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 ats@northeastern.edu.

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 ats@neu.edu 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.