Workshop: Memory Recall Techniques for Instructors: Weds, Nov 29 at 3 pm (on campus) or 7 pm (online)

Make learning more memorable for your students! Memory Recall Techniques for Instructors: Wednesday, November 29 at 3 pm (Dooling Hall, Room 40) OR 7 pm (online via Blackboard Collaborate).

Registration appreciated at Questions: or 610-282-1100 x2290.

Memory Recall Arnold

Research suggests that students create stronger connections with course material when it is presented in smaller portions in continuous cycles throughout a learning experience. Come and learn about techniques including micro lessons, mass vs. spaced studying, and priming exams. Your hosts will include DEIT instructional designers Jen Walz and Chris Hewatt as well as special guest collaborator at the 3 pm session, Dr. Sarah Starling, Assistant Professor of Psychology.

See you next Wednesday, November 29! Don’t forget.

Eric Hagan
Director, Distance Education and Instructional Technology

jog your memory

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Results of IHE Survey of Faculty Attitudes Toward Technology

The trade publication Inside Higher Ed recently published the results of its 2017 Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology.

Much of the survey focused on faculty attitudes toward online classes. In my view, like “regular” classes, online or hybrid classes can be taught poorly or well. Due to the increased use of technology, in my view, faculty members need to take more of a team approach and lean on support resources such as DEIT’s instructional designers.

Some highlights from the national faculty survey:

  • 62% agree with the statement “I fully support the increased use of educational technologies.” Only 8% disagree.
  • 42% of instructors reported having taught at least only one online class (but only 21% at private institutions).
  • An increasing minority of faculty (33%) agree that student outcomes are as good or better in an online class as an in-person class (roughly equal proportions either are neutral or disagree). But among faculty members that have taught online themselves, 45% agree.
  • Faculty concerns about online classes include lack of interaction during class (86%), reaching at-risk students (79%), rigorously engaging students in course material (60%), maintaining academic integrity (60%), and delivering necessary content to meet learning objectives (51%).
  • 70% of instructors that have taught online say the experience helped their teaching. Even more say teaching online helped them learn to use multimedia content and the learning management system. About 50% say they are more comfortable using active and project-based learning techniques and better at communicating with students outside of class as a result of teaching online.

If you have ideas for incorporating instructional technology in your classes, contact DEIT to either talk things out or to get help with implementation. DEIT is here to support the faculty.

Eric J. Hagan, Ed.D.
Director, Distance Education and Instructional Technology


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DEIT Humility Fail

Found on DEIT whiteboard. St. Francis would not approve.

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Announcement notifications are delayed or not delivered

Blackboard technical bulletin

A recent issue has been brought to the attention of DEIT regarding the announcement notification function in Blackboard.

When creating an announcement via Blackboard instructors are given the opportunity to send a copy of the announcement out immediately to all students in a course. Typically, the selection of this option results in an email to students notifying them of the new announcement that also provides the text of the message. In some cases, however, all or some of the emails have been delayed, on occasion by as much as two weeks. Blackboard has acknowledged the issue as a known problem with the system.

Currently, the behavior has only been seen at DeSales in large classes and organizations with 50+ users, and only when using the “Send a copy of this announcement immediately” option when creating an announcement. Sending emails directly using the Send DSU Email button available within classes appears unaffected.

It is important to note that the announcement will still appear for students within Blackboard in both the My Announcements area as well as a link underneath the course in which the announcement was created. Students should still get the abbreviated notification that a new announcement has been posted unless they have opted out of those types of communications. An alert is also sent to students through the Blackboard app if they are logged on via their mobile device.

The DEIT team will be updating Blackboard on December 21st to a version that should resolve this issue. Until that point, it is recommended that all faculty and organization leaders use the Send DSU Email button in conjunction with any announcements involving critical information.

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MyDSU upgrade

The DeSales Web Manager recently announced a change to the MyDSU portal that will include some possible system outages on Wednesday, November 15th. ( The DeSales DEIT team would like everyone to know that Blackboard will remain available throughout that time, though if MyDSU is down you’ll need to log in directly on

Any problems accessing either MyDSU or Blackboard should be reported to the DeSales Help Desk (610.282.1100 x4357 or

After the upgrade is complete accessing some of DEIT’s information will be a bit different. Blackboard will remain a link on the Applications list located on the right side of the screen.

To access the DEIT departmental pages you’ll need to click on the Menu link at the top-left of the page, select Departments & Offices, and then pick DEIT – Distance Education and Instructional Technology.

