Presenters Announced for Experiments in Teaching

Experiments in TeachingJoin the Center for Teaching Excellence, Instructional Technology, and the Munday library for Experiments in Teaching on Wednesday, February 22, 3:30 – 5:30 pm in Jones Auditorium (Ragsdale 101).

We invite all teaching faculty (full-time, adjuncts, and staff who teach), staff, and administrators to join us for talks and a reception celebrating pedagogical experiments on campus. Featuring a wide variety of St. Edward’s faculty members making brief presentations about their innovative teaching projects, “Experiments in Teaching” will explore the range of teaching initiatives at St. Edward’s University and the models they afford our teaching community. We aim to create a venue for colleagues to share the challenges and successes of teaching innovation. The event will be an open reception with food, drink, and “lightning” talks, followed by informal conversation among all participants. Presenters will use the brief lightning talk format to share a “teaser” for their project then be available for more conversation over refreshments. Lightning talks will begin at 3:30 pm.

Presenters include:

  • Richard Bautch | Gameplay, Biblical Text, and What Drives the Prophet: How Students Turned Call Narratives into a Video Game
  • Peter Beck | Conducting an international field course employing ecological and social research methods
  • Emily Bernate | Using Linguistics Corpus Data in English-Spanish Translations
  • Kim Garza | Augmented Reality to Highlight Archives
  • Katy Goldey and Raelynn Deaton-Haynes | Race for the CURE – A collaborative approach to a course-based research experience for undergraduates in Hormones and Behavior
  • Selin Guner | Xenophobia Workshop
  • Jena Heath | Students as teachers, allaying digital anxieties and building skills
  • Elisabeth Johnson | Close Reading + Glossed Reading via Social Annotation
  • Richard Kopec | Active Learning Pedagogy and LLCs
  • Katherine Lopez | Experiences from Flipping Intermediate Accounting
  • Jack Green Musselman | US/Russia Intercultural Dialogues: A Global Exchange
  • Alexandra Robinson | Whiter Shade of Pale
  • Georgia Seminet | Close Readings with Kami – Students Sharing Knowledge
  • Don Unger | Using Student-Made Videos to Document Community Engagement
  • Teri L. Varner| Using NVivo 11 Pro in Wicked Problems LLC : Listen, Learn & Communication (FSTY 1321)
  • Sara Villanueva | Leading Courageous Conversations in Your Classroom: Helping Students Engage in Difficult Discussions and Civil Discourse
  • Amy Wright | Exploring Austin through a Critical Lens
  • Debra Zahay-Blatz | How to Apply Digital Marketing Certification Content
  • Brad Zehner | Teaching International Business Using a Novella, Shades of Truth

Register for the Event:

Displaying Announcements on the Home Page in Canvas

In a release on 1-7-17, Instructure released a new feature for Canvas that we think you will find useful.

Announcements Can Be Featured on the Course Home Page

If your course has a content page set as the course home page, you can display a certain number of recent announcements at the top of the page. To enable this feature, go to Course Settings, scroll to the bottom and click on More Options. Select the Show Recent Announcements checkbox and specify the number of recent announcements that should be shown (up to 15). By default, the interface displays three announcements unless the number is adjusted. Announcements display in the home page for two weeks.





Click on Update Course Details to save your changes.

The announcements will show at the very top of the home page, before any course banner images or titles.

Screenshot of course home page showing announcements at top of page

For additional assistance in using Canvas contact Instructional Technology at

End of Semester Tasks in Canvas

CanvasChecking the Course End Date

The course end date in Canvas restricts students from participating in courses after that date. Make sure your course end date is set to be the last date you want students to view or submit course materials.  By default, the course end date in Canvas is set to be the same as the last course meeting as defined in Banner.  If students need to submit final papers, exams, projects or review course materials after that date, you will need to change the course end date. To change the course end date:

  • Go to Settings in your course menu
  • Go to Ends and extend the date
  • Click Update Course Details to save the changes

Grading Tip – Hiding or Holding Release of Student Assignment Grades

Would you like to release all of your grades for an assignment together so that students don’t see their grade until you are done grading all of the assignments?  Did you know you could “mute” an assignment? A muted assignment will not send out grade change notifications or any new instructor comments until the assignment is unmuted. A muted assignment displays a “mute” icon on the student grades page so students know the assignment is muted. Students will be unable to view their grade, including grade and score changes or submission comments for the assignment until the assignment is unmuted. Instructions for muting an assignment are found in the Canvas Community.

