Online Teaching & Technology Blog

Center for Online Learning, Research and Service @ Illinois Springfield

Author: Carrie Levin

How to use the Total Column in the Canvas Gradebook

You can customize the Total column in your Gradebook. The Total column can be moved to the front of the Gradebook or sorted to display grades in an ascending or descending order.

You can switch your students’ total grades from a percentage to a point value in the Gradebook.

By default, total grades are shown as a percentage with two decimal places.

Notes:

Viewing total grades as a point value is available only if you use unweighted assignment groups in your course. When assignment groups are weighted, points cannot be displayed for the total grade.

Open Grades

"Grades" item in the course menu

In Course Navigation, click the Grades link.

Open Total Column Menu

Hover over the Total column header and click the More Options menu.

total column

Sort Total Column

sort total column

To sort the Gradebook by ascending or descending total grades, click the Sort by link [1], then select the Grade – Low to High or Grade – High to Low option [2].

Switch to Points

display as points

By default, total grades are shown as a percentage with two decimal places.

If your course uses unweighted assignment groups, you can view your students’ total grades as points. Click the Display as Points link.

warning

Canvas confirms you want to switch the total grade view. If you do not want to see this warning message for your course again, click the Don’t show… checkbox [1].

Click the Continue button [2].

Switch to Percentages

display as percentages

You can switch back to percentages by clicking the Total menu icon and selecting Display as Percentage.

Move Total Column

move to front

To move the Total column to the front of the Gradebook, click the Move to Front link.

Canvas Tips for Faculty: My Links Don’t Work!

Many faculty who have imported course content from Blackboard have founds links that appear to be active don’t work. Here are common issues with imported links, and the steps you can take to fix your links.

Problem #1: When I or my students click on the link, we receive an error message which says the content is insecure. I know it is a good link to a safe website. What can I do?

Explanation: When a link has been created for a site that does not use the https: (secure) protocol, Canvas will return a message about “insecure content,” because Canvas is a secure (https:) site.

Solutions:

  1. When including the link in a module, set the link to open in a new tab.
  2. Create a new link in a Canvas “page”

Problem #2: My link shows as “broken” but I know it works. What can I do?

Explanation: Canvas uses “iframes” to display webpages. There are many websites (including the UIS website) that do not allow pages to be displayed as iframes for security purposes, and this can make the links appear broken in Canvas. These links, when imported from Blackboard, are often listed in a module, but as unpublished. This helpful feature helps us to remember to check how these links will display to students.

Solutions:

  1. When including the link in a module, set the link to open in a new tab.
  2. Create a new link in a Canvas “page”

Problem #3: My imported Kaltura links no longer work, but I know my videos are still there. What can I do?

Explanation: If you Kaltura media links have “BBLEARN” included in the link, they are linking to the My Media area in Blackboard. Students will not be able to view them.

Solution: Follow the steps in this video to add Kaltura media links to your Canvas course.

Canvas Teaching Tip: Sending Messages to Students from the Gradebook

An easy way to communicate with students about their performance in your class is by sending messages to a subset of students using the Gradebook. You can use the Gradebook to send messages to select students based on their status or performance on a specific assignment:

  • Haven’t submitted yet—email students who haven’t submitted the assignment, even if they have been manually awarded a grade.
  • Haven’t been graded—email students whose assignments have not yet been graded (submitted or unsubmitted).
  • Scored less than [point value]—email students who earned a grade on their assignment less than X number of points.
  • Scored more than [point value]—email students who earned a grade on their assignment more than X number of points.  

Although one message can be sent to multiple students at the same time, each student will receive an individual message. You can also message students individually in the Gradebook by using the student context card.

Open Gradebook

In Course Navigation, click the Grades link.

"Grades" item in the course menu

Open Assignments Menu

arrow pointing to assignments menu

Hover over the assignment column header and click the Options icon.

Message Students

"message students who" highlighted

Click the Message Students Who link.

Select Message Category

select message category indicated by arrows

By default, Canvas will show names from the Haven’t submitted yet category.

In the drop-down menu:

[1] Select the category of students you want to message. Based on real-time data, Canvas will show the names of the students who fall in the category you selected 

[2] You can also remove students from the message by clicking the Remove icon. Canvas will also generate a subject line based on the category 

[3] You can edit the subject line if needed.

