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Archive for the 'Oncourse' Category

Hurry up with your Canvas migration. It is easy!

Oncourse becomes retired on August 30, 2016. If you haven’t moved your Oncourse data by then, you may be making much more work for yourself than you need to. The Canvas Migration Tool should be used by February 2017. Best feature about the migration tool is that it puts a copy of your migrated data in Canvas, leaving the Oncourse version still available.

I’m an adjunct instructor for SPEA, and wanted to move my own course data from Oncourse into Canvas. Allow me share my own experiences, and the resources that were most valuable to me, as I migrated my own course data. Overall, I found the process to be very well documented, and easy to perform.

Read the rest of “Hurry up with your Canvas migration. It is easy!” »

The next phase of Next.IU – Video Solutions

Do you use video with your class? Have you been waiting for a tool that makes it easier to pull it all together? This fall 2014, we will pilot various video management tools as part of Next.IU (the ongoing investigation into next-generation learning technologies at Indiana University).

Use audio-visual materials like video to capture the attention of your learners, increase motivation, and enhance the learning experience. Plus, today’s learners are not just sitting on the sidelines – they are creating their own videos too.

Ensemble Video and Kaltura SaaS are flexible software programs that offer easy-to-use tools to publish and share video content via an online, on-demand video library. Both tools have a site activity feature that lets you see how students are using your content. There are even ways to get captions encoded into your videos!

Meanwhile, our new learning management system, Canvas, also has the ability to upload video anywhere you see the rich text editor – you can even record video while grading to provide feedback for your students.

If you want to sign up to participate in the video management pilot for Ensemble or Kaltura, visit the Next.IU site and complete the form. For the field, “Reason for contact,” select “I would like to participate in the Video Management pilot.”

If you want to learn more, you can ask us here, or use the Contact Us form at Next.IU.

Need training for your class? Request it!

It can be hard to teach effectively if your students don’t have the basic technology skills they need.

Did you know that IT Training can provide workshops specifically for your class? All you need to do is ask. Most of our workshops are available for special request, which means we can teach your class (or any group of 10 or more IU faculty/staff/students) either in our classroom, online, or in another location that will accommodate your group. How much does it cost? Nothing!

Just go to at least 3 weeks ahead of time, and start by choosing your desired workshop from the drop-down list. Options include Microsoft Office tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access; Adobe software like Photoshop, InDesign and Dreamweaver; Web skills like page design and HTML/CSS; and much, much more. We can even help your students create ePortfolios in Oncourse, or get them oriented to our new learning management system, Canvas.

If your class or group needs a training workshop, request it and we’ll offer it just for you.


it2go Episode 66 – Welcome Week Workshops

On this week’s episode, we’re talking about some of the Welcome Week Workshops we’re hosting online and in classrooms at IT Training the week of August 26th. Join us!

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The (too) long path home

I’ve encountered a problem I never thought I’d have: I’m too organized.

No one looking at my office (or my house) would suspect it, but all of my computer files are very neatly stored and nested, sub-folder within sub-folder. My virtual desktop is almost completely empty, save a few shortcuts. Any time I see two or more files in a folder that have something in common, I make a new sub-folder and drop them in.

As I’ve transitioned to paperless grading in Oncourse, particularly for my Spanish composition class, I’ve run across “Destination path too long” errors that baffled me. In Assignments 2, I make regular use of the “Download All” option, so that I can grade all of my students’ submissions for a particular assignment at once.

Screenshot of the Download All option in Assignments 2Oncourse is also hyper-organized (evidently we have this in common), so the zipped file that I save to my computer has a very detailed name:

Obviously in real life most of those come out shorter. Here’s a more true-to-life example inspired by my class.

Read the rest of “The (too) long path home” »

Oncourse Assignments: No more paper cuts!

A few years ago I made the decision to stop grading papers. This might come as a bit of a surprise to my Spanish students, as they still have to do homework and write research papers. What I really did was come to the conclusion that I was done with paper. I was spending way too much time trying to keep track of who had turned in which assignment, when they turned it in, whether or not I had handed it back or recorded the grade… and let’s face it, handwriting skills are not universally emphasized anymore. (Frankly, that goes for me, too – my poor students have had trouble for years deciphering my scrawl). I was done with it all. I went digital.

I became a very heavy user of Oncourse’s Assignments tool, in all of its incarnations. The current version has several features that have made my transition to purely digital assignments much easier. Read the rest of “Oncourse Assignments: No more paper cuts!” »

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.

Read the rest of “Oncourse Tests & Surveys tool: Set it up” »

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!

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