For additional assistance in using Canvas contact Instructional Technology at

General Faculty Meeting 2016 Technology Update

Global Learning Ecosystem--now without Blackboard

Global Learning Ecosystem–now without Blackboard

Rebecca Frost Davis, Director of Instructional and Emerging Technology gave an update to faculty at the general faculty meeting on Tuesday, August 23, 2016.  Since she was one in a long parade of speakers, this blog posts shares that update in written form, as well as links to items covered.

Global Learning Ecosystem

We think of ourselves as part of a global learning ecosystem—students learn in and out of the classroom, on and off campus, locally, globally, face-to-face and online. The same is true of us–faculty, staff, and administrators at St. Edward’s University. And the real kicker, the ecosystem is constantly changing. Some changes we drive, like discontinuing use of Blackboard, and some change is thrust upon us. Both our graduates and our colleagues need resilience to deal with all of this change. In the Office of Information Technology, we’ve been focusing on developing internal processes of adapting to that change by experimenting, gathering data, and iterating. In other words, we are using research to drive change. So, what do we know from that experience, and what changes can you expect when you enter the classroom next week? Continue reading

Intellectual Property for Faculty and Digital Course Materials

In Fall 2015, the Faculty Senate asked Rebecca Frost Davis, Director of Instructional and Emerging Technology, about the issue of intellectual property for faculty and digital course materials.  Her reply was shared with all faculty members with the Faculty Senate Agenda for the meeting on January 29, 2016 and is reproduced below.  This text is intended to provide information about common practice in higher education and is not a legal opinion.

I believe that there are two areas of ambiguity in intellectual property for faculty around the digital assets of their courses. In particular, I am speaking of what we call the “course shell,” which is essentially all the material and the course layout in the learning management system, e.g., Blackboard, Canvas, etc. Because course shells can be exported from one system and imported into another (even between institutions), the issue of ownership is called into question. The two areas of ambiguity are 1) low-residency, hybrid or online programs and 2) courses taught by multiple instructors, especially including contingent faculty members.

1) Low-residency, hybrid or online programs

The first area of ambiguity comes with online or low residency courses because their course shell is so much more substantial and often requires that substantial university resources go into course construction. While we have no way of knowing how much time a faculty member puts into constructing a typical face-to-face course, I do know that for online or low residency courses where an instructional designer designs the course shell, the instructional designer typically puts in 150 hours of work (this does not include faculty labor). For this reason, we advise those programs considering hybrid, low-residency, or online programs to create contracts with faculty clarifying ownership of the course and its assets.

The new low-residency MBA program provides a good example of this issue because courses are designed to be taught by multiple faculty members for the program. Faculty designers knew this from the beginning, signed contracts to that effect, and are actively designing the courses for reuse by others. For example, courses include videos from multiple university community members to better represent the Munday School of Business rather than just the course designer. Nancy Schreiber would be the best person to ask about these contracts.

Contracts that clarify intellectual property are best practice in this area; typically, the university retains ownership of the course shell, especially where they supplied substantial resources for design and creation of the faculty member was contracted to design the course for reuse by others. In effect, this does not mean the faculty member cannot teach the same content at another university (that would be difficult to monitor), but it does mean they should not be exporting the course shell, video content, etc., and reusing it at another institution without permission. It also means that the university can reuse these digital assets even if the original designer has left the university.

2) Courses taught by multiple instructors

A second area of confusion comes with courses taught by multiple instructors, like many of our required courses for general education or courses required for certain programs that are taught by multiple faculty members, especially contingent faculty members. Instructors at St. Edward’s routinely share course materials, pedagogical approaches, and teaching ideas. That is part of our vibrant culture of teaching and learning, and I would hate to see that end because of concerns about intellectual property. Once again, however, because technology makes that sharing even easier, it can also lead to abuses.

It is common practice for instructors to request that their course be copied for use by another instructor. Instructional technology also gets requests from new or contingent faculty for a copy of another instructor’s course shell. This practice is an extension of the practice of sharing syllabi with new faculty. For example, when I taught Latin at UT, I was given multiple syllabi from former versions of the course as a model for my course. I don’t have exact numbers at hand for how often each of these happens at SEU, but I would be happy to ask my team to look into it. In either case, our practice is to only make copies with the permission of the instructor or, if the instructor is no longer available, with the permission of the department chair or someone else with authority over the course.

