Exactly three years ago tomorrow I began as the Campus Accessibility Specialist at UIS. As an alum I was very excited to be at UIS, and to work with a great team in COLRS. I began making my way across campus and met each department. I remember many of the encounters. After hearing faculty concerns, we began helping faculty by hiring student workers to work on the files for classes. We held workshops and FDOs. We expanded our focus by working on files for offices and the website.
We have worked on thousands of files for over 200 classes at UIS, and expanded our team of 4 student workers to 7. We have worked with hundreds of faculty at UIS to help them raise the bar on accessibility.
And it is here that I leave you, to move to a new accessibility position with the UI System office. This does not mean that I won’t be around, just less frequently. As part of my new position I will still be working with UIS as well as UIC and UIUC. And the student workers are left in good hands. One of the original student workers Alana Gomoll, who graduated in May 2020 will be leading the team of student workers.
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
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
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
Under Import Content, select your content type (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:
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.
Using “Student View” in Canvas and Managing Course Navigation
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:
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:
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:
CANNOT be seen by students. To enable links for
students, follow these steps:
Click on Settings at the bottom of your Course Menu:
Find the 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” –
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.
The dashboard is the first thing you will see when you log
into Canvas. It helps you see what is happening in all your current courses,
and it gives access to unpublished courses that have not started yet. If you
have not favorited any courses, by default the dashboard will automatically
display up to 20 courses alphabetically. Any courses you have with an
instructor role will be listed first, followed by TA or course designer roles.
Your courses with student roles are listed last.
When a term closes on Canvas, those courses will
automatically disappear from your dashboard – but you can still access them
from the blue Global Navigation menu on the left-hand side of Canvas.
To access all of your Canvas courses, including those from past semesters, click the “Courses” link in the Global Navigation menu, and then click “All Courses.” In this view, you may choose certain courses as favorites by clicking on each star next to the course name. If you favorite certain courses, only those courses will appear on the dashboard.
With all the uncertainty that we all have for this Fall, our students definitely feel these stresses. One way that we can reduce this uncertainty is by contacting our students early to let them know what we are planning for our Fall classes. This includes whether or not there will be face-to-face sessions planned and/or synchronous online sessions via Zoom and dates/times if you have them already.
Even though our Canvas courses aren’t populated yet, you can get a list of student emails from Enterprise following the instructions below and contact them before they are added to your Canvas course. Students will be populated into Canvas on August 17. After this you can message them directly through Canvas. (More on this topic can be found in the COLRS Teaching Blog)
Instructions to access students enrolled in courses using Self-service (Enterprise):
May 24, 2020 / mgribbin / Comments Off on Development Opportunities for Online, Blended & Remote Teaching
As you take a moment to reflect on your experiences teaching during the Spring 2020 semester, COLRS encourages faculty to discuss your teaching experiences and further develop your skills in teaching in an online or blended environment. Upcoming opportunities include:
Throughout the summer, COLRS will be offering workshops on Technology Tools for Remote Delivery, Blended Learning Best Practices, and HyFlex Teaching. Check the COLRS Workshop calendar for dates and Zoom connection links. These workshops are free and available to all UIS faculty and staff (full or part-time).
COLRS Building Digital Community Course on CanvasThis self-paced faculty development course meets the requirements of the Higher Learning Commission for required faculty training in online instruction. It consists of six modules: Foundations of Online Learning, Accessibility, Instructional Design, Learning Theories, Facilitating Online Learning, Putting it Together. This course is free and available to all UIS faculty and staff (full or part-time). COLRS Canvas Migration Resources on CanvasThis Canvas site is a central location for support, materials, and resources to help you migrate your course to Canvas. These resources are publicly available.
Illinois Online Network (ION) Course Options
ION offers several non-credit courses including Overview of Online Courses, Blended Learning Design & Instruction, Instructional Design, Student Assessment, and many more. See the ION schedule for all upcoming course offerings. These courses are free for UIS faculty and staff (use code DV412 during registration).
For-Credit Course Offerings
UIS offers relevant for-credit courses. Please contact Human Resources for tuition reimbursement possibilities.
EDL 515 – Online Teaching and Learning. This course will introduce students to online and blended teaching and learning. Major concepts and issues, research in the field, and emerging technologies are covered, as well as practical strategies for designing and teaching online, which students actually get to practice in the course.
EDL 555 – Foundation for Technology in the CurriculumBasic technology skills and knowledge necessary for today’s education professionals. Computer operation, electronic communication, and computer applications with emphasis on the tools most applicable to the classroom setting.
