New Features Coming May 22 for Turnitin and Canvas Scheduler

Canvas and TurnitinAt the end of the Spring Semester on May 22nd, we will enable two new features in Canvas.  One is a major interface update for Turnitin and the other is a minor interface update for the Scheduler.

 

 

Turnitin’s New Feedback Studio

Turnitin has released a major product upgrade that will be available on May 22nd. The new version of the service, called Turnitin Feedback Studio, offers all the functionalities of Turnitin, but with a simplified, more intuitive interface. Once upgraded, you can expect to see a new interface when you open up a student’s paper in Turnitin. Your students will also experience this new interface when viewing Originality Reports and receiving feedback through Turnitin.  This upgrade will not affect the creation of Turnitin assignments in Canvas.

To get acquainted with the upgraded Turnitin Feedback Studio you can:

Canvas Scheduler

The new interface for the Canvas Scheduler will make it easier to see who has signed up for appointments and enable students to more easily see available appointments.  The basic functionality of the Scheduler has not changed.

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OIT Pilots Computer Classroom Replacement Process

icon of a mac computer monitor, keyboard, and mouseIf you teach in a computer classroom, the announcement that classroom computers are up for replacement may elicit both excitement and trepidation. The new machines promise to be faster, more reliable, and equipped with the latest technological enhancements, but will they still do what you need them to do to support the learning outcomes for your course? The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is implementing a new process that we hope will allay such fears and allow us to refresh computer classrooms with confidence.

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Faculty Canvas Focus Group

CanvasOn March 27, 10 faculty representing every school joined the Office of Information Technology’s LMS Success Team for a Canvas Focus Group. Participating faculty answered a series of questions about their use of Canvas and gave us feedback on what they’d be interested in learning more about. The LMS Success Team will use this feedback to develop support articles, create new Canvas trainings and inform new faculty trainings. We’ll also be rolling out a Level Up! campaign next fall to help faculty discover new features and new ways to use Canvas.

We learned that faculty both love (convenience) and hate (grading) the Attendance feature. We’ll offer some tips to deal with grading and Attendance in the Questions section. Quizzes were challenging so we plan on offering some additional training to assist in using quizzes. Now, on to some of the feedback we received.

Favorite Features
Conferences
Data on student access
Uploading documents and images
Integration with Panopto
Combining classes
Speedgrader
Time Savers
Clickable Rubrics
Attendance
Combining multiple sections of the same course
Copying course content from previous courses
Challenges
Differences between Pages, Modules and Files (and when to use each)
Weighting grades
Using Attendance, and its impact on Grades
Setting up rubrics
Combining classes
Quizzes
Like to Learn More About
Quizzes
Using Turnitin in Canvas
Importing course materials, including assignments and calendar events
Best pedagogical practices for learning how to use Canvas features

Several faculty expressed interest in additional training on using the Quizzes feature in Canvas. Instructional Technology will develop a workshop specifically on Quizzes and offer this as a training at the beginning of the fall semester. There is also a guide to Quizzes in the Canvas Community.

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ePortfolio Evaluation Task Force

Eportfolio Word CloudAn ePortfolio evaluation task force, comprised of faculty, staff and students is underway at St. Edward’s University.

Overview

Two university-wide initiatives have identified ePortfolios as an important tool for advancing student learning at St. Edward’s University. The five-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), “Vocation: Discovering One’s Purpose in a Changing World,” will commence in 2017. Reflection plays a vital role in helping students achieve the designated learning outcomes as they move forward on their path of vocational discovery, and the QEP calls for and includes funding for an ePortfolio to aggregate that reflection. The new general education framework should begin implementation with the freshmen class of Fall 2018. Requirement Development Committees composed of more than 80 faculty members representing all schools proposed student learning outcomes and requirements for individual curriculum elements during the 2016-2017 academic year. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of those committees saw a role for an ePortfolio in general education courses for archiving signature assignments and work, reflecting on learning experiences, and integrating general education, the major, and other learning in the curriculum, co-curriculum, and personal experiences. Both the General Education Renewal Committee (GERC) and the QEP Committee have asked that a formal selection process get underway to evaluate potential ePortfolio platforms.

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SXSWEdu Highlight: Bring Personalized Learning in Your Classes

SXSWEdu Conference


The pedagogy of personalization referenced in this post was presented by Alix Horton (New Tech Network-Literacy Coach), Drew Schrader (New Tech Netwotk-Dir Assessment), and Paul Curtis (New Tech Network-Dir of Platform Dev) in the summit session of SXSWEdu 2017.

