Technology For Professors - Users Guide 2019

Technology for Professors

A Users Guide

for

Eckerd College

April 29, 2019

Introduction

Hope you find this Users Guide helpful when using technology in your courses. It is designed so that you can quickly jump to the section that will provide help in doing what you want to do at a particular time, so it is not necessarily written for people who want to read a document from start to finish. Hope the “Table of Contents” is useful, but the following outline may be helpful as well.

Part I – Changes and information for co-location. If the campus is closed due to an emergency, the Eckerd College web sites will be provided by our co-location site. All of the technologies mentioned in other parts of this document (except for Part IV, the technology in the classroom) will be available and for almost all of these, you will not notice any difference. If there are any differences, these differences have been noted when that technology was discussed. However, in this section, all of these changes (or lack of changes) are noted.

Part II – The Online Course Materials Website (Moodle):

The College requires that you should post materials or links to the Online Course Materials website (Moodle) each year and require students to access these materials. The Moodle program runs the Course Materials website and there are excellent help resources as part of this program. There are separate documents that explain how to get started, provide help with some of the utilities that professors use the most, and provide answers to the questions that have been asked by professors. This section describes why this is important, what parts of this site will update automatically, what topics are covered, and where these separate documents are located.

Part III – There are a few things that you may want to do that are not provided by the Moodle program which runs the Course Materials site. Part III describes why you might want to use these resources and how to use them. This section explains how to:

  • Use Google Docs and Google Apps
  • Restrict access to posted materials

Part IV – Using Technology in the classroom. This section describes how to use the data projector, the instructor’s computer, the DVD/VHS player, and your own laptop in the classroom.

 

If anything is confusing, not clear, or left out of this document, please give Sun feedback so he can revise this document and make it more useful for you and others.

 

Feng Sun, Director of Instructional Technology, Eckerd College, (727) 864-7620

sunf@eckerd.edu

 

 

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Part I: Co-location

I. A. What is co-location?

I. B. What is unchanged during co-location?

I. C. What will be available but changed during co-location?

I. D. What will be unavailable during co-location?

Part II: The Online Course Material website (Moodle):

II. A. Overview of the Online Course Material website.

  • What is the Online Course Materials web site
  • What is new in Moodle for 2018?
  • How do I and my students get to the Moodle Courses site?

II.B Moodle Courses Help and Users Guide

Basic Information

Posting documents, managing files and folders, making files and folders available to students.

Controlling access to my course

Activities, Resources, Settings

Grades

II. C. Why Post Materials?

  • What Kind of Documents should be Posted?
  • Why post more than a syllabus, i.e., class notes, handouts, assignments, etc.?

II. D. Why Use the Moodle Courses web site?

II. E. Are some of the Moodle Courses links controlled automatically?.......................10

Part III Other Programs

III. A. Google Docs and Google Groups

  • Why Use Google Docs, Google Drive, and Google Groups?
  • How do I get to Google Docs/Drive?
  • Who can see my documents?
  • Who are in Google groups and what are they?
  • Who can send email messages to Google Groups?
  • What kind of Documents can be used in Google Docs?
  • What other resources does Google make available?
  • Is Google a safe place to keep documents?
  • Where do I find out more about Google docs?

III. B. Restricting Access to Posted Materials

  • Who can see Posted Materials?
  • Can I Restrict Access to Material I Post on the academics.eckerd.edu Server?

III. C. Using Warmup or Pre-Class Questions -- Why and How?

  • Why use Warmup or Pre-Class Questions?
  • How do I Post Warmup or Pre-Class questions using the Moodle utilities?

III. D.  Using In-class polling – Why and How?5

          Why Use In-class Polling?5

  • What programs are available for in-class polling?5
  • Where are Users Manuals for these Programs?5
  • Who are using these programs?5

Part IV: Technology in the Classroom6


 

Part I: Co-location

 

If the campus closes because of a hurricane or other emergency, the resources mentioned in this document are still available, although a small change has to be made in a special case or two as mentioned below.

