As a member of our campus community, CSC faculty and staff have access to professional development resources offered via the Teaching & Learning Center’s subscription to Magna Publication’s online content. The site license purchased by the TLC allows CSC employees to access Magna’s 20-Minute Mentor Commons and to Magna Commons.
20-Minute Mentor Commons offers on-demand versions of Magna’s popular 20-Minute Mentor programs, covering a broad range of faculty development topics.
Magna Commons offers on-demand versions of Magna’s most popular Magna Online Seminars, covering a broad range of topics of interest to faculty & administrators.
Sign up and get started exploring and using these resources!
Follow the directions for How to Access Magna Commons and 20-Minute Mentor Commons and investigate all the topics available to assist you in re-energizing your teaching and learning efforts!
The Teaching & Learning Center staff is excited to introduce a new default template for CSC Online course sites scheduled to be included in all Fall 2018 Term courses. Using the features of the Lessons tool, the template is offered as an option to assist with efforts related to course design and may be particularly helpful for those inexperienced in online teaching or less familiar with ways to facilitate learning via design in online environments. We enthusiastically recommend it as a basic framework to guide in creating online courses that enhance the learning experience for CSC students.
Grounded in solid instructional design principles, the template provides clear and consistent structure and intuitive navigation. These elements work to create an intentionally inviting environment to improve the potential for student success. The tool aims to address, in whole or in part, several specific review standards of the Quality Matters rubric. Some features of the template include:
- a Guide to Online Learning at Chadron State College to provide students with consistent information and resources to reference for accessing technical support, academic success resources, student services, expectations associated with online learning, and more;
- an accessible CSC Syllabus template;
- a component to invite students into the course and help them to get started; and
- consistently formatted components, placeholders, and resources to aid instructors in structuring course units.
Getting Started with Using the Template
We invite you to become familiar with the first version of the template and experience the potential it offers to support course design in CSC Online. To take a test drive of the template:
- Join this demo of the template course site. Click “Yes” when prompted to join the site. Once you have joined the demo site, it will always be available in your Sites menu under Development.
- Navigate to the Welcome page of the course menu for specific instructions related to using the template.
- During your tour of the template, you will also find examples and instructions to assist in creating an accessible syllabus and in adding content to units organized in the Course Units page.
We welcome your constructive comments and suggestions regarding the instructions, examples, resources, and other aspects of the template. We appreciate your feedback focused on improving future iterations of the template.
If you are teaching Summer 2018 Term courses and are interested in using the template prior to the fall term rollout, send a request to email@example.com and identify the summer term courses for which you would like to use the template.
Register for the TLC Workshop Meet the New CSC Online Template to explore the features of the template and to take away some ideas to apply in structuring your courses. The workshop is scheduled for the following days and times:
Do you have conflicts with all of these session times? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to
request a time and day that will work for you!
The Teaching and Learning Center recently hosted Meetings in CSC Online: Latest Updates and Hands-on Work Session in partnership with Blindside Networks. The Meetings tool is based on BigBlueButton, the open-source, web conferencing platform originally created by Blindside Networks developers. The tool is focused on facilitating instructor-to-student and student-to-student interaction in online learning environments.
Tara McDonald of Blindside Networks provided a thorough overview of the latest features and functionality available within Meetings. The overview was conducted virtually and included remote attendees as well as a small group located in Admin 031 of the Teaching and Learning Center. Links to the 2 unique, hour-long event recordings and other workshop referenced material are included below.
Please contact the Teaching and Learning Center staff if you are interested in more information on how to use the Meetings Tool to increase engagement opportunities with students inside your courses. We encourage you to work with us to setup virtual practice sessions either individually or in small groups to further explore and develop skills in utilizing this online community-building platform.
The Teaching and Learning Center has recently added 14 new books to their current library. These books are readily available for you to check out from the Teaching & Learning Center Collection! Contact email@example.com if you are interested in doing some light reading. New books include:
On December 20th, 11am to 3pm, CSC Online will be upgraded from Sakai 10.5 to Sakai 11.4. This upgrade will bring CSC Online to the current version of Sakai which is supported by the developer community. Sakai 11 offers many exciting improvements for Chadron State College faculty and students.
