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 ats@northeastern.edu 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 help@northeastern.edu.

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

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 ats@northeastern.edu.

Have Questions or Need Help?

Contact the ITS Service Desk at help@northeastern.edu or 617.373.4357 (xHELP).

Need Technology Help?

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Need Technology Help? Information Technology Services (ITS) has a variety of helpful links for self service. Prefer to have someone guide you on the phone?  Our office has a welcoming and knowledgeable staff to call upon when you need guidance. Whether you simply want assistance logging in or need advice finding a software solution, we have the expertise to guide you in navigating the regularly enhanced technology landscape at Northeastern.

Here is a list of popular links:

 

 

New Tools and Training for Teaching & Learning

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Beginning with the start of classes in January and rolling out during the term, look for an exciting variety of new Teaching & Learning tools. Check them out to see which will fit your individual and/or teams needs:

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.

Poll Everywhere Student Response Solution: Poll Everywhere is a student response solution that allows students to respond to polling questions in class and displays results in real-time. We are running a small pilot Fall 2016 to determine whether Poll Everywhere can work as a university supported and funded solution. Poll Everywhere offers usability, a good variety of question types, and web and PowerPoint/Keynote/Google slides delivery.

NVivo: Northeastern now has a site license for NVivo making it available to all faculty, staff and students on all university-owned computers and on personal machines. This software supports qualitative and mixed methods research and complements the qualitative focus of statistical software available from ITS.

BlueJeans Recording: BlueJeans, the software for video conferencing and content sharing available on multiple platforms to faculty and staff throughout the university, will be able to record class sessions or meetings for you to make available for later viewing. For more information visit the ITS website.

Lightboard: Lightboard is a new surface an instructor can write on while facing the class to have their writings appear on the screen. It will be available for reservation in the DMC video studio for those who are interested in creating recordings for their class. For questions and reservations please visit ats.neu.edu/lightboard or email ats@northeastern.edu.

Snapcomms Desktop Alerts: A messaging system for the classrooms where authorized users can share room-specific or other messages. These messages can take several forms including windowed alerts, tickers, wallpaper and screensavers. Messages can be about issues reported with technology in that room or building to notify faculty proactively so that they have time to make necessary teaching modifications.

Solstice: Wireless technology available initially only in the new ISEC classrooms allows all who log in to share or collaborate on one display in the classroom. For more information visit the ATS website.

Qwickly Attendance in Blackboard:  Quickly Attendance lets instructors take attendance in physical classes. Other features such as one-time-PIN-enabled time-limited self-check-in for students, and allows attendance to be included in the Gradebook automatically for grading/participation purposes. For more information visit the ATS website.


TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

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 spring, including:
– Introduction to Tegrity Lecture Capture
– Introduction to Qualtrics
– Social Media Tools for Teaching and Learning
– Mobile Apps for Teaching and Content Creation

Check out the full course schedule: http://www.ats.neu.edu/workshops-seminars.

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.

Lynda.com

Lynda.com 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!

lyndalogoCourses recently added include:

  • Excel 2016: Financial Functions in Depth
  • Learning Graphic Design: Layouts
  • Editing and Proofreading Made Simple
  • Time Management Tips

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 ATS@neu.edu.

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


TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

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: http://www.ats.neu.edu/workshops-seminars.

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.

Lynda.com

Lynda.com 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!

lyndalogo
In case you missed it…
Lynda now integrates with Blackboard. Instructors can find and load instructional videos from the lynda.com 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.

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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 http://www.ats.neu.edu/teaching-technology/digication/.

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.

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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 ats@neu.edu.

 

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.

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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, http://library.northeastern.edu/. 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 ats@neu.edu. 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.

Accessibility

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.

How To Know If There is A Technology Outage

ITS has several ways of informing the Northeastern community of an outage, planned or otherwise. Here’s what you can do to stay in the know:

  • Follow the ITS Twitter account @NortheasternITS for the latest information concerning an outage.
    • NOTE: Do not tweet to notify ITS about issues. Please call ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP), as it is staffed 24/7, and Twitter is not.
  • Visit the ITS System Status page, where you will find not only information from the status of different systems, but also posts and updates during outages.
  • Check out the ITS website – there is a widget in the top right of the home page.
  • Go to myNEU where major planned outages will be posted on the login page
  • Watch your email inbox for a message from ITS.

As always please report issues to the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) or help@northeastern.edu. ITS cannot fix a problem that we are not aware of, so if you see something, say something. We are all focused on keeping everything running smoothly for the university and your assistance is critical.

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.

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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 ats@northeastern.edu 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.

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Intrigued? ATS is looking for 10-15 participants for a limited pilot this fall at Northeastern to help gauge interest and utility. Contact ats@northeastern.edu 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.

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The call for panel presentations for the 2016 conference is now open. Please contact ats@neu.edu 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 ats@northeastern.edu 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

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TEXPO
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.