Send Message

Message students who feature highlighting message box

[1] Type a message to the students in the message field.

[2] Click the Send Message button.

Note: Although one message most likely will be sent to multiple students at the same time, each student will receive an individual message.

Importing Course Content from Blackboard into Canvas

Course content created in Blackboard can be imported in Canvas by following these steps:

Remove Excess Grading Categories from your Blackboard Grade Center

Open the full Blackboard Grade Center

Go to Manage and choose Categories

Select Categories

You may see several empty grading categories. These appear and multiply each time you copy Blackboard content from one semester to the next. While these categories do not affect Blackboard, they can cause serious issues with the Gradebook and Assignments page in Canvas and, therefore, must be removed.

To remove the excess grading categories, click “show all” at the bottom of the page

choose "show all"

Next, click on the box to the left of the word “title” (this will “select” all empty grading categories) and click delete to remove excess grading categories.

arrows pointing to box and delete

Here is a video demonstration of this process.

Create Export Package

Once you’ve deleted the excess grading categories, you’ll need to create an Export Package (zip file) with your course content that can be imported into Canvas.

First, go to your Blackboard Control Panel and click on Packages and Utilities:

Arrow points to Packages and Utilities in Blackboard

Choose “Export/Archive Course” and click on “Export Package.”

From there, choose the content you would like to import into Canvas. You may select “all” or choose individual content areas and tools:

Content areas in Blackboard shown

Click “submit.”

When your Export Package is ready, you will receive an email message in your UIS email which tells you “the operation has been completed.”

When you go back to Packages and Utilities > Export/Archive course, you will see the Export Package ready to download.

Export Package in Blackboard ready to download

Click on the link to save it to your downloads.

Import Your Content to Canvas

Open your Canvas course.

On the right side of the home page, you will see a button called Import Existing Content:

import existing content button on canvas home page indicated

Under Import Content, select your content type (Blackboard 6/7/8/9) from the dropdown menu:

Arrow pointing to Blackboard 6/7/8/9 from the dropdown menu

Under “source,” choose the Blackboard Export File from your downloads. Choose “all content” or “select specific content” and then click “import.”

You’ll see a green indicator when the process has completed:

green indicator that importing process in complete

You’ll then be able to begin creating, rearranging, and updating your Canvas modules with your newly imported content.

Note: Canvas courses have a size limit of 500 MB. Export packages larger than 500 MB will not import properly. If your course exceeds the size limits, you may need to upload videos to Kaltura and/or move files to Box which can be shared to Canvas.

Here is a video demonstration of the export/import process.

Canvas Tip: What Do My Students See?

Using “Student View” in Canvas and Managing Course Navigation

Student View

To see the student’s perspective on Canvas, use Student View to view the course, post and reply to discussions, submit assignments, view grades, view people, view pages, view the syllabus, view quizzes, view the calendar, etc. Enabling Student View creates a Test Student in your course. You can also activate Student View in your Course Settings.

To access Student View through your course home page, find Student View on the right:

student view in canvas

You can now view the course as a student user would see it. For example, students cannot see the Settings navigation link like instructors can.

You will know if you are in Student View because of the persistent box on the bottom of the screen indicating you are logged into Student View.

Click Leave Student View to return to your instructor view:

Leave Student View Button

Course Navigation

As an instructor, you can control which links appear to your students in your course menu. Canvas includes a set of default Course Navigation links that cannot be renamed.

All menu items with this icon:

Canvas menu icon: Eye with line

CANNOT be seen by students. To enable links for students, follow these steps:

Click on Settings at the bottom of your Course Menu:

Canvas course menu; arrow pointing to Settings

Find the Course Navigation tab:

course navigation tab

From the Navigation Page, you can re-order menu items using the drag-and-drop interface.

You can also “enable” a menu item, by clicking on the “kebab” (three dots) associated with the menu item and choosing “enable” –

the "kebab" icon with the Enable option highlighted

Be sure to click “Save” at the bottom of the page to save your changes.