Improvements in Sakai 11
- Mobile User Experience – Completely mobile friendly with no need to install an app. Students and faculty may use, access, prepare, and submit coursework using any major mobile browser. Learning on the go has never been easier for CSC Online students!
- Modern User Interface – Revamped user interface with a new modern look-and-feel.
- Lessons Tool Improvements – Many updates for all users, including responsive design for mobile devices and new page layout options.
- Content Package Import – Quickly migrate content from Modules to Lessons.
- Gradebook NG – A brand new Gradebook provides a new and efficient grading experience for faculty. Complete your grading directly in a spreadsheet style interface. The old Gradebook will continue to be available.
- Accessibility Compliance – Includes several updates fulfilling the most recent accessibility standards.
- Performance and Stability – 3000+ bug fixes and system improvements. Sakai 11.0 was released in July 2016, and 11.4 was released in June 2017 (11.4).
Learn More: Webinar – “What’s New in Sakai 11”
Learn More: Lessons Tool Workshop
In addition to the webinars, the TLC’s Elizabeth Ledbetter will conduct a hands-on TLC Workshop, Course Design Using Lessons in CSC Online focused on the Lessons tool. Learn how to effectively utilize the Lessons tool to organize your course content for enhanced teaching and learning. Participants will also learn how to use the new import functions to quickly migrate content from Modules (old lessons).
This workshop is offered:
- Tuesday, Nov 21 @ 2:00 – 3:00 pm: Register for this session
- Wednesday, Nov 22 @ 10:00 – 11:00 am: Register for this session
- Thursday, Nov 30 @ 3:30 – 4:30 pm: Register for this session
We are delighted to introduce you to Nicole Thramer, the newest member of the Teaching & Learning Center team. Nicole is our new Graduate Assistant and started her duties on August 29.
Nicole graduated from CSC’s business program in May and is currently pursuing her MBA. She has developed a strong work ethic through her previous job working at a 20,000-head feedlot and has gained valuable experience in building community and relationships as well as time management skills at her current job at the Ridgeview Country Club (RCC). If you spend time on the golf course, you may already be acquainted with Nicole in her work-related capacity at RCC or on the course since she enjoys getting out and honing her golfing skills as often as she can!
Nicole has returned to CSC to expand on her education and is interested in eventually applying the knowledge and skills she gains towards a career in the insurance or real estate industry. She has a keen interest in information technologies and hopes to learn as much as she can in her GA position to build her knowledge foundation in technology and instructional applications. Currently, Nicole is helping the TLC group track and document CSC-Online Sakai (and other technology-related) requests and inquiries, update Sharepoint and the TLC blog, and provide assistance with checking out items from the TLC equipment library.
Stop in to the TLC and introduce yourself to Nicole the next time you are in the vicinity of ADM 001. She can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 308.432.7068.
We Are All Teachers of Writing
Writing, writing, everywhere! 2017-18 is shaping up to be the “year of the pen” (or perhaps keyboard or touch pad), as there will be ample opportunities for our campus to engage and explore the culture of writing throughout the Chadron State College (CSC) community, in our classrooms and beyond. What role should writing—in all its varied form and focus—play in the high-impact learning, critical thinking, inquiry and creativity on our campus? Are we making the best use of these writing opportunities to help students engage their coursework in meaningful and purposeful ways?
This academic year, you will have an opportunity to explore this issue in four powerful ways:
- The Route 6×6 Challenge, a Teaching and Learning Center faculty seminar, offers an opportunity for faculty to reflect and write about their classroom experiences and to share their writing reflections with colleagues.
- Reflect & Refine: A Writing Workshop Focused on Pedagogy and Praxis, a Teaching & Learning Center workshop, introduces participants to the practice of using writing as an effective tool for instructor as well as student in supporting how we reflect upon our learning.
- The Writing Across the Curriculum Faculty Learning Community will be meeting for its second year to explore ways to integrate written communication throughout the disciplines at CSC.
