Getting Through Winter with Tools from ATS

One Blackboard

Merging the Northeastern and NUOnline Blackboards for a Digital Learning Environment

Over the last two years, Academic Technology Services has been working with NUOnline Technical Services to merge Blackboard environments.

The directive to merge evolved from the recognition that virtual engagement, in-person or synchronous, and non-synchronous learning no longer require separate learning management systems. Bringing all Northeastern students and faculty together creates efficiencies and enables more opportunities for collaborative programming.

This project integrates Blackboard with other learning tools and apps to improve, customize and personalize the learning experience. Flexible integrations and improved data capture capabilities allow the new environment to integrate as needed with innovative teaching and learning tools in the Northeastern environment as they are developed and adopted. After the initial downtime December 22 – 31, the Northeastern community can expect fast access to the latest Blackboard features and fixes without the need for additional future downtime.

Find out more about the the new environment by visiting

TEXPO – May 1, 2018

Special Event! Digital Storytelling: Producing Podcasts for Classroom Projects

Are podcasts an effective learning tool? Academic Technology Services (ATS) and Library Recording Studio staff will provide a roadmap for integrating podcasts into your classes and incorporating this technology into your assignments. Visit ATS’s Special Events page to register.

Winter is HERE!

Don’t let Snow Days get in the way of course work. Here are a few ideas for use of Northeastern-supported tools for snow days or make-up day alternative assignments delivery options.

Record an online lecture using Tegrity. Conduct an online synchronous class session using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Generate online video or audio discussions using VoiceThread.

Qwickly Jot

Qwickly Jot is an assignment tool available in Blackboard. Using Qwickly Jot you can create assignments with diagrams, charts, maps and more for students to write on directly in Blackboard. Watch this Qwickly video to learn more.



PlayPosit Interactive Video Creator

We have officially launched the PlayPosit Interactive Video Creator service, which allows faculty to layer interactive activities such as multiple-choice questions, discussions, and images over video content. PlayPosit is a great way to add engagement and active learning opportunities into videos you’ve created or found online.

New this semester, PlayPosit has a Chrome extension that will allow you to embed a video from most any web page you’re viewing as a base for adding PlayPosit questions. You can also use the extension to start a screenshare that is imported directly to PlayPosit, ready for interactive questions.

To learn more, view the PlayPosit interactive video example below or visit the PlayPosit ATS support site.

Here’s embed code:

Data Resource Portal

The Data Resource Portal is a gateway to discover tools, resources, and support available for every step of the data process from gathering to visualization. This portal represents the ongoing collaboration between Information Technology Services, subject matter experts, and data scientist throughout Northeastern. If you would like to be a collaborator on this project, please email

To visit the Data Resource Portal go to

Poll Everywhere – New Features

Poll Everywhere is Northeastern’s supported student response solution that allows students to respond to polling questions and display results in real time. During the fall semester, two new features were rolled out to Poll Everywhere users: Donut response charts and the ability to add images to questions and response choices.

To learn more about Poll Everywhere at Northeastern, go to the Poll Everywhere site.

Qualtrics – New Features

Qualtrics is Northeastern’s supported survey tool for creating, delivering, and analyzing surveys and survey responses for academic, administrative, and research-related purposes. Here are some of the new features available to Northeastern Qualtrics users:

  • Offline App now available at Northeastern! Qualtrics Offline Surveys is a new application available for iOS and Android that allows you to administer surveys on your mobile device without an internet connection.
  • New enhancements to Reports. Qualtrics introduced a new tool for visualizing survey responses. Within the Reporting tab, the Results option is great for at-a-glance reporting. Now you can add custom logos, specific letterheads, and customizable visualizations in the Reports option. Learn more about the differences, and explore the new reporting tool.
  • Additional features that are fun and awesome! Ability to save filters, add custom colors to reports, define default visualization preferences in reports, create a Reusable Choice List, create and save layouts in Data and Analysis area, and file upload max file size increased to 100MB.

To login to Qualtrics go to To learn more about Qualtrics at Northeastern, go here.

Need Help?

If you have any questions or require assistance, please contact the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP), email or chat with one of our service desk analysts.

Get Storyline 360, Digication & Other New Software From Academic Technology

Academic Technology Services has new and improved software and services to improve your teaching and learning experiences.