I. A. What is co-location?

Under ordinary conditions the computers (usually called servers) on the main Eckerd College campus are needed to provide many of the technologies described in this document. Most of the information on these servers is constantly replicated, moment by moment, on servers located at another site. If the computers on the main campus have to be shut down due to a hurricane or other emergency, a procedure has been set up so that the servers at the other site can take over almost all of the functions of the servers on the main campus. It takes at least an hour for ITS to complete this “switch” and users may need to close a page in their browser or other connections to the Eckerd College computers so that the switch can be made.  But once the switch is completed, you and other users will not notice a difference; the co-located Eckerd web sites will function normally.  People who go to the page at http://www.eckerd.edu, for example, will still see the same web sites.

I. B. What is unchanged during co-location?

You can obtain complete, current information as to which technologies and websites are co-located at this website https://sites.google.com/eckerd.edu/its-reborn/bcdr

 Here is a brief summary. As far as you, your students, or anyone else is concerned, there will be no difference in the way you use any of the following resources:

 

Also functioning normally will be any other information obtained from links from the MyEckerd site, including Residential and Student Information, class rosters, on-line posting of grades, class schedules, etc., as well as any information posted at web addresses given above respectively.

I. C. What will be available but changed during co-location?

  • During co-location, we recommend that you use the “remote desktop” utility. (This is also very useful when you are working from home, even if the campus is not closed.) We strongly recommend that you try this out from home when the campus is not closed. To try this out, please go to https://sslvpn.eckerd.edu and log in using your regular email user name and password. Once you have installed the required program and have logged in, you will find an icon linking you to remote desktop. Instructions for using this utility can be found at

https://sites.google.com/eckerd.edu/its-activedirectory/remotedesktop?authuser=0

  • If you have hidden materials in Moodle that are to be used when the campus is closed, be sure to go to Moodle and “unhide” these materials.
  • Material that is already posted in the CMS system will be available but no one will be able to change this information while the campus is closed.

 

I. D. What will be unavailable during co-location?

 

  • Access to prior terms in the Online Course Materials site (Moodle). During co-location, access is only provided for the Online Course Materials site (Moodle) for the current term.
  • Anti-virus updates will not be done automatically from the central Eckerd ITS system. We recommend that you have the Sophos anti-virus software on your computer. (It should already be installed on any Eckerd computer.) If it is properly installed, it will continue to protect you from current viruses. In an extended outage, we will try to provide updates so that the program will provide up-to-date protection.
  • Some technologies not mentioned in this document, such as on-campus printing, will not be available. If the electricity to Brown (where the campus phone switch is located) is off, access to office telephone service (to obtain voice messages, etc.) is expected to be unavailable.
  • Other technologies that impact other groups will not be available. For a complete list please go to https://sites.google.com/eckerd.edu/its-reborn/bcdr

 


Part II: The Online Course Material website (Moodle):

The site where students access posted materials and other online resources

II. A. Overview of the Online Course Material website.

·        What is the Online Course Materials web site

We have created the Online Course Materials (Moodle) web site, (http://moodle.eckerd.edu or http://my.eckerd.edu/ and click on the Moodle Courses link), as the one place for students to go to get access to the material that you have posted or participate in the activities that you have specified. It provides a one-stop location where students can go to easily access any electronic information related to any Eckerd course.

You should post most of your documents (syllabi, handouts, schedules, electronic notices, photos, etc.) here. You should post links to on-line resources here. Most of the electronic activities that students do (electronic chats, discussions, collaborate in wikis, turn in assignments electronically, take on-line quizzes, etc.) will be done at this site.  If you want to post resources somewhere else or want to use resources that are provided somewhere else, please provide links to these resources at this site. This is a good place to have your class materials stored, backed up, and archived for several years. It is not required that you store materials at this site or use the utilities here; however, if you have material or utilities that students should access at other sites, you must provide links to those sites here.

·        What is new in Moodle for 2019?

