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The social networking site Google+ is now officially available as part of BU’s Google Apps, accessible through your BU and Kerberos accounts. This includes the popular service Google Hangouts, which allows free group video conferencing. Google Hangouts provides a way to hold virtual office hours, even for multiple students simultaneously. Video conferences can also be streamed and archived to a wider audience via Hangouts on Air.
Please be aware that Google+, including Google Hangouts, is not governed by BU’s main service agreement with Google; as a result, confidential information such as student grades and comments should not be shared over these services, even privately, without the student’s express written consent. Further information is available via the TechWeb page for Google Apps.
The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) announces a new online webinar, “Quality Matters for MOOCs: Results and Implications of the First QM MOOC Reviews”, held December 2 at 1 pm, at no charge to any member of the Boston University community.
Steps to connect:
- Establish an Educause username and password at https://www.educause.edu/user/register
- Register for the webinar at http://net.educause.edu/Registration/ELIWEB1313
For more information, visit the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative’s page at http://www.educause.edu/eli/events/quality-matters-moocs
Turnitin, BU’s supported software for academic integrity and faster grading, has recently introduced a “Cloud Submit” feature that allows students to submit assignments directly from Google Drive or Dropbox, convenient for students who are working on collaborative assignments in Google Drive or who do not wish to pay for Microsoft Word.
We recommend accessing Turnitin through its Blackboard integration. To create an assignment that will work in Turnitin: in any of your Blackboard course’s content areas (“Assignments”) or the like, go to the Assessments menu and select Turnitin Assignment, and follow the instructions. You’ll then be able to see the assignment’s results by going to Course Tools in the lower left corner of the course and selecting Turnitin Assignments. If Turnitin Assignments doesn’t appear under Course Tools, you can turn it on by going to Customization.
Note that while students may use Dropbox to submit assignments to Turnitin, faculty should never return student grades or comments through Dropbox. Because BU has no service agreement with Dropbox, Dropbox does not count as a school official for purposes of FERPA, and sharing student records with
What is the first thing you think of when thinking about large lecture courses? A sea of lost faces? Students falling asleep, facebooking, texting or cheating on exams? Large lecture courses are sometimes treated as the neglected sibling or a “necessary evil” in higher education.
What if it were possible to make large lecture courses more engaging while maintaining a sustainable workload for faculty and staff members who run them? What lessons can we learn from MOOCs that might be applicable back at home on campus?
These questions are the topic of an event to be held December 9 at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst by the Northeast Regional Computing Program (NERCOMP). For more details, see nercomp.org/index.php?section=events&evtid=298
We invite faculty who are interested in COMSOL Multiphysics to a local event and encourage them to share information on this potentially great learning experience with students.
COMSOL is used by to engineers, chemists, physicists, biologists, and anyone else interested in modeling and simulation of real-world multiphysics systems: simulations that involve multiple physical models or multiple simultaneous physical phenomena. More
Boston University has become a member of ELI, the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. ELI is the main national organization devoted to the enhancement of teaching and learning through technology; it is a subgroup of EDUCAUSE, the general association of higher-education IT organizations. BU has previously participated online in events such as the 2013 Spring Focus Session on Learning and the Massive Open Online Course. Our membership allows us significantly discounted rates on participation at ELI events in person as well as at a distance, and will make it more affordable for interested faculty to benefit from these events.
For anyone at BU looking to learn more about instructional design and educational technology or get more involved in these fields, the Northeast Regional Computing Program (NERCOMP) is hosting an event on October 21 in the Albany area from 9am-3pm.
NERCOMP’s description of the event:
“The field of instructional technology and design has been continuously evolving as teaching strategies adapt to the rapid advance of technologies. We have become quite familiar with related terms, such as Instructional Technology, Instructional Design, Curriculum Design, Course Development, and Academic Technology, to name a few, and yet questions remain about their meaning in higher education. What do they mean on your campus? What responsibilities does an Instructional Designer or Academic Technologist have? Are they involved in technical support? E-learning? Curriculum and instructional design? Faculty development? System administration? While most of these types of activities are in play at your institution, answers to these questions will likely vary depending on campus organization, culture, academic program, and other factors. More
Boston University has something new to offer those who use a survey tool to conduct research or course evaluations, offer tests and quizzes, get student feedback, and analyze data. A group of IT Partners from SED, CAS, ENG, SMG, and BUMC, together with IS&T, have purchased a site license for Qualtrics, a highly advanced yet easy to use survey tool. This means you should not have to pay for your own or a department survey tool license as long as the site license is renewed. It’s provided at no charge — to students, faculty, staff, students, even guests sponsored by a department.
To access Qualtrics, visit www.bu.edu/qualtrics and enter your BU login name and Kerberos password. On-line, you can create a survey, collaborate with others in and outside the University, distribute to anonymous or invited participants, view results, and build reports. Response has been very good. It’s a simple and productive tool. Introductory courses are now offered; you can sign up online.
Many new tutorials on educational technology tools are now being offered through the training calendar within TechWeb. In July and August there are sessions available on Blackboard Learn, WordPress, Qualtrics survey design, NVivo, Digication ePortfolio and BUworks (SAP). Sign up for hands-on sessions to learn how to use any of these tools.
BU offers a scanning and scoring service for a variety of paper-based needs including course evaluations, surveys and exam scoring, as well as data collection and professional form design. The scanning and scoring staff’s mission is to collect, analyze and report all these varieties of data in a manner that is effective, timely and accurate.
BU’s high-speed OPSCAN scanners can read both ink (black or blue) and pencil marks (#2). Quizzes and midterm exams are processed within 48 hours. Final exams are guaranteed to be processed within 24 hours, including item analysis and statistics. Scores can be provided via email.
Reports from course evaluations and surveys are generally available two to three weeks after receiving the evaluation or survey package, and within a week for data collections. Raw data and results can be provided electronically in database-compatible format for your own analysis. The scanning and scoring service also offers its extensive experience in forms design and scanning projects; its staff can assist you in tailoring forms that are intuitive and will accurately capture data needed for a project.
The Scanning Service is available to BU faculty, researchers, staff and departments, and can also be requested by outside clients or institutions. The cost varies by service. Visit links to learn more about BU scanning services in general, or specifically about test scoring, course evaluations, surveys and data collection, or custom form design.