Storyline 360

Over the past three years, 200+ faculty and staff have used Storyline 1 or 2 to create content for their courses or training needs. Based on the overwhelming success of their efforts, ITS has bought a volume license for Articulate 360, which provides cloud-based licensed access to Storyline 360 and several other applications for e-learning including:

  • Storyline 360: An upgrade from Storyline 2 that allows you to create any interactive e-learning course you can imagine for any device imaginable, from desktop and laptop computers to tablets and smartphones. Windows only.
  • Rise: Rise is a sleek web application that lets you quickly create beautiful, fully-responsive courses using basic interactivity. Rise courses have the latest easy-to-use web technologies, so they automatically adapt to any device, no extra work required. Because it is web-based, Rise is great if you don’t own a Windows computer.
  • Preso: Preso is an iPad app for creating narrated presentations. You can add PDFs and images from your camera, photo library, or cloud services such as Dropbox or Google Drive, record narration and add annotations, and even pan and zoom to highlight important content. Then upload your project to Articulate 360 where you can collect feedback with Articulate Review, download the MP4 video, or export it as an LMS package.
  • Peek is a screen-recording app for Mac and Windows computers.
  • Replay 360: A powerful, intuitive video-recording app included with the Articulate 360 subscription. Use Replay 360 to create engaging e-learning videos by easily mixing screencasts, webcam videos, video files, audio tracks, images, and lower-third graphics.
  • Content Library: A collection of professionally-designed slide templates, stock photos, and characters that dramatically speeds up your course development or add some pizazz to existing courses.

For more information or to request project-basis access to Storyline 360, please visit the Academic Technology Services website for more information.

Web Browser Upgrade

Over the past few years, web browser technology has become more advanced and less reliant on battery-intensive and less secure plugins and applications such as Flash and Java. As a result, many of the educational technology tools that ITS supports are leveraging new capabilities of these modern browsers that provide the same interactive experience without the use of Flash and Java. Updating your browser will result in a more interactive, faster, and more secure online experience. We wanted to share a few enhancements to tools that you’ll only be able to take advantage of if your browser is capable of supporting HTML5 and/or WebRTC content. Chrome has the best support for the tools we support, with Firefox a close second:

  • VoiceThread: Users who choose to switch the HTML5 version of VoiceThread and use an updated version of Chrome or Firefox will not have to enable Flash to view and will be able to play VoiceThreads back at variable speeds.
  • PlayPosit: PlayPosit is optimized for the latest versions of Google Chrome. If possible, we recommend using this browser for building lessons, classroom management, and playback. We can also certify student playback for the latest version of Safari.
  • Bluejeans Web Conferencing: Chrome users can participate in video conferences within a browser tab, no plugin or app needed. You can find out more about setting join by browser as the default here. You’ll need to download the application, however, if you’d like to share your screen.
  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: Blackboard has offered an updated version of their Collaborate Web Conferencing solution called Collaborate Ultra, which can be run directly through the browser without downloading software. Updated versions of Chrome and Firefox best support Collaborate Ultra’s new lightweight system. You’ll need to download a plugin, however, if you’d like to share your screen.

If you’re interested in updating your browser and need assistance, please contact the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP). If you’re unable to update your browser and notice that certain features do not load or work properly, you may need to enable Flash. Please review this information for help with enabling Flash. Keep in mind that you can allow Flash for only certain websites, such as or if you do not want Flash to run on other sites for security or computer performance reasons.

Blackboard Student App and NEw Instructors

This summer, Blackboard released a new mobile app for instructors to grade on the go called Blackboard Instructor. In addition, Blackboard updated the name of the student mobile app from Bb Student to Blackboard. To learn more about each both changes, please visit the Blackboard Mobile Support page.

Digication now at for all users!

The Northeastern on-ground and online community now share one instance of the Digication E-Portfolio system, which is accessible at

All user profile information, data, course information, and e-portfolios have been migrated from one system to the other, so all users should log into Portfolio links that were previously shared with in the URL will continue to work, though they will also be available using the URL.

Digication may still be used as a building block tool in Blackboard. We believe this is the easiest way to use Digication in a course context because it simplifies sharing and permissions-setting processes that are necessary when accessing Digication directly.

For technology help with implementing Digication, please register for a course taught by Academic Technology Services or email to schedule a one-on-one session. If you are curious about how portfolios might be integrated into your teaching, the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning through Research offers courses and consultation on the topic.

Windows 10 – Be a Classroom Tester

If you’re teaching on the main Boston campus for the Fall 2017 semester, we could use your help testing Windows 10 in the classroom.

