OCTET

Oberlin Center for Technologically Enhanced Teaching

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Collaborate vs Zoom

Video conferencing options at Oberlin College

There are two supported video conferencing options at Oberlin College. One is for course instructors and is fully integrated into all Blackboard courses. The other is available for students, faculty, and staff, independent of Blackboard.

 

Blackboard Instructors:

Collaborate – Should only be used from within Blackboard courses. Sessions are initiated through the Collaborate tool. Best practices and use cases for teaching and learning can be found on the Collaborate website.  Anyone who is an ‘Instructor’ in a course or ‘Leader’ in an org can initiate a conference. Conferences can include polling and screen sharing/recording options. Users without blackboard accounts can be invited into a Collaborate session via email.

 

There is an iOS and Android app for Collaborate

 

For assistance with Collaborate, check out online support or contact Blackboard directly.

 

All others:

Zoom – Should be used by people needing to connect outside Blackboard. Free accounts are available to everyone and are able to host sessions of two to three participants. Faculty and staff can obtain a license by contacting AV, at av@oberlin.edu, which will enable them to host sessions with more participants.

 

There is an app for your computer, as well as an iOS and Android app for Zoom.

 

For assistance with Zoom, check out online support or contact AV.

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Grammarly for everyone

We are running a pilot of the Grammarly Premium product through June 30th, 2018.  Please request a trial version (see below). In late May we will send out a survey to guage interest in continuing our access to the Premium version.

What is it and how does it work?

Grammarly comes in 2 flavors: Free and Premium.  If you sign-up, you will get access to the Premium version.

The free version checks for basic spelling, and some grammar rules (around 150 checks), while the Premium version offers over 400 checks on grammar, style, sentence structure, and vocabulary use. On top of that, you get a plagiarism/citation detection tool. The advanced (premium) checks are highlighted in yellow.  to log into the Premium version we suggest you use the google login and use your ObieID@oberlin.edu and password.
It’s easy to use:
  • Copy and paste any English text into Grammarly’s Editor, or install Grammarly’s free browser extension for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. Grammarly will help you write correctly on nearly every site on the web.
    OR

    Click on the red circle at the bottom of the page.
  • Grammarly’s algorithms flag potential issues in the text and suggest context-specific corrections for grammar, spelling, wordiness, style, punctuation, and even plagiarism. Grammarly explains the reasoning behind each correction, so you can make an informed decision about whether, and how, to correct an issue.
  • Download Grammarly for Microsoft® Office on Windows.

N.B. Unfortunately, it does not work in google docs. However, you can compose in the grammarly.com window and then copy and past into your google doc.

More information about Grammarly can be found on the Grammarly website.

To request an invite to access the premier version via the Oberlin College pilot program, fill out the form below. A survey will be sent out at the end of April to assess this product’s utility in our environment. The pilot runs through June 30th, 2018.  Further access will be determined after assessing usage statistics and feedback from the survey.

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Using the SmartEvals course evaluation system (info for faculty)

N.B.: SmartEvals will open multiple tabs so that you can move between screens of information without using the back button on the browser.

Before release to students

You will receive an email towards the middle of the semester informing you that you can view and add quesitons to your student evaluations.

Getting to the SmartEvals system:

  1. Go to Blackboard (http://blackboard.oberlin.edu) and log in using your ObieID.
    Your ObieID is 8 characters. It is not your email (e.g. aborroni@oberlin.edu), nor is it your alias (albert.borroni@oberlin.edu) or T#.  Mine would be aborroni. Use the same password used to log in to your oberlin.edu email.
  2. Once in Blackboard, click on the Survey tab/link at the top of the page and then click on the ‘Login to SmartEvals’ link.

Once in SmartEvals, your past and upcoming courses will be displayed.

  1. Add Questions
  2. ‘Preview’ what students will see.
  3. The total # of students that will be receiving email reminders about the evaluation.
  4. Ongoing response rate as a percentage of the total number of students.
  5. The ability to view past results and download both summary and individual student responses.

If anything is incorrect contact evals@oberlin.edu asap.

After the evaluation period closes (View Results)

Survey results will be available the day after the final grades are due.  An email will be sent out with a pdf summary of the data and instructions for viewing individual responses (similar to what you see in your paper results) but in case you missed them, here they are again.