The way to post documents has changed slightly. This is explained in the Moodle documentation below. The look has changed so that the default color scheme matches the new Eckerd College web site look and Moodle looks better and is easier to navigate with small mobile devices. The link that allows you to view a course as a student would view it has been moved from the upper right corner to the lower left. Some of you add people as auditing students in your course. The link to “Assign Roles” that used to be in the lower left (Administration) box is now gone, but there is a link to “Users,” and the “Enrolled Users” link under “Users” that provides the same utility. The maximum size for files that you upload has been increased to 800 MB. This should make it easier for you to copy courses from one semester to another and to post PowerPoints that have lots of pictures.  (If you have trouble copying a course from one semester to another please let me know and I can help you or do it for you.)

·        How do I and my students get to the Moodle Courses site?

You and your students should go to the MyEckerd page (http://my.eckerd.edu) and click on the Moodle Courses link button in the blue bar at the top of the page. That link will take you to the site for the courses taught in the current term. If you want to access courses from Prior Terms, click on the “Prior Term” link at the top left of the page. You may have to log in to the site and this will require your Eckerd College email user name and password.

When you or your students enter the site, the first page displays the courses in which you or they are participants. If you click on a course title, you will get to the course site.

 

II.B Moodle Courses Help and Users Guide

Within the Moodle program there are excellent help resources. In addition, an instructional technology web site has been created. Lots of Moodle tutorial documents has been posted there including this “Technology4Professors – A Users Guide ”.

 

This entire document is available at the following locations in the following formats:

Web page version (this loads fastest), MS Word version, and PDF version.

In this site, it provides all of this information in individual blocks dealing with each topic. This site is at: http://academics.eckerd.edu/moodle_perm/course/view.php?id=4%2F

and the subtopics are:

Basic Information
Posting documents, managing files and folders, making files and folders available to students.
Controlling access to my course
Activities, Resources, Settings
Grades

II. C. Why Post Materials?

People get information from the Internet. By posting materials for students – syllabi, class notes, handouts, assignments, electronic documents, web resources, etc. – you can use the Internet to provide the information and allow more time for discussion and interaction in class. These posted materials can be deleted, updated, and/or augmented at any time from any geographical location. Students can access these materials from any place (even if the campus is closed due to a hurricane).

The Moodle Courses site also allows you and your students to interact through the posted materials as you require them to submit assignments electronically, answer on-line quizzes, participate in chat or discussions, and do in-class polling.

You can post material for your current classes by using the “Drag and Drop” method described in the information at what is the easiest way to add files to a course site?

·        What Kind of Documents should be Posted?

You can post any kind of document and people can see that the document is posted. However, for people to see what is in the document, they must have a program on their computer that can “read” the document. Usually this is no problem with web pages or pictures and most people have a free program on their computer that allows them to read PDF files. However, if you post a PowerPoint, Word, Excel, picture, audio, and video, etc. document, some students will not be able to read the posted document. Most students have a program that can read MSWord documents, but few students will be able to read other word processing documents unless they are saved as MSWord or text documents.

·        Why post more than a syllabus, i.e., class notes, handouts, assignments, etc.?

Professors often post notes from class or other handouts. These may provide students with valuable resources for preparing for class or lab, for reviewing what happened in class, for giving access to work by peers, etc.

 

  • What about posting materials that are only used when the campus is closed?

When the campus is closed it is especially important that you post materials so that you can continue to deliver your courses. Some professors prepare materials that will only be used in such an emergency and they don’t want students to see these materials. The Moodle program allows you to hide posted material, and you will need to remember to “unhide” these materials if you want these materials used when the campus is closed.

 

II. D. Why Use the Moodle Courses web site?

Once you have posted something, students can find it at the Moodle Courses web site by going to the MyEckerd web site (http://my.eckerd.edu/ ) and click on the Moodle Courses link. This can be done from anywhere in the world.

You can also go there to verify what students will see and/or to examine material posted by other professors. Material from prior semesters can be accessed also.