Testers need only perform their regular classroom tasks during regular classroom time to provide feedback on their experience with the new operating system.

Please email if you are interested.

Video Production Resources

Academic Technology Services has several video production resources available to Northeastern faculty. Producing videos for your class and using them in Blackboard, online, or in the classroom will help your students retain information, understand complex concepts quicker, and connect them to the world outside the classroom. Video can provide a common visual experience for your students and help them practice critical viewing skills and media literacy.

Check out the ATS website and look at the Teaching Technology and the Support & Consultation tabs. Find information about the various tools and services that we support or provide, including our write board, Tegrity Lecture Capture, PlayPosit, video production and editing – even essential information you should know about converting your old VHS tapes to digital formats. As well, we have created an application that will help you calculate precisely where to position your video camera for the best composition.

To schedule production and editing sessions, we have information about the production process with a link to our online request form.

Look for our workshop schedule, too. We offer classes in mobile device photography and videography, online video editors, Final Cut Pro editing software, campus video editing resources, digital storytelling, and finding and using online multimedia materials.

Create Interactive Videos Using PlayPosit

PlayPosit, an online learning environment to create and share interactive video lessons, is now available for all Northeastern faculty, staff and students. Using PlayPosit you can very easily turn a passive video from YouTube, TedTalks, Kaltura, and more into an interactive video which will provide data and feedback.

Through PlayPosit you can assign video lesson to your students and get analytics on their answers, and time spent interacting with the video. PlayPosit is also integrated into Blackboard, allowing you to create, assign, and monitor all from within your course.

View this PlayPosit example to better understand what you can do with PlayPosit.

NEW this semester! PlayPosit has a navigation interface which makes building and managing your PlayPosit lessons even easier. Read more here.

For more information, visit the PlayPosit interactive video page on the ITS website.

TEXPO Offers Great Tools, Insights & Innovations for Northeastern Faculty

The third annual Technology in Teaching Expo (TEXPO), presented by Northeastern Academic Technology Services (ATS), was held on April 25 in the Curry Student Center.

This year, we were pleased to welcome as our keynote speaker, Dr. Susan Parish, Dean of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Dr. Parish spoke about her experience in disability policy and the opportunity that technology brings to the classroom.

Participant panels were held throughout the day covering a wide variety of topics, including student collaboration in technology-enabled classrooms, student and faculty use of data, and faculty use of the library’s 3-D printing studio for teaching and learning.

There were 101 faculty and staff in attendance representing more than 70 departments around the university and even more who joined via digital live stream. Video presentations and workshops from the event can be found on the TEXPO website.

ATS is already planning for next year’s event and will be setting the date for TEXPO 2018 over the next few weeks. Please email if you would like to participate as a speaker or panel participant next year.

Have Questions or Need Help?

If you have questions about TEXPO or need any help, contact the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) or

New and Improved Teaching & Learning Services from ITS

Academic Technology Services has several new teaching and learning tools available for faculty and students: Solstice, PlayPosit Interactive Video Maker and Poll Everywhere. In addition, a new version of Blackboard Collaborate, called Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, is available and slated to be the primary web conferencing tool beginning in Fall 2017.


Solstice, an innovative collaboration technology, is up and running in classrooms 136 and 138 in the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC).

In Solstice-equipped spaces students can each connect to a shared monitor to collaborate wirelessly simultaneously. Faculty are able to join any one of these tables as needed or moderate student sharing to the primary projection screen. This makes shared monitors useful for class discussion of student-generated ideas or homework.

Soon, Solstice will be available in Library Collaboration rooms A, B, and C for student collaborative work on projects or presentations.

For more information about Solstice, including how-to videos, check out the Solstice information on the ATS website.

PlayPosit Interactive Video Maker

Playposit is a new content creation tool that makes it easy for instructors to build interactivity into their video lessons.

Playposit allows faculty to add questions, discussions, and branching links to video content and lectures and track student progress.

Because Northeastern has purchased licenses for faculty and students, all faculty are granted premium accounts when they log in through Blackboard. When the Playposit lesson (called “Bulb” by Playposit) is created through Blackboard and linked correctly, a Grade Center column will automatically be created. Faculty can grade in Playposit and have the grade sent directly to the Blackboard Grade Center. In addition, if you use the Blackboard integration feature, you don’t have to go through the process of sharing bulbs individually with students. Adding the link through the Blackboard integration feature will grant students in your course access to the Playposit video automatically.