- The 2017-18 Essential Studies Program (ESP) Institute, co-sponsored by the ESP Committee and the Teaching & Learning Center, is focused on the role of writing within our general education program at Chadron State College and how—in one way or another—all of us who teach at Chadron State are utilizing some element of writing in our classroom.
2017-18 ESP Institute
The 2017-18 ESP Institute sessions will take place during the 11:00 am meeting time devoted to essential studies, on the fifth Tuesday and/or Thursday of the month, throughout the academic year.
The 2017-18 ESP Institute schedule of meetings kicks off with a 2-part session in the first week of August:
Purpose-Driven Writing Assignments that Empower Both Students and Faculty
- Date: Tuesday, August 29
- Time: 11:00-noon
- Location: Lakota/Bordeaux Room (refreshments will be served)
- Description: Through a series of hands-on exercises and open forums, members of the Essential Studies Committee will help faculty across campus explore the role that writing plays in our courses, and how we can construct purposeful assignments that encourage meaningful responses from students.
NOTE: please complete the following survey prior to the meeting: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdPfaHqoWm3IZM147Pp4CuWUdG16cY9-zHaLljImGtC_gK_pw/viewform
- Date: Thursday, August 31
- Time: 11:00-noon
- Location: Lakota/Bordeaux Room (refreshments will be served)
- Description: Members of the Essential Studies Committee will lead a hands-on workshop during which faculty will fine-tune their assignments to encourage more meaningful writing from students.
- To Prepare for the Session:
- Please bring a copy of a writing assignment you use in your class to the session.
- Please read these short articles from Peer Review: New Frontiers in Writing (AAC&U–Winter, 2017):
Background of “We Are All Teachers of Writing”
As faculty coordinator for the Essential Studies Program for the past three years, I have witnessed this discussion evolve from within our general education program. Perhaps the largest issues relate to the philosophy of writing across the curriculum in the first place. As an essential skill that we all agree our students and instructors should take seriously, what role do we play from course to course in supporting and sustaining writing as a tool of thinking, exploration and expression? As an open-enrollment institution, CSC admits a large portion of students who are not prepared for our basic composition courses (at least as far as standardized test scores indicate). These numbers seem to be increasing, even as we have reduced our composition requirement from six hours to three, and eliminated the “information literacy” requirement for our students. The Essential Studies Program assumed that much of this work would be taken up THROUGHOUT the courses across campus, particularly in ESP (especially in FYI and CAP). Is this happening? Do we know? What is our current relationship with written communication across our curriculum at CSC?
The task force involved in planning these efforts determined that our first two sessions should focus on what kind of writing is being assigned in the Essential Studies Program, and how those assignments align with what research has shown to be the best practices in high-impact learning. Experts in the field argue that when we assign writing tasks with more purpose and meaning for both the student and the reader, we may have:
- Improved and more meaningful learning
- More purposeful and efficient grading
- More meaningful expression from students (find a voice that will carry over into their personal and professional lives)
- Reduced plagiarism
- Create clearer contexts for information literacy
- Help link/transfer between ESP and programs and disciplines
- Encourage student self-efficacy
- Align with the national conversation about best practices and current research in the field (resources in this area will be shared online)
The goal this fall is to engender both discussion of these best practices and ways to actually implement them in our classrooms—theory meeting practice. By the end of the semester we hope that faculty will have learned more about crafting effective writing assignments, responding to them in efficient and effective ways that promote learning, and how to handle issues related to plagiarism and academic dishonesty in the writing of our students.
Depending on the progress we make in the Fall, and with feedback from those who participate, the task force hopes to stage additional sessions that will cover more fully the role of writing within the Essential Studies program and beyond. Potential topics may include:
- How much writing is taking place across campus, and across course levels. What kinds of writing?
- How effective are CSC students at written communication at each level of their academic career? (What is the perception? What is the reality? Does CSC produce/graduate poor writers? What percentage? Is there a problem at all?)
- If there are large numbers of CSC students who are not “at level” with writing, how does this impact our coursework, and what we would like to do otherwise in classes?
- How should we USE writing in the non-writing classroom? How can writing complement or help with learning, thinking, creativity, etc… across the curriculum?
- How do we craft effective writing assignments (and how do we avoid POOR assignments)
- How much should we focus on mechanics/conventions vs. content?
- What is “correctness” when it comes to writing? Who decides?
- How is CSC dealing with PLAGIARISM and ACADEMIC DISHONESTY when it comes to written work? (and strategies to combat this?)
- How might we use resources like TURNITIN for both checking originality of submitted work, and returning effective feedback?
- What IS the role of feedback/commenting on student writing?
- How should we GRADE writing? (should we grade writing?)
- Issues related to writing in the ONLINE setting vs. FACE-TO-FACE
- Where we stand with INFORMATION LITERACY. Do CSC students graduate with sufficient knowledge in how to find reliable sources/evidence, document it according to a citation system, and the expectations/requirements of scholarly writing?
The CSC Online Meetings tool, also known as BigBlueButton, is a web-conferencing, synchronous learning platform created specifically for use in higher education. Over the summer months, the Teaching & Learning Center made the transition from a limited, campus-hosted instance of the Meetings tool to an instance hosted by Blindside Networks. Blindside Networks is a professional team comprised of BigBlueButton founders and active developers of this open-source, synchronous learning platform. As part of the hosting agreement with Blindside Networks, the Meetings tool will always be updated with the latest features and improvements in quality and reliability. The Meetings tool is ideal for building online community by interactively engaging with students, facilitating virtual office hours, and adding a rich-media experience within your online course.
The requirements to join or host a virtual meeting using the Meetings tool are relatively modest. A reliable, high-speed Internet connection is required to provide the best experience. Participants must have a reliable high-speed Internet connection to provide the best experience. They must also have a USB or integrated webcam to support live video sharing as well as earbuds or the use of a headset for the best possible audio experience and to minimize distractions. Common office document formats including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and PDF can be directly uploaded for presentation purposes within a meeting. Simple whiteboard and polling features can be incorporated to increase participant engagement.
One of the newly implemented features of the Meeting Tool is called “breakout rooms”. Breakout rooms provide the ability to easily separate a large virtual meeting of participants into several smaller groups. The meeting moderator then has the ability to join these individual groups as well as bring them back together as one large group. A similar analogy of the feature can be explained as an instructor moving around a classroom comprised of small discussion groups. Additional features include improved WebRTC audio available for all participants as well as improved screen sharing functionality.
Blindside Networks, in conjunction with the Teaching and Learning Center, will be offering a virtual professional development opportunity for the CSC Online Meeting tool (BigBlueButton) in October. This virtual event will provide an introduction to the platform, an overview of features, and a question-and-answer session. If you are interested in professional development opportunities to learn more about using the Meeting tool to support teaching and learning in your courses, please don’t hesitate to contact the Teaching and Learning Center. For a full list of BigBlueButton features and video tutorials, please visit the official BigBlueButton project page.
Increasingly, the TLC is focused on reporting emerging technologies and identifying professional development opportunities that enhance teaching and learning on our campus. As the TLC staff reviews technologies, we will hold informational seminars and invite faculty to participate in a testing and review process. To discuss training opportunities and/or suggest “new arrival” gadgets, please stop in for a visit or contact the TLC’s IT Analyst, Jereme Patterson (email@example.com or 308.432.6234).
On August 7th, 2017 CSC Online (Sakai) will switch to using CSC’s Single Sign On (SSO) authentication service. Prior to this date, CSC Online required a unique password. After August 7th, all faculty members, students, and staff will sign into CSC Online with their CSC Campus Credentials.
Campus credentials are used to sign into the following systems:
- Office365 (includes Email, Sharepoint, Skype for Business, Word Online)
- CSC Online (Sakai)
- Campus computers
*Tk20 username is email without @eagles.csc.edu
Instructions for Logging into CSC Online
2. Click the CSC Login button, which opens the CSC Single Sign On page.
3. Enter your full email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and password, then click the Sign In button. You will be redirected back to CSC Online as a logged in user.
Why did CSC make this change?
Teaching & Learning Technologies and Information Technology staff launched this project with the following 3 goals in mind:
- Improve the user experience for students, faculty and staff
- Increase the security of CSC’s technology systems and services
- Maintain a high level of service availability
Improve User Experience — based on help desk reporting, the most common support request are password-related issues. From the perspective of many students and incoming faculty, SSO is commonplace as many institutions have already implemented SSO policies and services. Adding CSC Online to the growing list of SSO-capable services is a step forward in creating a better experience for faculty and students to teach and learn with technology.
Increase Security — with SSO, the security of our user’s credentials and data is improved by enforcing password policies, and ensuring that all authentication is routed through CSC’s secure login service. Per security industry publications, single sign-on improves account security by eliminating areas a password can be compromised. It also allows users to choose one strong password for multiple services, rather than using multiple weak passwords which are easier to remember.
Maintain Service Availability – the most common arguments against implementing SSO for CSC Online is related to the availability of the LMS when the sign-on service is experiencing problems. In the past several years, many improvements have been made to increase the reliability of CSC’s login service by implementing connection redundancy and backups. Additionally, the technologies powering SSO have improved greatly.
Based on these 3 goals, this project has resulted in a great opportunity to improve the services supporting our student and faculty experiences at CSC.
Our campus-supported Vidyo system provides the opportunity to enhance teaching and learning both on and off campus. A significant advantage of using Vidyo for videoconferencing is the ease it offers to bringing in a remote speaker or presenter to a traditional classroom of students.
The best method for accomplishing this task is to use one of the existing ITV (Interactive Television) classroom locations. These classrooms are equipped with student microphones, cameras, and additional specialized equipment to facilitate active engagement among ALL participants and virtual guests.
Steps for Installing Vidyo & Inviting Guests to Join Meeting
Following are Vidyo installation steps as well as instructions for generating a Vidyo meeting invitation to email to guests:
1) Go to http://vportal.csc.edu to download the Vidyo client and follow the steps provided to install it. Administrative rights are ONLY necessary on Apple computers.
2) After installation, enter the VidyoPortal address (vportal.csc.edu) and your registered user account credentials.
3) After logging in, click on your name and select the “envelope” icon.
4) After clicking the “envelope” icon, a pre-populated email message (Vidyo Meeting Invitation) will display in your default email program. The message contains complete details instructing guests how to participate in the video conference.
Steps for Connecting ITV & Initiating Recording
Following are the basic steps necessary to connect an ITV classroom using Vidyo and to initiate the recording process:
1) Power on the ITV system using the wireless ITV control box (press and hold room power on/off button for 5 secs until equipment turns on).
2) Login to the classroom computer and login to the Vidyo desktop client (update if prompted or install Vidyo desktop client from http://vportal.csc.edu if necessary).
3) On the computer Vidyo client, click on your name and choose “connect to room.”
4) Inside the main Vidyo window, click on the “control meeting” icon to launch recording options in the browser.
5) Within the browser control meeting options, DISCONNECT YOURSELF from conference (red telephone icon).
6) Connect the ITV system EITHER by using the “book” function on the ITV control box (provided you are listed in the ITV system phonebook) OR by “adding room as a participant” using the control meeting interface.
7) ITV systems are designated with “03” as the search delimiter. Select the correct ITV room from the list and choose to “invite.”
8) Verify the ITV room has connected to your Vidyo account. You are now ready to record.
9) NOTE: It is critical to operate the meeting (mute/unmute, switch cameras, presentation mode, etc.) using ITV control system in order to produce a successful recording.
If you would like to learn more about using Vidyo and/or have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Teaching and Learning Center at email@example.com.
Increasingly, the TLC will focus its efforts on reporting emerging technologies that enhance teaching and learning. As we review technologies within the TLC, we will hold informational seminars and invite faculty to participate in a testing and review process. To discuss and/or suggest “new arrival” gadgets, please stop in for a visit or contact the TLC’s IT Analyst, Jereme Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org or 308.432.6234).