Getting to the SmartEvals system:

  1. Go to Blackboard (http://blackboard.oberlin.edu) and log in using your ObieID.
    Your ObieID is 8 characters. It is not your email (e.g. aborroni@oberlin.edu), nor is it your alias (albert.borroni@oberlin.edu) or T#.  Mine would be aborroni. Use the same password used to log in to your oberlin.edu email.
  2. Once in Blackboard, click on the Survey tab/link at the top of the page and then click on the ‘Login to SmartEvals’ link.

Viewing results in SmartEvals:

Once logged in to SmartEvals, you will see a list of courses where the online evaluation system was used. Find the course you are interested in viewing and click on the ‘See Reports’ options.

Once you’ve accessed the results for a particular course, the tabs at the top of the page will provide access to several different reports.The system defaults to a ‘Custom Report’ which is summary of how each question was answered by your students.

Clicking on the ‘Individual Evaluations’ tab will give you the responses submitted by an individual student (without providing their name) — very similar to the format you are accustomed to seeing.

To PRINT the Individual reports for pretenure or tenure review follow the directions in the yellow header area.

More info

  • Custom Report – This is the default view, i.e. the window will open to a ‘Custom Report’ that gives means and standard deviations of the Likert-scale responses and lists the prose answers to all question.  What you see by default should be similar to the pdf attached to this email.  However, the Customizable Report also allows you to create your own built-in metrics dashboard with drill-down functionality.
  • Individual Evaluations – View like paper evals: Very similar to what you are accustomed to seeing with paper evals where each student’s responses appear in a single report.

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Add Questions to your SmartEvals Course Evaluation (info for faculty)

Instructions to add questions to your course evaluation.  To view a screenshot larger, click on it

  1. Login to SmartEvals using your Blackboard username and password

  2. If you are an instructor, you should land on this page.  If you are a department head, on the top bar, click on Account, and choose “View as instructor”.  That should take you to this page.  Click on Add Q’s

  3. Click on the pencil “edit” symbol beside the survey you want to add questions to

  4. Click on Add Questions

  5. Here you can either create a new question or add a question you’ve made before.  Use the upper box to make new questions, and use the lower box to add existing questions.

  6. Feel free to email (octet@oberlin.edu), call (x58345), or visit our office (Mudd 052) if you have any questions!

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Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign

Now that Adobe products are available in all labs on campus and for faculty/staff use, people have been asking which product should they use. Specifically, should one use Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign. I recently stumbled across a very easy to follow answer to this question. You can find it here: https://99designs.com/blog/tips/photoshop-vs-illustrator-vs-indesign/

Enjoy

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SmartEvals: Sending reminder email to unresponsive students (for faculty)

A. Log into Blackboard. Click on the ‘Survey’ tab.

B. Click the ‘Login to SmartEvals’ link.

C. Once you’re in the SmartEvals product, select the ‘not set’ link in the AutoEmail column.

D.  You can either email the students in ALL your course that have still not filled out the survey OR only the students who have not filled it out in a specific course.

E. Follow the 4 steps below to prepare, test and send your email. There is a mechanism in place that does not allow you to send a second email within 24 hours of the first.  This is done to prevent the ‘spamming of your students.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to use i>clicker – both standalone and integrated into Blackboard

$_3Why use iClicker? (Scroll down for instructions on use)

The i>clicker, student response system is now integrated into Blackboard.

The integration with Blackboard will allow you to more easily manage the registration of a particular clicker to a particular student, create the roster that is used by the iclicker software to identify users and make results accessible to students via the grade center in Blackboard so that students can monitor their progress.

Who’s using them on campus:

  • Computer Sciences:  Bob Geitz, Roberto Hoyle
  • Classics: Naomi Campa
  • Chemistry:   Albert Matlin, Matt Elrod
  • Biology: Yolanda Cruz
  • Physics:  Dan Stinebring, Rob Owen, Melinda Keller, Stephen FitzGerald, Jason Stalnaker

Why and how to use clickers in your course. Short Video Explanations from i>Clicker.


How to use iClickers
Download
To use the technology, the Instructor will need some software on their laptop. Links to Oberlin specific i>clicker software.  These packages also include the instructors guide on how to use the software.  If you have trouble installing the software, simply give us a call (775-8345) or email octet@oberlin.edu.

