Retention & Auditing Tools in Moodle

How can your old pal Moodle help you identify at-risk students before it’s too late? Utilizing features like the gradebook, rubrics, reporting, attendance, completion tracking, and the progress bar block can help you quantify accountability and let students know how they’re performing. We tie these tools to the Early Alert Forms from the Registrar so that you can see how helpful it is to have evidence to back up those forms.

For more details on any tool covered here, contact us at moodle@kings.edu to meet up and cover how they can work into your plans!

Windows, Surfaces, Bluetooth, oh my!

IITS has deployed a number of new technologies in various parts of the campus this summer. Some faculty received Surface Pro 4 computer/tablets, for example, running Windows 10. Potentially, the library is also getting an upgrade to Windows 10, while all labs and teacher stations will be getting Office 2016.

If you’re one of the lucky faculty to be the first to test our Surface Pro adoption, here’s how to turn on the Bluetooth mouse that came with your machine– yes, there is a mouse, but you may not have been able to tell…

Turnitin updates coming our way soon

We just got some good news from Turnitin. If any of the following items have irritated you in the past, they have some answers…

  1. Manage collusion with confidence
    You asked: My institution’s academic integrity policy specifies that potential collusion should be dealt with by a central administrator, rather than by instructors. Can Turnitin help?
    We answered: Yes! We’ve added the option to email all requests to view potentially plagiarized papers to an administrator of your choice, so you can control the investigation process with confidence. Learn more→
  2. Crisp, clear view of student work.
    You asked: When I zoom in on a student’s paper, it looks a bit fuzzy. Can you fix that?
    We answered: We’re sharpening the resolution of student papers to make reading them easier on the eyes of hard-working instructors. Look for changes in mid-July.
  3. No more waiting for grammar feedback!
    You asked: Give students immediate grammar feedback so they can revise and improve their papers before teachers review their work.
    We answered:  We’ve deepened our partnership with ETS to make e-rater® grammar guidance available to students as soon as they submit a draft starting in mid-July. Instructors will still be able to choose whether to turn e-rater® on or off for each assignment. Learn more→
  4. Peer review, simplified
    You asked: PeerMark assignments are great, but creating them is far from intuitive. Can you simplify it?
    We answered: Instructors, get ready for fewer steps in PeerMark assignment creation. Students, get ready to see your peer feedback as soon as your classmates complete it.  *Note: For now, these PeerMark changes will apply only to native accounts starting in mid-July, but we look forward to extending them to LMS/VLE customers (that’s us!) soon. See what’s changing

Technology for Teaching Day 2017 Report

We’re proud to release this year’s Technology for Teaching Day 2017 report, full of supplemental links related to our annual CELT/IITS collaboration that focuses on developing our faculty’s relationship with technology in the classroom.

Download the report: https://goo.gl/X15ycU

If you’d like to work with us for next Technology for Teaching Day or in development sessions through the Fall & Spring semesters, contact us at moodle@kings.edu today!

 

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…

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.