Dozen More Learning Spaces Get Digital Upgrades

We’re happy to report that over fall and winter breaks, we refreshed a dozen more classrooms with new all-digital AV equipment. Here are the rooms that were upgraded:

Kapelski 136b & 225a

Kirkbride 203, 213, 237, 229, 232, 236, 313, 336, 411

Wolfgram Library 106

These upgrades are on top of the 34 classrooms and meeting spaces the Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT) upgraded in Summer 2017.

Widener continues to make aggressive investments in teaching and learning technologies (in both physical and virtual learning spaces). We plan to make several more upgrades before the end of the year.

Please contact the Teaching & Learning Technologies team at TLToffice@widener.edu to share your thoughts and ideas about how our learning space infrastructure can continue to be improved.

Canvas Update

Things are progressing well on the Canvas implementation project. We know that many faculty members are eager to begin learning the new system and building courses, so we wanted to report on our progress so far:

  • Loaded faculty, staff, and students into Canvas and connected their logins with our single sign-on process
  • Created an easy-to-remember address: http://canvas.widener.edu
  • Collaborated with our Canvas project team and group of faculty volunteers to build a default course template
  • Activated the 24/7 Canvas help desk, which offers both Chat and Phone assistance to the entire Widener community
  • Enabled an interactive Course Setup Checklist for all courses.

We are currently finalizing your training options. You will have flexible and unlimited access to training on features and best practices. Options include:

  • Live Canvas-led interactive training webinars (WU-paid subscription)
  • Recorded Canvas-led webinars
  • Lynda.com Canvas courses.
  • TLT workshops in the FISHtank
  • Librarian-led content assistance via training, guides, and workshops
  • Small group and 1-on-1 assistance

Logo for Canvas by Instructure

We will load Fall 2017 template courses before the end of October. Your students will not be in the classes, but you will have the opportunity to build your courses.

We will load Spring 2018 template courses into Canvas no later than the middle of November.

Just as a reminder, the CampusCruiser portal will continue to include your classes through the end of summer 2018. Here is a link to the ITS blog with the full Canvas implementation timeline.

Coming Soon: Training options and details!

 

Classroom Projector Display Settings Fix

Where is my PowerPoint? Why can’t my students see what I see?

You may find the computer screen “extending” rather than “duplicating” to the projection screen. This likely occurred when a previous PPT file “hijacked” the display. We’re providing a quick fix instructions here, but feel encouraged to call Teaching & Learning Technology (TLT) x4090 for assistance.

The quick fix

    1. With the PC and projector both turned-on, keypress the windows and “P” buttons at the same time.
    2. While still holding-down the windows button, press the “P” button until ‘Duplicate’ is highlighted.

  1. Once ‘Duplicate’ is selected, release all keys and screens should mirror. Please allow up to 10 to 20 seconds for digital connection to update.

Is there a permanent fix?

This issue is one of those bugs for which the MS Office community-at-large is working hard to find a solution. We will update this post as soon as this is resolved.

 

Dozens of learning spaces get digital upgrades

ITS is committed to excellence in support of teaching and learning. Read about digital upgrades to 34 spaces that TLT upgraded this summer.

ITS updated the AV systems in 28 formal learning spaces, including classrooms and teaching labs in Kapelski, Kirkbride, Bruce, Hanna, Old Main Annex, and Alumni. These upgrades will immediately improve the quality and reliability of the classroom experience. They will also allow us to keep rooms more easily up to date with future upgrades in educational technology.

Additionally, we outfitted six of the informal learning/meeting spaces in University Center with new large monitors, built-in AV systems and computers. No more having to call TLT Classroom Support to request deliveries of laptops in the Webb Room or meeting rooms A, C, D, F, or G.

Complimenting this effort, you will discover refined “how-to” documentation for AV posted in learning spaces.

Take a moment to view some of the before and after in this short video documenting some of the space transformations.  If you need any assistance with these spaces or just want to give kudos to the fantastic team of Rick, Casey, and Jeremy, just contact them at x4090 or TLToffice@widener.edu.

How we pick rooms to upgrade

This spring, TLT staff spent months planning with deans’ offices, faculty, operations staff and technology vendors. We prioritized rooms based on capacity, degree of use, frequency of calls for tech-related issues, age/health of current equipment. We also took into account places where we simply needed to correct awkward AV configurations that got in the way of teaching and learning.

The University is making strong investments in teaching and learning technologies (in both physical and virtual learning spaces). We plan to make additional upgrades later this year. Even so, completing our digital learning space transformations will take at least two more years. Please let us know if you have thoughts to share about how our learning space infrastructure can be improved.

Start Packing! 6 Tips for the Canvas Move

It’s time to start planning your move.

It seems like a daunting task, but take another look at the transition timeline – you have enough time to pack up and move to your new course home. The key is to plan and be smart about what you pack and how you stay organized!

The infographic below highlights 6 important things to consider and start working on (and Tip 7 is get a librarian involved to help you find accessible course assets if your scanned copies are at all illegible or incompatible with screen readers).

So let’s get started. Take a good look at these 6 tips and plan your move. Want to see more of Canvas? It’s not quite ready or decorated for company yet, but go ahead and peek into the live environment at https://widener.instructure.com/

Any questions, please reach out to canvasteam@widener.edu

1) Now is the time to rethink course design without the constraints of CampusCruiser. You have the chance to take advantage of learning tools like never before. 2) Resist the urge to rush the process. (e.g., Is your content ADA compliant? Are your assignments engaging?) Use the time and support you have well. 3) Structure FOLDERS in MODULES. Include a simple word doc listing components (readings, assignment, assessment, video links); include every element in its module folder. 4) Do not dump course assets into groups (in this case

 

Congratulations, Casey!

CaseyGraduationCongratulations are in order for Casey Croson, Classroom Support Technologist in the ITS Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT) group!

On May 19th, Casey graduated with a Master’s of Education in Instructional Technology. His personal interest is “the gamification of learning.” Casey also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. In fact, he originally came to Philadelphia back in 2013 to do a one-month study at the Pig Iron Theatre for Mask, Mime, and Physical Movement (or as he refers to it, “Clown School!”) After returning home to Norfolk, Casey decided to take a chance and pursue opportunities in the Philly area. He has been here ever since and says his decision has worked out well!

Allow us to introduce…Jeremy Wheeler

Jeremy Wheeler is the new classroom support technologist with Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT).

JWpicWorking alongside Rick Orme and Casey Croson, Jeremy is on the team that keeps the AV and other multimedia technologies in Widener’s formal and informal learning spaces in working order. He just moved to the Delaware County area from Syracuse, NY, where he was employed as a technician in the field of AV integration.

Jeremy is a graduate of Lebanon Valley College, where he majored in Music Recording Technology and Music Theory/Composition. His passions include writing and listening to music, building new PCs, and reading bad fantasy/sci-fi novels. Jeremy says that he “already enjoys the friendly environment from all at Widener and hopes to stay for quite a while.” We agree with that and are thrilled to have him on our team!

LMS Update: Recorded Demo Links, Sandboxes, and Surveys

Links to recorded demos, active trial sandboxes, and surveys for your feedback.

DEMO RECORDINGS AND SURVEYS

It has been an exciting few weeks here in Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT)! We have already had the live demos from two vendors with state-of-the-art LMS for Widener to consider. If you did not have a chance to attend the demos on the dates offered, you still have time to view the recordings and weigh in with your feedback.

Recording and survey links have been emailed to all faculty. Please let me know if you have not received that email.

Pick and choose any date. Please review BOTH choices and then complete the short survey for each one. We want to provide the absolute best option for teaching and learning, with the most comprehensive and efficient, yet elegant and easy-to-use platform as possible. We expect a final decision to be made in the next few weeks.

SANDBOXES & TEST KITCHENS

In addition to the recordings, we have arranged for you to have sandboxes in each LMS that allow you to login and really see what it is like to design and teach a class. Please do log in and test them out. I also encourage you to check out the additional learning and design resources available for both CANVAS and D2L at lynda.widener.edu.

