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In the spotlight: Learning Online @ FSU
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Banner image: Distance up Close, Issue no. 15/16, Sept/Oct 2018
IN THIS ISSUE
From the Director
In the News
Canvas FYI
Tool Time
Technology Tips
Odds & Ends

 

FROM THE DIRECTOR

Decorative image: Robby FuselierIt's hard to believe October is already here! Instructors and students by now have settled into the groove of the semester. Midterms are coming up and it's a good time to remind everyone about academic integrity. On October 17, we're promoting the International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating. In this issue, you can read about how your college or department can become more aware of this challenge and work to encourage a campus culture of academic integrity.

To help make the processing of your midterms more efficient and convenient, we've added new scanning services. With our rapid drop-off, you can leave your scan job at one of two campus locations. You can also register for advance scanning appointments to ensure you receive timely service. More details about these enhancements are available in our "In the News" section.

Registration for spring semester opens on October 15. If your students are wondering if online courses are a good fit for them, they can enroll in Learning Online @ FSU. This course in Canvas provides students with best practices and strategies for the online environment, including ways to collaborate and communicate with their peers. So, instructors – be sure to let your students know about this opportunity for them to become more successful online learners.

Good luck to everyone on midterms, and remember our office is here to help you in any way we can.

Sincerely,
Robby Fuselier

IN THE NEWS

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Course Provides Online Learning Support

Learning Online @ FSU is a voluntary, non-credit-bearing learner support course designed for FSU students interested in taking online courses and/or becoming more successful online students. The five modules cover techniques for maximizing learning at a distance, learning strategies, working in groups, computer skills, and communicating when studying online. While the focus is online learning, the study skills and habits discussed are applicable to any learning environment. 
 
"This course provides benefits such as basic study skills, time management, and communication strategies, which are essential for online learning," said Kerry Burner, ODL instructional development faculty and project manager for the course.
 
The course is self-paced so students can complete the modules at their own speed. Students can expect to spend one to five hours on the course, depending on the depth of their learning focus and if they take and master the quizzes. The course has no prerequisites.
 
Instructors are encouraged to let their students know about this learning opportunity. If students are not enrolled in the course and wish to be, they can self-enroll via Canvas. For questions about the course, please contact Burner at kburner@fsu.edu.


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Scanning Services Offer Improvements

The July/August newsletter described two new options for instructors who use our Scantron™, mark-sense form scanning service—rapid drop-off and same-day scanning appointments. We have additional details to share about these enhancements, which provide extended service hours, greater drop-off flexibility, and reduced time spent waiting on scan jobs.
 
For the rapid drop-off, you can drop your scan job at either of our two, extended-hour, rapid-drop locations: one at the circulation desk in Strozier Library (available 24/5) and one inside the Testing Center at UCC-1100 (available Monday–Thursday, 8 am–8 pm, and Friday, 8 am–5 pm). Jobs are retrieved several times a day, processed, and packaged for pickup so that you can view results as early as the end of the next business day.
 
We have worked with FSU Transportation and Parking to offer additional parking for guests using the rapid-drop service located in the Testing Center. You are welcome to use any of the three 20-minute loading zones (yellow-lined spaces labeled "Loading Zone") in front of the Testing Center (see graphic above). You will still need a valid FSU parking permit.
 
For those with more complex scan jobs, those who prefer working with us in person, or those who require same-day service, we now offer advance appointments. Appointments provide the same, one-on-one service we’ve offered in the past but with less wait, especially during high-volume hours. Schedule appointments via our website up to 24 hours in advance.
 
We strongly encourage you to use our drop boxes when possible. In many cases, we are able to process these jobs on the same day (especially if dropped in the morning). If you would prefer an appointment, we enjoy our one-on-one visits, where you’ll receive additional help as needed. Though we won’t turn walk-ins away, we cannot guarantee reasonable wait times. Advance appointments and drop-box jobs will be given priority.
 
For more information on these services, visit our scanning services webpage.

