Academic Technology - Florida State College at Jacksonville

Academic Technology

Faculty Content

Innovate to Educate: Professor Dana Logan

EdTech, Faculty Content, DMP, Innovate to Educate, Software, Studio, VideosBrandi Bleak

Innovate to Educate is a series created by Educational Technology and Digital Media Productions to share information about innovative technology being used by our amazing faculty at each of our campuses. In this episode, we speak to Professor Dana Logan about how she uses educational technology in her classroom to engage students.

Additional Resources

Socrative

Free and Paid versions available
https://www.socrative.com

How to Request Software

Visit it.fscj.edu
Select Services, then Software Requests

WordPress Now Updated!

EdTech, Faculty ContentThomas Lewis
Wordpress Banner.png

WordPress has now been updated to version 4.9.8!

If you don’t already have a WordPress blog site and you’re faculty or staff here at FSCJ, you can request to have your very own! If you aren’t familiar with this resource, WordPress is a blog site that you can use as as your own personal Content Management System for class or use as a professional blog. Here at FSCJ, blog sites are often used by instructors to complement the content in their classes, organizations and groups to communicate to their members, and other users who simply share information about their area of expertise.

Today’s update focused on the overall security for our WordPress website, but also provided updates to all of our themes and plugins we have.

If you need any assistance with your WordPress website, would like to request to have one, or have questions about WordPress in general, please feel free to reach out to edtech@fscj.edu and we’ll be happy to assist you with all of your blog site needs.

Have a great day!

Canvas Transition Team Meeting: Sub-Accounts

EdTech, Faculty Content, LMSRobyn Reese

On September 19, the Canvas Transition Team held their second meeting, at which they really started to dive into the challenging work of making decisions about how to set up the new LMS. Because we wanted to start at the top level of the project and work down to the specifics, this month the team was tasked with deciding whether FSCJ would utilize a hierarchal sub-account structure for the overall LMS instance.

Let’s pause for a minute to explain what this task actually is and why it is important. Currently, our Canvas LMS instance is like a completely blank, well, CANVAS (for lack of a better term). When a user logs in, they see the normal side navigation menu that one would expect, but it only holds fifteen users and fourteen courses. There is NOTHING in there—it is an empty container. So, before we begin to fill it up with courses and tools and content and students and instructors and all of the things that make an LMS a place where learning happens, we wanted to take a hard look at the structure of that container to see if we could find a way to divide it up. These smaller buckets would allow us to group courses by subject area so that we could deploy tools and user permissions more strategically, based upon the needs of our college’s varied academic units. Because (as we all know) FSCJ is an institution that serves an incredibly varied community of learners that often have drastically different needs and wants in our shared eLearning space.

We landed upon the concept of the sub-account to help us create these smaller containers within the larger Canvas account. A sub-account is an organizational unit within Canvas that can be customized so that it may provide a slightly different experience for the students and instructors who are accessing the courses within it. LTI tools and resources can be made available to specific sub-accounts where they are used and users can have different permissions granted to them based upon their needs.

In order to understand how this works for the user, it is helpful to think about the way that the physical structure of a traditional school is organized. Students all enter through the same front door and walk in the same common areas, but in a mathematics classroom, they may have access to tools like graphing calculators while in a science lab they may need to use beakers and graduated cylinders. Students can move from class to class easily, but the tools that they encounter and the responsibilities that they have change based upon the learning space that they are currently occupying. The access point is the same, but the experience within the class is different.

The Transition Team was tasked with figuring out if such a structure would be desirable for the FSCJ community, and then to figure out how to set this structure up in a way that was logical, sustainable, and able to be automated. During the meeting Robyn Reese, our LMS Administrator, walked the team through a presentation that explained how to meet these three goals. In order to do this, the team had to figure out how to use the existing academic structure within myFSCJ (the SIS or Student Information System) to create groups that would also fit with the current structure of our schools and departments.

Click here to view the Sub-Account Presentation shared during the meeting

As we progressed through the meeting, the Transition Team provided a great deal of valuable information about the level of structural complexity that they thought would be valuable for the areas that they were representing. As might be expected, it was found that certain areas of the college would require more dedicated sub-accounts for purposes of management and tool deployment. For example, in the Credit area, because of the variety of courses that are offered, we plan to pursue an sub-account organization based upon academic department. For areas like Professional Development, CWE, Not-for-Credit, and Clock, a simpler sub-account that encompasses several subject areas was thought to be best because it will allow for more management flexibility. Moving forward, the Educational Technology department will be meeting with the staff that oversees these areas to obtain more details regarding the specific structure and composition of the sub-account, as well as what support staff are used in this area and what LTI tools are utilized by their instructors.

The Transition Team’s next meeting will focus on training and will be held mid-October.

Additional Resources:

Canvas at FSCJ site

Canvas Transition SharePoint Site

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is coming to a Course Shell Near You!

EdTech, LMS, News, Faculty ContentRobyn Reese
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This fall, FSCJ Academic Technology will be phasing out the original version of the Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing tool so that we can have consistent use of the new and improved Ultra version of Collaborate. The two products function in much the same way by allowing students and instructors to meet together in a virtual space, regardless of where they are located or what device they are using. 

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, though, unlike the "original" version, is currently a major focus of product development for Blackboard and is being loaded with tons of new features as this year progresses. Information about what these new features are and when they will be accessible can be found in this Academic Technology blog post from earlier in this calendar year.  If you are brand new to all versions of Collaborate, please view these useful webinars that go over the use of Collaborate as an instructional tool to give you an overview of the basics before you begin.  

While, as mentioned above, the two products function in the same basic way (and with a similar interface) once a user enters the course room itself, the launch screen for the two versions is quite different and may cause some confusion for faculty and staff that were used to the original product. Below are two side-by-side screenshots of the "original" launch screen and the "ultra" launch screen:

 

Blackboard Collaborate "Ultra" 

"Original" Blackboard Collaborate

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Whereas in the "original" version of Collaborate, users simply need to click on the very visible "join room" button to become a part of the virtual learning experience, the ultra interface is not quite so simple to use, but as a result packs in some very useful features. 

First of all, faculty have the ability to lock the course room very easily so that it cannot be accessed at all times (a useful security setting that prevents students from using the course room for non-instructional purposes). This can be done very easily by clicking on the three dots to the far right-hand side of the Course Room's name, as shown below. For this dropdown menu, you can also provide links for guest access, as well as view reports about student attendance and usage. 

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Instructors can also use the "Create Session" button at the bottom of the interface to to schedule sessions with a predetermined beginning and end time so that the Collaborate Course Room is only available at specified times. This is shown below. From this window, you can also specify who in the session can act as a moderator, whether it should be recorded, and if these recordings are downloadable.  Recorded sessions, once made, will also be listed and searchable in the area below the "create session" button. 

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We hope that you find this product upgrade to be a great addition to the educational technology tools that are currently integrated with Blackboard. If you have any questions about how to use the more advanced features of Collaborate Ultra, please contact EdTech@fscj.edu

MediaSpace Update & Resolution

DMP, Faculty Content, Tutorial, EdTechBrandi Bleak

Kaltura MediaSpace

This Spring, there was an update to Kaltura MediaSpace to make login compatible between myFSCJ and Blackboard. This resolved the issue of being unable to access MediaSpace content from Blackboard. 

MediaSpace can now be accessed from myFSCJ within the Faculty, Employees or Students tabs, shown below, as well as within Blackboard via a Building Block.

If you experience any issues accessing or viewing content that was created within MediaSpace prior to the Spring update, please submit a ticket at help.fscj.edu which will be routed to our MediaSpace administrator who can correct many outlying issues.

CaptureSpace Users

If you previously downloaded CaptureSpace to your computer you may need to take steps to reestablish your connection. If you experience any issues or are unable to see content while trying to record a new video, follow these directions:

1. Log onto MediaSpace and initiate a CaptureSpace recording by selecting “Add New” from the upper right corner. Make a test recording then check to ensure it uploads correctly.

If unsuccessful:

2. Uninstall CaptureSpace using these directions. Try to initiate a CaptureSpace recording in MediaSpace and it will give you the directions to reinstall CaptureSpace. Make a test to verify it works.

The video you were trying to upload is probably still on your computer.  You can find your previously recorded video by looking for the Settings tab in CaptureSpace. Under settings you’ll see the storage location of the file. Here is a video of the process. Once you have the file you can upload the video to MediaSpace.

For clarification, or to ask additional questions, please submit a ticket at help.fscj.edu or email us at EdTech@fscj.edu.

The Perfect "Duet"

Faculty Content, EdTechBecky Hudson
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The new app “Duet” is an exciting way to turn your devices into a second screen for your Mac or PC. The app allows the user to double your workspace without having to purchase a second monitor. By giving the user a dual screen, Duet helps to increase the productivity of the user by almost 50 percent. The former Apple engineers that created this app designed it to be compatible with all desktops that use OS X 10.9 or Windows 7+, as well as all iPads and all iPhones running iOS 7.0+. With the use of a 30-pin or lightning cable, the second display is pretty easy to set up and can be very handy!

When setting up “Duet”, the user must first go to the app store and purchase the app for $9.99 on the device they wish to pair. After the app has been purchased and downloaded, the user then creates an account with an email address. Once the account is created, a link is emailed to the user to download the program on your Mac or PC.

Once you are up and running, what to do? If you plan on having multiple internet windows up, then you are fine. When testing, we found that it was easy to navigate between screens and websites to get your work done. Even websites like YouTube that have a complicated visual interface have no issue moving between screens and still offer clear uninterrupted video.

Next, we tied to do something a little harder. When trying to open programs like Final Cut Pro, the amount of information being transferred between screens seemed too much for the Duet app. Using the dual display in Final Cut Pro resulted in a frozen and distorted screen on my later model PC running Windows 10. It just seemed like the transfer couldn’t handle that much information. When we tried it on a newer MacBook Pro, though, the app worked beautifully. The resolution was on point and I really liked the ability to have a larger viewer window for my project.

The Duet app is a useful and fun app to play with. By giving the user double the workspace, it made for fun, effortless way to get work done. Depending on the processing power of the Mac/PC that you are working from, the Duet app can deliver a retina display at 60 frames per second with no lagging. If you are looking for a way to double your workspace with a device that you already own, the Duet app is definitely the way to go.

To learn more about Duet visit www.duetdisplay.com

In Focus: 10 Tips for Spring Semester Success

Faculty Content, DMP, In Focus, EdTechBrandi Bleak

For this episode, the Educational Technology team reached out to members of the faculty and administration to gather 10 tips that will help faculty to have a great start to the Spring semester. So, let’s get started!  


#10  - Syllabus & Course Preparation Checklist

The folks at FSCJ Online have prepared a comprehensive checklist to help you make sure that you’re able to stay on top of all of the tasks that need to be completed before the start of the Spring semester.

This document lives in the Faculty Exchange and we've added a link below for ease of use and download.  

Syllabus & Course Preparation Checklist document


#9  –  Requesting Course Access

While you are preparing your course content, you may need access to a prior semester’s course for content copy. To request access to a course taught prior to Fall 2017, email EdTech@fscj.edu or submit a ticket via help.fscj.edu.


#8 – Course Availability

The PeopleSoft integration has changed the way that course shells are created within Blackboard. There are a few crucial points that you need to be aware of. 

Each course is shell is created and made available to the instructor 60 days prior to its start date. This means that A session, B session, and C session course are created at different times.

The instructor then decides when they would like the course to be available to students, and has the responsibility of closing it at the end of the semester. This can be done by either setting a date range for the course to be available, or by setting it to be continuously open. The instructor must then remember to close it manually at the end of the term. 

Here's a tutorial on making a course available within Blackboard.