Test Kitchen Dates

We are holding an open Test Kitchen on May 2nd and 3rd, 3:00-4:00 pm in ACN – HAL Lab (first floor). Bring your device or use a lab laptop to play in the sandbox together – we will be there to collect feedback and work with you in this discovery stage.


CANVAS Sandbox Link: ‘Need a CANVAS Account’

Click “Need a Canvas Account” on the login page to create their account. Then, click “Start a New Course” on the dashboard to start playing in Canvas.

Canvas Trial


D2L/Brightspace Sandbox Link: ‘Get Trial’

Fill in the information and submit for a 30 day trial and start playing in D2L/Brightspace.

d2l trial

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call (x1345) or email me jcaione@widener.edu.

Lynda.com: unlimited tech training for Widener

Thousands of video courses taught by technology, design, and business experts.

Starting immediately, ITS is providing all Widener students, faculty, and staff with access to Lynda.com, an online library that teaches the latest technical and professional skills through high-quality instructional videos. Lynda maintains a very large and up-to-date library of courses taught by experts in their fields. New titles are added every week.

tile_lyndalearning_logoCourses are broken up into bite-size chunks of a few minutes each. You can use Lynda whether you have five minutes or five hours. If you are trying to complete an entire course or playlist of courses, it automatically keeps track of your progress. But you will also find Lynda useful as a just-in-time knowledge base. If you’re stuck trying to figure out a feature in an application, search for it on Lynda. You may just get the answer you need to get back up and running quickly.

What’s there?

There are Lynda videos for every skill level. For beginners with an application, here are just a few of the relevant “Up and Running” and “Essentials” titles in the collection:

  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere, After Effects)
  • MacOS Sierra and Windows 10
  • SPSS
  • Mathematica
  • Final Cut Pro and ProTools
  • HTML5 and CSS

Beyond a deep collection of technology titles, there’s a host of professional development subjects on topics ranging from project management to social media marketing.

Get Started

Just visit lynda.widener.edu. Use your Widener login ID and password—the same ones you use for Office 365 or CampusCruiser. Try making a playlist of a few courses you’re interested in trying out later.

Learning Management System (LMS) Update

Project team plans demos and other chances to review potential new systems.

As mentioned in previous announcements, we have kicked off a project to select and implement a state-of-the-art LMS that will serve our current and future teaching and learning requirements. (The current LMS is the “academics and classes” portion of our CampusCruiser portal). Though the entire process will take at least 18 months to complete, we are working very hard to get through the identification, demonstration, and stakeholder involvement steps before the end of spring 2017 so that ITS can do the necessary technical work for launching. (For more information, see CIO Eric Behrens’ Big IT Projects post.)

We welcome you to review (and come back to) the information in the WU Community Docs (LMS 2017) shared documentation folder. In this initial stage, you will find the LMS project charter and the selection process background, and we will add more docs as we progress.

Things are looking good! We have been working very closely with Faculty Council TIRC and have been engaging in conversations all across campus. The demand is clear to us for an easy to use, powerful, reliable, and student-centered tool. Among many other things, it also must have a great mobile interface. There are dozens and dozens of LMS options; we have worked hard to narrow it down and are now pleased to offer our first two vendor open demos! They will last about 60 minutes and will include time for Q&A.

There are multiple ways to view the demos:

  1. We have booked the Freedom Theater for those that would like to join us in person
  2. We are making the VIRTUAL web-conferencing link available
  3. The vendors have agreed to record the demo and provide a link to the recording for those that were not available for the live sessions

Live Demo #1: CANVAS (Instructure) – Tuesday, April 18th, 3:00pm – https://instructure.webex.com/meet/doberg  Meeting #:807 138 723, Call-in toll-free (US/Canada) 1-877-668-4493


Live Demo #2: D2L/Brightspace – Wednesday, April 19th, 3:00pm –  https://d2l.zoom.us/j/682519235 iPhone one-tap (US Toll):  +14086380968,177710875# or +16465588656,177710875#


Short (online) surveys will be distributed after the demos in order to collect and. analyze feedback. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call (x1345) or email me jcaione@widener.edu.