AuthorDave Tatem

ToW: New Assignment Feedback and Annotation Tool

Tip of the Week

Over the summer Moodle was upgraded to the latest release which includes a few new features. One of the more useful features is the addition of a reviewing panel  for giving feedback on assignments. When you grade an assignment that was submitted as a Word doc, PDF, or the online text option you will have the ability to add feedback and annotate the document right in the grading interface – no need to open or download the files first. You can add text notes, highlighting, or draw shapes on the document. This can be much faster than downloading Word files to add comments then re loading them to give the students feedback.

If you give feedback on assignments submitted in Moodle this tool should be a great time saver for you. More information on this feature can be found in the Moodle documentation at https://docs.moodle.org/33/en/Using_Assignment#Annotating_submissions.

 

 

TOW: Using Qualtrics for Survey Research

Tip of the Week

There are many ways to field a survey online including free services such as Google Forms and Survey Monkey. But what if your survey requires some complex logic or you need to track participants and automate the process of sending reminders and follow up emails? Trinity College has a subscription with Qualtrics, a powerful and flexible survey tool used by many top researchers. While it does take some getting used to it is easy to use and is powerful and flexible enough for any survey research you can throw at it.

To get started simply go to http://trinity.qualtrics.com and create an account using your Trinity email address. You will then have access to a sandbox area where you can design a survey and see if it is the tool for you. If you decide to use it for your research you should contact your department’s Instructional Technologist and we can help get you started. We will have to fully enable your account before you can activate your survey. To do this we will need some information from you especially proof that you have completed the Institutional Review Board process.

 

TOW: Digitization Service

Did you know Educational Technology provides a digitization service to faculty? Tip of the Week

You may have noticed VHS decks, 35mm slide projectors and overhead transparency projectors aren’t as common as they used to be. They are also becoming harder to replace and keep in working order. These items are going the way of the Dodo so what can you do to future proof your course materials?

If you have VHS tapes, 35mm slides or overhead transparencies you use regularly we can convert them to a digital format for you. We can convert VHS tapes to MP4 files or DVD or scan 35mm slides and transparencies to a variety of image formats.

To get started contact your Instructional Technologist!

 

TOW: The STAs are here to help!

Have a question about Moodle? Tip of the Week
Not sure how to upload media for your WordPress post?
Want to know more about 3D printing?
Heard a rumor that we have an Oculus Rift you can use?

The Student Technology Assistants are here to help faculty and students with all your educational technology needs! Just a few of the things we can help with:

  • Moodle
  • WordPress
  • Multimedia projects using iMovie and Audacity
  • Photoshop
  • Charts and graphs in Excel
  • PowerPoint Presentations and Posters
  • 3D printing
  • Oculus Rift VR headset (yes the rumors are true)

We are here every day so stop in (LITC 113), call (860-297-2589), email (sta-help@trincoll.edu) or make an appointment online. Also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

3D printed Jack-O-Lantern   3D printed skull

3D printed Halloween fun!

TOW: Transferring and receiving large files with dropbox.trincoll.edu

Tip of the Week

We have all been there: You need to share a file with a colleague or friend but it’s over the limit for email attachments (which at Trinity is 10 megs). Maybe you have a folder of pictures you want to send someone. Sure you could attach a couple to each email and send a bunch of separate messages but there is a better way. Why not zip the folder (Windows right click -> Send To compressed (zipped) folder, OSX right click -> archive) and send it all at once?

There are many options for sharing these files including Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and third party file sharing sites. But at Trinity we have a home grown solution that is very easy to use and may be your best option.

Using dropbox.trincoll.edu any member of the Trinity community can share files as large as 2 gigs with anyone whether they have a Trinity email address or not. In the other direction anyone can send files to someone at Trinity. The only catch is that these files must be picked up within 14 days or they will be deleted but that’s OK , you don’t want your files sitting around on our servers forever do you?

Dropbox.trincoll.eduDropbox drop off

To get started navigate to https://dropbox.trincoll.edu/. If you are sending a file to someone at Trinity there is no need to login.

If you want to send a file to someone without a Trinity email address you will need to login with your Trinity username and password first.

Just click Drop-off and then enter the recipient’s name and email address and upload the file.

You could also upload a text file with a list of names if you want to send it to multiple people at the same time.

The recipient of the file will receive an email with a link where they can download the file.

Sounds easy right? it is!

 

 

We are hiring students for the Fall

The Educational Technology group (part of Information Technology Services) is looking to hire motivated students to join our Student Technology Assistant program in the Center for Educational Technology in the library.

Fill out an application today!

Are you looking for an opportunity to learn valuable (and practical!) technical skills while working on meaningful projects? Do you like to help people? Do you like to tinker? Would you like to learn about educational technology such as:

  • Blogging and web publishing with WordPress
  • Digital video editing
  • Classroom technology
  • edX MOOCS
  • Audio/Video event support
  • 3d printing

If you already have some experience in these areas or you are motivated to learn more, the STA program may be the right match for you!

