A newer way to Turnitin

We recently added Turnitin Assignment 2 plugin to our Moodle installation. While this may not seem like a terribly big deal, it actually opens the door much wider to using Turnitin features not available to us with the older plugin. We covered the ins and outs about how the tool works in a session sponsored by CELT. If you couldn’t attend, check out this brief (<5 min.) video:

For those in a rush:

  • 1:35 shows off need-to-know buttons
  • 3:23 shows how to build a Turnitin 2.0 Assignment from scratch

Read more…

Alt-facts: Not acceptable in your paper

The rise of terms like “alternative facts” and “fake news” in the media is a really great reminder to vet your sources for their legitimacy when you’re doing research. It’s easy to find sources and information that agree with your thesis or hypothesis, but is it ethical to ignore all the other information out there? You can learn a whole lot about this by spending time with our Library Staff (tweet them @KCLibrary_PA), but if you feel like doing some investigation on your own, our friends at Atomic Learning also have some ideas to get you thinking about how you’re thinking:

Moodle 3.1 upgrade

Over the holiday break, our hosting provider is upgraded us to Moodle 3.1, featuring several improvements to the core Moodle interface. No, seriously– improvements, not just changes!

The biggest change students may notice is enhanced feedback for assignments because of a browser-based mark-up system that’s finally easy to use in this version. At the bottom of a graded submission, students will see a button that says View annotated PDF…

From there, a popup will show all your professor’s comments in detail.

With more comprehensive feedback, you can better understand your grades!

Cutting distractions, staying focused

screenshot_2016-11-03-12-25-21For all the technology we have around us, it’s sometimes hard to stay on task. With emails, texts, and other notifications sounding off every few minutes, how can you concentrate on the paper, lesson, or project you’re putting together? What’s more, it’s easier to check Twitter than to get started on writing a new story, article, or presentation. That’s where Forest can help you grow!

Forest is a slick app that gives you a fun, visual way to stay focused. You set a timer (for as many minutes as you’d like) and pick a tree, then click “Plant” to begin the timer. If you can stay on task (not checking your phone), then your tree will grow to full size when you reach the time you set. After days and weeks of growing, you’ll have a forest of productivity and hopefully some great resulting work, too!

Download Forest for Apple, Android, or Windows phone. You can also get browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome, in which you can set up a blacklist of distracting sites (like email or social media) that you can’t visit while you’re growing/working.

Missing Moodle emails? Check Clutter!

Several reports of missing Moodle emails have been reported. The most common issue is emails are ending up in the Clutter folder in webmail. The Clutter feature is designed to identify email that is “cluttering” your inbox and pull it out so you can focus on the important stuff, but your course information and announcements are very important, so while we try to fix Clutter, you can take the following steps.

1. Turn Clutter off.
2. Check your Clutter folder regularly.
3. Check your course News Forums regularly. This forum is located at the top of every Moodle course, unless your instructor hides it because they’re not using it, then you won’t need to check it anyway!

From the desk of User Services…

In case you missed this important announcement in your email, here’s all the details regarding PaperCut, a new campus initiative to raise awareness on waste and improve environmental footprint.

IITS would like to take this opportunity to introduce a new sustainability initiative being deployed across campus.

After a year of careful review and consideration and with a cooperative spirit with the Green Initiative, we have identified a software based solution that will help support our campus goals for sustainability and good stewardship of resources.

PaperCut is a product designed to heighten your awareness of your printing habits on campus. It is designed to save paper, save budgets, and save the environment all at the same time. Read more…