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!

Faculty Recognition Gathering 4/30/19 4-6 pm

Please join us for the 2019 Faculty Recognition Gathering to recognize your colleagues’ accomplishments.

Tuesday, April 30
4:00–6:00 pm
Mabee Ballroom

The program will open at 4:00 p.m. with the awards presentation. The ceremony will be immediately followed by a reception with food, wine, other drinks, and the music of St. Edward’s Band.

Those individuals who will be recognized include:

  • the Distinguished Teaching Awards for Full-Time Faculty and Outstanding Teaching Award for Adjunct Faculty recipients and finalist;
  • the Sr. Donna Jurick Distinguished Career Award recipient;
  • the Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction recipient and finalist;
  • the Center for Teaching Excellence Mission-Informed Teaching Champion awards;
  • those who were promoted and/or tenured;
  • the 2019-2020 Innovation Fellows;
  • the 2019 Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grant recipients;
  • those who have piloted new technologies on behalf of the university in the 2018-2019 academic year;
  • the 2019 Presidential Excellence Research Grant recipients;
  • and those who have applied for grants, both external and internal.

This gathering is sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Department of Instructional Technology, the Office of Sponsored Programs, and the Office of Academic Affairs.

Discussion Board Best Practices

Discussion boards are a great way to enrich the learning of your students in a course and create an active learning environment where students take their understanding of the content and create their own connections and meaning through discussions and the sharing of experiences.

The goal of discussions is to have your students think critically about the topic, form an understanding of how it relates to the real world and be exposed to different perspectives through peer to peer interaction.

Below are some best practices for creating and managing a discussion board.

Setting Up Your Discussion

  1. Write a specific discussion prompt which encourages students  to think about the content in a real world context.
  2. Provide students with suggested peer response questions  (ex: When replying to your peers think of the following questions: 1. …).
  3. Use Specific guidelines to make it clear what the expectation of their response should be (response must be within 300-500 words, support your response with something from your readings, etc…).
  4. Ensure students respond before seeing their peers’ posts by selecting the ‘Users must post before seeing replies‘ in Canvas so that they can write their response without peer influence.
  5. Have students respond to at least 2 of their peers. This exposes them to different perspectives on the topic and also allows them to provide a different perspective to their peers.
  6. Give a specific due date for both the initial response and peer response. This allows them time to review the content and respond to their peers and keeps them accountable for staying on track.

Continue reading

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)



Learning Portfolio Pilots 2018 – 2019

Sample Portfolio front pageThe Office of Information Technology is conducting a pilot of technology to support the creation of Learning Portfolios.  Learning Portfolios 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 the students.  In other words, learning portfolios showcase student learning.

Making Connections and Reflecting

The general education program at St. Edward’s University has identified the learning portfolio (also known as the eportfolio) as a useful tool to help students make connections

  • across the general education curriculum;
  • between general education, major, and elective courses, as well as
  • with co-educational experiences like work, civic and volunteer activities, and personal interests.

Learning Portfolios are also a place for students to reflect on what they have learned.  Some majors have students assemble examples of work done in their major, select works that illustrate what they have learned in the major, and reflect on their learning.  These portfolios are also useful repositories to draw on in conversation with prospective employers.


portfolium logoThe potential use of learning portfolios in general education means that every student will need their own portfolio, so it makes sense for the university to consider providing a portfolio tool at the enterprise level (a tool that everyone on campus can use).  Before we can select that tool, we need a better understanding of technology requirements. And before we can determine requirements, the new general education curriculum, which launched in Fall 2018, needs to work out the process and practices of learning portfolios.  To enable that work, the Office of Information Technology has licensed a product named Portfolium for the 2018 – 2019 academic year.  Instructional Technology chose this tool with input from pilot faculty because it is easy to use and plugs into Canvas. We will use this pilot to help determine requirements for future tool selection, which we hope to accomplish in Spring 2019.  Regardless of what tool the university ultimately uses, students will retain their Portfolium profile free for life.


