DSU BBQ: Return of the DEIT Video Game Bash, May 23, 1-4 pm

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May 2018 Workshops

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

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Salesian Virtues Are Good Teaching

Just read an article from the UK’s The Guardian titled, “What do students want most? To be treated with respect.” The anonymous author stated that the biggest takeaway from a survey of 1,000 university students was that students wondered: why don’t faculty members have more humanity? Students found faculty members lacking in empathy, compassion, kindness, integrity, and understanding.

Hopefully, in a Christian humanist institution like DeSales, our students would tell a different story. But, whether instructors or staff members, we do well to employ the Salesian “little virtues” of gentleness, patience, and humility in our dealings with our students. Not only will we be better people, but better teachers, too.


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Blackboard assignments and Safari 11.1

Appple logoApple Inc released a security update to the Safari 11 browser on March 29, 2018 (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208695). Safari 11.1 contains a number of improvements. However, the update appears to cause problems when trying to submit assignments to Blackboard.

Blackboard Inc has identified a known issue with Safari 11.1 when it comes to submitting assignments. Students attempting to use Safari 11.1 to upload files to assignments will receive an error message – Failed to submit Assignment. Please try again.

Blackboard is working on some fixes but it appears likely the issue will not be resolved at DeSales until the switch to SaaS this Summer (http://blogs.desales.edu/deit/2018/04/03/blackboard-down-for-upgrade-july-24-25-2018/). The workaround is to use a different browser – Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, for example, to submit Blackboard assignments.

The DeSales DEIT team

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New! Offline Capabilities for the Blackboard App!

Not only is there a blackboard app, the app now has offline capabilities! Blackboard has added offline capabilities to their app so that students can access course content anytime and anywhere.

Students will be able to:

– Download documents.
– View content without an internet connection.
– Automatically download content using the auto-sync tool.

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Guest Post: Strategies for Creating a Successful Online Classroom (Faculty Focus)

Check out this blog post from facultyfocus.com! This post discusses different ways to have a successful online class such as reaching out to students, giving instructions on how to get started, giving feedback, and more!

To read the full article, click here.

Thanks for sharing the article with us, Fr. X!

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Guest Post: Why It’s Almost Impossible for Fastballs to Get Any Faster (Wired, Robbie Gonzalez)

As baseball season gets underway, here’s a story (and video) for baseball fans and virtual reality fans, featuring Villanova’s baseball team and CAVE VR room. Learn why we’ve already seen fastballs as fast as they are going to get (spoiler: it’s all about ligaments) and how VR can help baseball players be better hitters.

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New annotation options in Box View

Blackboard uses an application programming interface (API) from Box, Inc to provide faculty the ability to review and annotate assignment submissions. Two features were added to the API in late March:

  • Point Annotations have been made “sticky” – after clicking on the Point Annotation button graders will be taken into “point annotation mode” that allows for multiple comments without selecting the point annotation tool for every entry.

Box view toolbar with point comment highlighted

  • A new Drawing Annotation mode – while grading, freeform drawings can be added to assignment submissions using a mouse or any touch-enabled device.  Box view toolbar with drawing annotation tool highlighted


Both options are available for new assignment submissions and can be retroactively added to earlier submissions.

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Blackboard Down! For Upgrade July 24-25, 2018



If you are a faculty member teaching or planning to work in Blackboard over the summer, be aware that the Blackboard Learn learning management system (LMS) will be unavailable for 48 hours during the entirety of July 24 and 25. Plan accordingly and make sure your students plan as well.

Note that even during the LMS shutdown, you can host synchronous Blackboard Collaborate or Zoom sessions outside of the Blackboard Learn LMS. If you wish to keep to your normal Tuesday or Wednesday night live online session, you can do that by sending your students a link to enter the session from a web browser directly rather than through the Blackboard Learn LMS.

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


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Instructor Roundtable and Dinner – June 13, 2018 – Save the Date

Back by popular demand, the 2018 Instructor Roundtable and Dinner will be on Wednesday, June 13 at the DeSales University Trexler Library. Registration and drinks beginning at 5:30. Dinner and program from 6 to 8:30 pm. All DeSales instructors and the staff that support them from all programs are invited!

This event is sponsored by DEIT, the Library, and the MBA and ACCESS programs.

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