NOTE: Some navigation areas, such as Announcements, can be enabled, but show the “hidden” icon when there is no content. Adding content will enable students to see the menu item.

Moderating Quizzes in Canvas

One question that we are anticipating coming up as we move to Canvas, is how to “moderate” student quizzes. Often, faculty need to give students “special” access to quizzes for a variety of reasons.

Examples of “special access”:

Student needs an extra attempt
Student needs extra time

To “Moderate” a quiz in Canvas:

1. Go into your Canvas course and select “Quizzes” from the navigation bar.

2. Locate the quiz you wish to “moderate” and select the name of it.

3. This will take you to the information for that quiz. Locate the “Moderate This Quiz” button in the upper right and select it.

moderate this quiz

4. This will take you the “Moderate Quiz” screen. You will have a list of all of your students and the following information will be provided.

  • Name of Student
  • Number of attempts available
  • Time it took student to take quiz
  • Number of attempts left
  • Score
  • Edit/Moderate pencil icon

To give your student extra time and/or an extra attempt, select the “pencil” icon.

pencil icon

5. A dialogue box will appear where you can give this student:

  • Extra Attempts
  • Extra Time on Every Attempt

If the quiz is locked, choose to” Manually unlock the quiz for the next attempt.”

Quiz extensions

Please note: When adding extra time for a student, include only the additional time they should have in completing the test.

Authentic Assessment

Remote Teaching Tip: Authentic Assessment

Authentic assessments require students to apply concepts they have learned to real world situations by having them complete meaningful task-based assessments. This type of assessment engages a variety of skills, and measures higher levels of learning than traditional assessments. Authentic assessment helps students practice creative thinking and problem-solving, and allows for multiple paths to demonstrate knowledge.

Most authentic assessments involve complex questions and tasks that do not have straightforward solutions; students must research, brainstorm, practice, draft, and refine solutions in order to complete the assignment.

Examples of authentic assessments you can use in online learning environment include:

  • Peer Review
  • Self-Assessment
  • Problem Based Learning
  • Online Journaling
  • Interpretation of charts/graphs
  • Have students design assessments
  • Require answer justification (why is the answer correct?)
  • Peer evaluation of reflections/essays
  • Experimental interpretation- analysis of research based findings

For more reading on authentic assessment:

Inside Higher Ed: Q&A Toward Better Assessments in Online Courses

Authentic Assessment in the Online Classroom

IU Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning: Authentic Assessment

Discussion Board Best Practices

For the next couple of weeks, COLRS will be sending out a Teaching Remotely Tip of the Day that comes from the most frequently asked questions by faculty.  All Remote Teaching Tips are archived on the COLRS blog. The Teaching Remotely at UIS website is another starting point for faculty who are converting their courses to alternative formats.  This week, open Office Hours will be hosted by COLRS staff daily at 10 am for faculty to ask pedagogy-related questions.  In addition, you may call COLRS at 217-206-7317 or e-mail colrs@uis.edu to schedule a one-to-one meeting with any COLRS staff member.  

In online courses, and now with “remote delivery” of previously face-to-face courses, discussion forums provide a place for student-to-student and instructor-to-student interaction. Within discussion forums, students share thoughts and review the ideas of others modeled through collegial, dialogic exchanges. Research shows the benefits of discussions for student engagement and learning.

To help alleviate discussion board burn-out, here are some recommendations and resources that will help us keep our discussions fresh and prevent excessive workload:

  1. Post the rules of netiquette and behavior expectations at the start of class.
  2. Encourage students to introduce themselves and meet one another to form a learning community where they will feel safe to share and discuss.
  3. Develop discussion questions that allow the student to critically reflect on the material and synthesize it with their own experiences.
  4. Encourage students to participate early and often.
  5. Create their presence in the classroom but not interfere with the flow of the discussion.
  6. Intervene when the discussion is veering off in the wrong direction and help move the discussion back on track.
  7. Ensure that the discussion forum is a safe learning environment.
  8. Promote further thinking and reflection by posing more thoughtful and engaging questions within any given discussion.

Additional resources:

Successful Strategies for Creating Online Discussion Prompts.  

CREST+ Model: Writing Effective Online Discussion Questions by Lynn Akin and Diane Neal.