Click on the download link.  Open up the download, and copy the program inside onto your desktop (you can drag and drop).  Open the iClicker program from your desktop.  You do not need to register, but you can if you like.  After registering, click Create to create a new session.  Highlight the created course and click settings.  If you have your own iClicker (not needed but can be handy) you can set it as the instructor iClicker here.  You also can set the “frequency” code – it should be fine to use whatever is currently set.  It is simply a way for the students’ iClickers to connect to the proper base.  There are other settings here you can change if you like, but are not necessary.

 

Instructor will need a base, which can be borrowed from OCTET (Mudd 052).  The base must be attached to the computer you are presenting from (plug one end of the cord into the usb port of your computer, and one into the “To Computer” port of the base).
Participants will need clickers (but see below).  Clickers can be ordered through the bookstore in the same way that faculty indicate which book they will be using for the class. Students can then purchase an iclicker.  They do not need a different iclicker for each course.  They can register their iclicker through Blackboard and use the same iclicker for multiple courses.
During the presentation When you want to begin polling, link up your base station, open your presentation, and open the iClicker program on your desktop.  Click on the course you created earlier and click “Start Polling”.  A message should pop up within a minute or so giving you the frequency code that your participants need to enter on their iClickers to connect to your course, and the instructions to do so.  A small window should open on your screen allowing you to control the polling.  You can start and stop polling, and pull up the results by clicking on the graph button.  There is also a settings button if you need to adjust the settings.  If you have an iClicker connected as an instructor iClicker, you can control your presentation and the polling by selecting the buttons on the iClicker instead of having to click on your computer, but you will not be able to vote.
Feel free to come by the OCTET office in Mudd 052 or email us octet@oberlin.edu to try out the iClickers, ask questions, or borrow a base.

Other Notes
This software is compatible with version 5.04 on the base station. If you have an older version of the firmware on your basestation you can either upgrade the firmware using the utility provide by iclicker or download a previous version of the desktop software.
Instructions for getting your software connected to your Blackboard grade book can be found here 
Using the iclicker, polling software without a base station or clicker:

Additionally, i>clicker software can be used without a base station or clickers. Students simply use their phones, laptops or tablets. This is called REEF polling. To use this feature instructors need to create a course site that will accept answers that are not from the separate devices i.e. REEF polling  accessible AND the students will need to register their device.  The cost of registering the device is less then the cost of purchasing a clicker but not by much.

Clickers cost about $30-40 with a $10-20 buy back by the bookstore when the student is finished using the clicker.  The REEF registration has  costs associated with it.

For more info, visit the i>Clicker site at https://www1.iclicker.com/products/reef-polling/

 

 

 

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How to build a website

There are many tools where you can build a website online with no coding involved. While the options are similar products, there are key differences that need to be explained for you to choose the tool that best fits your needs.

If you want guidance in creating your own website for personal use or a project, visit the OCTET office in Mudd 052 during the Student Tech Assistant’s work hours and we will be happy to help! Hours are listed on the About Us page in the Who We Are section.

Read More

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Owncloud access

For files that you want to retain on campus and protect (this is usually for large, copyrighted  files), we provide a service called own cloud.  Before requesting that this be set up for you, please explore other avenues such as the library reserve, Youtube, Blackboard, vimeo …  While these are off campus services i.e. in the cloud, they have useful safeguards and can be streamed.

To request an owncloud account contact octet@oberlin.edu to get set up with an account.

Basic instructions:

Once the account is set up, log in to your folder by going to https://octet1.csr.oberlin.edu/owncloud using the credentials you were given by the OCTET staff.

  • Create folders / Upload videos/files.Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 8.32.42 AM
  • Get the shareable link and paste it into your website or Blackboard site.  You may want to password protect the link (add the password directly to Blackboard post). Without the password, anyone that stumbles across the link would be able to view the item.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 8.38.51 AM

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Screen Recording Software

There are various ways to record your screen while giving a presentation and share that video with others. Many of these programs are online, free or have a nominal cost.

 

The recommended cross-platform solution at the moment is Google Hangouts on Air. This method works with both Windows and Mac, allows you to record webinars as you give them and is free. It is important to note that currently, with Hangouts on Air, to record a powerpoint presentation successfully you will need to select the “Screen Share” option instead of choosing the powerpoint application.

For a step by step tutorial on how to set up Google Hangouts on Air to record what is displayed on your computer screen, use this guide: http://www.eduhacker.net/technology/google-hangouts-lecture-capture.html

  • NB: You will need to have activated  youtube  for your particular google account you want to use for the instructions at Eduhacker.net to work.