20 Minutes to Launch Returns!


Come join us as we begin our second year of “20 Minutes to Launch” workshop sessions.  Each week, we’ll teach you one new technique that you can use in your teaching practice right away, and we’ll strictly adhere to the 20 minutes time limit.  Of course, snacks will be provided.

We’ll offer each session on Tuesdays at 12:30pm in Holy Cross Hall, Room 101.   If you have an idea for a topic that you don’t see below, please reach out to Michael Weston at mikesw@stedwards.edu

September 10 – Take 20 minutes and join us for a look at Qwickly and see how easy it can be to take and track attendance in Canvas…with snacks!

September 17Take 20 minutes and join us as we discover how easy it is to find the free images licensed for reuse for your Canvas courses, slide decks, and other digital use …with snacks!

September 24 – Take 20 minutes to learn how to improve your Gmail experience by learning to schedule emails to send later, set reminders, use the advanced search, and use dynamic emails.  . . . with snacks.

October 1 – Join us to learn about what open educational resources are, and how they can save students money, improve access to required course materials, and give you more control over the content covered by these materials.  Snacks provided, of course.

October 8 – Join us for a hands-on 20-minute workshop on digital storytelling using Adobe Spark. We’ll show you some of the ways that it’s being used in higher education, review the basic capabilities of Adobe Spark and provide an interactive demo.

October 15 – Got 20 minutes? Come learn how wireless projection technology can help you create a more democratic and student-centered learning environment in your classroom… with snacks!

October 22Take 20 minutes to learn how you can record student in-class presentations.  From improving grading accuracy to student self-reflection, Panopto can make a difference in your course.

October 29 – Join the Office of Information Technology for a hands-on 20-minute workshop on Virtual Reality and how it is being used in higher education and here at St. Edward’s.

November 5Would you like to make sure your course materials are available to all students? Take 20 minutes to learn some easy ways to make your Canvas course materials accessible.

November 12 – Take 20 minutes to learn some tips and tricks for making your PowerPoints accessible! Did you know that PowerPoints need to be made accessible to help students with disabilities? Join us in going over some tips and tricks to make your presentations accessible.  Snacks provided!

November 19Take 20 minutes to learn how students can create portfolios to connect and reflect on learning and experiences in and out of class. With snacks.


Expand Your Toolkit: More Tools for Teaching and Learning

The list below has been curated based on the expressed interests of the 2019-2020 Innovation Institute fellows.  These innovative technologies are widely used in higher education and can be used for a number of pedagogical purposes.  This page is intended to provide a quick overview of the tools, please contact Mike Weston (mikesw@stedwards.edu) or David Cuevas (dcuevas1@stedwards.edu) for assistance in getting started.  For a quick overview, Mike and David put together a short video:

Creating High Quality Images, Pages and Videos with Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is a versatile tool you can use to create graphics, stories, and animated videos you can post in your Canvas course and your website.  Spark is also incredibly easy to use, so feel free to check it out here: http://spark.adobe.com

For a more in-depth primer on how you can use Spark in your own teaching practice, you can view the LinkedIn Learning course:

Welcome from Learning Adobe Spark by Sandee Cohen

How do we support and amplify the “Quiet Voices” in our classes?

In the “Teaching In Higher Ed” podcast linked below, you’ll learn more about issues that arise in the online classroom and how a tool like Flipgrid can help address these challenges.  It’s a great podcast that discusses a variety of important topics to educators in higher ed:

Here’s an explanation of the video discussion tool, Flipgrid, that’s referenced in the podcast:

What exactly is Social Annotation and how can I use it?

Social Annotation is a great way to promote student-to-student learning and critical engagement with literally any web page on the worldwide web.  The tool explained below is called Hypothesis and it’s one of several popular tools for social annotation.

What is Panopto and how can I use it?

It’s hard to believe that we’ve had Panopto for over three years now but in that time it has become one of the most popular teaching technologies on campus.  In this video, Mike Weston provides an example of a popular use case: recording a video from your office or home.  Instructors who use Panopto to grade presentations tell us they love the ability to speed up the video (hover over the bottom right corner when the video is playing and click the “1x” to select a faster speed), give it a try!