Peer Assessment. A Module Lesson .

Student Peer Assessment by Louise Lutze-Mann

Scheduling a Recurring Meeting in Zoom

Recurring meetings in Zoom

Zoom allows you to schedule meetings with multiple occurrences, so that each occurrence uses the same meeting ID and settings. You can schedule these meetings in daily, weekly, and monthly increments. You can also set a recurring meeting to be used at any time. Meeting IDs for recurring meetings expire 365 days after the meeting was last started.

check "recurring meeting" box in Zoom scheduler
  • Edit the recurrence
edit the recurrence of the meeting
  • If registration is required and the meeting is recurring, specify one of the following options
check box if registration is required
  • Click Save and Add to Calendar
add recurring meeting to calendar
  • Finish selecting the meeting options and click Schedule

For more tips on using Zoom, check out these Zoom Task Cards.

Dealing with Slow Internet

As millions of people around the world shift to working from home, the unprecedented transformation of our behavior has put a large strain on internet infrastructure which can lead to slow internet speeds.

Here are some ideas to help us address this challenge:

The following companies are offering free or low-cost internet service during the crisis:

  1. Comcast, Charter, Cox, Google Fiber, Spring, Verizon, and T-Mobile will not disconnect anyone for the next 60 days. They participated in the “Keep Americans Connected” Pledge.
  2. Comcast is offering an Internet Essentials package for free for 60 days during the coronavirus outbreak.
  3. Charter Communication announced it will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a subscription. 

Those using Zoom web conferencing to connect with students, may find that Zoom uses significant bandwidth, especially for video calls. To address this concern:

  1. You and your students can connect to a Zoom meeting via telephone.
  2. You may choose to mute audio when not speaking and ask your students to do the same.
  3. You may choose to turn off your webcam unless necessary.
  4. Zoom has offered a set of instructions for those experiencing WIFI connection issues.
  5. Upload your Zoom recordings and other lectures to Kaltura or YouTube, rather than Box, for ease of streaming over slower connections.

Turnitin Feedback Studio Instructor Guide

In August of 2017, Turnitin will be moving to an updated user interface called “Feedback Studio.”

Turnitin Feedback Studio is designed around empowering you and your students by giving you the information and the tools needed for an efficient submission and marking process. Turnitin has made improvements to accessibility, responsiveness, and navigation, all designed to help instructors build better writers, with an emphasis on integrity.

This Instructor Guide offers video tutorials as well as written guidance for using Feedback Studio.

Excel Accessibility Cheat Sheet

MS Excel: Accessibility Best Practices

Tables: Use Tables Titles and Avoid Blank Rows and Columns

  1. One very common mistake is leaving column A blank (because it makes it look like a margin).
  2. Place table titles in the first column (A) so screen readers can find them easily.
  3. If the table does not display the full text, merge cells and center them by selecting the Home tab, then clicking on Merge & Center. Be sure to keep the original text in the first column.
  4. It’s OK to have merged cells in titles, but do not merge cells in the data part of the table.
  5. Resize your rows and columns to provide spacing that makes the table readable (rather than using

blanks to create your spacing).

  1. If you have two or more tables on the same worksheet, leave a single blank row between each

table. You can resize the blank row to create a space that is visually appealing.

  1. Add an “End of Table” message in the row after the last row of a data table row. The text can be in white against a white background.

Table Cell Range and Header Cells: Define the Regions

  1. You can use the Names feature to name a range of cells so that screen readers voice the names of header cells along with the value of each cell.
  2. Select the top-left cell in your table. Don’t count the titles, but do count all row and column headers as part of your table.
  3. Go to the Formulas tab in the Ribbon, and choose Name Manager in the Defined Names Choose New in the top left corner.
  4. A new dialog box opens. In the Name field, type TitleRegion then put a 1 if this is the first table on your worksheet, then a period, then the range of cells in your table from top left to bottom right (with a period in between), then another period, then the worksheet number. For example, your Title code might look like this:

TitleRegion1.a2.g7.2

  1. Click OK and Close.

Images: Use Alt Text for Informative Images

  1. Insert the image, then right-click and choose Size and Properties.
  2. In the Size and Properties dialog box, choose the Alt Text Type in a brief description with

enough detail to explain the picture, then Close the dialog box.