While you should be computer literate you do not need to have extensive technical knowledge – just the willingness to learn.

Priority will be given to First Year students, so this could be a great opportunity to learn and grow with us during your time at Trinity!

Shifts are available during our regular hours:

Monday – Wednesday: 8:00a.m.-9:30p.m.
Thursday: 8:00a.m.-8:00p.m.
Friday: 8:00a.m.-6:00p.m.
Saturday : 12:00p.m.-6:30p.m.
Sunday: 12:00p.m.-8:00p.m.

Fill out an application today!

If you have any questions about the STA program contact David Tatem at 860-297-2124 or david.tatem@trincoll.edu

WordPress has been upgraded

WPWe have upgraded WordPress (commons.trincoll.edu) to the latest version which is currently 4.2.4. Twenty Fifteen, a new responsive theme from WordPress, is now available. A complete list of the 41 plugins and 9 themes that were upgraded can be found below. The system was also migrated to a new virtual server which will allow us to upgrade more often and with less disruption in the future.

If you have any questions or concerns about the upgrade please contact David Tatem at 860-297-2124 or david.tatem@trincoll.edu.

Updated Themes:

Academica
AccessPress Parallax
Atahualpa
BuddyPress Scholar
Headway
Twenty Eleven
Twenty Fourteen
Twenty Ten
Twenty Twelve
Yoko

Updated Plugins:

Advanced Custom Field Widget
Advanced Sidebar Menu
Aesop Story Engine
Akismet
BuddyPress
Category Posts Widget
CommentPress Core
Events +
FD Footnotes
FeedWordPress
Formidable
Geo Mashup
Google Analyticator
Google Doc Embedder
Graceful Pull-Quotes
Gravity Forms
Greg’s Comment Length Limiter
Hypothesis
iframe
Intuitive Custom Post Order
List category posts
Magic Post Listing
My Category Order
My Page Order
NextGEN Gallery by Photocrati
NS Cloner – Site Copier
Page-list
PopUp Pro
Post Content Shortcodes
Post Indexer
Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin
Search & Filter
ShareThis
Shortcode Exec PHP
Sidebar Login
Subscribe to Comments Reloaded
User Role Editor
WP Google Fonts
WPMU DEV Dashboard
WYSIWYG Widgets / Widget Blocks
Zotpress

Simple Timelines and Maps With WordPress

In the Spring of 2014 I had the opportunity to work with 3 different faculty members in the History department who wanted to experiment with having their students visualize data using maps and timelines. While they each had different goals and objectives the guiding principles were the same. We wanted the students to be able to get a better understanding of the materials by visualizing it either on a timeline or a map or both. We also wanted this to be fairly low tech. We didn’t want to make the students learn GIS and we certainly wanted to avoid any tech heavy solutions involving custom code.

After looking at a few options we decided to make use of our existing WordPress platform and use plugins to make timelines and maps.

The solution turned out to be quite simple for the students yet flexible enough to give use a variety of options for displaying the information. Both the timeline entries and mapping entries were simple fields added to regular WordPress posts. The training required was minimal. The students quickly picked up how to add locations to their posts using the simple Google maps search interface. Setting the dates on timeline posts was even easier – just enter the date where the item should go on the timeline.

HIST-311: Place in the Native Northeast
Tom Wickman, Assistant Professor of History and American Studies: http://commons.trincoll.edu/nativenortheastplacenames/

nativenortheast mapIn this course students posted their work on the class WordPress site and had to post a number of map points connected to their posts as part of various assignments. This site will be added to each semester covering a range of topics associated with Native Americans in the Northeast. The site hosts a map containing all points created to date as well as individual maps created by each student as part of a final project. The geomashup plugin makes it simple to add a location to a post using a standard Google maps search interface. By using categories and tags we can display maps on specific topics and the readers can also decide which categories they want to display.

HIST-303: Modern Ireland
Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre, Assistant Professor of History: http://commons.trincoll.edu/hist303/

irelandThis course made use of both maps and timelines in WordPress. We wanted the students to get more background knowledge of the history of Ireland for the course so the goal of the WordPress site was to have the students generate content that when pooled together could serve as a source of information useful to all of them. Each student was assigned a specific topic to share with the class. The hope is the students can build on this first step in future classes.

HIST-300: History Workshop
Sean Cocco, Associate Professor of History: http://commons.trincoll.edu/historychart/

history chart

This course focused on the concept of night time in Europe from 1500-1800.  The goal of this project was to visualize information based on both time and place. Utilizing categories and tags helps link the various posts and topics together. Each semester the course topics changes and the hope is students will be continuously adding to the site to create a rick recourse of historical information.

More information on the plugins:

There are many approaches to both maps and timelines available. We chose these solutions because of their simplicity and seamless integration with WordPress. There are other timeline options that are more feature rich (Timeline JS for example) and many more options for mapping such as Google Fusion tables and ArcGIS software. If you are interested in possibly using timelines or maps with your students just contact your Instructional Technologist and let us help you get started!