 


Part III Other Programs

Or Different Things for Different People

III. A. Google Docs and Google Groups

·        Why Use Google Docs, Google Drive, and Google Groups?

Every member of the Eckerd College community now has access to these Google resources through their email account at Eckerd. These resources allow people to store documents securely and share and collaborate with others. Documents stored here do not take up space on our server and are available, without interruption, if the campus needs to be closed. The Google sites and utilities offer so many resources that only a few can be mentioned here.

·        How do I get to Google Docs/Drive?

Go to the Eckerd College Gmail site (http://gmail.eckerd.edu) and log in. At the top, to the right of your name, there will be an icon that looks like a tick-tack-toe game (3 x 3 little squares). If you click on this you will see Mail, Calendar, Drive, Sites, Search, Google+ and more. If you click on Drive the list of documents that you have created and posted in Google will appear along with all the documents that have been shared with you. You can click on any document to view it. These documents are not on your computer but are on the Google site and you can access them from any computer anywhere as long as you remember your user name and password. You can save documents to your computer if you wish, and you have several options for doing this. One handy thing: If the document is a PDF document (which is a document that you can’t edit without a special program) you can save it to your computer as a text file and you will be able to read the text in the file. Google does a pretty good job at reading (it is called OCP=optical character recognition) and converting what is scanned. For the help of Google Drive, you may find help at this site https://support.google.com/drive/?hl=en#topic=14940

·        Who can see my documents?

The default setting is to allow you and only you to see the documents. However, you change this by clicking into the check box in front of a document and then clicking on the little “Share” icon at the to of the list of documents. You can share allowing others to view only or to both view and edit. You can share with the entire Eckerd community, with only specific people, and/or with groups of people.

·        Who are in Google groups and what are they?

You are in several Google groups if you teach classes. You can create your own Google groups which you can manage. You can add and remove people from any group that you manage. Every class in the current term is a Google group and each instructor in the class is the manager for that group. If you are in Google Mail or Google Documents, you can click on the “tick-tack-toe” icon at the top of the page to the right of your name and select “Groups” from the drop down menu. You will see all the groups to which you currently belong. Each group has an email alias and a message can be sent to every member of the group by sending the message to the alias. However, the person sending the message doesn’t receive a copy of the message, although the copy will be in her or his “Sent” folder. If you click on a group you will see all the email messages that have been sent to the group. If you click on the “Members” link on the right side you will see the list of members in the group. If you are the manager of the group, in this view you will be able to add or remove members. Click on the link “Invite new members.” You will then have the option to “Invite members by email” or to “Add Members directly.” If you invite members they can accept or decline the invitation, but if you add them directly, they become members immediately. If you want to work on a Google Document collaboratively, it is good to create a group and share the document with the group, allowing all members to edit the document.

 

·        Who can send email messages to Google Groups?

By default, only people using an Eckerd College email account can send messages to Eckerd College group aliases. For example, if you have an Eckerd College email account and an AOL email account, if you use your AOL account you can’t send email messages to an Eckerd College email alias. Some of the aliases are moderated (for example, faculty-official@lists.eckerd.edu). Messages sent to a moderated alias will receive a reply letting you know that it is waiting for approval. Course aliases by default are not moderated. You are the owner/manager of the course aliases for courses that you teach, which means you can change the settings on those course aliases so that they are moderated.  As owner/manager of your course alias you can also change the setting so that people with non-Eckerd College email accounts can send messages to your course alias.

·        What kind of Documents can be used in Google Docs?