Charts: Use Alt Text Descriptions

1.       Right-click on the chart, select Format Chart, then Alt Text.

  1. Complete the Description field (not the Title field).

Resources

http://go.illinois.edu/excel_resources

See also: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Section 508 Accessibility checklist

HTML Accessibility Cheat Sheet

HTML: Accessibility Best Practices

Headings: Use Properly Formatted Headings to Structure Page Content

Rationale: Headings help to organize content, making it easier for everyone to read. Headings are also a primary way for people using screen reading software to navigate a page of text.

Lists: Use Ordered/Unordered Lists to Group Related Items

Rationale: Logical organization of content is conveyed to all users, along with other useful information for assistive technology users about the number of items listed. Mobile users also benefit as information is presented as it is meant to be presented.

Tables: Use Tables for Tabular Data and Provide Column and/or Row Headers

Rationale: Screen readers linearize content and read tables from left to right, top to bottom, one cell at a time. If cells are split or merged, it can throw the reading order off and make the table difficult to comprehend by users who are blind and using a screen reader to navigate.

Images: Use Alt Text for Informative Images

Rationale: Alt text is read by a screen reader. It should adequately describe what is displayed and its purpose. This allows screen reader users to benefit from information conveyed by the image, even if they cannot see it.

Links: Use Meaningful Text for Links

Rationale: Headings help to organize content, making it easier for everyone to read. Headings are also a primary way for people using screen reading software to navigate a page of text.

Keyboard: Check Keyboard Access

Rationale: Users with visual and mobility impairments rely on the keyboard, rather than a mouse, to access and navigate online content. If content is not keyboard accessible, it restricts who can learn from that content.

Color: Use Sufficient Color Contrast

Rationale: Without sufficient color contrast between font and background, people who are color blind and low vision may not perceive the content. Additionally, using color alone to convey meaning (e.g., items in red indicate a deficit) excludes color blind or blind users. To check color contrast, use the Paciello Group’s Color Contrast Analyzer:  https://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/contrastanalyser/

Video/Audio: Provide Captioning for Video and Text Transcripts for Audio

Rationale: Captions are essential for those who are deaf and hard of hearing, but they also benefit non-native speakers, those unfamiliar with the vocabulary, and viewers with some learning disabilities or in a noisy environment. Audio transcripts are essential for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, but also assist others who can easily read or search the transcripts.

Math: Write Math and Science Equations Accessibly

Rationale: For web pages, use an equation editor that outputs MathML, a markup language that allows equations to be stored as structured text that is compatible with many assistive technologies. With screen readers, for example, blind users can navigate and review parts of an equation, such as the top portion of a complex fraction. For more information on MathML, see the W3C Math guide: https://www.w3.org/Math/.

Resources

http://webaim.org/intro/#principles

See also: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Section 508 Accessibility checklist

PowerPoint Accessibility Cheat Sheet

MS PowerPoint: Accessibility Best Practices

Use Default Slide Layouts

  1. From the Home tab, choose the New Slide dropdown menu.
  2. Select a slide template (do not use Blank slide template).
  3. Avoid using Text Boxes to create or arrange slide content (screen readers will always read Text Boxes last).

Keep Slide Content Clear, Concise, and Readable

  • Use concise, non-figurative, and accurate language.
  • Slides should appear clean and uncluttered with adequate foreground-background color contrast.
  • Use standard fonts. For readability, sans-serif fonts, such as Arial, Verdana, and Helvetica are preferable.

Use Unique Slide Titles

  1. Create slide titles with the Title placeholder visible in default slide layouts. Do not use text boxes for titles.
  2. Use a unique slide title for each slide. If you have multiple slides that continue a topic, you can label them in the following way: “[TITLE OF SLIDE], 1 of 4,” “[TITLE OF SLIDE], 2 of 4,” etc.
  3. Check titles and document structure: from the View tab, select Presentation Views and click Outline View.

