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Archive for August, 2011

Oncourse Tests & Surveys tool: Set it up

Oncourse’s Tests & Surveys tool lets instructors change a wide variety of settings in the assessments they create. Students should pay attention to these options too, as different settings might change their test-taking strategies.

Under Settings, instructors can specify delivery dates for their assessments, including whether or not to accept late submissions. In addition they can add a time limit, and add feedback (for specific responses, or for the assessment as a whole). They can even allow students to respond anonymously, or choose to hide students’ names from the person grading a test (such as a course assistant). Two settings in particular can be exploited for pedagogical purposes: Assessment Organization and Mark for Review.

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Oncourse is your new best friend

Oncourse, the open source learning management system that is used by IU, was created right here – and is constantly being revised, tweaked, and improved.  (Technically Oncourse is our version of Sakai).  Oncourse provides a place for collaboration and learning for faculty and students.

Every course taught at IU automatically gets an Oncourse site. The following tools are immediately available:

  • Home, where instructors post an introduction to their course. The Home tool also displays the most recent announcements, and whether or not there are new messages.
  • Announcements, useful for keeping site members up-to-date on assignments and other events
  • Assignments, for posting homework and other tasks. You can associate them with the Gradebook automatically, and choose to post an announcement when they come available.
  • CourseNetworking (beta), an external tool that encourages social interaction among classmates and others who study similar subjects.
  • Gradebook, where to record and calculate grades.
  • Library Resources, an interactive page connected to the university library.
  • Messages, an internal email system for each site than can be connected to its members’ IU email address, or automatically forwarded to any outside email address, as desired.
  • Performance Roster, a way for instructors to submit information about students’ performance in their classes.
  • Resources, a place to post documents and links related to course content.
  • Roster, which shows a list of site members (students, instructors, course assistants, and others). There’s even a roster version with everyone’s official ID photo for those of us with memory issues.
  • SIS Grade Roster, a quick way to officially post grades.
  • Site Setup, the only tool that can’t be deleted, which allows site owners (usually instructors) to change what tools are visible, who can access the site, and how basic info is displayed.
  • Syllabus, where you can post a copy of your course syllabus, as text or as an attachment.

These are by no means the only tools at your disposal, however – there are many more.  Some additional tools that might be useful:

  • Web Content, which allows you to list links to other web sites that will be listed among the tools on the left of the screen.  You can add multiple links this way.
  • Forums, a discussion board
  • Chat Room, for live chat between students – with or without the instructor
  • Presentations, a tool that helps students create learning and showcase portfolios
  • Tests & Surveys, for creating assessments

There are many more tools available that might serve your needs.  For more details on how to use Oncourse, watch our short feature demo movies and read the PDF Least You Need to Know documents, or click the blue question  marks sprinkled liberally throughout the workspace.  Watch this blog for tips and tricks to make the most of your Oncourse experience!

it2go – Episode 19 – The IT Training Conference

We’re back!

On this week’s episode we’re talking about the IT Training Conference being held on September 28th. You can sign up for individual sessions or a full day! Lunch is included for those who sign up for a full day.

Check out the schedule here:

IT Training Conference Schedule

And listen to the episode here:

Episode 19 – The IT Training Conference

You can register by calling us at 812-855-7383 or emailing us at

Modifying Shapes with the Pen Tool

Let’s begin by drawing a triangle.

In the tools panel on the left side of the screen, press and hold on the rectangle tool. Illustrator has a unique feature that allows you to “tear off” a menu and have it open while you work. As you are holding down your left-mouse button, glide your cursor to the right until it is on the small bar with the black triangle. When you let go of your mouse button, this is what you will see:










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Join us for the Statewide IT Training Pre-Conference September 28th

IT Training is holding a full day of free training on September 28th as part of the Statewide IT Conference. We’ll be offering training on SharePoint, Unicom, Microsoft Project, Digital Magazine Publishing, HTML5 and more. Also, participants that sign up for a full day of training will be served lunch, free of charge.

You can see the full schedule here along with information on registering.

Our conference is open to everyone. If you’d like to register for our conference, you can contact us directly by calling 812-855-7383, or emailing

We hope to see you there!

Sharepoint 2010: Getting Started at Indiana University

Indiana University has recently introduced a university-wide Sharepoint service. Sharepoint is a document storage and sharing solution, that includes many features to help you work with colleagues and classmates. It is available now to Faculty, Staff and Grad Students. The video below is designed to help you get started with the service:

Video: Sharepoint 2010: Getting Started at Indiana University

You can get more information about the service at:

Creating an animated Gif in Photoshop CS5

There are many different ways and programs you can use to go about creating a fun and interesting animated gif for the web. For this tutorial I will show you one quick and easy way to create an animated gif using Photoshop CS5. I am working on a Mac, but a PC will do just the same.

You can check out a preview of what the completed animated gif can look like by visiting this link. Keep in mind, this is a web page I designed to showcase the animated gif created for this specific tutorial. Uploading your completed animated gif directly to the web will not result in the animation being centered on the web page.

a series of images

To begin with, I used Photoshop to create a series of images of which I kept in one folder. These images will act as the states for my animated gif. It is not necessary to use Photoshop to do this. You can create an animated gif with a series of photographs or a group of illustrations created in Illustrator in much the same way. Really, as long as you can open your files with Photoshop, you can create an animated gif out of virtually anything. The important thing to note is that each layer, or state, should be the same dimensions and resolution and will need to have something different, whether that change is slight or dramatic.

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