button (3) will reveal an additional fifteen ePortfolios.


Hovering over the User icon (4) will display the name of the ePortfolio owner and those with admin access to the ePortfolio.


Courses/Communities/Assessment Groups

Below My ePortfolios, you will find your Courses, Assessment Groups, and Communities.  You can filter by type by using the toggles at the top of the window (1).  Six Courses, etc., will be displayed by default; however, if you have access to more than six, they can be accessed by clicking the Show more button (2). To create a new Course, Assessment Group or Community, click the blue Create button (3).  Further information regarding course creation can be found in the following article: Creating a Course


The dropdown menu (4) will allow you to choose between displaying Current, Archived, and Future Courses, Communities, and Assessment Groups.  These categories are determined by the dates that the Course, Community, or Assessment Group is available, as defined in the Course settings.


Hovering over the User icons in the Course thumbnail (5) will display the names of the Course faculty.


How do I make an online tutorial in PowerPoint accessible?

Happy Monday! ITS Academic Technologies recently received an email from a student in search of help with PowerPoint:

“HELP! I am tasked with creating an online tutorial to help train individuals. I created a PowerPoint presentation, but was told this is not the preferred method, as it is not fully accessible. What should I do now?”

Wondering why web accessibility is important? “When ignoring web accessibility you’re potentially alienating one billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, who experience some form of disability, whether auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical or visual.” (source)

Here’s the advice we shared:

“There are a couple of things you can do. It’s good practice to provide more than one format.

  1. Keep the PowerPoint format because it’s more engaging and memorable for the majority of people, but you can take steps to make it accessible with Microsoft built-in tools.
  2.  Save the PowerPoint as a PDF.  Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat and  follow the steps listed at JAN’s “Converting a PowerPoint file to PDF” to ensure it’s accessible
  3. You can also save the PowerPoint as a rich text file, open it in Word, format it, and save it as a .docx file.
  4. For the ultimate in accessibility, you could narrate the PowerPoint and save it as an MP4 file. This would provide an additional avenue for people with limited vision to interact with the content.”

Digication will NOT be available on Friday, Nov 22nd from 3-6 am EST!

Heads up! 

Digication will be performing important system maintenance on Friday, November 22nd from 3:00AM to 6:00AM Eastern Time.

During this time, the system will not be available and users will be unable to log in to their Digication accounts. Those logged in to the Digication system when the maintenance window begins will be logged out.

We appreciate your patience during this brief interruption!

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!