Insert Charts and Graphs with Data Tables

  1. Go Insert and select Chart. The PowerPoint datasheet view appears for you to enter your table data.
  2. Add values to the PowerPoint datasheet by selecting a cell and typing in the value. Remember to add labels for the rows and columns. Close the datasheet window by selecting ESC from your keyboard.
  3. Display the corresponding data table. For Office 2010, select the chart, select Layout from the chart tools menu, and choose Show data table from the Data Table For Office 2016, use the Add Chart Element from the Design tab to choose a layout that displays the data table with the chart (e.g., Data Table > With Legend Keys).

Keep Lists Readable

  • Avoid presenting more than six points per slide at default font size.
  • Use one line of text, ideally, and no more than two per point.

Use Alt Text for Informative Images

  1. Right click on the image, and select Format Picture, then Alt Text.
  2. Fill in the Description field (not the Title field).

Use Meaningful Text for Links

  1. Type out text that describes the link’s destination (e.g., “CITL Summer Intensive”). Avoid text like “Click here.”
  2. Select the text, right click on it, and choose Hyperlink from the menu.
  3. In the Insert Hyperlink window, enter a URL address in the Address field.
  4. Click the OK button to save the link.

Document Properties: Identify the Title and Author

  1. In Windows, click File, then expand the pull down menu for Properties to select the Summary On a Mac, click File, then select Properties, and then select the Summary tab.
  2. From the Summary tab of the Properties dialog, add or change the Title and the Author.

Resources

http://go.illinois.edu/ppt_resources

See also: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Section 508 Accessibility checklist

MS Word Accessibility Cheat Sheet

MS Word: Accessibility Best Practices

Headings: Use Styles to Provide Logical Heading Structure

  1. Select the text that you want to make into a heading.
  2. From the Home tab, choose the appropriate heading level from the Styles

Lists: Use Ordered/Unordered Lists to Group Related Items

  1. Select the text you want to make into a list.
  2. From the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, select the Bullets or Numbering

Tables: Use Tables for Tabular Data and Provide Column Headers

  1. Place the cursor in the top row of your data table and click on the Design tab under Table Tools.
  2. In the Table Style Options group, select the Header Row check box.
  3. Under Table Tools, click the Layout
  4. In the Data group (Word 2016 – Table Design > Layout tab), click the Repeat Header Row

Images: Use Alt Text for Informative Images

  1. Right click on the image, and select Format Picture, then Alt Text.
  2. Fill in the Description field (not the Title field).

Links: Use Meaningful Text for Links

  1. Type out text that clearly describes the link’s destination (e.g., “CITL Best Practices for Creating Accessible Word Documents”). Avoid text like “Click here” or “Visit.”
  2. Select the text, right click on it, and choose Hyperlink from the menu.
  3. In the Insert Hyperlink window, enter a URL address in the Address field.
  4. Click the OK button to save the link.

Document Properties: Identify the Title and Author

  1. In Windows, click File, then expand the pull down menu for Properties to select the Summary On a Mac, click File, then select Properties, and then select the Summary tab.
  2. From the Summary tab of the Properties dialog, add or change the Title and the Author.

Color: Use Sufficient Color Contrast

  1. Download the Paciello Group’s Color Contrast Analyzer from the following URL: https://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/contrastanalyser/
  2. Open the Color Contrast Analyzer application.
  3. Click the Foreground eye dropper tool. Hover over and click your foreground color to select it.
  4. Click the Background eye dropper tool. Hover over and click your background color.
  5. If you are testing a 12-pixel or smaller font, you must get a Pass (AA). If your font is larger than 12 pixels, you must get a Pass (AA) in the Large Text field.
  6. AA standards pass is sufficient.
  7. Do not use color alone to convey information (e.g., items in red indicate a deficit).

Resources

http://go.illinois.edu/word_resources

See also: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Section 508 Accessibility checklist

PDF Accessibility Cheat Sheat

PDF: Accessibility Best Practices

Method 1: Convert MS Word to PDF

  1. Start with a well-structured Word document.
  2. In Word, click the File tab and select Save as. In the Save as type field, select PDF (*.pdf.).
  3. Enter a file name in the File name field.
  4. Click on the Options button and make sure the Document structure tags for accessibility is checked.
  5. Click OK and Save.

