Brief Blackboard Outage

Hello Everyone, 

We will be experiencing a brief Blackboard outage from 3:30am to 4am on Sunday, February 16th 2020 as updates will be run to improve functionality of the system. Please do not attempt to access Blackboard during this timeframe as you will be kicked out of the system. 

Instructors: Please instruct your students not to submit assignments or take quizzes or tests during this time period. 

Students: Please do not attempt to submit assignments or takes quizzes or tests during this time period. 

If you have any questions, Please contact the Helpdesk at helpdesk@desales.edu or x4357. 

Posted in featured | Leave a comment

CERT Faculty Satisfaction Survey Results

Thank you to the 121 faculty members that participated in the CERT Faculty Satisfaction Survey during Fall Semester.

Key Findings

  1. 91% of respondents are “Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied” with CERT’s faculty support.
  2. 83% of respondents have a good understanding of CERT’s services and how they relate to their teaching.
  3. On a five point scale (1=Very dissatisfied, 5=Very Satisfied):
    1. Classroom emergency response: Timeliness 4.3, Effectiveness 4.4, Respectfulness 4.6
    2. Online / Blackboard emergency response: Timeliness 4.5, Effectiveness 4.6, Respectfulness 4.9
    3. Instructional design consulting: Expertise 4.7, Helpfulness 4.7, Respectfulness 4.8

Visit this link for a full summary of the survey results.

Questions or comments? Contact Eric Hagan, Director, Center for Educational Resources and Technology, at 610-282-1100, ext. 1689 or eric.hagan@desales.edu.

Posted in featured | Leave a comment

CERT Video Game Christmas Party – Mon 12/16, noon – 3 pm, Dooling Hall Skylight Lounge

Posted in featured | Leave a comment

Introducing Panopto 7

Updates to Panopto

Panopto Cloud will be upgraded to Panopto 7 on Saturday, June 22nd. This will require downtime, expected to be from 9:00 PM until midnight. After the update, there will be several changes to the system.

New mobile and embedded video player

On mobile devices and embedded videos, users will gain access to several functions previously available only to full web playback. Users will be able to access the table of contents, search within videos as well as rate them. Users can also take notes and post discussions.

New question type

Fill in the blank questions will be added as a question type giving you the option to ask questions that require users to fill in answers to the question. During the creation of a fill in the blank question, correct answers can be provided by placing values between underscores (_).

Panopto fill in the blank question screenshot

Multiple correct answers can also be provided for each blank by using the pipe symbol (|).

Updated editor

In the editor, the cut and pointer tool has been merged, giving users a simpler experience where they can precisely apply and test cuts to videos or streams. There is a terminology change, where “Apply” replaces the verb “Publish”.

More download options

Download notes — Users can download their notes or notes from any public channel for a particular video.

Download discussion transcript — video creators will be able to download a transcript of the discussion. Moderators will have access to live stats via a link from the viewer.

Analytics

Content creators can now see analytics for all of their videos across the Panopto site or for a particular folder (incl. sub-folders) or video. Additionally, there are a couple of new data insights available:

  • Completion percentage: Creators can see the completion percentage for each user who has viewed their video.
  • Per-user stats, answering “which of my videos has this user watched?”.

Printable version of this information

Posted in featured | Tagged | Leave a comment

TOP SECRET! Use the Blackboard Mobile App to Infect Your Students’ Brains With Learning

BASEMENT BUNKER, DOOLING HALL. We all know students love their phones and their apps. Why not use the Blackboard mobile app to take advantage of students’ compulsion to interact with their phones? You don’t have to use the app yourself; rather, you just need to understand how what you do in Blackboard manifests itself in the phone app. Check out this video message from one of DEIT’s underground operatives or check out our 2-page help guide. Contact DEIT for further information. Codeword BB2Brain. END OF TRANSMISSION.

Posted in DEIT reflections, featured, tech matters, top featured | Tagged | Leave a comment

Transition from Collaborate to Zoom

DeSales University recently executed a multi-year agreement with Zoom Communications, Inc. to provide web conferencing services to the university community. We are phasing out use of our other web conferencing platform, Blackboard Collaborate, between now and June 2019.