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Online Courses Best for Introverts? Guest Post

In this guest post that appeared in Inside Higher Ed, Karen Costa explains why online education might be the best bet for introverted students. See the full post here.

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Faculty Satisfaction Survey Results

Thank you to the 94 DeSales full-time and part-time faculty members that responded in October to the Distance Education and Instructional Technology Department’s 2017 Faculty Satisfaction Survey. DEIT conducted a similar survey in 2015, which provides a baseline for comparison.

Key findings:

  • Ninety-six percent (96%) of respondents expressed overall satisfaction with DEIT’s faculty support services (up from 90% in 2015).
  • Eighty-one percent (81%) of respondents rated DeSales’ level of instructional technology infrastructure and support as better than peer institutions (up from 65% in 2015).
  • Eighty-four percent (84%) of respondents reported that they had “a good understanding of the services DEIT offers and how these services relate to your teaching” (up from 78% in 2015).
  • Perception improved of the effectiveness of the Help Desk in handling instructional technology issues. Fifty-eight percent (58%) found the Help Desk “effective” or “very effective” while only 15% found it “ineffective” or “very ineffective” (26% were “neutral”). In 2015, more faculty found the Help Desk to be a negative than a positive.

You may access a PDF version of the survey results by clicking this link.

Please contact me if you have questions or feedback on the survey process.

Warm regards,
Eric J. Hagan, Ed.D.
Director, Distance Education and Instructional Technology

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Four Cool Tech Tools Report

The Four Cool Tech Tools workshop covered lots of exciting tools for enhancing your classroom! The tools covered in the workshop were Edpuzzle, DropBox, Pixabay, VoiceThread, and FlipGrid.

Edpuzzle is a web-based tool that allows you to take videos you already have and add interactivity. You can embed narration, add questions and insert a test into the videos! There are also accountability tools such as seeing who watched the video and for how long. To get started with Edpuzzle you can go through an interactive tutorial and register with them.

DropBox is a home for all of your files, documents and media. It first started as cloud-based storage and it now provides that same storage and workspaces for collaboration. DropBox lives as a folder on your computer and any file added to that folder is automatically backed up! To get started with DropBox register on their website and download the software!

Pixabay is a website for high quality, public domain photos, illustrations, vector graphics and film footage. It is a great resource for copyright free images and videos and all content is released under Creative Commons. Another great thing about Pixabay is that there is a WordPress plug-in so that you can use Pixabay when creating a website!

VoiceThread is a web-based platform that enables teachers and students to upload images, videos, and documents or record audio, video, and text comments. You can also invite others to record comments. VoiceThread can be used to upload PowerPoints and put audio narration with it. Students can also comment by using text, phone, microphone, and video and you can place the web link in your course on Blackboard!

Finally, Flipgrid is a flipped classroom approach to using video for igniting student discussion and engagement. To see how Flipgrid works click here.

If you would like to view the full recording of this workshop click here

If you have any other questions about this workshop contact DEIT at or 610-282-1100 x2290

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Pause, Play, Repeat: Using Pause Procedure in Online Microlectures

Guest post from Magna Faculty Focus by Judith Dutill and Melissa Wehler. Contact DEIT for help implementing these ideas in your course.

Applying this definition to microlectures, pause procedure becomes the deliberate plan to build in moments that guide students through reflections on the course materials, the way they are processing them, and the thinking behind that process.

Link to the full post here.


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Haunted PowerPoint Slides in Dooling Hall?

In Dooling Hall classrooms, have you experienced PowerPoint slides that mysteriously advance on their own? Is it the ghost of Father Dooling? Probably not. More likely, it is a case of slide advancer remotes that have disappeared from their home classroom and reappeared in another classroom.

Unlike other DeSales buildings where you have to bring your own slide advancer, most Dooling Hall classrooms come equipped with a remote control slide advancer and a companion receiver. The receiver is hidden inside the podium. The remotes are set to a specific channel to pair them with a specific receiver and are therefore NOT interchangeable from classroom to classroom. The channels are set by DEIT so that adjacent classrooms do not interfere with each other. But, if someone takes a remote from one classroom and moves it to another one, not only will it likely not work in the new classroom, it may go through the walls or ceiling and affect what an instructor is doing in a nearby classroom – such as mysteriously advancing his or her slides. You may be able to steal a whiteboard marker from the next classroom over (you know who you are), but it won’t work with the remotes.

Please leave the Dooling Hall classroom remotes in the classroom where you find them. Report any remotes that do not work as expected to the Help Desk so DEIT can get them working. That way the remotes will be ready when you and your fellow instructors need them.


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