Topic: New Faculty Tech Toolkit Speakers: Ben Johnston, HRC/DHI Consulting, OIT; Jonathan Olmsted, Senior Research Specialist/Q-APS Consulting Coordinator (Politics); Audrey Welber, Humanities Reference Librarian, Firestone Library; Janet Temos, Director, Educational Technologies Center (ETC), McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning.
Time: Thursday, October 10, 12noon – 1pm Location: HRC Classroom, Room 012, Lower Level, East Pyne
The New Faculty Tech Toolkit session is designed to allow new faculty, postdocs and graduate students to have an opportunity to receive brief overviews of a number of the technology resources on the Princeton campus, including the Humanities Resource Center (HRC), Digital Humanities Initiative (DHI) consulting, bibliographic tools supported by the University Library and the Subject-Specialist librarians who support disciplinary research, as well as quantitative, analytical and statistical computing consulting, and Blackboard in brief. Continue reading →
Topic: Introduction to OpenScholar Speaker: Angel Brady
Time: Thursday, October 3, 12noon – 1:00pm Location: HRC Classroom, Room 012, Lower Level, East Pyne
OpenScholar is a website building and content management tool for professionals in academia. OpenScholar lets you easily create and manage a highly dynamic, powerful, and customizable site, with an easy-to-use interface and a look-and-feel that is uniquely yours. The creation tools in OpenScholar are designed to be easy to use by those with all levels of technical expertise. Attendees are encouraged to request an account 24 hrs in advance of the session at http://scholar.princeton.edu so they can follow along with the presentation.
About the Speaker:
Angel Brady is an Educational Technologist at the Humanities Resource Center (HRC) at Princeton University. Prior to coming to Princeton, she was an Instructional Technologist and Training Specialist at Rider University. She earned her Master’s of Science in Biomedical Visualization from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
R is the de facto standard for statistical analysis in a wide range of disciplines such as computational biology, finance, sociology, political science and digital humanities. This two-part workshop will help participants to get started with R’s abilities, ranging from data structure to visualization. Designed for students without any programming experience, this course will better prepare you for introductory statistics courses and quantitative research at Princeton.
Dates: 10/9- Part 1: Introductory Workshop in Statistical Computing with R 11/13 - Part 2: Intermediate Workshop in Statistical Computing with R Time: Wednesdays, 7pm – 9pm Location: New Media Center (NMC), 1st Floor, Lewis Science Library
To Register for the workshop series, please fill out the registration form here. Or access the form via the QR code to the right. Limited space available.
Topic: Tablets for the Classroom: iPad, MS Surface, and Android Speaker: Janet Temos, ETC Director, Princeton University
Time: Thursday, September 26, 12:00pm – 1:00pm Location: HRC Classroom, Room 012, Lower Level, East Pyne
Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle Fire HD, and the Microsoft Surface: Tablets in the Classroom. What makes the difference between a mobile device for personal consumption, and a mobile device that is effective as a teaching and research tool? Find out at this week’s Productive Scholar, where the three major tablet brands listed above will be examined.
Topics covered will include: What to consider when buying a tablet; how to transfer and work with documents created on your desktop using a tablet; how to display from a tablet to a classroom projector; how to use a tablet effectively for text creation; and finally, how not to mess up the “fun” leisure-time tablet features while also making your device a companion to professional life.
About the Speaker:
Janet Temos is the Director of the Educational Technologies Center at Princeton. She is a member of the Princeton class of 1982, and received her PhD at Princeton in 2001. The ETC helps faculty use technology in teaching and research, and includes Training and Outreach as well as the New Media Center (NMC). We also offer consulting, training and outreach in educational technologies.
To subscribe to the ETC announcement listserv, email: email@example.com
At the first Productive Scholar of the 2013-2014 academic year, Princeton Blackboard Learning Management Systems’ Dennis Hood gave us a guided tour of the new features of the latest upgrades in Blackboard. The current version in use by Princeton evidences a sleeker Blackboard interface with added features to the most visited and used elements of the system. Some of these are listed below in brief and then summarized in the middle section where there are also links to video overviews that will allow to follow along and see the enhancements in greater detail:
Notable areas of enhancement in Blackboard: Navigation & Global Navigation Content Editor, including Video Everywhere (for language instruction, etc.) Calendar Assessments Discussion Board
Summary of Enhancements Navigation & Global Navigation:
The first thing you may have noticed when you login to Blackboard is this overlay screen which is meant to point out the new global navigation menu. Some faculty logging in have thought that they were blocked from Blackboard. Do not fear! Just click “Close” to clear the overlay screen.
But wait! Underneath the overlay screen Blackboard has a new look! As a reference, you the old Blackboard front page is visible underneath the Overlay screen above. At the request of students who “just want to see [their] courses” Blackboard has done away with all the previous boxes, and produced a much cleaner look that immediately opens to a listing of every course in which a student has enrolled. Current and recent courses are on the left, and past courses are on the right along with a listing of placement tests and a searchable course catalog.
Course-to-course and global navigation from the main course page.
Global Navigation: Toggle that little arrow to access the new global navigation menu, and a smaller window will reveal a menu of both your recently visited courses, and your other courses. Course-to-course navigation: Additionally, toggling a chevron on the upper left of the page accesses course-to-course navigation, allowing you to easily move between course sites without having to completely exit either one.
Blackboard’s new Content Editor with the recently added “Video Everywhere” option.
The new Content Editor has been receiving quiet cheers and sighs of relief during our Blackboard site visits. A major upgrade from the previous “Text Box Editor,” which allows for the addition of original content and copy-and-paste text, as well as enabling image imports and text formatting. One key new feature for language instruction and video communication is Video Everywhere. Now faculty and students can record and/or insert video (using a webcam, smartphone, or Google/YouTube account). See Blackboard’s short instructional videos, Using the Blackboard Content Editor and Blackboard Learn Quick Hit: Video Everywhere Building Block, for more details.
Calendar For the first time the Princeton Blackboard Learning Management System team is encouraging the us of Blackboard Calendar. Now you can export to Google and Outlook; schedule course events, assignments, and due dates. There’s also a consolidated, color-coded view and filtering allowing for the selective viewing of only course level items. See the short video, Blackboard Learn Quick Hit: Calendar Feature, for more details.
Assessments Blackboard has made some important changes to Assessments, the test tool, which should help faculty with test accuracy and analysis of student performance. Here are some highlights:
Automatic Re-grading: Let’s say after the instructor has made a test available to their students she/he then finds there’s a problem with one of the questions. For example, when the test was set up in Blackboard, an incorrect answer was indicated in the answer key, and the correct answer needs to be re-entered; or a significant percentage of students are misunderstanding one of the questions, so it needs to be rewritten or eliminated. Now you can go into Blackboard and re-edit or remove a question, as well as change its point value. If students have already taken the test, Blackboard will regrade their submission based on the changes you’ve made. Plus, you can set up Assessments to tell you which and how many tests had to be re-graded, as well as to tell each students that his/her test has been re-graded due to these changes.
Fill-in-the-blank question enhancements: If the answer is “Ben Franklin” with this feature you can indicate that the answer must include “Franklin,” resulting in the acceptance of all iterations of “Benjamin Franklin” (B. Franklin, Ben Franklin, and Benjamin Franklin). Additionally, if capitalization is important, say for a German language test, it is possible to configure the test to recognize capitalization.
Item Analysis: Allows for the assessment of a test so you can determine the relative difficulty of different sections of a test, which can also be useful for language placement tests. For more details on Assessments and Item Analysis, watch the Blackboard short video, Using Item Analysis in Blackboard Learn.
Discussion Board This element has been modernized (though some instructors may prefer to use the Piazza plugin). Now all posts in a thread appear on one page, and contain the users’ course and forum roles. The Content Editor is accessible from this page as well. The new “Post First” setting allows instructors to require students to post before seeing their fellow student’s responses to prompt independent critical thinking. For more details about the changes in Discussion Board, see the Blackboard short video, Blackboard Learn Quick Hit: Discussions.
Summary of Improved Tools/Plugins WordPress and Piazza
The improved integration WordPress and Piazza with Blackboard should make both plugins easier to use for faculty and students. Recently Piazza has grown so popular among faculty that Dennis authored support documentation for Piazza’s integration with Blackboard to better facilitate its in Princeton courses (and Piazza liked Dennis’ documentation so much they asked if they could use it). Both WordPress and Piazza now offer 1-Click Integration by clicking on the respective icon in the Tools area. WordPress affords the instructor the automated setup of a private course blog, access is limited to course enrollees. If you aren’t already familiar with WordPress you may want to review some video tutorials at Lynda.com. Princeton has a subscription to this service, so it’s free–just enter your Princeton NetID and password at the CAS portal page to access the service.
WASS (Web Appointment Scheduling System)
WASS (Web Appointment Scheduling System) WASS is an Princeton-authored tool, and it’s undergone some exciting changes! New this semester: students can now access all the calendars for all of their instructors, as well as the names of instructors without calendars (and subsequently request those instructors obtain WASS for their office hours–judging by the recent uptick in such requests by faculty). Note for instructors: you will appear as never available in WASS until you set up your office hours by making specific blocks available. These will appear as the only times students can make appointments with you. Instructors can also use the WASS calendar to ensure office hours only occur during a class meeting day, or reading period, or intersession, or any combination of those times. Thus WASS is a very useful and flexible time-saving option as it has been programmed to recall those dates, saving you the effort. Additionally, instructors with multiple courses can restrict specific office hours to a specific course.
For further assistance with Blackboard at Princeton, and employing the enhancements and tools/plugins listed above, visit the Princeton Blackboard help portal, Getting Help with Blackboard, or contact Princeton Blackboard Support via email or phone: or 609-258-0737 (9:00am – 4:30pm weekdays, 609-258-4357 outside business hours).
Thursdays, 12noon, HRC Classroom, 012 East Pyne September 19: What’s New in Blackboard September 26: Tablets for the Classroom October 3: Introduction to OpenScholar October 10: New Faculty Tech Toolkit October 17: Introduction to Basic Text Analysis October 24: Writing on the Wall November 7: What Can You Do with Clickers? November 12 (note special time and location):
Harnessing the Power of PowerPoint: Creating Effective Presentations for Students, Professionals, and the General Public, with visiting speaker, Robbie Davis-Floyd, 3:30-5:30, Frist 330. November 14: Tools for Transcription November 21: TEI Text Encoding