To access Playposit, students will need to login to Northeastern Blackboard and navigate to their course. If an instructor has assigned a Playposit lesson, click on the lesson link in the course to complete the lesson.

For more information visit the ATS Playposit site.

BlackBoard Collaborate Ultra

A new, java-free version of Blackboard Collaborate is now available. The new version, called Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, is in all Northeastern Blackboard courses. It runs directly from your web browser – no installation required!

Beginning in Fall 2017, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra will be the primary web conferencing system. In addition to online courses or collaboration sessions, Ultra can be used for office hour consultations.

Collaborate Classic will continue to be available until Spring 2018.

New features include:

  • Browser-based conferencing
  • High-quality mobile supported video
  • Simple and fast file sharing
  • Recordings
  • Breakout group
  • Polling
  • Attendance reporting

To learn more, visit the Academic Technology Services’ Blackboard Collaborate Ultra page.

Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere is now available to all faculty who are interested in using a student response system in their classrooms. ATS ran a pilot with 12 courses with close to 750 students in Fall 2016. One hundred percent of the faculty who responded to the exit survey reported being happy with this teaching tool, and 97% of the students who responded said they would recommend Poll Everywhere to faculty interested in adopting a student response system.

Faculty who are using the student response system primarily for attendance purposes should be aware that Northeastern also has a license for the Qwickly Attendance module.

Information on Poll Everywhere or for Qwickly Attendance module may be found on the ATS website. For questions, suggestions or to schedule an appointment, please email

Have Questions or Need Help?

Contact the ITS Service Desk at or 617.373.4357 (xHELP).

Teaching & Learning Updates – Fall 2016

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ATS, the academic support unit of Information Technology Services (ITS), is constantly upgrading and adding to Northeastern’s teaching and learning tools. ATS also offers teaching technology courses and on-campus events in support of faculty and staff.

Save The Date – TEXPO Technology in Teaching – April 25, 2017
All Northeastern University faculty and staff are invited to participate in TEXPO 2017 in the Spring. Our second annual Teaching & Technology Expo is an opportunity to hear how different departments are using technology and how Information Technology Services is supporting your efforts. Please join us to engage with your colleagues, share knowledge, and learn the latest technologies available to you.TEXPO-logo-300x94

Next Steps: RSVP here to stay informed and to select topics of interest for the event.

Blackboard Updates

Add a Northeastern Librarian to Your Blackboard Arsenal

It’s no secret –Blackboard and the Northeastern Librarian’s—are two of your greatest resources for course preparation. Good news; now you can have your cake and eat it too! Blackboard now offers the functionality to add a Librarian to your course. The Librarian can assist with the review or editing of course materials, as well as contribute research advice and content for students based on course topics.

Note: Librarians will not be able remove students/users from your course, and will not have access to view or edit student grades.

How to Add a Librarian in Blackboard
To facilitate the work of Librarians who would like to post content inside Blackboard courses, Academic Technology Services has added a new “Librarian” role. Instructions for how to add this role can be found here. You also may find more information about getting help with research for your course from Librarians on the Ask a Librarian page.

Presentations Worth Talking About – VoiceThread Partners with Blackboard

An update for VoiceThread to make it available through Blackboard is available for the Fall. This new integration allows both you and your students to access VoiceThread when you log in to Blackboard for a more interactive and engaging experience.

The integration enables learners and instructors to actively engage in discussions within their learning environment using video, voice or text commenting. The tools enhance the learning experience by facilitating dynamic conversations and fostering better communication.

We recommend that faculty who wish to take advantage of gradebook integration and the user management features of their VoiceThread Pro Accounts use the VoiceThread tool in Blackboard. Learn more about VoiceThread.

Note: The update is optional. You will need to complete a one-time verification process.

Test-Drive BlackBoard Collaborate Ultra

A new, java-free version of Blackboard Collaborate is available for faculty to test-drive. The new version, called Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, will be available for testing in all Northeastern Blackboard courses.

It runs directly from your web browser – no installation required!

New features include:

  • Browser-based conferencing
  • High-quality mobile supported video
  • Simple and fast file sharing
  • Recordings
  • Breakout groups
  • Polling
  • Attendance reporting

The legacy version of Blackboard Collaborate will remain available in all courses through Spring 2017. We encourage faculty to explore this new version and provide feedback to

Learn More
Visit the Academic Technology Services’ Blackboard Collaborate Ultra page.