You can upload (post) from your computer or create directly the following types of “Google Documents.” In most cases the Google version of the document doesn’t have as many features as the program in parentheses. Document (MSWord), Presentation (MSPowerPoint), Spreadsheet (MSExcel), Form (Web site where you put information into fields), Drawing (Paint program), Collection (folder for organizing documents). You can also post any type of document (picture, PDF, etc.) into your Google Docs area. The Google form can collect the data that is received and put it directly into a Google spreadsheet. While most of these Google programs don’t have all of the features offered by other programs, they do have two important features: 1) They can be shared with others who can collaborate in real time with you. For example, in a Google spreadsheet, I can be entering data into one cell while someone else (if I allow this) can be entering data into another cell, all at the same time. 2) They are not on your computer but are on the Google servers where they are backed up regularly and where you can access them from any computer at any time, even if your computer gets a virus or gets dropped down a well.

·        What other resources does Google make available?

You can have several Google calendars, sharing them with different people. You can choose which calendars get displayed simultaneously when you view your calendar. You can have Google sites, which are web sites where you can create and post the content you want to display to the world. You can post movies in Google at the Google video site. Each of these resources requires more space for a good explanation than is available here.

·        Is Google a safe place to keep documents?

Any computer or server can be hacked. Both Eckerd College and Google work hard to make sure this doesn’t happen. Google is a bigger target for hackers, but also has much greater resources to protect what you post. According to our contract with Google, they will not look at or pass on to others documents that you post through your Eckerd College account. However, if Eckerd College is involved in a lawsuit it is possible that the courts might force Eckerd to turn over documents created by Eckerd employees. If you have your own personal Gmail account in addition to the account that Eckerd provides, Eckerd might have to turn over some of the documents posted in your Eckerd account, but the documents posted in your personal account could not be obtained through a court order to Eckerd College. Please refer to this web site for the policy at https://sites.google.com/eckerd.edu/its-reborn/for-faculty-staff?authuser=0

·        Where do I find out more about Google docs?

The utilities and features available in Google docs are constantly being expanded and improved. Google maintains excellent help and information sites. Here are links to two of them:

Docs Help

https://docs.google.com/support/?hl=en

 

Getting Started with Google Docs

https://support.google.com/docs/answer/49008?hl=en

III. B. Restricting Access to Posted Materials

·        Who can see Posted Materials?

The default setting for Moodle only allows students in your course to see the materials that you post. However, the Admissions Office encourages you to make posted materials available to prospective students if this suits the purpose and structure of your course and there is no question about copyrighted materials. You do this by allowing guest access to your course.

·        Can I Restrict Access to Material I Post on the academics.eckerd.edu Server?

Yes.

There are several options available to restrict access. 

We will be happy to provide any level of restriction to any or all the posted material. If you want to restrict access to certain documents and/or folders but not restrict access to others, we can do this. If you want to restrict access so that only those that know a certain password can access the material under any situation, we can do this. If you contact us we will be happy to provide any level of security and restricted access that you desire. Since this will be done on an individual case-by-case basis, no attempt will be made here to describe any of the details.

 

III. C. Using Warmup or Pre-Class Questions -- Why and How?

·        Why use Warmup or Pre-Class Questions?

      Research shows that many students learn better if the professor poses questions on the reading assignment that they have to answer before coming to class. This also helps the professor modify what will be emphasized in class so that more help is provided where it is needed most. This can be done through questions posed through the Moodle quiz utility. If this suits your teaching style and the goals of the course, you can ask Pre-Class or Warmup questions using the Moodle.

·        How do I Post Warmup or Pre-Class questions using the Moodle utilities?

The Moodle program offers two options.  One popular format is for a question to be posed and as students respond to the question they can see the responses of other students who answered the question earlier. A Discussion is probably most appropriate for this. (The Moodle program calls Discussions “Forums”.) However, if you don’t want one student to see responses from another student, it is recommended that you use the second option, the Moodle Quiz tool.

 

III. D.  Using In-class polling – Why and How?

·        Why Use In-class Polling?

Every student’s thoughts and feelings in class are important contributions. Some students never speak up; others might have little chance if extraverts dominate the responses. Almost all students feel embarrassed if they respond poorly when a question is directed to them. However, all students learn better when they are actively involved. Some professors have found that in-class polling can be useful in obtaining responses from everyone, in giving immediate feedback to determine if more time needs to be spent on a concept, and involving all students as active rather than passive learners.

Asking an initial polling question and obtaining a response from all students can facilitate discussion. If verbal discussion is encouraged after everyone has responded to the initial poll, research shows that the discussion is usually more focused on the topic and a greater number of students enter into the discussion. Many professors find this is a good way to keep their students actively engaged in the learning process without embarrassing anyone. It also allows the professor to know when the topic has been mastered to the desired level and when more review is needed because the entire class is lost.

·        What programs are available for in-class polling?

Three programs are available, the Participate program, Mentimeter (web based), and the IPAL (In-class Polling for All Learners) program. All three allow you to ask questions of students and have every student in class respond.

With both the Participate and IPAL programs, responses can be made from students using desktop computers, laptop computers, IR clickers, and RF clickers. The IPAL  program will allow students to respond with these devices as well as with cell phones. Currently there is an IPAL App for the Android phones and an IPAL App for the iPhone. Both are available for free at the respective App stores. The iPhone IPAL App works on iPads as well but to find it for the iPad you must select “iPhone only” from the menu at the Apple App store.

Mentimeter is fully web-based interactive presentation software which means no downloads or installations required, it will get you started in seconds from any location using your own device: smartphone, computer or tablet. You will make your teaching more interactive and fun for both you and your students. If you are in a classroom where students have access to computers or any electronic devices, the entire program can be run from browsers on those computers.

The Participate Program works beautifully with PowerPoint presentations. You don’t have to do anything to your presentation and it knows which slide is being shown, how many slides are in the presentation, the text on the slides, and which answers came from which students as a particular slide was being viewed.  The Participate program has to be added to the instructor’s computer. The instructor’s computer must be a Windows computer and Participate will not run on a computer running Windows 8.

The IPAL program is a Moodle module. It allows the professor to use free response (text) questions as well as multiple choice questions. Also, questions used for IPAL polling sessions can be used in Moodle Quizzes and vice versa. The instructor’s computer only needs to have a browser (Windows and Mac computers) and students can use browsers, Apps, or clickers.

·        Where are Users Manuals for these Programs?

The User’s Manual for IPAL is at http://www.compadre.org/ipal/.

The User’s Manual for Mentimeter can be accessed at https://www.mentimeter.com/how-to

The Participate requires installing software on the instructor’s computer.

·        Who are using these programs?

The program will receive input from student “clickers,” laptops, iPads, cell phones, etc. It provides sets of questions that professors can use in some subjects and professors can create their own questions in any subject. It will also analyze student responses to identify students who may be at risk for quitting a course or dropping out of school.

 

Part IV: Technology in the Classroom

 

All classrooms at Eckerd College are equipped with a data projector, an instructor’s computer, a laptop video cable and a switch box to connect a laptop computer to the data projector, connections to the network via Ethernet cables and WiFi, equipment to play CD and DVD disks. (ITS has equipment that can make DVD copies of most VHS tapes.)

 

To provide help using these resources and answer questions, a set of instructions have been laminated and attached to the stand holding the instructor’s computer.

 

Please report anything that doesn’t seem to be working correctly to Information Technology Services, 864-8318. Or go to My Eckerd page to click ITS Help Desk to create a ticket https://its.jitbit.com/helpdesk/  Failure to report a problem will delay getting the problem fixed. Also, please use these telephone numbers to get assistance or answers to questions as you use the technology in the classroom.

 

When you are finished or leave a classroom,

Please turn the data projector off but leave the computer, the video switch, and the monitor on. In rooms with Crestron systems (a black box with 8 or more buttons) if the red LED light for the “system” is on, the projector bulb is on even if nothing is showing on the screen.

The bulbs for the data projectors are expensive! They must be replaced after being on for a certain number of hours.

The computer’s “Green” settings effectively allow it to be remotely managed for maintenance, installs, and updates on a 24/7 basis.

Last modified: Monday, 29 April 2019, 6:55 PM