Category: Learning Management Systems
On Wednesday, September 27th, Metropolitan College hosted the second in an ongoing series of presentations on the integration of various educational technology tools and techniques in online, blended, and face to face classes. This series has been organized by a group consisting of staff from Metropolitan College departments of Educational Technology & Innovation and the Office of Distance Education. Specifically, this session looked at a variety of methods and means for deterring and detecting plagiarism. We want to thank all who attended. If you were not able to attend the event, please feel free to watch the recording or view the slides from the presentation.
The presentation covered a range of methods, from more traditional strategies and best practices, to a demonstration of the Turnitin tool, its latest incarnation Turnitin Feedback Studio, and its integration into Blackboard. The questions and discussion that followed illustrated how important a topic this is for us to be focusing on at this time. Special thanks to Andy Abrahamson, Yuvaraj Gunasekaran, Emily Heffernan Helter, Dan Hillman, and Shannon Rose McAuliffe for presenting on such an important topic.
Be on the lookout for an announcement about October’s installment of this series on the topic of tools and techniques for incorporating video into your courses.
All presentations take place in Room 109 of the Fuller Building, 808 Commonwealth Avenue. Attendees who cannot come in person can attend virtually. Please direct any questions you may have about this series to Emily Heffernan Helter, Assistant Director of Educational Technology and Production, in the Office of Distance Education firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome back to BU! Turnitin has now moved to the new Feedback Studio interface, combining the Originality Check and GradeMark features into a single screen. Your experience with Turnitin (whether you use it through Blackboard or through Turnitin.com) will remain the same for everything except viewing papers. If you missed Turnitin’s presentation at BU on last week, you can now watch it online to get comfortable with the new system. You can also view Turnitin’s online Feedback Studio manual for instructors and manual for students.
The Blackboard Content Collection is an area of the blackboard server where files are stored. A unique characteristic of the Content Collection is that the files “saved” and/or “stored” on the server are accessible via the Internet. If you were to upload a file, e.g., a syllabus or a paper that you are writing to the content collection, you would have access to those documents as long as you have access to the Internet. These files can be linked into courses and/or shared by the owner with other users on the system.
Instructors use the Content Collection to store, share, and publish content within personal user folders, course folders, and Institution Folders throughout Courses in Blackboard. In Blackboard Content Collection, you can
• Store content for multiple courses you teach.
• Share content across courses and with other users.
• Students may have access to store or share files.
The Content Collection contains multiple repositories for users and courses to organize and share their content. Detailed information about the about the structure of the Content Collection is addressed in Blackboard Help. If you’d like an in-person consultation on how to do it, you can contact us to ask.
Turnitin is providing BU with a free-of-charge training session on Turnitin Feedback Studio, Turnitin’s newly revised user interface. The new system promises to make it easier for faculty to streamline and speed up their grading of written assignments. The demonstration will be held on campus on Tuesday August 30 from 12:30 to 2:30. It will also be streamed and recorded; you can watch the stream through an Adobe Connect link. BU faculty and staff are welcome to attend in person; please contact Amod Lele (information available via the BU Directory) if you would like to attend.
Turnitin, BU’s platform for checking academic integrity with a vast database of papers, will soon be moving to a new and revamped system called Turnitin Feedback Studio. Feedback Studio offers a streamlined user interface that integrates Turnitin’s well-known academic-integrity features with the lesser-known GradeMark features, which allow faculty to speed up their grading by dragging and dropping frequently used comments, and adding rubrics. The system will continue to integrate with Blackboard within a frame. We expect to change to the new system in late August. You can try a demo of Feedback Studio on their site, and browse a user guide for more details.
Do you currently use the discussion board tool in Blackboard? If so, you may be looking for ways to increase student engagement and participation inside your discussion forums. A common complaint about discussion boards is that unless they are graded or required by the instructor, students do not want to participate. The conversations between students are full of flattery and follow the leader, and often lack the depth that is found in the face-to-face classroom environment.
One possible solution is through the use of YouTube video postings to the discussion board in place of the traditional text responses. To set this up, students will need to create their own YouTube channel using a Google Account. Luckily, anyone can create a Gmail account or for added features, BU students and faculty are also able to set up Google Apps for Education accounts through BU: (http://www.bu.edu/tech/support/google/).
Once a YouTube channel is created, students can upload their video from either a smartphone or computer to their YouTube channel and copy the video’s Share URL into the Blackboard discussion board thread by clicking on the “Insert/Edit Embedded Media” button. Students who are concerned about posting personal information on YouTube have the option of saving videos as “unlisted.”
Digication, BU’s ePortfolio system, now offers an integration with Blackboard. You can work with Digication portfolios from within a Blackboard course. This allows Digication to collect the students in your course together without having to enroll them separately. It also greatly simplifies the process of creating assignments and of having students create their own portfolios, especially from templates.
The Educational Technology, Training and Outreach group in IS&T is looking to fill two new positions: an educational technologist supporting our LMS (currently Blackboard although alternatives are being considered), and a combined platform-administrator and educational-technologist position for a new video-streaming system.
In addition, we expect to have another educational technologist position open later this year, relating to lecture capture and audience response systems. If you apply for the LMS position, you can be considered for that position as well (if you are willing to start later). Please forward this invitation to anyone whom you think might be interested in any of these positions.
As part of the Learning Management System (LMS) investigation, the LMS Steering Committee will be conducting several live demonstrations from vendors, including our current LMS, Blackboard. All faculty and academic staff are invited to attend these sessions, but we ask that you register in advance so we can plan accordingly.
Canvas by Instructure Demonstration
Following the Blackboard demonstration on Monday, May 4 we will be hosting our fourth annual Blackboard Boot Camp. This annual event gives faculty an opportunity to hear from their colleagues and to learn more about what our current Learning Management System has to offer. Seating is limited, so please be sure to register in advance.
We look forward to seeing you! Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Educational Technology, Training and Outreach has a website available outlining our current investigation into options for a learning management system (currently Blackboard). The site will also have details about our related investigation into an ePortfolio system (currently Digication). This site should not be taken to mean that BU is dissatisfied with either Blackboard or Digication, only that we are undertaking a periodic review to confirm whether or not our current systems remain the best ones.