#7 – Know the Important Term Dates

There are important dates that occur throughout the semester like grading windows and drop for non-attendance. These dates are communicated during the term via email from Academic Operations and are available on the fscj.edu site, and can be accessed here.


#6—How to Access the Grading Roster

During the Fall semester, many instructors had difficulty accessing the grade rosters with myFSCJ. 

To access the grade roster, users must navigate to the Faculty tab and click the ‘person’ icon. This is the best way to access the grade roster! Although there are other ways to obtain similar content, they don’t provide the full functionality of allowing you to enter grades.


#5 – Course Evaluations & Survey Results

There’s a new process for Course Evaluations. 

During the last portion of the semester, students have the opportunity to evaluate their courses. This process opens on the Friday before the last week of the class within the Student tab of myFSCJ. The evaluation reports will be made available to instructors and administrators five days after the last day of class.

Course Evaluations Training Document


#4 - Using Kaltura MediaSpace

You may have noticed that the Kaltura Mash-up button is no longer in Blackboard! To access MediaSpace to upload, edit, or curate videos, in the short term, you must use the link that it still located in the Artemis portal under the Technology tab. From there, you can acquire an embed code located in the bottom right-hand corner of the video that can be added to the Blackboard video function to link to your content.


#3 – Finding Information & Answers

With so many new processes and information to keep up with, there are a few spots we recommend that faculty view regularly in order to stay updated. 

The Academic Technology Blog is managed by the Educational Technology team, and contains information about system updates, articles about new technology, apps, and more. It also contains a student section with information that you may want to pass along in your classroom. 

The Blackboard home page is being redesigned to include faculty updates with relevant content, software keys, and important announcements.


#2 Report Issues So They Can Be Reviewed

Check your Blackboard course shells as soon as they’re available and report any questions or concerns through the help desk. The sooner we locate any problems, the easier it will be to fix them. Even if you’re unsure if something is a problem, let us know and we can do the research for you.


#1 – You Have Help!

So, what’s number one? You! Being there when you need us is a top priority for all of us!

There are lots of resources available to assist instructors so you can keep your focus on your students and the classroom. 

Help.fscj.edu is the Information Technology Help Desk site where users can search the Knowledge Base for answers to common issues, submit a ticket that will be routed to the department that can assist, call and speak to a representative, or email in an issue to service.desk.@fscj.edu.

Dedicated Faculty Development Specialists are available on campuses for in-person assistance with Professional Development, Blackboard, myFSCJ, video and photography needs, design work, and much more. Discover more about the Faculty Resource Centers.

Training.fscj.edu is the newly redesigned site by the Training and Organizational Development team where professional development and training content can all be found.

And Faculty members can always contact the Faculty Senate, the Faculty Union, or the Academic Technology Committee to report issues that may need additional review or evaluation.


Thanks for tuning in to this special Spring Semester edition of In Focus! We look forward to supporting you as we work together to make this a great semester!

Making a Blackboard Course Shell Available

Faculty Content, Tutorial, EdTechBrandi Bleak

When an instructor has prepared their Blackboard course shell and are ready to make the course available to their students, there are a few steps that need to take place. If no steps are taken, the course will become available to students upon the first day of the session.  

To make a course shell available, select Customization from the course menu. Next click Properties.

 

As a reminder, course shells will not be available to instructors until 60 days prior to their start date. 

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Set Availability

When instructors are ready to set the availability of a course, first scroll to Set Availability and ensure that Yes is selected.

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Set Course Duration

Instructors can decide whether they would like the course to be available immediately or to become available on a specific date in the future.

By default, course shells are set to become available to students enrolled on the date the course begins. To make the course available in advance, either change the date or select Continuous for the duration to make the course available immediately.  Note that courses with continuous enrollment will NOT close automatically at the end of the term. If continuous enrollment is selected, faculty must remember to make these course unavailable at the end of the term.

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If you have any questions or issues with course availability, please submit a ticket at help.fscj.edu or email EdTech@fscj.edu.