Spring is Sprung!

Breaking News

Nothing is Going Wrong

How's that for breaking news? I don't want to jinx it, but for right now ... nothing is going wrong! Blackboard (Classic and Ultra both), Panopto, and Zoom are all functioning as expected, all OIR staff are healthy and available, and we haven't seen any noticeable trends in student or faculty tickets! 

It's beautiful outside, the tulips are blooming on campus, and your Teaching Today is back from a short respite in March (when, frankly, events conspired to keep us from publishing on time).  So welcome to spring, and enjoy the moment of calm. 


What to Expect at the May ARC

The May ARC is rapidly approaching, and everyone is invited. Everyone? Yep! Everyone! If you or someone you know would like to attend, great. All events will be on Zoom during the week of May 23-27. Here is what you can expect:

  • President Muma will be giving a campus update on freedom of expression.
  • Pedagogy information like "Myths about Teaching and Learning," "Pedagogy? Andragogy? What's the Difference?," and "Giving Excellent Online Feedback."
  • Panels including, "Portfolios at Wichita State," "Student Panel," "Retention Panel," and "Intersectionality of ODI and ODS."
  • Two article clubs: "The Power of Telling Students Why," and "Why the Science of Teaching is Often Ignored."
  • And more: LinkedIn Learning Challenges (open to everyone), technical training, onboarding, and advice on where to get help.

Join a Panel!

There is still room on all of our ARC panels, so if you would like to join one, let us know at OIR@wichita.edu.  

LinkedIn Learning Content Mapping

Did you know that LinkedIn Learning has over 16,000 courses available to you and your students? And it's free for anyone associated with WSU. What a great way to add high-quality content to any course or to work on your own professional development.

As you may already know, OIR curates several LinkedIn Learning course suggestions as part of each ARC, but there are other ways for instructors to sift through the thousands of courses to find just what is needed. LinkedIn Learning provides a service called "Content Mapping" to help you match your needs with the available courses. Look here to get started with content maps about:

  • Academic subjects
  • Diversity, Equity, and Belonging
  • Leadership and Management
  • Microsoft Learning
  • HR Frameworks


Myths about Teaching and Learning

Did you know that a growing body of research indicates that higher education professionals including many professors, instructional designers, and administrators base at least some of their beliefs about teaching and learning on myths and misunderstandings, especially when it comes to the brain? These misunderstandings are called "neuromyths" in the literature, and in addition to having been found in higher education professionals, they are prevalent in K-12 teachers as well as pre-service teachers at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate level. Commonly-believed neuromyths include:

  • The belief that listening to classical music increases reasoning
  • The belief that people learn best when they receive information in their preferred learning style
  • The belief that some people are "left-brained" and others "right-brained"

Would you like to learn more about neuromyths and other myths about teaching and learning? May's ARC will be hosting a session on "Myths about Teaching and Learning" on May 24 at 11:00am on Zoom. Hope to see you there!

"Article Club" Focuses on Pedagogy

This May the ARC will be hosting two sessions of "Article Club."  What's Article Club? Think "Book Club" but with faster prep! 

Each session of Article Club will focus on a different article.  For our inaugural club we are focusing on pedagogy and teaching:

Both articles can be found in the Chronicle of Higher Education, and as a WSU employee, you have free access! If you would like to browse the Chron, simply login to MyWSU, and you will find a link to the newspaper under "Tools" in the Faculty/Staff tab. 


Keeping Videos Long-term

Do you have a video recording you aren't sure where to keep long-term and/or how to share it with others? Whether you need to preserve a Zoom cloud recording or find a permanent place to house a video that's been kicking around on a thumbdrive, there is a video hosting solution available to you. 

Campus Media Services (CMS) has put together a comprehensive list of training information about video storage, and it covers Microsoft OneDrive, YouTube, and Panopto. If you have any questions, you can contact OIR at OIR@wichita.edu, and if we can't help you, CMS can!

Reminder: Free Human Captioning

Thanks to COVID relief money, all WSU staff and faculty have free access to human captioning for videos uploaded to Panopto. If you would like to take advantage of this service while the money lasts, simply go to "settings" for your video and request captions through Cielo24. If you need help accessing Panopto, or if nothing about Panopto is all that "simple" for you, no problem! OIR is here to help all instructors and staff with these tasks. Send us an email to OIR@wichita.edu, and we'll help you unlock this valuable service.

Need a VTT File?

If you hope to upload a video to a video hosting platform outside of Panopto, you may be asked to provide a VTT file for captions. Microsoft Steam can help you generate such a file, and Ali Levine from ITS has put together this short training to show you how!


Free Online Conference: Register Now!

Anthology (the company that owns Blackboard) is hosting a free online conference, The Digital Teaching Symposium, April 21st from 8:00am-9:00pm. This is a peer-to-peer training day focusing on digital teaching strategies, and YOU are invited. To register, you will need a Blackboard Community account, and signing up for one is easy.  OIR staff will be attending too, so maybe we will see you there!

Did You Leave Ultra?

Did you try out Ultra in the Fall or Spring semester and decide to go back to Classic Blackboard?  OIR wants to talk to you about your experience. Please reach out to us via email at OIR@wichita.edu. We are putting together a focus group of people who left Ultra Course Format, and Blackboard representatives would like to participate as well. This is a great opportunity to impact the future development of the Ultra Course Format and get your voice heard. The focus group is tentatively scheduled to take place during the week of May 23.

Request Development/Sandbox Shells Now

If you are planning on teaching a new course, or a course in a new format, you should consider requesting a "sandbox/development" shell for OIR. A development shell gives you a place to build your course in "Original" format or "Ultra Course Format," and once that's done, you can import all the content into your live course are. To make the request send the course name you would like to use along with your WSU ID#, and we'll get you started: OIR@wichita.edu

Getting "Messages" as Emails

Blackboard's "Messages" feature allows students to send you email-like messages right from their Blackboard class shell. These messages are secure, FERPA compliant, and are permanently archived with your Blackboard class just in case you need access to one at some point in the future. But many instructors find it frustrating to have to check their course messages each day. Thankfully, there is a way for you to receive email notification when a student sends you a message. Here's how:

  • Login to Blackboard
  • Click on your name in the menu bar on the left part of the screen
  • Look to the right and under the heading "System Settings" click "Email Notifications"
  • Click the box next to "New Messages" and Save
  • Now you will receive email notification each time someone sends you a Message in Blackboard!

Did you know?

Campus Studies Planned for AY 2022-23

The Office of Instructional Resources is partnering with various departments and offices around campus to run some studies involving student messaging in Blackboard as well as a study about the impact of instructor training. If you or your department would like assistance setting up and running an educational intervention in your course or courses, OIR is here to help you. We can assist with creating research proposals, identifying existing research (in cooperation with your subject librarian), and getting your study through the IRB process so you can publish results if you would like. Please send your question(s) to Dr. Carolyn Speer at carolyn.speer@wichita.edu