Make course content easier to access!

Wouldn’t it be great if all of your students could easily access your course content in the ways that best fit how they learn? With a little effort and assistance, you can design your content so it can be read, listened to, and watched using different kinds of devices. This helps students who use assistive technology, commute, like to listen to content while doing something else, and are not native English speakers. The end result is the ability to learn anytime, anywhere.accessibility image

Sign me up you say? Awesome, here’s how to get involved!

Learn more about accessibility at Wentworth:

  • We know approximately 12% of Wentworth students disclose a diagnosed disability that is most likely invisible ( i.e learning, developmental, and psychiatric disabilities) and it is safe to assume many more students with diagnosed disabilities do not disclose due to concerns around stigma, it is essential that accessibility is built into course materials from the ground up. Learning about Universal Design for Learning is a great place to start!
  • Accessible Digital Content:  Wentworth is committed to continuous progress towards digital accessibility.  This fall continues the implementation of Ally, a tool in Bb Learn that scans content, provides feedback on how accessible the content is, gives tips on how to make improvements, and allows users to download more accessible versions of the content. Rollout continues in the Fall so join in and get involved!
  • Learn how to enhance student success using transparency in assignment purpose, task, and criteria   Increase student’s success!
  • Check out Ensuring Accessibility needs in our technology use to learn more about making accessible PDFs.
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology is committed to creating and fostering a working and learning environment where all members of the community can thrive.  To that end, we seek to provide you with the knowledge and resources to contribute to a community free from discrimination and violence.As a member of the Wentworth community, it is a priority for you to complete the Accommodating Disabilities self-paced training through Everfi.

Why Flip Your Classroom?

Can’t seem to cover all the material you need to in class? Just not enough time to have the needed discussion in class to prompt deeper learning.  Well, you’re not alone.

So, how can you make the most out of a 50 or 75-minute lecture?  “Flip” your class. Have your students view the material or participate in discussions before coming to class. Then, students come to class and work in groups (or as a class) to discuss and ask specific questions about what they had done the previous night. The “homework” part of the day now occurs in the classroom, and direct feedback from the instructor can meet each student exactly where they are in the educational process.

The lecture now occurs at home. The part that students really struggle with–analyzing, evaluating, and creating-can be done with the instructor in class. Now, your students have the time to practice deeper thinking and learning while developing their skills and knowledge. In a flipped classroom model, students can review material at any time. When they are preparing for a test or need to review old material, they can find the lesson online.

Read More….

 

Camtasia now available via LIT Loaner Laptop Initiative

Camtasia Studio logo

TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio

LIT has updated our internal process of making available Camtasia licenses to Wentworth faculty and staff.

What is Camtasia?

For those not familiar with the product, Camtasia is a powerful, yet easy to use software application used for creating video tutorials & presentations directly via screen-cast.  It is available for both Windows & Mac users.

Why Use Camtasia?

Camtasia is easy to use and it looks professional.  It offers Picture in Picture (PiP).  I It offers multiple audio and video tracks.  It has many features in the interface that makes creating screen videos and processing them.  You can choose to record your entire screen or only a portion of it that you preset before recording begins .

When you finish recording your screen, you can utilize various tools included in the program to complete your video.  These contain multiple Transition Options , Voice Narration , a Zoom and Pan effect , Cursor Effects , Captions , Quizzing & more.  You can also use built-in tools to enhance and improve the audio quality of your voice recording . It can export in many different file types.  You can upload your final Camtasia product into Panopto and make it available for your students to view.

I’m interested.  Tell me more…

Instead of giving individuals licenses of software to install on their work computers indefinitely, we are now installing the software on university-owned laptops and loaning the laptops to faculty and staff needing to use Camtasia for institution projects.

This change allows us to make better use of the licenses that we purchase, so that we can accommodate a broader audience.  In addition, it allows us to purchase annual upgrades of the software, so that we support the most current version of the product.

With the loaner laptop, we recommend that you save all work (Camtasia project files, project asset files, etc) on Office 365 in a folder that you are able to access, so that you have copies of your work.  Please do not leave project files on the loaner equipment when you return the equipment.

The LIT loan policy is consistent with the policy already established by DTS Tech Spot in that we loan equipment for a two week time period.  However, if you need a laptop for a longer period of time while you are working on your project, we should be able to accommodate you.  Please keep in mind that we only have 10 loaner laptops available, and to be fair to everyone they are available for loan on a first come, first served basis.

We currently have 10 licenses of Camtasia 2019 installed on the university-owned laptops.

If you are interested in learning more about Camtasia or using it for a project, please contact us (lit@wit.edu) and we can make arrangements to demonstrate the software and check out a loaner laptop to you.

As always, we look forward to working with you.

LMS Review – RFP released and other news

As you know Wentworth is exploring replacing our LMS (currently Blackboard). This past academic year the LMS Taskforce explored how Blackboard was being used at Wentworth and what the community felt were benefits and short-comings of the system. We’ve prepared a report analyzing the results of surveys, focus groups (open forums) and data from Blackboard’s database. In addition, requirements gathering and use cases were developed over the course of the spring term in parallel with the preparation of a request for proposals (RFP).

The RFP was released to vendors on Friday, May 31, 2019. Vendors have until Friday, June 28 to respond with proposals. Over the summer the LMS Taskforce will meet hold preliminary meetings with each vendor to help them prepare for on-campus meetings in the fall. During the on-campus meetings, each vendor will make several presentations to various stakeholder groups and meet with technical staff to discuss how their solution will integrate with current and planned technologies used by Wentworth.

In addition to planning and releasing the RFP to vendors, the LMS Taskforce will be preparing a SharePoint site viewable by all members of the Wentworth Community. The site will be a repository for the RFP, reports, proposals and our evaluation rubric. We are asking that all vendor presentations be recorded and links to these session recordings will be available from this site. Look for this site in SharePoint later this summer.

In the fall, look for announcements of the vendor presentations and please participate. The feedback that the community provides is critical in selecting the best LMS for Wentworth.

Lynda Learning is becoming LinkedIn Learning

If you use Lynda Learning through Wentworth you will see a change at the end of August. We will be upgrading Lynda Learning to LinkedIn Learning during the period between terms.

While the content will remain the same or similar the interface will be updated. When you log in after the upgrade, you will have the option to link to your LinkedIn account. If you link your account,  you will see course recommendations based on your LinkedIn Profile contents. In addition, when you complete courses you will be able to share this information on your LinkedIn profile.

For instructors using Lynda Learning content in Blackboard courses, links will need to be updated. Although LinkedIn is planning on having content redirects in place through the end of this year, instructors who copy content from term to term will need to update to the new URLs. We will proactively query Blackboard and find out what content is being used and request new URLs from LinkedIn so that we can work with instructors to update the links.

More information to come as we progress on this project.