Canvas offices a promising new functionality that will clarify ownership and sharing. Canvas Commons allows instructors, departments, and schools to share materials, assignments, course elements, and even whole courses. These can be shared with departments, schools, the whole university, or the general public. Those who share are required to label their material with a license, which can range from “Copyright, All Rights Reserved” all the way up to the most open Creative Commons License. This is a great solution for making transparent the sharing that goes on between instructors and within departments, programs, and schools at SEU because it puts control of the material in the hands of the faculty creator. You can find out more about Canvas Commons here:

Continue reading

Migrating Courses from Blackboard to Canvas

Do you want to move course materials from Blackboard to Canvas? In making the transition from Blackboard to Canvas, it is important to complete the following three steps:

Migrating from Blackboard

  1. Export your Blackboard Courses
  2. Upload and save your Exported Blackboard courses Zip files into Box
  3. Import your course files from Blackboard into Canvas

We highly recommend that you Export all your Blackboard courses and then upload the Zip files into to your Box account. The Export file is used to import content into Canvas, such as all your course files. We recommend NOT importing your grade center columns and assignments. It is best to create these within Canvas.

We have detailed instructions on how to Export copies of your course to Box, and also how to Import your course files from Blackboard into Canvas.

Blackboard and Canvas Logos

For more questions about Canvas and Training visit our Canvas Training Center for faculty. We are here to help you get your courses started in Canvas.

Faculty Recognition Ceremony and Faculty Gathering

FacultyCeremonyImage_300Please join us for this new event, which combines the faculty awards presentation (formerly part of the Honors Night program) and the final faculty gathering of the 2014-2015 academic year.

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

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

Those individuals who will be recognized include:

  • the Distinguished Teaching Awards and Outstanding Teaching Award for Adjunct Faculty  recipients and finalists;
  • the Distinguished Teaching Career Award recipient;
  • the Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction recipient and finalist;
  • the Outstanding Undergraduate Faculty Advisor Award recipient;
  • those who were promoted and/or tenured;
  • the 2015-16 Innovation Fellows;
  • the 2015 Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grant recipients;
  • those who have piloted new technologies on behalf of the university in the 2014-2015 academic year;
  • the 2015 Presidential Excellence Research Grant recipients:
  • and those who have applied for grants, both external and internal.

Please join us in celebrating your colleagues’ accomplishments!

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

Mapworks: Make Academic Achievement Possible for Students

What is Mapworks?

Map (Making Achievement Possible) works is an online tool for faculty, staff, and advisors to assist students in achieving their academic goals and persist toward graduation. Faculty may access Mapworks from the Faculty/Advisor tab in Faculty and students have already been receiving correspondence from Nicole Guerrero Trevino, the Associate Vice President for Student Academic Support Services, in how to participate and access Mapworks.

When should Faculty use it? mapworks

Faculty, including full time and adjunct faculty including faculty advisors, should use Mapworks throughout the semester to support and inform their students on the students’ academic success.

  • AnytimeSubmit a Referral – used by faculty or advisors to bring attention to a specific area of concern to other faculty/staff that are connected to that student.
  • Week 4 of the SemesterAttendance Reports – used by faculty to report the attendance of their students.
  • Mid SemesterMid-Term Grade Reports – used by faculty to report the progress of the students in their courses.
  • Mid SemesterAthlete Progress Reports – used by faculty to report the progress of the student athletes in their courses.

When should students use it?

Students should use Mapworks as needed to check their progress in their courses. Faculty, advisors and staff will correspond with students using Mapworks updating them on their academic progress and success.

Learn more about the use of Mapworks at St. Edward’s University:

Who should I contact for further questions?

Contact Nicole Guerrero Trevino, Associate Vice President for Student Academic Support Services, at 512-428-1037 or by email at

Higher Ed Highlights from SXSWEdu

In March, Austin hosted the fifth annual SXSWEdu, the education-focused sibling to SXSW’s larger Interactive, Music and Film festivals. SXSWEdu brings together researchers and practitioners to discuss innovative solutions to pressing issues facing higher education as well as K-12.

SXSWEduSt. Edward’s was well represented with faculty presenting in two sessions. Professors Corinne Weisgerber and Shannan Butler provoked one of the more spirited debates at the conference in their session “Disrupting the Disruption in Higher Education”. Continue reading