Check Your Banner and Bb Rosters Now
There was a glitch in reporting between Banner and Blackboard during the enrollment period. That means some Spring classes have a mismatch between their Banner rosters and their Blackboard rosters. If a student is on your Banner roster, they should be on your Blackboard roster, and if they aren't, OIR needs to get that fixed for you and the student(s). Please check your rosters today, and please help in spreading the word to everyone including GTAs. If you find any problems, please send the course CRN and the WSUid's of students that need to be added to Blackboard to OIR@wichita.edu. Thank you!
Ultra Course Format Deadline Changed
WSU originally had December 31, 2022 as the target date for all classes to be moved into the Ultra Course format, but faculty feedback from the Ultra pilots group has led to a change. At this time there is no deadline to move to the Ultra Course Format. If you are happy in Classic ("old") Blackboard Course Format, you are welcome to stay in it for now. If you want to move to Ultra Course Format, that's fine too. OIR suggests that everyone try out Ultra Course Format on only one course before making the move with all other courses. There is a learning curve, especially as it relates to the gradebook and grading interface, so taking time to learn it with one course is a good idea. If you would like help with Ultra, please reach out to the Office of Instructional Resources at OIR@wichita.edu.
Alignment and Mapping
Whether you think of them as "outcomes," "objectives," "goals," or something else, clearly stating your intentions for each course you teach helps students understand what they will do in class and what they will be able to do once the course is over. The goal is to have outcomes that encompass all parts of each course, and the same is true at the program level as well. When we go through the process of overtly tying course/program activities, assessments, and other requirements to their related outcomes then we can say that the course/program is fully "aligned." The Office of Instructional Resources can assist professors in the writing of measurable course and program outcomes, and OIR can also help with the process of alignment. This January, Carolyn Speer addressed "Aligning Outcomes, Activities, and Assessments" at the course level as part of the ARC, and in November, 2021, she presented the same information but focused at the program level for the Assessment Symposium. If you or your department would like help with outcomes or alignment, reach out to OIR at OIR@wichita.edu.
ARC By the Numbers
The January ARC is in the books, and while there were fewer sessions this spring compared to 2021, attendance was even better! If you attended or presented at a session you should have already received an email with a certificate of attendance, and if not, let us know at OIR@wichita.edu. Here's what spring attendance looked like:
- Total sessions offered (including individual sessions for new GTAs and all GTAs): 21
- Total overall unique attendees: 248
- Total overall faculty plus student-facing staff: 145
- Total overall GTAs (new plus returning): 103
- Total overall hours of ARC-delivered training: 642
- Total faculty and student-facing staff training hours (number of faculty attendees times hours of training): 173
- Total new GTA training hours (number of new GTAs times hours of training): 160
- Total overall GTA training hours (number of all GTAs times hours of training, not counting new GTA training above): 309
Thank you to all our attendees! And if you missed the January sessions, don't worry! Not only can you find links to most sessions in this newsletter, we will be having another round of ARC sessions in May.
LinkedIn Learning Course Suggestions
LinkedIn Learning courses are free to all WSU instructors, students, and staff. If you have not yet set up your LinkedIn Learning account, please follow the instructions here first. Each time OIR offers the Academic Resources Conference (ARC), we also identify several LinkedIn Learning courses we believe faculty will find useful for themselves and their students. If you haven't tried a LinkedIn Learning course yet, now is a great time to give one a try. Here is our list of current LinkedIn Learning suggested courses:
- Introduction to Gratitude Meditation (16 minutes)
- Becoming an Ally to All (30 minutes)
- How to Train Your Brain for Happiness (54 minutes)
- Aligning Your Values with Work, Life, and Everything In Between (38 minutes)
- Making Big Goals Achievable (16 minutes)
- How to Set Goals When Everything Feels Like a Priority (15 minutes)
- Becoming a Great Conversationalist (21 minutes)
Please Take Our Survey
The Office of Instructional Resources is dedicated to providing Wichita State instructors the training and support they want in the ways they want it. Can you help us reach that goal by filling our this short survey? Thanks!
ARC Discussions Focus on Excellence
Wichita State has long belonged to an organization called "Quality Matters," and the QM rubrics and training formed the backbone of WSU's online course quality program for many years. In response to the course changes we've seen since COVID, several different offices on campus have come to recognize that QM didn't serve our university's needs very well anymore. Because of the changing nature of the classroom, WSU needs a course quality program that can be adjusted to fit any kind of course schedule (online, hybrid, in-person) and accommodate changes on the fly. To address all of these needs, WSU has decided to develop its own quality program. Like the QM process, a WSU quality program will be voluntary and designed to facilitate course improvement over time. To advance the quality discussion on campus and to identify faculty who might be interested in helping to create a home-grown quatliy program, OIR hosted a discussion of course quality at the January ARC. If you'd like to hear what was said, have a look at the recording of "What do Great Courses Have in Common?"
Join the OIR Facebook Page
If you are on Facebook, the Office of Instructional Resources hopes you will join our Facebook group. With nearly 450 WSU instructors, we are a vibrant community of educators with a lot to say (and ask!) about technology, pedagogy, and instructor training at WSU. Also, we often have prizes available for our members, and who doesn't like that? All are welcome, so please help spread the word to your friends and GTAs!
Academic Creative Resources
Course Tile to Course Banner
For those instructors teaching in the Ultra Course Format: you may have noticed the image on the "course tile" (the picture you can see with your course link under the "Courses" tab in Blackboard) can also be used as a course banner in your Ultra Course Format course. If you have uploaded your own image for a course tile, you will be offered the option to turn on that same image for your course banner. Please note! If you currently have a default course image (the one that is automatically assigned to your course by Blackboard itself), you will not be offered the opportunity to use it as a course banner. This limitation is due to a limitation in the licensing associated with the image. So if you would like your course banner and your course tile image to be the same, you will need to upload your own image for the course tile. Does all this sound interesting but confusing? Reach out to OIR at OIR@wichita.edu, or plan to come to one of our virtual lab times any Tuesday or Wednesday between 1:00-3:00pm. Get the Zoom link for labs here!
Where Can I Get Help?
Now that Spring 2022 is underway, instructors may find they need technical, design, or pedagogical help in a class. But where can you go to get the help you need?
- Blackboard problems encountered by an instructor: send an email to OIR@wichita.edu
- Complex Blackboard problems needing individual support, training, or other help for instructors: come to OIR's Zoom-based labs any Tuesday or Wednesday from 1:00-3:00pm. Get the Zoom link at: https://wichita.edu/OIRLabs
- Blackboard problems encountered by one of your students: have the student go to https://wichita.edu/BbSupport and put in a "case" (that's the word they use for "ticket")
- Password, login, or computer problems encountered by an instructor: send an email to ITS Helpdesk, Helpdesk@wichita.edu
- Password, login, or computer problems encountered by one of your students: have the student go to https://wichita.edu/OneStop and have them click "WSU Helpdesk" and put in a "case" (that's the word they use for "ticket")
- General questions instructors might have during the semester: check out the "Instruction Manual" that OIR has put together for instructors. It's organized by instructor type and by task type.
- Having problems in a live, in-person classroom: Call Campus Media Services at 978-3588, and they will dispatch someone to help right away!
What is Panopto?
Panopto is the video capture, editing, and hosting solution that Wichita State provides to instructors for classroom use. Instructors can use it to create and share their own videos, and they can also create assignments that require students to use it. Panopto is a full-service video creation destination, and unlike other solutions like YouTube, Panopto is linked to a pre-paid, human captioning service. Yes! That's right! Instructors who use Panopto have the ability to have human captions added to their videos for free! This is a huge advantage. And the best news is that instructors do not have to use the Panopto recorder itself in order to unlock this captioning service. If you prefer to use Snagit, for example (and Snagit is another video creation tool provided by WSU), you can take the videos you create, upload them into Panopto, and then order captions. Want to learn more? OIR has online Panopto training here (remember to check "In This Section" for more links), and you can also come to OIR's Zoom-based labs for help.
GTA Training Opportunities
Did you know that new GTA training has been a part of the Academic Resources Conference since 2018? It has! Each new GTA receives a full day of training that includes the following topics:
- Introduction to the Graduate School
- Introduction to Classroom Management
- Introduction to Blackboard
- Accessibility and Accommodations in the Classroom
- Getting Ready to Teach For the First Time
- How to Support Your Professor
- Inclusive Teaching [or] Teaching in the American Classroom
In addition to having their own information in the Faculty Instruction Manual, all GTAs (new and returning) also have their own Blackboard resource course where they can find more training and support. If you are a GTA, you can locate the GTA support course under the "Courses" tab in Blackboard. If you work with GTAs, or if you are a GTA and have any questions or suggestions about training and support, please reach out to the Office of Instructional Resources at OIR@wichita.edu.
Pickus' Return to the Classroom Was a Learning Experience
Congratulations go out to Dr. Keith Pickus for his recent article in Inside HigherEd!
After returning to the classroom in January, 2021, "[he} quickly discovered that the experiences [he] gained from administration profoundly shaped almost every aspect of [his] role as a faculty member—particularly how [he] interacted with students and the way in which [he] managed course content."
Want to read more? You can find the full article here: "How Being an Administrator Made Me a Better Teacher."