CATME Smarter Teamwork

The CATME system was designed to help instructors manage groups in their courses easier. There are two main parts of the CATME system: Team-Maker and Peer Evaluation.

Team-Maker allows you to automatically create groups based on survey questions sent to your students. Metrics such as availability, the type of role students are comfortable within group work or instructor-created questions can be generated. The Peer Evaluation system provides a way for group members to rate their peers based on different metrics.  Instructors can select pre-made questions to rate their peers by such as how active group members were on projects, deadline issues or instructor generated questions.

Watch the CATME overview video below to learn more!


Portfolium – Electronic Portfolio’s

Portfolium is a platform to create digital learning portfolios. Learning portfolios (ePortfolios) are collections of student work and other evidence from their career in higher education — often accompanied by reflections — that demonstrate broad skills and competencies possessed by students. E-portfolio’s can be used upon graduating to send to potential employers to show off the skills and accomplishments during their educational experience.

Watch the video below to see if Portfolium is right for you!

20 Minutes to Launch Series


Come join us as we launch our new series: “20 Minutes to Launch”.  Each week, we’ll teach you one new technique that you can use in your teaching practice right away, and we’ll strictly adhere to the 20 minutes time limit.  Of course, snacks will be provided.

We’ll offer each session twice per week:

Tuesdays at 12:30pm in HCH101 (1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/12, 2/19, 2/26, 03/5, 3/13, 3/27, 4/2, 4/9, 4/16)

Wednesdays at 11:30am in JBWS180 (1/23, 1/30, 2/6, 2/13, 2/20, 2/27, 3/6, 3/13, 3/27, 4/3, 4/10, 4/17)

Session topics include innovative features in Canvas and Gsuite (Google) that help Instructors save time, try new things, and improve student engagement:

  1.     Make Online Discussions Manageable by Grading with Rubrics  –

 Facilitated by Rebecca Davis (1/22 – 1/23),  http://bit.ly/2R5uBea

  1.    How to use Comments, Assignments, and Tasks in GSuite –

 Facilitated by Joana Trimble (1/29-1/30)

  1.    Using Drive folders for classroom efficiency –

 Facilitated by Mike Weston (2/5 –2/6)

  1.    Slides vs. PowerPoint: Moving from PowerPoint to Google Slides –

 Facilitated by Jenny Cha (2/12-2/13)

  1.    Canvas Student analytics –

 Facilitated by Brenda Adrian (2/19-2/20)

  1. How to use Comments, Assignments, and Tasks in GSuite –

 Facilitated by Joana Trimble (2/26-2/27)

  1.   Make Online Discussions Manageable by Grading with Rubrics  –

 Facilitated by Rebecca Davis (3/5 – 3/6),  http://bit.ly/2R5uBea

  1. Creating basic websites using Google Sites – 

  Facilitated by Mike Bell (3/12 – 3/13)

  1. Using Drive folders for classroom efficiency –

 Facilitated by Mike Weston (3/26 – 3/27)

  1. Virtual Reality: Using Google Expeditions  —

Facilitated by Eric Trimble (4/2 – 4/3)

  1. Slides vs. PowerPoint: Moving from PowerPoint to Google Slides –

 Facilitated by Jenny Cha (4/9 – 4/10)

  1. How to use Comments, Assignments, and Tasks in GSuite –

 Facilitated by Joana Trimble (4/16 – 4/17)



Gradebook Time Savers


Here are 4 quick tips for making the Canvas Gradebook more convenient and easier to use:
2018-04-09_14-39-57.png 1. Mute Assignment:

Muting an assignment allows you to work on grade entry without the students being able to see the grades. Un-mute the assignment when you have finished grading so that students can view their grades and feedback.

2018-04-09_14-40-42.png2018-04-09_14-41-26.png 2. Grade Totals next to Student Names:

When there are multiple grade book columns, it might be preferable to have the total column on the left side next to the student names.  This makes it much easier to see the student’s grades.