What Technology Do You Want to Learn?

New ATS Training Courses

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 3.00.19 PMATS has some great courses this fall, including:
   – Introduction to Qualtrics
   – Social Media Tools & Best Practices
   – Introduction to Storyline
   – Tools for Creating Content and Narrations

Check out the full course schedule:

Instructor-Led Workshops

ITS Training offers FREE instructor-led workshops on a variety of software applications and presentation-related skills for students, faculty and staff.

th (4)Popular upcoming workshops include:
   – Public Speaking
   – Adobe InDesign
   – How to Design Engaging Presentations
   – Photoshop
   – Adobe Illustrator

Don’t miss out! Check out the full schedule here. offers over 4,000 online video-based training courses on a wide range of topics – from Excel to Programming to Time Management. As a Northeastern student, faculty or staff member, you have free access. Go now!

In case you missed it…
Lynda now integrates with Blackboard. Instructors can find and load instructional videos from the directly into Blackboard courses (find out how).

The Sun is Setting on VHS

Time to Transfer Your Timeless Treasures..

Following behind 8-track tapes and audio cassettes, VHS videotape quickly is fading from the scene. In fact, the last commercially released movie on VHS was ten years ago. VHS technology is succumbing quickly to digital presentation methods and materials.

Many of our faculty’s most effective and important teaching resources are on VHS videotapes. ATS can assist faculty with ways to replace or convert personally owned, non-Library VHS teaching materials into formats that will allow for continued, digital use.

Conversion Assistance
To learn how ATS can help you convert or replace your current VHS materials into formats that you can continue to use in today’s modern, digital presentation classrooms, please visit our VHS to digital conversion website.


Teaching & Learning Updates – Spring 2016

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ATS has new software features, planned vendor visits, and several pilot projects in process this spring. In addition, there are opportunities to be involved in innovative classroom projects and participate in panel discussions at TEXPO on March 15, 2016.

Digication: new password feature and program assessment options

Our current e-portfolio system, Digication, has added new features that allow students to password-protect pages, enabling them to share their work with potential employers in the job search process. Further, students can now join a Digication course via Blackboard, which makes Digication’s template and course and program assessment feature a good option for departments who would like to conduct assessments of learning against a rubric. Finally, faculty and students who use the assignment feature may notice a change in the assignment submission interface. This interface update streamlines assignment submission by limiting visible options to those that are currently open for submission. For e-portfolio information, visit

Software vendor visits

Academic Technology Services is scheduling a series of visits from vendors so that students and faculty can better leverage free and discounted software provided by the university. Upcoming events include sessions provided by TopHat, AutoDesk, Microsoft, Articulate, MathWorks, IBM and Adobe. Please check our Special Events page to stay up to date on these visits.


Pilots and projects in progress

We’re currently in the process of piloting several tools, including Zaption, an interactive video platform and Pragya, a smart repository and content management tool. To read more about these tools, join the pilot, or learn more about innovation in Academic Technology Services, please visit our Pilots and Projects page.

TEXPO-logo-300x94TEXPO 2016

TEXPO: Technology in Teaching Expo will be March 15, 2016 in the Curry Student Center. Panel topics will include pilot project outcomes, mobile photo and online editing, microlearning objects, storytelling, open learning resources, adaptive learning, and results of the Learning Management System (LMS) search recently undertaken by the university. If you’d like to present at TEXPO on any of the above topics or about other technology innovations in your classroom, please email


24/7 Blackboard help

Students and faculty may now reach a staffed help desk 24/7 for answers to Blackboard questions and issues. You will hear a new call routing menu when you call 617.373.4357 which will help you get assistance faster any time of night or day.  For specific information about Blackboard support in your college or department, visit the ITS Knowledge Base accessible from myNEU and search on blackboard support.


Discovery Lab

The Discovery lab, an exciting area located on the first floor of Snell Library near Argo Tea, is where you will find large presentation displays, whiteboards, and computers throughout the room, making it ideal for workshops, presentations, breakout sessions, and collaborative project discussions. Faculty, staff and students may reserve the room through the library’s website, Faculty who would like to use the space on a weekly basis for collaborative instruction/active learning events, directed study, ongoing classes, or special events may contact ATS by sending an email to The wall in the Discovery lab can be used to host curated content like posters or art, and the flat screen placed outside of the Discovery Lab facing Argo Tea can be used to publicize coming events in the Lab. To learn more about everything offered in the space, visit the Discovery Lab website.


