August ARC In a Nutshell

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Change Your Language Pack! (This Means You!)

If you are using 3rd party online resources like course packs from a textbook publisher, LinkedIn Learning courses, or online assignment interfaces, then you and your students need to change your "language pack" today. This process is easy and seems unrelated to anything that might happen in your class, but if you choose not to do it, those external resources will throw errors and will not work for you. Follow the instructions here to change your language pack.


Ultra is Two Things: Know the Difference

Wichita State has finally begun the transition to Ultra! The first step, moving from the old interface to the Ultra Navigation interface has brought with it some exciting new tools and functionalities. It's also brought a little confusion about what "Ultra is." Here's your answer: Ultra is two things! It's the "environment" that houses courses, and it's also the courses themselves. At this time, our university is in the Ultra environment, and we are slowly moving to Ultra courses. In fact, 143 fall courses are being offered in the Ultra course format!  Most courses at WSU are still in "old" (aka: traditional) Blackboard.

While there are slight differences in how even "old" courses are behaving, the move to the Ultra environment has almost no impact on what goes on inside those courses. Here in OIR, we've received many technical help requests that start with, "now that we are in Ultra, XXX doesn't work," and what we are finding is that for the most part the issue is not Ultra related.  If you are finding the new Ultra interface to be a challenge, then we recommend you take the rest of the semester to get used to it before you move on to trying an Ultra course. As soon as you are ready to begin the move to Ultra courses, reach out to us at, and let us help!

Just can't get enough Ultra? We have a great ARC session just for you!

Please Help Me With Ultra!!!

Mary Morriss and Dr. Freh Wuhib have been offering a wildly popular workshop called, "Please Help Me With Ultra!" since this summer. If you have missed the opportunity to attend, or if you have already attended and want to do it again, you're in luck! We have two sessions coming up:

Introduction to Blackboard

As part of the Academic Resources Conference in August (ARC21Aug), OIR offered a quick Introduction to Blackboard session. If you are new to WSU and/or new to Blackboard, you should have a look at this session. You can find the session recording for Intro to Blackboard here!


New Accessibility Training for All Instructors

As you know, Wichita State instructors of all ranks are required to take accessibility training each academic year.  WSU's Accessibility Coordinator, John Jones, offered this training as part of the Academic Resources Conference in August, and it is now available as a recording! If you have not yet gone through this training, please watch this recording and follow the instructions you find at the end to have your efforts recorded by the university:



The State of Alternative Assessment in Higher Ed

The topic of alternative assessment in higher ed has been around for over a decade, but it took on new urgency with the COVID crisis and all the changes it brought to the classroom. Wichita State's own Mark Porcaro provided an update on the state of the alternative assessment conversation in higher education as part of the August ARC. Mark serves as a member of the WCET steering committee, and in that capacity he has been part of this conversation across many institutions. This was an excellent discussion, and we are sure you will find it interesting: 


Freedom of Expression in Your Classroom

First Amendment issues are very much in the forefront for higher education right now. There is much for instructors to think about including what freedom of expression entails, the ways in which the issue has special meaning for government entities (including Wichita State), and what resources there are available for the classroom.  The Office of Instructional Resources is working to ensure that instructors have access to all necessary freedom of expression resources, including:

Making That Human Connection in Class

The rapid shift to online and hybrid teaching has caused some instructors to reach out for advice on how to put the human touch back into the classroom.  How do we stay efficient, keep up with our work, and still give students (and ourselves) those human moments that turn our classes into real learning opportunities? Each instructor needs to answer that question for themselves, but this ARC session from August will provide you support and ideas: 


Intro to Panopto Has Something for EVERYONE!

Wow, when something comes together, it REALLY comes together. That was certainly the case for the Intro to Panopto session from August. Instead of offering it ourselves, as we have done in the past, we asked a Panopto corporate trainer to come assist us.  Wow! Jay Minster from Panopto really, really knows his stuff. This session is called "intro," and it's perfectly appropriate for people with no Panopto experience, but even if you are a Panopto pro, there is something here for you too: 



Get Started With Open Educational Resources

If you are interested in replacing some or all of your required class texts and other resources with free and freely available resources, then you have a LOT of people who want to help you! To get started, have a look at the University Libraries OER LibGuide, and from there you will want to move on to this ARC recording with Victoria Koger and Maria Sclafani. If you still have questions, you can reach out to either your subject librarian or to OIR, or both! 



Advanced Title IX Training Returns!

In May, Sara Zafar's Advanced Title IX training was so popular that we ran over time with questions from the packed Zoom audience. In an effort to meet everyone's informational needs, Sara offered the session once again in August, this time for two hours so there was lots of time for questions.  In the end, the session ran about an hour and a half, and if you missed it, you missed a lot! But there is no reason to worry, because of course we have a recording of Advanced Title IX: 


Teams Meetings Updates

Do you love Zoom but need to use Teams meetings sometimes? Or maybe you love Teams meetings, but wish they had more Zoom-like options? Well do we have news for you! Teams meetings have recently expanded their functionality significantly, and it's time to take another look at what Teams can do for you.  Ali Levine's ARC session will get you up to speed

Be Excel-Awesome!

Microsoft Excel is one of those unsung heroes of office life: an amazing powerhouse of functionality that still manages to get overlooked or under-utilized a lot of the time. If you are not an Excel aficionado, let us suggest that you sign up for Introduction to Excel through MyTraining. There you will learn what you are missing and also get a chance to be trained by the incomparable Ali Levine.  Already in the Excel fan club? Check out these new Excel features that Ali explained in August: