Technology tips from OIT for the start of spring semester
The following information was shared with University faculty by the Office of Information Technology in December.
Below you will find general updates about academic technology tools that support both face-to-face and hybrid instruction, as well as training opportunities and additional help resources.
Issues fixed in latest update
The Standard view interface, included in the latest version of Adobe Connect, addresses many issues users faced within the Classic view. If you are still using the Classic view, the meeting room will allow the users to join from the desktop application only. Please note that the Classic view interface is scheduled to be phased out, so we recommend downloading and using the Standard view moving forward.
If you are using a Mac computer, you may need to uninstall and reinstall Adobe Connect if the application does not prompt you to update.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Ultra Courses available to all instructors
All instructors are now able to opt in to Blackboard Ultra Courses by contacting the service desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ultra Courses have a cleaner, more modern design with easy-to-use workflows and powerful new tools. A special thanks goes out to our preview participants over the past year whose invaluable feedback helped us get Ultra Courses ready for broader adoption. Be on the lookout for January training opportunities.
Blackboard Ultra now integrates with Teams! One nice feature of this integration is that you can now create a Teams classroom space for your courses directly within Blackboard. If you do not plan on utilizing the Blackboard Ultra preview, you can request a Teams classroom space for your courses through OIT.
Save time on scheduling
Save time scheduling appointments with Microsoft Bookings, a free tool that integrates with your Outlook calendar and Microsoft Teams. Bookings allows you to provide a scheduling link to users inside and outside OHIO to schedule appointments with you, your department, or team within parameters you control. Popular features include options for remote or in person meetings; settings on how early or late an appointment can be booked, rescheduled or cancelled; and a scheduler role that allows you to delegate calendar management.
Teams has released a new security feature allowing meeting organizers to lock meetings. Once all participants have joined the meeting, you can lock the meeting to prevent anyone else, including invited attendees, from joining. In addition to this feature, Teams is an excellent resource for teaching hybrid courses. Check out this brief video on using Teams in a hybrid setting to learn more.
To see all the latest Teams updates, visit What's new in Microsoft Teams or type "/whatsnew" into the Teams search bar.
OHIO Testing Services
OHIO Testing Services is preparing to return to full capacity for on-campus proctoring for spring semester’s high stakes exams. All students with accommodated testing approved through Student Accessibility Services will continue to schedule with OHIO Testing Services.
Be on the lookout this spring for information from OIT regarding significant updates to the Proctortrack app.
Upgrade available in the new year
Panopto will undergo an upgrade in early January, including automatic archiving and improvements to the course copy process, email notifications, audio accessibility, and the mobile app. Blackboard Ultra Courses will also be able to accept student video assignment submissions. More details are available in the recent Panopto upgrade article.
Retiring of Virtual Classroom tool
Top Hat will be retiring their Virtual Classroom tool on Jan. 5. If you are currently using this tool, a Top Hat representative will reach out to you with alternative options.
Top Hat offers a variety of tools for in class and asynchronous engagement with students. Top Hat's polls, quizzes, assignments, and in-class discussion features are available for OHIO faculty who wish to leverage this centrally-supported and free-to-students tool for student attendance, student engagement or online course materials.
Turnitin and SafeAssign
Enhance Blackboard assignment submissions
Assignment submission in Blackboard can be enhanced by utilizing originality checking tools. These tools offer a simple solution to maintaining academic integrity on assignments. Check out our plagiarism detection digital toolbox to see if they’re right for you.
REDCap and Qualtrics
Survey tool options have expanded
REDCap, a survey tool ideal for collecting longitudinal data, data in community settings, or data for multi-site projects, has been added to OIT survey tool options. REDCap is a secure web-based survey tool that is available to all OHIO faculty, staff and students.
REDCap joins Qualtrics as another survey tool to offer a CAPTCHA option to prevent bots from responding to your surveys. Schedule a REDCap workshop or Qualtrics workshop to make your surveys the best they can be.
New features now available
In addition to percentage grading, you can now add point values to assignments.
Another new feature allows commenters to add slides to any VoiceThread, opening new opportunities for collaboration.
Ensure tool accessibility and security
If you are using a software or tool not centrally supported by OIT, even if the solution is free, donated or low cost, please submit an OHIO Technology Review Request to ensure that University data stored in the system is adequately protected and that all of your students can access and successfully use the tool.
Large classroom workshops
OIT is hosting multiple large classroom trainings for spring semester. Sign up for one of these workshops, offered during the week of Jan. 3, to familiarize yourself with the technology available in centrally scheduled large classrooms with a 99+ learner capacity. Additional training will be available in January for technology specific to Irvine 194/199 and Schoonover 450.
Upcoming vendor workshops
We are excited to offer vendor-led trainings the week of Jan. 3, 2022, in preparation for the spring semester. Training opportunities include Blackboard Ultra, Microsoft Teams, Panopto, Top Hat, and VoiceThread. These online trainings will be held in addition to our regular OIT technology trainings.
Classroom Help Hub
Get help fast
In an effort to address the need to access classroom help materials quickly, we have created a new QR code to connect you to our Classroom Help Hub.
Flyers containing the new QR code will be displayed on classroom lecterns where they can be easily located and scanned.
The Classroom Help Hub includes a list of technologies available in each centrally-managed classroom and troubleshooting guides for audio, hardware, and other common issues. You will also have access to the technology finder and contact information for additional help.
Update your device
Don’t ignore update reminders! Take time throughout the semester to download and install updates on your University-owned and personal devices. Consistent updates make your device secure and operate more efficiently.
Protect your data
Securing your data is vital to protecting both the University and yourself.
The Information Security Office has created standards to enable you to make the best decisions when storing data by type or storing data by solution. If you have questions about storing or sharing data, contact Information Security or schedule a consultation.
Still need help?
Visit the Tech Ready site for the most common semester-start tech topics for faculty and students. Use the Technology Help Center (help.ohio.edu) to open and track your help tickets online. Work is underway to add more useful help articles and other resources to the Technology Help Center throughout spring semester.
Need more hands-on help? Schedule a consultation with an OIT expert.