Category Archives: Meetings

ZZZZZ Students

The sleeping students on blackboard are actually quite useful! Have you noticed the zzzzz_student in your Blackboard Grade Center. That student allows you to log in and see your blackboard course exactly as a student would. You can figure out how to post on a discussion board or upload documents to Safe Assign as a student. Technology Across the Curriculum has all the explanation you could need in their document on “Top Five Tips for Blackboard Users”. Here is a picture from their document. It links to the entire document. (Or come to my training on Friday.)

Document Avaliable at

Michelle Scholz also blogged here a few months back about her tips and tricks. She included the zzzzz_student. She her other tricks here. What are some of your favorite blackboard tricks and tips?


Safe Assign on Blackboard

I’ve posted before about technology and plagiarism. Well, for teachers at Oregon State University, a new Blackboard update has made it even easier to detect plagiarism. Our latest Blackboard upgrade came with “Safe Assign”. You will find this new feature under “Create Assessments”.


Students will submit papers through Safe Assign. Safe Assign then checks the internet and Safe Assign’s database of student papers. It will document what percentage of a student’s paper is unique. It won’t tell you if anything is plagiarized. (Ten percent of the paper could be from other sources, but that information may be correctly cited or simply common phrases.) Safe Assign will, however, help you track down any uncited sources in student papers. It can also show studsafe_assignents that they have some questionable areas before they submit their papers. This way students can learn to document their sources correctly without being penalized. Safe Assign will also stop students from sharing old papers with  friends as all papers run through Safe Assign are added to its database. I’ll be talking more about Safe Assign on Friday’s training, but this document from OSU’s Technology Across the Curriculum is a great resource. This is one of those pieces of technology that will help (and students) with very little time investment.


example_paper for training today from Read, Write, Think

Tagged ,

Minutes from Tech lunch

February 1st, 2013

Thanks to all who attended our tech lunch on Friday, February 1st.  The purpose of the gathering was to solicit some feedback from instructors on their technology use and preferences in the center.   Following pizza, attendees shared their thoughts on answers to questions such as “What are the benefits of using Starboard?” or “What do you think that students expect in terms of your technology use?”.  This generated some great suggestions – here are some points that were raised:

  1. Having a rubric on the iPads for scoring presentations easily.
  2. Having the calendar of events available for students on Blackboard to connect to the wider OSU community and ability to post additional events.
  3. The size of the Starboard is perceived to be a drawback for some instructors.
  4. In some classrooms the Starboards need to be calibrated regularly.
  5. The majority of those present would like to check out iPads for a month.
  6. All instructors present had a tech-savy person in their office to help with quick questions.
  7. The majority of those present allow students to use phone dictionaries in the classroom.
  8. One instructor uses Polleverywhere in class for student feedback.
  9. The general feeling was that students expect instructors to post assignments and information on Blackboard.
  10. Katie and Michelle will make sure that instructors can post a link to the Student Tech survey on Blackboard and remind them to do it.
  11. A demo class using Starboard was suggested and the idea of peer coaching for Starboard use was discussed.
  12. The legality of posting student presentations on YouTube unlisted was discussed and mention made of the task force in place who are looking into this problem of video sharing.
  13. A question was asked about students posting in-class work related to INTO classes on YouTube.  Is there a branding problem?
Tagged ,

Beyond the ‘wow’ factor

Do you think the Starboards are only good for a few “wows”? Our next TIG will discuss an article from Beauchamp and Parkinson (2005) which outlines going “beyond the ‘wow’ factor”. You can access the article here. Please read the 6-page article before the meeting and come prepared to discuss:

  • Your favorite idea from the text.
  • How could you apply the tools listed on page 98 to your classes?
  • Review the skills on page 102. What skills are you missing?

Also, if you would like one-on-one help with Starboard, don’t hesitate to email me.

1-2 pm on
Wednesday, August 22nd in ILLC 253
Thursday, August 23rd in ILLC 255

Also, feel free to contact me for one-on-one Starboard help.


Beauchamp, G and Parkinson, J. (2005). Beyond the wow factor: developing interactivity with the interactive whiteboard. School Science Review, 86(316), 97–103.

Tagged , ,

2012-2013 Goals

After two meetings with staff and a department wide poll, I am excited to announce our goals for the 2012-2013 school year. By addressing these goals, we hope to simplify and enhance classes at INTO OSU.



I have to admit that I am excited for fall when everyone will be using Outlook at INTO OSU. This will make things so much easier; right now it can be frustrating and time-consuming to schedule a meeting. I’ll never have to read or write a string of emails like this again:

Me: “John, Joe, and Jim, When do you have time to meet?”

John: “2-3pm works for me?”

Joe: “Sorry that won’t work. I’m in class. What about 3-4?”

Jim: “That doesn’t work for me. Ugh. 4-5?”




And it continues until finally, years later, a meeting is scheduled.

With Outlook, instructors enter reoccurring appointments for their classes. Then, when someone goes to schedule a meetings, they can see when people are available. Say good-bye to those annoying strings of emails.The links in the sentences above will walk you through the step-by-step process of using outlook for meetings and appointments. Here is a 50 minute webinar recording from CN. Also, this Wednesday at 3-3:45pm in room 243 and this Thursday from 1:30-2:15 in 255, I will be answering Outlook questions.

Tagged , ,

Making it Look Good!

This week at the Technology Interest Group. We talked about the gallery in Starboard. There, you can find graphic organizers, maps, and other visuals to quickly bring into class. There is also an anagram game built into Starboard with editable word lists about food, body parts, etc.

Warren also talked about branding. Here is his PowerPoint.

We then talked about using the branded materials in blackboard. If you have questions, please drop by or email me.


“Wiki Wiki Wiki – What? Assessing Online Collaboration”

This week at our TIG meeting. We read “Wiki Wiki Wiki – What? Assessing Online Collaboration” by Tharp (2010). We discussed grouping students, assessing group work and collaboration v. cooperation. Check the OSU library or use this link provided by the California Writing Project to read the article.

On November 17th at 4pm, we will have our next meeting about Voicethread and Jing.

First Meeting

In our first meeting, we discussed our goals. The group ambitiously wanted to affect not only our own classes, but the center at large. This blog will document that progress.

Here are out Starboard notes: