Course Copy Best Practice

Copying a previous course is a great way to save time in preparing your course. However, copying can also create some problems. But with a few steps, you can streamline your course prep and have a fully functioning course.

Keep in mind when you copy a course, everything can be copied. That means all assignments, tests, discussions that appear to the students in the course as well as those that are visible only to the instructor. That can mean confusing due dates – they copy exactly from the previous offering, extra columns in the grade center and grades that don’t display properly.

LIT has prepared a checklist to help you through this process:

  1. Check Content, Revise/Replace Documents as needed. Make sure content is in the appropriate location. Consult your department for any specific requirements.
  2. Use Link Checker to Check all External Links
    Documentation for Link Checker: http://tinyurl.com/zsgz9s6
  3. Check all links embedded in content items – Link Checker does not check these links.
  4. Check YouTube and other Mashup Content, is the media still available? Choose replacements as needed. Check other third-party content like Atomic Learning and Lynda/Linked in videos, too. As we refine the academic technology toolkit, some tools may be replaced and content will also need to be replaced.
  5. Check Quizzes/Tests/Assignments – Revise/Replace as necessary.
  6. Revise and Replace Syllabus – Don’t leave a previous semester’s syllabus in your course. Please include the word “syllabus” in the name of the file and attach it in the content item’s “Attachments” section.
  7. Grade Center Clean-Up – Remove any unneeded columns (from quizzes/tests/assignments that have been removed) and make sure grade calculations include the correct columns/categories and weighting. If you are adding assignments, make sure the grades calculate properly. CPCE courses are based on 1000 points added assignments can inflate this value.
    Remove any grading Schemas not in use: https://wp.me/a68PO8-qu
  8. Run Date Management and correct due dates and release dates associated with items.
    Documentation for Date Management: http://tinyurl.com/z9p25gg
  9. Check to make sure settings on Discussion Forum are appropriate for your course and allow students to create new threads. We discourage allowing students to delete their own posts because most online and hybrid courses require students to reply to other students’ posts and deleting posts with replies could impact grades.

This information is available as a pdf.

Follow these steps and you’ll be off to a good start of the semester.

New Grade Schema not calculating correctly?

If you routinely copy courses in Blackboard, you may find that although we corrected the grading schema in all fall term courses in August, your grades may not display correctly when using the WIT grading schemas. You may have a schema with the old grade equivalencies.

How can you get the grades to display correctly? You’ll need to remove the old schema(s).

  1. Navigate to the course in Blackboard that has been copied (or where you notice the letter grades don’t seem correct).
  2. Open the Full Grade Center.
  3. In the Full Grade Center, select Grade Schemas from the Manage Menu.
  4. From the Grade Schemas action menu, select Edit for the Schema you want to examine.
  5. In the Edit Schema Menu, examine the settings and determine if the schema is the old or new schema and then change the name or enter a description indicating which schema is old. In the example below the description is modified. Do not modify the name of the correct schema, it must remain “WIT Undergrad Letter” so the Banner Grade Submit tool recognizes it. If you have a Graduate course, the “WIT Undergrad Letter” Schema must still be in place. Do Not Delete the current undergrad schema.
  6. Save the schema. Repeat for any additional schemas.
  7. Back on the Manage Schemas page, select Delete from the Grade Schema action menu to remove old schema from your course. Remove any schema named “Letter” these predate the Banner integration and are not correct.
  8. Now the Banner Grade Submit should correctly display letter grades.

Here’s a pdf containing the steps with illustrations.

Panopto’s Getting an Upgrade

Panopto is the institution’s new enterprise video platform, replacing Echo360 and Kaltura. Panopto will upgrade to version 6.0 Saturday December 15th between 7:00pm-11:00pm. During this time the site will be offline so you will not be able to access recordings and will receive a “server unable to connect” error message.

Check out the New Features on the way:

  • New analytics capabilities — Enhanced site-wide usage visualizations make it easier to track views, minutes delivered, and unique visitors. New folder roll-up visualizations provide deeper insights on folder and sub-folder usage. And new viewer engagement heatmaps make it easy to identify topics of interest or confusion by visualizing timestamped notes and discussions.
  • User interface updates — Your Panopto site now features a new collapsible navigation bar and resizable folder and system settings trays to improve site browsing and navigation.
  • IP whitelisting – Admins can now lock down the viewing and editing of certain folders or sessions by specifying a range of IP addresses under System..Network Access Rules.
  • Recycle Bin – Admins now have access to a recycle bin, where they can restore or permanently remove videos that have been deleted.

For more details about what’s new in Panopto 6.0, check out the live Panopto Webinars hosted by the Panopto training team on Tuesday December 11th, just click on the desired link to register for either webinar you are interested in attending:

Thinking of incorporating video into your courses? Here’s a taste of what Panopto offers and a LIT Panopto support site to prompt some ideas:

  • 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
  • Easy to use editing features
  • Create assignments for students to upload their own video submissions
  • Ability to caption videos
  • Adding quizzes, YouTube videos, PDFs, slides, etc. to the session
  • Integrates Discussions, Notes, and Bookmarks

As always, if you have any questions or are interested in learning more about creating videos, please email lit@wit.edu, call #617-989-5428, or drop by Annex Central 205.

Easy to Access Course Content

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.

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

  • Using Bb Learn? Join a pilot of a tool called Ally to scan your course content, get feedback on how accessible it is, learn how to make it even more accessible, and get support along the way. We’ll connect you to a test course to play with and enable Ally for your own course. The benefit to your students is being able to access your content using semantic html, audio, ePub, and electronic.
  • Interested in making more accessible Word documents? PowerPoint files? PDF files? Sign up for a training session and we’ll do our best to schedule them to fit your schedule.
  • Using videos that you’d like to caption? Contact LIT for captioning assistance.
  • Do you like self-help resources? Visit a webpage and LibraryGuide that provides just in time resources.

Learn more about accessibility at Wentworth:

Engineers are Adding Design Thinking to Their Courses

The First Year Engineering Program is undergoing a major course redesign to include 21st century knowledge and skills which are needed to meet the needs of the future job force are changing at an incredible rate.

Design Thinking, while not a new concept, is moving its way into the engineering realm. What is Design Thinking?  It is a process where inquiry and learning merge with engineering, putting a focus on empathy and human-centered design. Simply put, Design Thinking incorporates the end users’ needs, wants, goals, and motivation for their products into an overall design process.

Steve Chomyszak from Mechanical Engineering along with Ron Frattura Learning Innovation & Technology (LIT) have teamed up to design and develop a two-week design thinking module that all first-year engineering students will participate in spring 2019. The content for this module includes:

  • Define Critical thinking and creative thinking
  • Incorporate empathy in the design process
  • Identify your learning style and metacognitive skills
  • Build cooperative teams
  • Implement five-step design process

If you’d like more information, please contact:

Steve Chomyszak

chomyszaks@wit.edu

Ron Frattura

fratturar@wit.edu