Evaluation Reminders Coming Soon

Instructors and department administrators should be on the lookout for reminders about completing tasks related to online course evaluations. Our Scanning and Evaluations team will be sending a series of emails on how to prepare for end-of-semester evaluations. Administrators will be asked to make any course changes in Campus Solutions in preparation for the transfer of data to our online course evaluation system, EvaluationKIT. Instructors will be asked to review their individual course surveys in EvaluationKIT and make any necessary changes. Because student feedback is an essential part of improving FSU courses and programs, we ask that instructors encourage students to complete evaluations for all their courses. If you have any questions about the course evaluation process, please contact Scanning and Evaluations Supervisor Mike Straszewski.

Take a Stand Against Contract Cheating

Decorative imageOn October 17, 2018, the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) hosts the third annual International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating. On this day, ICAI calls on institutions of higher education to unite against contract cheating and encourage students to focus on academic integrity. Contract cheating is the process of students arranging for an individual to complete academic work on their behalf and then submitting that work for credit.
 
To help raise awareness of the growing threat of contract cheating, institutions can:
  • Download and share the institutional toolkit, which provides information on how to detect and prevent contract cheating.
  • Host multimedia events that will educate students, faculty, staff, and administrators about contract cheating.
  • Participate in the International Whiteboard Declaration on October 17. Encourage colleagues to write their own messages about contract cheating and post them on social media using the hashtags #DefeatTheCheat and #ExcelWithIntegrity. You can also join the Facebook event. More information can be found on the ICAI website.
 
As a member of ICAI, Florida State is committed to promoting academic integrity on campus. The Academic Honor Policy is a critical part of maintaining a culture of honesty, so be sure to remind your students about the importance of this policy.
 
"The Office of Faculty Development and Advancement provides education about learning with integrity for the FSU community and support for faculty members as they reinforce the Academic Honor Policy in their classrooms," said Ann DelRossi, Academic Affairs Administrator for the Office. "We expect students to uphold the Garnet and Gold and adhere to the tenants of our three torches, Vires, Artes, and Mores: Strength, Skill, and Character."
 
Webinar to address cheating and academic integrity
 
To become more aware of student cheating and discover ways to address the issue, instructors are encouraged to participate in the free webinar, "The Cheating Economy and Integrity," presented by WCET. The webinar will explore the growing culture of cheating and examine how technological solutions and institutional practices can help combat cheating and inspire integrity.
 
This hour-long webinar is scheduled for October 16, 2018, at 3 pm EDT and will take place via GoToWebinar. You can register on the WCET website. WCET is a nonprofit that focuses on the practice and policy of technology-enhanced learning in higher education.
 

Portal to Improve Process for New Hires

Decorative imageIn October, FSU Human Resources will launch the Smart Onboarding portal campus-wide. The full-service, electronic onboarding portal will make it easier for human resources departments to get new employees up and running by streamlining the completion of paperwork and pre-employment requirements such as tax forms and background checks. Offline processes will be integrated into the system, reducing manual procedures and paper forms. The system should improve efficiency and communication between departments, human resources, and job candidates.
 
"We're excited about the new portal as it will speed up the hiring process so that necessary approvals can be completed in a timely manner," said ODL Assistant Director of Human Resources Cindy Finuff. "This will be particularly helpful when departments process new adjunct faculty or mentors who may not be in our system. Most importantly, new employees should receive their first paycheck sooner."
 
Read more about the changes and improvements on HR's Smart Onboarding page.
 

CANVAS FYI

Career Portfolio in Canvas

Decorative imageThe FSU Career Portfolio is now integrated with Canvas so students are able to add a Career Portfolio link to their Canvas course navigation menu. Details on adding a link to the navigation menu are available in our support articles.
 
Created by the FSU Career Center, the Career Portfolio is an online tool that helps students show evidence of learning to instructors and showcase their skills and accomplishments to employers, graduate schools, and other organizations. More information can be found on the Career Center portfolio page.
 

Canvas Community Feedback

Decorative imageThrough the Canvas Support Center community feedback list, instructors can vote for feature ideas that will help improve Canvas for the FSU community.
Check out our "Vote Up" recommendations for September, which include the following:
  • Submit an assignment on behalf of a student.
  • Create an "Undo" button in the Rich Content Editor.
  • Provide additional options for quiz response settings.
  • Control conversation at a course level.