April 3, 2020 / mgribbin / Comments Off on The Teacher-Scholar: Interdisciplinary Research on Remote Teaching
As emphasized as a value in the UIS Strategic Compass, the UIS community seeks to understand the world around us through the pursuit of scholarship that is challenging and significant. In the past couple of weeks, COLRS has been approached by UIS faculty who would like to discuss research possibilities relating to the campus-wide transition to remote teaching. If you are interested in participating in an initial discussion about potential project ideas, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. In your e-mail, please share any immediate areas of interest that you would like to raise in the discussion. COLRS will coordinate the scheduling of a Zoom session in the upcoming weeks for those who show an interest.
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:
In response to COVID-19, the larger educational community has been active in curating virtual resources for educators needing to quickly convert on-ground courses to alternative formats. As COLRS discovers resources that may be useful, we will share them here in this blog post.
If you’re traveling out of town, or just need to connect to campus from home, we have some tips for keeping connected with ease.
Download and install the UIS VPN client from vpn.uis.edu. The university Virtual Private Network (VPN) is free for anyone with a NetID and enables individuals to secure their Internet connection back to the university while using public Wi-Fi such as coffee shops or at conferences. By using the VPN, you are securing yourself from misconfigurations on these public networks and malicious behavior by others on that same wireless network.
I have a wonderful team of student workers who do remediation of documents and video captioning. Recently two examples of their angst as students, highlighted the benefits of thinking about user experience and universal design for learning by making content accessible.
One of my students has a second job, and at that job she is allowed to quietly do online homework. This means she can watch captioned videos only. For one class, she was required to watch around 20 hours of video, however it didn’t have captions, not even auto generated captions. For a student who has personally captioned several hundred hours of video, she was more than a little upset with her professor. She is just trying to make the most of her time, and do her assignments, not having captions impeded that.
Another student, sent me a message the other day that she could not highlight some text in a pdf to copy to her notes. She’s working on a paper and thought a few sentences from the required reading really nailed the point. I knew that the pdf had not had any accessibility work done, so I told her to download it, go through the first few steps of making it accessible, and then copy the required quote, which worked.
In both these cases the students don’t need the files to be accessible because they have a a physical, learning or cognitive disability. They are used to files working a certain way because they do this work at least 20 hours a week, and they are busy people. In their attempts to do their real work, as students, they were inhibited from learning. Yes, accessibility certainly benefits students who may have a hearing or visual impairment. However, if we make content accessible, universally design our classes for all learners, and think about the user experience it will benefit all our students.
I have worked on, and sat through many videos which are, to a certain extent, improv. This means that the creator sat down cold, and began recording all in one sitting. The video portion could have a talking head, or a PowerPoint, a screen recording, a drawing, or even show some sort of event or chemical reaction. In a video like this there could be a lot of filler words like um, ah, ok, a… Or perhaps there are interjections based on occurrences during the recording such as running out of ink, trying to find the proper tab for a function in the software, or yelling at someone in the house that the laundry is upstairs. For the student this can be distracting. And for those of us who don’t like hearing our own voices in a recording, it can make us cringe even more to hear, in our own voice, “someone let the dog out, um ah, where was I?”
An effective way to decrease these instances is to write a script for the video. Take the time to write down what you plan to say. Edit it a few times. And then read the script during the recording. Depending on your setup, you may want to print it out or have it displayed on an extra monitor. I recommend increasing the font size so it is easier to read as well. Doing this will decrease the ums, ahs, and oks. It cannot prevent a barking dog, but it can allow you to scrap the recording with the barking dog, and not worry about where you were to say what you meant to say. It will also give you an initial transcript of the video. Depending on how you are captioning your videos, you might also be able to upload the transcript and allow your video hosting platform to sync it.
The official system of record for your class list is the Enterprise Self-Service system. This is also the system where students register and drop courses and instructors enter midterm and final grades.
Recently I saw a post on Facebook with a blue circle, with a barely lighter blue rhino in it. It equated intelligence with the ability to see the rhino. It made me think of the need to keep color in mind in our instructional materials. Around 8% of men and 1% of women of Northern European descent are color blind. And the older we get the more difficulty we all have with certain color combinations. So it is important to think about this for our students, if you like to use color in your documents or presentations. Below are some known color combinations which are highly problematic.