2018-04-09_14-41-03.png 3. Organizing Columns and Rows: 

Arranging Columns by due date allows you to sequence the columns in chronological order.  You can click the column heading to sort the rows.  For example, clicking the total column header will sort the students by total grade.

2018-04-09_14-44-36.png 4. Dash vs. Zero

Don’t forget that the dash indicates no submission, while the zero indicates that you’ve given the student a zero.  The dash won’t count toward their grade, the zero does.   Some instructors are unaware that dashes don’t count against students.

Creating a Sign-In Sheet using Canvas

Taking attendance using the Canvas Attendance feature can be cumbersome and time-consuming.  Using a traditional sign-in sheet and entering attendance information at a later time can often be quicker and easier.  Using the method outlined below, you’ll create a sign-in sheet that students pass around at the beginning of class, signing next to their name.  To create your sign-in sheet, you’ll simply download the course roster from Canvas, open it in Excel and format the roster into a sign-in sheet.  Here’s how:
1. Navigate to the Canvas Grade book:
2. Download your course roster from the Canvas Grade book:
3. Delete all of the columns but the student names:
4. Create a border around the cells in your Sign-in sheet:
5. The text in your rows will most likely be too small, so you’ll want to click the Format button to increase the row height:
6. Now you’re ready to print.  Click “Print” and make sure your roster fits in one page.  If not, repeat the previous step to reduce the row height slightly.


Enhancing Your Presentations with the ‘Substitution’ Method

Substitution is a technique that addresses the phenomenon sometimes referred to as ‘Death By PowerPoint’. DBP occurs when a speaker reads his slides to the audience (very often word-for-word). While we’ve all endured DBP as audience members or students, it’s still difficult to avoid as a presenter. Particularly when the bulk of what we want to say is already on the slide, we end up in the position of either reading the slide to the audience or attempting to vary what we say to avoid reading. Either way, it can be very difficult to avoid DBP.

In an effort to address the issue of DBP, the “Substitution” method can be very helpful. Neuroscientists (and advertisers) have long known that our brains can associate complicated ideas with images and that images are often easier to remember. The Substitution method capitalizes on the same idea. What begins as a dense, text-based PowerPoint deck can be transformed into an engaging presentation that combines auditory and visual learning modalities to enhance learning and engagement.

Essentially, the steps are very simple. First, we copy the text of each slide and paste it into a word document. Next, we gather content that will allow us to replace the text of each slide with images, charts or infographics. Finally, we replace the text on each slide with relevant content. The net result is that we are able to read from the text of our earlier slides while simultaneously providing the audience with compelling imagery to maintain interest and aid in later recall.  You can see this technique demonstrated in the example below.

If you would like to learn more about this technique, feel free to contact one of the instructional designers in the FRC for more details.Slide1


Speed Up Your Grading

3 Tips For Making the Blackboard Grade Book Easier to Use

In this Tech Snack on October 18, 2014 we demonstrated several easy steps that can help save you time and frustration while grading.

1. See All Your Students with “Edit Rows Displayed”

Blackboard defaults to showing you the first 10 students in your roster. If you want to see your entire roster of students, click on Edit Rows Displayed and select the number of students you have. This makes it much easier to see all of your students at the same time.

2014-02-06_14-14-54 2014-02-06_14-17-56

2. Minimize Scrolling through Assignments with “Column Organization”

Blackboard also defaults to displaying the most recent grade book entry to the right of the existing entries. The column organization feature allows you to reorder your grade book display as you see fit. For example, you might want to display the most recent entry first. Managing your columns is a great way to minimize the need for scrolling.

2014-02-06_14-25-59            2014-02-06_14-26-49

3. Use Excel to Manage Grades via “Download Roster “

Blackboard allows Instructors to download a current version of their course grade book as an Excel file. Instructors can use this feature to manually enter grades into a spreadsheet and upload it to Blackboard again. Downloading the grade book is also a great way to create attendance charts and sign-in sheets quickly.

2014-02-06_15-01-15          2014-02-06_15-01-56


There are also a variety of video tutorials available on the Instructional Technology website.  Here’s a link to our BlackBoard Grade Book overview.