 

What is Personalized Learning?

It entails school culture, pedagogy, available resources and all that might influence the shape of the learning environment. In the 2016 National Educational Technology Plan: Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education (NETP) and the 2017 NETP Update, both define personalized learning as the following:

“Personalized learning refers to instruction in which the pace of learning and the instructional approach are optimized for the needs of each learner. Learning objectives, instructional approaches, and instructional content (and its sequencing) may all vary based on learner needs. In addition, learning activities are made available that are meaningful and relevant to learners, driven by their interests and often self-initiated.”

Personalized learning usually leverages digital tools and applications to customize learning for each individual and ensure students can close the skill gaps, achieve mastery, or gain advanced knowledge in the concepts taught. Personalized learning provides instruction that is meaningful and contextualized for the students, and consists of the following (SXSWEdu 2017):

  • The pace of learning is adjusted and self-paced.
  • Learning objectives, approaches, and content are optimized for each learner.
  • Learning is motivated and driven by learner interests.
  • Learners are given choice in what, how, when, and where they learn.
  • Learning is often supported by technology.

To allow true personalized learning, faculty utilize technology to make it easier to transform courses that support individualized learning. In this post are some strategies in support of personalized learning. Continue reading

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Experiments in Teaching Recap

Experiments in TeachingOn Wednesday, February 22, the Center for Teaching Excellence, Instructional Technology, and the Munday Library hosted Experiments in Teaching, a celebration of pedagogical experiments on campus. At this event, sixteen St. Edward’s faculty members, representing all five schools, presented a series of two-minute “lightning talks” about innovative teaching techniques or projects they have implemented in their classes. The lightning talk format allowed each presenter just enough time to tease the audience with essential information about their work – including a description of their teaching experiment and their goals for taking this approach – and gave the audience exposure to a wide variety of teaching models in use at the university. Presenters and attendees then had the opportunity to mingle during the reception to ask follow-up questions and engage in deeper discussion. Continue reading

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You’re Invited to a Canvas Focus Group

Canvas
As we approach the end of our first year fully using Canvas, we’re looking for some feedback from faculty who have incorporated the tool in their classes. While we have a bird’s-eye view into how Canvas works, we don’t always have insight into how it works for you. With that in mind, we’re interested in understanding:

 

  • How is Canvas meeting your needs?
  • What are challenges with using Canvas?
  • What are some favorite timesavers in Canvas?
  • What do you wish you could do in Canvas?
  • How do you use Canvas in face-to-face or blended classes?
  • How do your students engage with Canvas?
  • How has student participation increased?

To gather this information, Instructional Technology will host our first Canvas Focus Group on Monday, March 27.

Canvas Focus Group
Noon-1 p.m.
Monday, March 27
Fleck 314

Lunch will be provided, so please RSVP for this event and let us know about any dietary needs. In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact Brenda Adrian at brendaa@stedwards.edu.

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Tech Failure!? Now What?

FailFor about 3 1/2 hours on Tuesday, Feb. 28, because of a large-scale event with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Canvas was unavailable to faculty and students. The outage lasted from around 11:40 a.m. to 3:10 p.m., and coincided with disruptions to other AWS-hosted services at St. Edward’s and across the country.

In general, our increasing reliance on cloud-hosted services results in much greater reliability, but incidents like this can still occur and cause temporary outages. For reference, Canvas’ overall uptime over the last 12 months is 99.98 percent, which is difficult to beat.

Canvas Support responded quickly to this outage, posting updates every 15 – 30 minutes on their status page . They have committed to working to limit our exposure to any future, similar events, but there is no foolproof way to prevent these situations.

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New Features in Canvas: 2-21-17

CanvasThe latest Canvas update includes a new interface for adding people to your class and Student Context Cards which provide another way of looking at student analytics in a class.

Adding People

With the new interface, faculty will be able to add Teachers, TAs, and Non-Grading TAs to their class by full Email address or Login ID (username appearing before the @ in email addresses).  In both cases, you will need to separate multiple entries with a comma.
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Meet Our New Learning Spaces Manager

Photo of Laura LucasHello! My name is Laura Lucas, and I am excited to join the Office of Information Technology at St. Edward’s as the new Learning Spaces Manager. I describe myself as a higher education professional and enthusiast who thrives on collaborating with other educators to innovate new ways to promote active engagement, curiosity, and deep, long-term learning in students. I hold a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Rice University. Continue reading

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