This will tag the document so that headings and lists are correctly interpreted by screen readers. Additional remediation using Adobe Acrobat Pro/DC may be needed to adjust reading order.

Method 2: Run Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on Scanned Document

Using Acrobat XI for OCR

  1. Open the scanned PDF file in Adobe Acrobat XI.
  2. Open the Tools panel (click Tools in top right) and click Text Recognition.
  3. Click In This File and the Recognize Text window will open.
  4. Click the Edit button to adjust OCR settings. Select English (US) for Primary OCR Language, Searchable Image for PDF Output Style and 600 dpi for Downsample To.
  5. Click OK when done.

Using Acrobat DC for OCR

  1. Open the scanned PDF file in Adobe Acrobat DC.
  2. In the Tools panel, click the Action Wizard and select Optimize Scanned Document.
  3. Use the Enhance tools to Add Document Description.
  4. Use the Enhance tools to Optimize Scanned Pages.
  5. Use the Enhance tools to Save As.

Method 3: Run Adobe Acrobat Built-in Accessibility Checker

Using the Acrobat XI Accessibility Checker

  1. Click the Tools tab to open the Accessibility panel on the right hand side. If you don’t see it, click the View menu and select Tools > Accessibility.
  2. Under Accessibility, select the Full Check The Accessibility Checker window will open.
  3. Under the Report Options, check the Create Accessibility Report
  4. Click the Start Checking
  5. The Accessibility Checker Report will display on the left pane.

Using the Acrobat DC Accessibility Checker

  1. In the Tools panel, click Accessibility to bring up the Accessibility tools.
  2. From the Accessibility tools, select the Full Check The Accessibility Checker window will open.
  3. Under the Report Options, check the Create Accessibility Report
  4. Click the Start Checking
  5. The Accessibility Checker Report will display on the left pane.

Resources

http://go.illinois.edu/pdf_resources

See also: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Section 508 Accessibility checklist

Emerging Technologies for Education

On February 17, the COLRS Staff offered a presentation titled “Emerging Technologies for Education” through the UIS Faculty Development Office. The following is a list of technologies presented along with others that are among the new favorites for online educators.

ACCESSIBILITY

YouTube Auto-Captioning

Even if you haven’t added captions to your video, YouTube may use speech recognition technology to automatically make captions available.
Since these are automatically generated, the quality of the captions may vary from video to video. As the video owner, you can always edit the captions to improve accuracy, or remove them from your video if you do not want them to be available for your viewers.
If your video does not have automatic captions, it could be due to one or more of the following reasons:
• The language in the video is not yet supported by automatic captions
• The video is too long
• The video has poor sound quality or contains speech that YouTube doesn’t recognize
• There is a long period of silence at the beginning of the video
• There are multiple speakers whose speech overlap

Fangs Screen-Reader Emulator

Fangs renders a text version of a web page similar to how a screen reader would read it. The ambition is to help developers understand how an assistive device would present a website and thereby increase chances of finding accessibility issues early.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jd3qfZGGM88

VIDEO/PRESENTATION TECHNOLOGY

Presentme-Edu

Present.me is the fastest and easiest way to add video or audio to your document or presentation, so that who ever is viewing gets the whole story – as if you were in the room with them!

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6HAw1VsvMs

Vialogues

Vialogues (which derives from “video dialogues”) is an award-winning discussion platform that proves that videos are both powerful teaching resources and the ultimate conversation starters. Vialogues provides a space for users to hold meaningful and dynamic time-stamped discussions about videos.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAKRcmZFcW0

ShowMe

The ShowMe iPad app lets you create lessons using a whiteboard. The app is free and there is no limit what you can teach! Our community has created millions of ShowMes, from chemistry to history to football strategy – and more knowledge is being shared everyday.

Watch: https://vimeo.com/38003641

Swivl

Swivl was founded in 2010 by Brian Lamb and Vladimir Tetelbaum, with the idea of making video a more useful tool with robotics. They launched the first concept to market through crowdfunding on IndieGoGo, and have been engaging with users and improving solutions ever since.  This culminated with the launch of the second generation Swivl and Swivl Cloud in April 2014.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfQFNfnGWU0

 TOUCH TECHNOLOGY

Leap Motion

The Leap Motion Controller senses how you naturally move your hands and lets you use your computer in a whole new way. Point, wave, reach, grab. Pick something up and move it. Do things you never dreamed possible.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gby6hGZb3ww

PRODUCTIVITY

TodaysMeet

Expand your classroom:  Students can join from home or even from other schools to make the classroom community even bigger.