To subscribe to the list, visit the community feedback page.

TOOL TIME

video: Discussion Overview

Discussion Boards

Discussion boards in Canvas provide an opportunity to build community between students and the instructor. Discussions integrate seamlessly with the Canvas Gradebook and are easy to grade with rubrics and the SpeedGrader.
 
Discussion boards can be used in face-to-face courses for simple tasks such as answering an individual question, sharing resources, or explaining a course policy.
 
In many online courses, discussion boards are an integral part of student interaction and can function as the main interactive tool in the course. Discussion boards can be used for literature reviews and debates, as well as categorizing results from complex research activities, facilitating group discussions, and studying the viability of different solutions to a complex problem.
 
There are, however, some restrictive factors to discussions in Canvas when compared with Blackboard, particularly the lack of forums and the limitations of threaded discussions. "Instructors who were proficient with Blackboard discussion tools have expressed some frustration with the limitations of Canvas discussions," said ODL instructional technology faculty John Braswell. "Yet after a semester of using the new Canvas tools, most instructors have successfully developed workarounds or have rethought their teaching strategy to conform to Canvas discussions."
 
The following resources provide in-depth information about discussion boards:  
Instructors who need assistance integrating discussion boards into their courses are welcome to contact Braswell at jbraswell@campus.fsu.edu.

TECHNOLOGY TIPS

Kaltura Video Storage Policy

Decorative imageWe are implementing a new policy pertaining to Kaltura video storage. Videos stored in Kaltura that have not been accessed for playback in the past four years will be deleted beginning October 15, 2018. We encourage instructors to download any videos they wish to keep to a remote storage device before this date. Note that if a video has been played at all over the past four years—even for one second—it will be retained. Instructors, please notify your students of this change so they can retrieve any materials needed for a career or graduate school portfolio. For information on downloading Kaltura videos, see our support article.
 

Support Articles

ODDS & ENDS

Open Textbook Workshop

Decorative image The Office of the Provost is sponsoring an open textbook workshop for FSU faculty on October 25 from 10 am to 12 pm at the Bradley Reading Room in Strozier Library. The goal of the workshop is to familiarize faculty with the concept of open textbooks and the benefits to teaching and learning.

 

Participating faculty will be eligible to receive a $200 stipend by writing a brief review of an open textbook in their discipline. Capacity is limited, so interested faculty should apply by October 12. For more information and to apply, see the library page.
 

PIE Grading, Universal Design Sessions

Teaching assistants and instructors can join their peers at the PIE Coffee Hour & Teaching Workshop Series to discuss strategies that foster quality teaching and learning. PIE Associates Jason Barlow (Physics) and Spencer Youngberg (Family and Child Sciences) will be presenting on "Tips and Techniques for Efficient Grading" in the October 9 workshop, scheduled from 3:30 pm to 5 pm. This session will highlight fair, accurate, and efficient grading practices. To reserve your spot, visit the Registration page.
 
John L. Crow, ODL instructional development faculty, will be presenting on "Accessibility, Universal Design, and Canvas" at the November 1 session, scheduled for a special time (5:30 pm to 7 pm). Universal design and accessibility is a movement to ensure learning environments and course materials are accessible to all students. This workshop will focus on universal design principles and how to make your Canvas site and course materials accessible. To reserve your spot, visit the Registration page.
 
Both workshops will be held in the Great Hall (fourth floor) of the Honors, Scholars, and Fellows House.


Conferences and Events

Florida Distance Learning Association, January 30–February 1, 2019, in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Register now through October 15, 2018, for early-bird fees. Request for proposals is due November 15.

Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Accelerate, November 14–16, 2018, in Orlando, Florida. Onsite and virtual registration options are available.

National Distance Learning Week, November 5–9, 2018. The U.S. Distance Learning Association sponsors a weeklong series of webinars. 

LET US HEAR FROM YOU!


We are eager to receive your feedback on what you would like to see in future issues of the newsletter, so please send us your suggestions about ways ODL can better serve you.

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