Intellectual and Practical Skills: inquiry and analysis, critical thinking, creative thinking, written communication, oral communication, reading, quantitative literacy, information literacy, teamwork, and problem-solving
Personal and Social Responsibility: civic engagement, intercultural knowledge and competence, ethical reasoning, foundations and skills for lifelong learning, global learning
Integrative and Applied Learning: integrative learning
Emerging EdTech 21st Century Assessments Rubric -By creating assignments that earn high scores on this rubric, you can provide opportunities for students to develop and master the skills that are increasingly necessary to excel in today’s increasingly digital world while demonstrating acquisition of the required outcomes in many different types of courses. Criteria categories include:
choice, flexibility, writing required, inquiry-based learning, real-world connection, collaboration, digital literacy, entrepreneurial skills, and mastery learning.
ConnectEd Studios Rubrics Bank – You’ll need to establish a free account to access the rubrics bank. Sample rubrics you might be interested in include teamwork, group skills, and digital communication to name a few.
The Leadership Development Center at York College conducted a national professionalism study, which identified key professionalism components spanning across industries and occupations. In the 2015 report, respondents ranked seven responsible parties according to how responsible they felt each should be in developing professionalism in college graduates. Students themselves were ranked number one and were followed by faculty ranking number two. The report also describes the qualities of professionalism and unprofessionalism. This list of qualities could be used for developing learner expectations for your course and allow various opportunities for practice in adopting professional attitudes and behaviors prior to graduation. Adapt ideas from this learning activity to help your learners improve in professionalism behavior and attitudes.
Leadership Development Center, 2015 National Professionalism Study
Explore the ACT WorkKeys Assessment information developed to measure foundational hard and soft skills relevant to any occupation, at any level, and across industries. Each assessment has characteristics and skills divided into seven levels of difficulty. Use the information to explore ideas for developing or enhancing learning activities.
Graphic Literacy – Use charts, graphs and diagrams for identifying what information is being presented and understanding how to use it.
Workplace Documents – Be creative and incorporate readings that reflect real workplace documents. Learners can gather information from the documents to make job-related decisions and solve problems. Sample documents can include messages, emails, letters, directions, signs, bulletins, policies, websites, contracts, and regulations.
BusinessWriting – Assess learning activities in the context of workplace writing needs. Content needs to be clear and free of distractions such as poor grammar, misspellings, and extraneous information. Explain to learners how careless errors may lead the reader (e.g. customer, supervisor etc.) to believe other errors may exist in terms of facts, resulting in the writer (or employee) losing credibility and trustworthiness.
Workplace Observation – Provide opportunities for learners to observe, follow, understand, and evaluate processes, demonstrations, and other workplace procedures.
Fit – Help learners identify interests and values compatible with a work environment conducive for job success.
Talent – Develop activities to increase awareness of a student’s attitude or behavior, that if demonstrated in the workplace, could lead to disciplinary action or termination. Provide opportunities for growth and feedback.
The Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) outlines a set of reference points for what students should know and be able to do upon completion of an associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees – in any field of study. The are five broad, interrelated categories of proficiencies which provide a profile of what degrees mean in terms of specific learning outcomes.
The North Carolina Network for Excellence in Teaching developed an Employability Skills Resource Toolkit comprised of eight modules for faculty to use for integrating employability skills across the curriculum. Use the modules to introduce a topic or adapt for course-specific content. Each module contains instructional materials with course lessons and learning objectives, questions for reflection and discussion, student handouts, assessment rubrics, facilitator notes and annotated presentation slides.
The Rigor Relevance Framework was developed by the International Center for Leadership in Education to examine curriculum, instruction, and assessment along the two dimensions of higher standards and student achievement. The tool can be used for both instruction and assessment.
The Knowledge Taxonomy (y-axis) based on Bloom’s Taxonomy
Six level – thinking continuum
Application Model (x-axis), developed by Bill Daggett
Five level – knowledge continuum
Includes using knowledge to solve complex, real-world problems and create projects, designs, and other works for use in real-world situations.
You manage availability to students when a test or survey is deployed on in a content area of your course (e.g., Course Materials or Assignments), by click on the “item options” button on the Test Options or Survey Options page.
Unavailable and deleted tests and surveys differ in the following ways:
Unavailable tests and surveys deployed in a content area do not appear to students. When Edit Mode is ON, instructors and course builders can see unavailable tests.
You can limit test and survey availability to a specific time period with the Display After and Display Until dates and times. If the link to a test or survey is available, but neither date is set, it is immediately and always available.
If you delete a test or survey from a content area in your course, it is removed from that location. You can deploy it again as needed. You can deploy each test and survey in one location only.
If you delete a test or survey from the tests or surveys tool pages, it is permanently deleted from your course. This is irreversible. You can access the tests and surveys tools in the Course Tools section of the Control Panel.