Embrace the backchannel: The backchannel improves meetings, presentations, Socratic seminars and fishbowls, movies and silent activities, reviews and snow days, and more.

Empower learners:  TodaysMeet gives everyone the floor and lets even the quietest students express themselves.

WorkFlowy

A simple, easy-to-use, cross-platform tool that helps you organize your life.

Watch:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSmbnaPZVHE

BibMe

BibMe is an automatic citation creator that supports MLA, APA, Chicago, and Turabian formatting. BibMe leverages external databases to quickly fill citation information for you. BibMe will then format the citation information and compile a bibliography according to the guidelines of the style manuals.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LikOn0xgb0

MOBILE

Flipboard

Flipboard is a social-network aggregation, magazine-format mobile app localized in more than 20 languages. The software collects content from social media and other websites, presents it in magazine format, and allows users to “flip” through their social-networking feeds and feeds from websites that have partnered with the company.

Flipboard is produced by Flipboard, Inc., a United-States-based software company founded in 2010 by Mike McCue and Evan Doll and headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgdU8UvwfB4

WhatsApp

WhatsApp Messenger is an instant messaging app for smartphones that operates under a subscription business model. The proprietary, cross-platform app enables users of select feature phones to use the Internet to communicate. In addition to text messaging, WhatsApp can be used to send images, video, and audio media messages. WhatsApp has also started rolling out the much awaited voice calling feature.  Locations can also be shared through the use of integrated mapping features.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhnFh1MGx4w

Anydo

s a suite of integrated mobile productivity apps. The company’s first product, the Any.do task management app, was launched on Android in November 2011 and later for iPhone and Chrome on June 3, 2012.  

Any.do’s namesake to-do list app was released on November 10, 2011 on the Android platform and TechCrunch reported it to have 500,000 downloads in its first 30 days after launch. It was later released on iOS in June 2012 and reached another milestone with 100,000 iPhone downloads in its first day on the platform.  Any.do includes numerous planning and task management functions:

  • Unlimited, customizable task folders
  • Task sharing and delegation
  • Built-in microphone can be used for voice entry of tasks
  • Auto-suggest feature with predictive text
  • Time- and location-based reminders
  • Cloud sync across all of a user’s devices

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPpHp4Yfs_M

Remind

Remind (formerly Remind101) is a private mobile messaging platform that enables teachers to send Reminders to students and parents via text and email.The platform has over 10 million users and sends over 65 million messages per month. As of February 2014, 15% of the K-12 teacher population in the U.S used Remind101.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aJNeyHvHZA

Two Examples of Rubrics

3 Point Discussion Rubric (click on thumbnail to enlarge)

3_point_grading_rubric

20 Point Rubric (click on thumbnail to enlarge)

20_point_rubric

Copying Tests, Quizzes, Surveys and Pools

Blackboard allows you to copy tests, quizzes, surveys and pools of questions from one course to another.  Here are the instructions:

1. Begin in the course that contains the test, survey or pools you would like to copy.  Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Tests, Surveys and Pools > Choose Tests, Surveys or Pools.

2. Hover just to the right of the name of the test, survey or pool you wish to copy, and you’ll find a chevron.  Click on the chevron and choose “Export” from the drop down menu.

3. A zip file will be downloaded to your computer.

4. Next, go to the course into which you would like to copy the test.  Go to Control Panel > Packages and Utilities > Import Pack/View Logs > Import Package.

5. Click on “Browse My Computer” and select the .zip file from your downloads.  Check the box for Test, Surveys and Pools and click “submit”.

6. Once the test, survey or pool has been copied, you’ll need to deploy it in your Blackboard.  See:  http://blogs.uis.edu/colrs/2013/04/09/posting-deploying-a-test-for-students/

Turnitin Manual for Instructors

Turnitin

Click on the image above for the Turnitin Instructor Manual