ATS has created an accessibility resource page to provide tips and resources to make your course more accessible to students with disabilities. You can find out how to allow one student more time on a Blackboard assessment, request captions for a Tegrity video, create an accessible PDF, and other tasks. Our page also hosts several video resources to provide information on making courses accessible.

View The Classroom website screenshot

Teaching & Learning Updates – Fall 2015

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ATS is providing greater visibility into classroom technology, enhancing collaboration and learning spaces, piloting a new content creation tool, and reaching out for speakers at next year’s TEXPO. As a reminder, ATS provides classroom technology training throughout the year.

New Classroom Website

A new View The Classrooms site, which showcases classroom technology, is now available for the Northeastern community. Many enhanced classrooms are reshaping teaching and learning through the use of innovative technology in those rooms.

Information Technology Services, along with the Registrar’s Office, are in the process of updating Northeastern’s classrooms to provide increased flexibility, supporting the new needs of educators and students. Some of the changes are physical, in the way the spaces are configured; others are technological, enabling virtual participants to be involved in the classroom.

The new site gives you full visibility into what is available in a given spaces. It replaces the old “View the Classroom” application linked on the myNEU portal, and allows you to find classroom configurations and technology that will meet your needs. You can browse by building via a map, or use the advanced search to find specific requirements. It also provides detailed instructions for using the integrated technology for those signed in with their myNEU username and password.

Check out the site directly here, or look for it on the myNEU portal.

Discovery Lab Collaboration and Learning

The Discovery Lab, located on the first floor of Snell Library, is the ideal for space for people to come together in order to showcase, share, and demonstrate projects and ideas.

This summer, ITS updated the lab space with two new 6-foot whiteboards, adding to the two mobile whiteboard stations that are already in place. The updates make the room ideal for collaborative break-out sessions.


The space can also be utilized for lectures and presentations, and will once again be available as a classroom. Last fall the Discovery Lab hosted three classes, two of which were directed studies. The room is outfitted with Mac and Windows computers with lab images, and large-screen TVs that can serve as displays for all the computers. It also has multiple places to plug in personal devices. Contact ATS at for assistance in booking the room with the Registrar’s Office for the term.

To learn more about everything offered in the space, visit the Discovery Lab website.

Zaption Software Pilot

Zaption is a new content creation tool that makes it easy for instructors to build interactivity into their video lessons, and the 2015 winner of LaunchEdu.


Intrigued? ATS is looking for 10-15 participants for a limited pilot this fall at Northeastern to help gauge interest and utility. Contact to join the pilot team. To learn more about the tool, visit the Zaption site.

TEXPO 2016 Call for Panel Presentations

The next TEXPO: Technology in Teaching Expo has been announced for Tuesday, March 15, 2016. At this year’s inaugural TEXPO more than 80 faculty members were in attendance. There were six panels where faculty talked about how they use various technologies to support their teaching. Details and recorded sessions can be found on the TEXPO website.


The call for panel presentations for the 2016 conference is now open. Please contact if you’d like to present on a technology that you use in the classroom, or in a flipped, blended, or online class. ATS will work with you to pilot new technologies and present on your experience. Share how you are leveraging the current supported technologies, and bring along stories about any of your successful technology adoptions.

Available Training From ATS

ATS offers courses on a variety of topics to help faculty learn about and use technology in their courses. In addition to the Introduction to Blackboard course, courses on other Blackboard features include the discussion board and the gradebook assessment. Other popular courses introduce you to Tegrity lecture capture, Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing, and TurningPoint student response system (clickers). More information can be found on the ATS training website. Customized and small-group versions are also available. Please contact with questions about individual or group registration.


Teaching & Learning Updates – Summer 2015

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Academic Technology Services (ATS) is offering a number of resources for learning about and exploring the use of technology in the classroom, as well as a big enhancement to the tools available to use through Blackboard.


Technology and Teaching Resources


Information Technology Services is excited to have hosted TEXPO, the first annual Technology in Teaching Expo, on March 17th. The event was quite successful. To listen to or watch some of the sessions, go to the TEXPO site.

  • Faculty and staff shared their experience with technologies used for teaching and learning in and out of the classroom, and new projects in development.
  • Training and support departments discussed the technology and tools available for faculty.
  • Professor Lyrical gave a lively keynote on student engagement.
  • ATS Director Stephanie Trowbridge presented an infographic (PDF) on tool use at Northeastern.