Six faculty who teach general education courses have already volunteered to begin using Portfolium in the Fall 2018 semester once Portfolium becomes available in October. Two other history faculty will be piloting the use of portfolios in the history major.  We have plenty of licenses for Portfolium, so we are seeking faculty volunteers for Spring 2019,  as well.  If you are interested in trying Portfolium or have questions about this pilot please contact Rebecca Davis or Brenda Adrian in Instructional Technology.

If you would like to pilot Portfolium with one of your courses or in some other way, please fill out this brief google form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSchv8G_7aJ7LF87dTQpkKX5dOjhYMs071WEW1Xf3ZKU18VX4A/viewform?usp=sf_link

More information about the pilots is available to members of the St. Edward’s community in this folder in google drive: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/15rqf4Lh6TUp4WIoz8b6YpK6yrHPCrnFN?usp=sharing

Access the Portfolium FAQ here:   https://support.stedwards.edu/customer/en/portal/articles/2956430-what-is-portfolium-?b_id=14595

Using G Suite

Welcome back, faculty! As you get started with the new semester we wanted to keep you informed about a few new features you will see within your St. Edward’s Google account.

G Suite Apps

Some of the new features, you may or may not have seen, include:

Gmail has a new interface:

Wait, there is more! You now have access to most of what G Suite has to offer including:

  • Google Drive – Store class documents in a class folder or share folders with students
  • Google Docs, Sheets, Presentations – Create class documents, presentations, collaborate with students and colleagues
  • Google Keep and Tasks – Take daily notes and track things to do
  • Google Forms Create basic surveys
  • And More

All to help you with your productivity as you work on your classes or collaborate with your students and colleagues. For more information about G Suite, visit support.stedwards.edu and search for G Suite or Google. Happy start of the semester!

What’s New in Campus Technology This Fall

Transitioning from summer to the fall semester can be tough, particularly when there are changes to the technology you use to teach. To help get you on track for a great semester, we wanted to highlight some updates across the Office of Information Technology you need to be aware of.

G Suite Has (Finally) Arrived

Yes, it’s true! All faculty, students and staff have access to these core G Suite applications:

You’ll notice there’s overlap between some of these services and other tools at the university — notably Google Drive and Box. Sometimes, that overlap is perfectly fine; at other times, we may find we can condense our tools into one. We’ll be looking at each area individually.

That said, a note about Google Classroom: Despite its name, Google Classroom is not a full Learning Management System. You are welcome to use it, if you think it’s a fit for your class, but the only supported LMS at St. Edward’s is still Canvas.

For more information — including comparisons of functionality with existing tools — search “Google” at support.stedwards.edu.

A Reminder About Your Password

In the spring, we rolled out a new university Password Policy. As part of this policy, everyone at the university is required to change their password once a year. (For 30 days before your password expires, you’ll get notifications when you log in.)

Want to get ahead of the game? You can find out when your password is set to expire and reset it at any time by logging in to account.stedwards.edu.

Having trouble logging in? Your password may have expired over the summer. We can get you back into your account at (512) 448.8443 or Moody 309.

Introducing myHilltop Mobile

Available for both iOS and Android devices, the new myHilltop mobile app makes getting things done on the go even easier. In the app, you can search myHilltop tasks (mobile-friendly tasks appear by default) and find contact information for campus offices. There’s also a handy link to the campus map and an easy button to get to Canvas.

The app is in active development, so it will continue to grow and evolve. For now, consider it a fast pass to the university’s one-stop shop.

Some Things Never Change

Like us! If you need help starting your semester, ending it or just managing the middle, we’re here to help. Our Instructional Technology staff is a key resource when it comes to your courses, but they’re not the only place you can turn to for assistance.

Help Desk
The first line of defense against technology issues and the router of all things OIT support. 
Moody 309
M-Th: 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
F: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
S: 9 a.m.-noon

Instructional Technology Hub
Faculty-focused support in a faculty-centric space.
Holy Cross 101
M-F: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Digital Media Center
Lights, camera, action! Digital production education and execution in a high-tech space.
Munday Library 246
M-F: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Not on campus? Search support articles or submit a case at support.stedwards.edu or give us a call at 512-448-844. To stay in the know throughout the semester, you can follow us on TwitterFacebook or Instagram, where we post updates and events.