Round 2 of Migration of Sakai Course Content to Canvas begins TODAY!

Beginning now and continuing through Feb 17, 2020, you may request to have up to 10 course or project sites migrated from Sakai into Canvas

Visit go.wlu.edu/migrate to request up to 10 course or project sites migrated from Sakai into Canvas.

After migration, you must check your courses 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.  

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 (bucyb@wlu.edu or x8651; hmacdermott@wlu.edu or x4561) or via help@wlu.edu to ask any Canvas questions or to request personal training.

Lastly, if you are totally unfamiliar with Canvas and need to get up to speed, mark your calendar for Canvas Academy, a special edition of Spring Academy focused entirely on Canvas, April 13-16, 2020. Get ready to say goodbye to Sakai and prepared to design and deliver your course in Canvas. All sessions meet in Parmly 302, but feel free to bring your laptop. 

Upcoming Pedagogical Conversations!

All of the following events are co-sponsored by the Center for Academic Resources and Pedagogical Excellence (CARPE) and yours truly (Academic Technologies).

Winter Term

TBD
by
participant
schedules

OBSERVATION CIRCLES: Developing Our Teaching through Constructive Observation Practices

Curious about how other faculty create dynamic lectures, facilitate effective discussions, or enact powerful active learning? Or trying something new yourself, and looking for thoughtful, confidential feedback?

Observation circles are very simple: faculty are put into teams of three, coordinating a series of visits to each other’s classroom. The goal is to provide each other with confidential, formative feedback on how we can make our classes and our teaching more effective. Previous participants have found Observation Circles to be a stress-free way to improve their work and to deepen collegiality.

Interested? E-mail phanstedt@wlu.edu, subject line “Observation Circles.” Be sure to include your department and your schedule for winter term.

Winter Term

Dates: TBD

Location: TBD

Let’s Start the Conversation: ANTI-RACIST PEDAGOGY READING GROUP 

“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”—Angela Y. Davis

As educators, we need to ask: what it does it mean to be truly inclusive and where does one start? Anti-racism is continuous work, requiring active seeking and questioning of society and of ourselves, at times leading us to places of discomfort and frustration. However, through that engagement, productive conversation and curricular changes occur that truly promote a more inclusive environment. In this group, we will read and discuss works that engage with anti-racism and connect those messages and methodologies to pedagogy, thereby modeling ways to integrate anti-racism into the classroom and our daily lives. Readings will be manageable lengths (15-20 pages— however the content may take time to digest.

Interested? E-mail Dr. Adrienne Merritt at amerritt@wlu.edu.

Winter Term

 

Dates:

  • 1/14/20
  • 2/4/20
  • 2/18/20
  • 3/10/20
  • 3/31/20

4:30-6:00 PM

Ruscio Center for Global Learning 123

SMALL TEACHING DINNER SEMINAR

What is SMALL TEACHING: EVERYDAY LESSONS FROM THE SCIENCE OF LEARNING? It’s a book by James Lang, a leading voice in the scholarship of teaching and learning, using the best science on classroom techniques to argue that we don’t have to make huge changes in our classes to deepen student learning.

What is the “Small Teaching Seminar”? It’s CARPE’s inaugural dinner/book club, a series of five linked sessions built around a tasty dinner and Lang’s book, designed to allow any professor in any discipline to strengthen long-term learning. Everyone who signs up for the seminar will receive a copy of Lang’s book.

Though we recognize that not all enrollees will be able to attend every session, attendees are encouraged to make space for as many of the dinners as possible, recognizing the power of collaboration and community to strengthen both our learning and our practice. 

Interested? Sign up at http://go.wlu.edu/smallteachingseminar

Wednesday
26 February

8:30 AM –
4:00 PM

Ruscio Center for Global Learning 114

POGIL TRAINING SEMINAR—Strengthening Student Learning through a Proven Classroom Approach

POGIL is an acronym for Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning. Because POGIL is a student-centered instructional approach, in a typical POGIL classroom or laboratory students work in small teams with the instructor acting as a facilitator. The student teams use specially designed activities that generally follow a learning cycle paradigm. Developed in Chemistry before expanding to fields throughout the disciplines, the POGIL approach has two broad aims: to develop content mastery through student construction of their own understanding, and to develop and improve important learning skills such as information processing, communication, critical thinking, problem solving and metacognition and assessment. 

Interested in learning more? Faculty from all disciplines are invited to attend this comprehensive, full-day workshop over winter break led by experienced POGIL facilitator and Professor of Chemistry Gail Webster of Guilford College.

Sign up at http://go.wlu.edu/pogil.

Tuesday
17 March

4:30-5:30 PM 

Northen Auditorium

James G. Leyburn Library

TEACHING DISTRACTED MINDS—A LECTURE BY JAMES LANG

As faculty struggle with the problem of distracted students on our campuses and in our classes, they have become increasingly frustrated by the ways in which digital devices can interfere with student learning. But are students today more distracted than they were in the past? Has technology reduced their ability to focus and think deeply, as some popular books have argued? Drawing upon scholarship from history, neuroscience, and education, this lecture explores productive new pathways for faculty to understand the distractible nature of the human brain, work with students to moderate the effects of distraction in their learning, and even leverage the distractible nature of our minds for new forms of connected and creative thinking.

James M. Lang is a Professor of English and the Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College in Worcester, MA.  He is the author of five books, the most recent of which is Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2016). Lang writes a monthly column on teaching and learning for The Chronicle of Higher Education and has conducted workshops on teaching for faculty at more than a hundred colleges and universities in the US and abroad.

Interested? Sign up at http://go.wlu.edu/smallteaching

Wednesday
18 March

8:00-9:30 AM or 12:00-
1:30 PM

Science Addition 202A (8:00 AM) or Hillel House
101
(12:00 PM)

 

SMALL TEACHING: FROM MINOR CHANGES TO MAJOR LEARNING

Research from the learning sciences and from a variety of educational settings suggests that a small number of key principles can improve learning in almost any type of college or university course, from traditional lectures to flipped classrooms.  This workshop—offered at two different times and locations—will introduce some of those principles, offer practical suggestions for how they might foster positive change in higher education teaching and learning, and guide faculty participants to consider how these principles might manifest themselves in their current and upcoming courses.

James M. Lang is a Professor of English and the Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College in Worcester, MA.  He is the author of five books, the most recent of which is Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2016). Lang writes a monthly column on teaching and learning for The Chronicle of Higher Education and has conducted workshops on teaching for faculty at more than a hundred colleges and universities in the US and abroad.

Interested? Sign up at http://go.wlu.edu/smallteaching

 Late arrivals and early departures welcome.

Questions? E-mail Dr. Paul Hanstedt at phanstedt@wlu.edu.


Save the Dates!

Top-to-Bottom Course Design Workshop
June 10-12, 2019

Got a new course you’re creating? Or an old course that needs to be refreshed? This workshop is an opportunity to get a jump-start on that process, and to learn from and share ideas with colleagues. Stay tuned for more details!

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 (jmknudson@wlu.edu) or Helen MacDermott (hmacdermott@wlu.edu) 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

1dashboard.jpg

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.

2dashboard.jpg

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

2studentdash.jpg

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

3dashboard.jpg

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.

7studentcourse.jpg

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

6dashboard.jpg

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

https://twitter.com/dgooblar/status/1191367533648994304

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 https://www.chronicle.com/article/Do-Students-Really-Learn/247433.

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 help@wlu.edu, 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 help@wlu.edu, 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 help@wlu.edu, or stop by Leyburn Library!