Wentworth’s new enterprise video platform selected

The LIT Advisory Committee and Video at Wentworth working group is pleased to announce that we have selected Panopto as the institution’s next enterprise video platform.

Panopto will replace both Kaltura and Echo 360.  The new system will be in full operation for the upcoming 2018 fall semester.

Training will be provided for all members of the campus community.  LIT will announce dates and times of planned training events.  You can also reach out to the LIT team via email at lit@wit.edu and schedule an individual training consultation.

Some of the key features of Panopto include the following:

  • A secure environment for hosting and sharing your video content
  • Easy to use software for recording video content and live streaming
  • A unique search engine for finding any word mentioned in any video
  • Complete integration with Wentworth’s Learning Management System

To learn more about this exciting new teaching and learning tool, we invite you to view the short video and contact a member of the Learning Innovation and Technology team to discuss ways you can integrate video into your course design.

From Atomic to Lynda: Finding Similar Content

The LIT Advisory Committee has been reviewing two products: Atomic and Lynda, two of our online learning platforms that provide on-demand video courses, to determine its volume and usage on campus. Through feedback and data analysis, our research shows that faculty have found Lynda more valuable in their teaching and learning.

Moving forward this year, the decision has been made to go exclusively go with Lynda and retire Atomic/Hoonuit in July 2018. 

LIT has been working with Lynda.com to map Atomic videos with similar content on Lynda.com. To find out if you have Atomic content in your courses, please use the tool below: (also available via this link)

If you would like to submit a request to help you find similar content based on what you’ve used with Atomic, please fill out the form via this link: Atomic Learning to Lynda/Linkedin Request

If you would like to replace video content on your own, please download this sheet to find direct links to similar content: Lynda Similar Content Spreadsheet

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email us at lit@wit.edu.

Enterprise Video Vendor Final Review

The LIT Advisory Committee and Video at Wentworth working group has narrowed the search for the institution’s next enterprise video solution to two finalists. They are: ilos and Panopto.

As part of the open process of selecting a new video solution, we invite and encourage you to participate in evaluating the two finalists.

Each vendor has made their final 1-hour presentations. If you are interested in participating in the review, please contact us at lit@wit.edu and we will provide you with links to the recorded presentations along with an Excel spreadsheet that we created to assist the review process. Thank you very much for your assistance, cooperation and participation in this process.

We respectfully ask that you complete your review by no later than Friday, April 6. At that time, we will need to make a decision on which vendor/product we will select.

Thank you very much to those that have already shared your feedback with us.

How to Engage Your Students Using PowerPoint

Most faculty use PowerPoint when they teach. But wouldn’t you like to create engaging PowerPoint slides? Create an engaged learning environment where every student can participate and have a voice? Using Top Hat Classroom allows instructors to sync their lectures slides with students’ devices so they can follow along in real-time.

Instructors can build in question slides into their PowerPoint presentations making the experience more engaging for students. You can even embed interactive polling questions between your slides to create seamless presentation aligned to your lecture. And best of all, these slides can be downloaded into Blackboard, allowing students to study at any time.

Top Hat tracks student performance and automatically assign grading weight to interactive questions, attendance, and participation all uploaded directly into the Top Hat grade book and Blackboard’s grade center.

LIT is working with a team of WIT faculty to pilot Top Hat in this summer semester 2018.  We will be testing Top Hat’s use during faculty lectures and assess its student engagement capabilities as well as determine student outcomes.  If you’re interested in participating in the summer program, please contact Ron Frattura at 617-989-4396.

To learn more about Top Hat and its features visit: https://tophat.com/classroom/

The Increasing Pace of Technology Change and Bb Learn Updates

Where did spring semester go? It seems we were just attending the start of semester Community meeting a few days ago and now final exams are looming. Just as the semesters seem to pass faster and faster, the pace of technological change seems to be increasing too. As you may have noticed with our implementation of Office 365, we’re seeing new features regularly not major upgrades. This change in the release of features is a function of the way the applications are delivered.  Many of the modern systems we use are licensed as Software as a Service (SaaS). One of the benefits of SaaS applications is the ease with which they can be updated with little or no downtime.

As we look forward to reviewing and replacing our LMS, we will also be faced with more frequent change. All the potential LMS’s that the LMS Task Force will be evaluating are SaaS solutions.  At present our managed hosted Blackboard instance must be taken out of service for up to 12 hours for an update or upgrade to be applied. In the SaaS environment, this is not the case, features are released SaaS applications at regular intervals. In the case of Blackboard and other LMS’s new features, or updates,  are released to the system every 3 to 4 weeks.

To help the community prepare for the increasing pace of change in the LMS realm, we will begin updating or upgrading Blackboard during each semester break until we migrate to our new LMS.

The tentative near-term schedule looks like this:

  • April  – update Building Blocks and cumulative update
  • August – upgrade to Bb Learn 9.1, Q4 2017
  • December – upgrade to Bb Learn 9.1 Q2 2018

In between these planned updates will come updates to address security or significant functionality fixes. As always, we will try to schedule the work during the pre-negotiated maintenance windows of Wednesday evenings between 8 – 10 PM for non-service impacting changes and Friday evenings between 8 PM and midnight for service impacting work. The exceptions to these will be for third-party vendors who schedule updates independent of Wentworth and for emergency maintenance.

As always, we will post announcements in Blackboard for updates and maintenance whether it interrupts service or not. For any work that we anticipate will impact Blackboard as a whole, we will send campus announcements and post within the Service Status system. For third-party vendor tool maintenance, we will announce in Blackboard and may, depending on the level of use of the tool we may also send a campus announcement.