We look forward to hosting this great event next year, and have tentatively scheduled March 15, 2016 – save the date. If you have topics of interest or ideas for technologies that should be explored next year, email your suggestions to

Course Development Technology Training Series
Beginning the summer semester, Academic Technology Services is offering the Online Course Development Technology Training Series on an ongoing basis. The series is designed to help new faculty and those who would like to refresh their knowledge of online teaching tools, and consists of three courses:

  • Blackboard Course Management – A two-hour, hands-on session focused on the course management aspects of the tool, which will make your life easier.
  • Tools for Creating Online Content and Interactions – A short session that offers an overview of engaging applications that faculty can use to move course content and student interactions online. Q&A will help you narrow in on tools to follow up on in more detail.
  • Storyline Basics – A two-hour, hands-on session in Storyline, a flexible and full-featured tool that faculty can use to create interactive e-learning content.

The courses can be taken as a series, or individually as desired; dates will be posted on the ATS training website. Customized and small-group versions are also available. Please contact with questions about individual or group registration.

New Tools

VoiceThread Available for Blackboard Integration
VoiceThread is a third-party tool that can be integrated into Blackboard, which allows you and your students to create multimedia presentations and group projects, and discuss via text, voice, or video. Discussion is asynchronous, so students can enter the discussion at their convenience, and you can watch the discussion as it unfolds.

Because Northeastern has purchased licenses for faculty and students, all faculty are granted Pro accounts when you log in through Blackboard. When the VoiceThread is created through Blackboard and linked correctly, sharing settings are easily managed. The integration will also automatically create a gradebook column, so that faculty can grade in VoiceThread and have the grade sent directly to the Blackboard gradebook.

Voice Thread Screenshot

Learn more about how VoiceThread works, and the proper way to create and link VoiceThread elements through Blackboard. A new training course, “VoiceThread Multimedia Discussions,” is also available beginning this month; specific dates are on the ATS training website.

Storyline 2 Now Available for Free Installation on Northeastern-Imaged Computers
Storyline provides a PowerPoint-compatible interface to help you create engaging and interactive online course materials that blend instruction, audio, video, and optional assessment – all in a visually interesting format. Whether you’re looking for an easy way to add engagement to voice-over-PowerPoint instruction that you already have, or you want to experiment with scenario-based learning activities, Storyline is a quick-and-easy solution.

While the software can be quite costly and it was previously available only in the Digital Scholarship Commons lab, a new enterprise license means that faculty and staff can use it for free on your Northeastern-imaged computer. Go to the ATS website for instructions for downloading the software and other resources. Training in Storyline functionality will be offered throughout the semester, and you can see course listings and register at the ATS website.

Teaching & Learning Updates – Spring 2015

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Academic Technology Services (ATS) is constantly upgrading and adding to Northeastern’s teaching and learning tools. ATS also offers teaching technology courses and on-campus events in support of faculty and staff.

To start off 2015, Academic Technology Services has a number of updates for classroom technologies, and is offering training on new solutions for student engagement.



Faculty can now enable remote proctoring in Tegrity, to ensure student integrity for online assessments. Students can start remote proctor at the beginning of an exam to capture audio, video and desktop activity for the duration. When the assessment is complete, captures are uploaded to Tegrity for instructor review at up to 8x speed.

Instructors also now have the option to make Tegrity recorder available to students. Assign video projects, blogs or presentations after enabling this feature in your course options. Student recordings are always submitted for instructor review and approval before they are published to a course.

For more information on using the new Tegrity recording features, see the full documentation on the ATS Lecture Capture page.


Articulate’s Storyline provides a PowerPoint-compatible interface to help you create engaging and interactive online course materials that blend instruction, audio, video, and optional assessment – all in a visually interesting format (click through on the example below).

learning object exampleStoryline has been available in the Digital Scholarship Commons for the last year, but beginning in early spring, it will also be available for download via the Software Center on your Northeastern-managed faculty/staff Windows computer.

Learn more and see example projects at the ATS Storyline page.


Top Hat

ATS is now working with Top Hat to offer and support an innovative online alternative to classroom clicker devices. Welcome Top Hat to Northeastern on January 13, 2015, and learn how you can use Top Hat to engage your students and liven the learning experience.

Register for this special event, or schedule an individual training session with Top Hat representative Allison Scholbe.