Collaborate-to-Zoom Transition Table
Program MAY use Collaborate through the end of MUST switch to Zoom by the beginning of
Traditional Day Spring Semester 2019 Fall Semester 2019
ACCESS ACCESS Session 4 ACCESS Session 5
DPT, M.Ed, MFA, MSPAS Spring Term 2019 Summer Term 2019
DNP, MACJ, MBA, MSIS, MSN Winter Term 2019 Spring Term 2019

 What you need to know:

  • Both Collaborate and Zoom are available for use through June 15. However, DEIT encourages switching to Zoom as soon as possible since Zoom is our platform moving forward. The table above describes when your program needs to be completely cut over to Zoom.
  • Collaborate recordings will NOT be available in Collaborate after June 15. If you need to save a recorded Collaborate session, download it as an mp4 file and save it elsewhere. (The steps to locate and download recordings are available online – https://help.blackboard.com/Collaborate/Ultra/Moderator/Get_Started/Record_Sessions) Recommended locations to store downloaded mp4 files include the DeSales media server or Panopto. Storing media files in Blackboard is not recommended. Contact DEIT for assistance.
  • Zoom is great! Try it. You can use Zoom both in and outside of Blackboard. Instructors can create a Zoom account by clicking the Zoom menu in a Blackboard course. Anyone in the university community (faculty, staff, students) can create a Zoom account by visiting http://desales.zoom.us. You may use Zoom for both university-related and private communications, subject to the university’s Computing Use and Internet Policy.
  • Documentation for Zoom can be found at http://support.zoom.us or, for instructors, within the DEIT Faculty Community in Blackboard.
  • Group and one-on-one Zoom training is available from DEIT.

Questions? Contact DEIT at 610-282-1100 x2290 or deit@desales.edu.

Posted in featured, tech matters, top featured | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Internet Explorer and Blackboard, not so perfect together

Internet Explorer logo with no symbolA number of issues have been identified with Blackboard Learn when using the Internet Explorer browser. Recent issues include:

  • Problems with hyperlinks in Blackboard Portfolios
  • Intermittent issues with the inline grading tool
  • Images and fonts change in Modules when using the Back button
  • Problems uploading files to assignments

The DEIT team would like to remind everyone that Internet Explorer is not a supported browser when using Blackboard (support ended in Q4, 2018). Please use a different browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge.

Additional information

Microsoft is no longer actively developing Internet Explorer and has recommended it not be your default web browser – https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Windows-IT-Pro-Blog/The-perils-of-using-Internet-Explorer-as-your-default-browser/ba-p/331732.

A security exploit was found in March 2019 with Internet Explorer that “allows hackers to spy on you and steal personal data from your PC” (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevangelho/2019/04/15/warning-internet-explorer-just-became-a-silent-but-serious-threat-to-every-windows-user/#7c4c9cb886d8)

Unless needed for a specific site, it may be best to remove Internet Explorer from your computer. The steps outlined by Microsoft to remove Internet Explorer are below.

  • Press the Windows logo key+R to open the Run box.
  • Type appwiz.cpl, and then select OK.
  • In the the Programs and Features item, select Turn Window features on or off.
  • In the Windows Features dialog box, locate the entry for the installed version of Internet Explorer. For example, locate the Internet Explorer 11 entry. Then, clear the check box.
  • Select OK to commit the change.
  • Restart the computer.
Posted in featured, tech matters | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

April 2019 Training Workshops

Posted in DEIT reflections, featured, Teaching and pedagogy, top featured | Leave a comment

Instructor Roundtable and Dinner June 13 – Save the Date

Posted in featured, Teaching and pedagogy, top featured | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The end of Flash as we know it…

Adobe Flash logoWhat we now know as Adobe Flash was previously a dominant platform for online multimedia content, however, it is slowly being abandoned as Adobe favors a transition to HTML5 due to inherent security flaws and the significant resources required to maintain the Flash platform. In fact, Adobe plans on ending their support of Flash at the end of 2020.

Apple has already restricted the use of Flash on its iOS devices, and major web browser companies are reacting to the announcement. Firefox (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Plugins/Roadmap), Google (https://www.chromium.org/flash-roadmap), and Microsoft Edge (https://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/2017/07/25/flash-on-windows-timeline/) indicate Flash will be disabled by default by the middle of 2019 (but there will be an option to enable it), and all support for Flash will end in 2020.

What does this mean for DeSales? The DEIT team has already reviewed most of the major educational platforms in use. Blackboard, Panopto, Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom, and the DeSales streaming media server do not require Adobe Flash to function. The remaining issues could be with other third-party content from textbook publishers, external websites, and any locally stored material.

The main recommendation coming from DEIT is to review the multimedia you use in courses. If you have local media files that end in either .FLV or .SWF you will need to find alternate means of showing the content once Flash is disabled. The DEIT team can help with the conversion of .FLV files.

The other step faculty should take in the near future is to see if a prompt to activate the Flash plugin is received when clicking on web links in Blackboard. (These prompts typically come up with video links or other interactive multimedia content)

Prompt message to activate Flash

Please contact DEIT with any questions or if you suspect some Flash content is in a course. DEIT can help determine if an alternate method of providing the material is available.

Posted in featured, tech matters | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment