Distance Teaching and Learning Conference

MononaTerraceCloseThe University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies is pleased to announce the 30th annual conference on distance teaching and learning.  It will be held August 12-14 at the Monona Terrace of Madison, Wisconsin.

Explore the conference program and register today!

The conference will include 56 information sessions, 16 workshops, discussions, ePosters, and showcases.  Topics such as MOOCs, mobile learning, gamification, learning analytics, competency-based learning, and generational learning styles will be addressed.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Michael Quinn Patton, Founder and Director of Utilization-Focused Evaluation
  • Ray Schroeder, Associate Vice Chancellor of Online Learning, University of Illinois Springfield and Director, UPCEA Center for Online Leadership and Strategy
  • Jane Bozarth, ELearning Coordinator, North Carolina Office of State Personnel

For more information, visit the conference website: http://www.uwex.edu/disted/conference/

Turnitin Service Outage (7/26)

Turnitin services, including Originality Check, Peermark, and Grademark, will be unavailable during a scheduled maintenance period on Saturday, July 26th, 2014, from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM (CT).

During this outage window, students should not submit files to a Dropbox folder that has Turnitin enabled, and instructors should not create new Dropbox folders with Turnitin enabled.

Instructors are encouraged to modify assignment due dates either before or at least several hours after the scheduled maintenance window. If possible, it’s also advised that instructors change the end date on all Dropbox folders that are utilizing Turnitin so that students won’t inadvertently submit during the outage window.

Please note, any Dropbox folders in a D2L course that are currently NOT utilizing the Turnitin Originality Check, ending before the outage window, or starting after the outage window do NOT have to be altered.

If you have any questions or concerns about this outage, please contact UW-W D2L Support.

D2L v10.3 Discussion Tool Changes

The latest upgrade in D2L to version 10.3 included a complete interface overhaul of the Discussions tool. This new interface includes a change to the structure of Discussions and some new features, which are outlined in the video below.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Discussions tool or the changes, please contact UW-W D2L Support.

Universal Design: More than Just Curb Cuts…

For this post, Eric Mueller from the Center for Students with Disabilities has joined the LTC Instructional Resources blog as a guest author.

Since 2002, students enrolling in at least one online class has increased 22% according to the Journal of Post-Secondary Education and Disability (2011). Due to this increase in online enrollment, it is imperative that faculty and staff understand the unique needs of all student learners, regardless of abilities.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to participate in the UW-W Learning Technology Center’s 2014 Summer Institute, and I presented on Online Accessibility and Universal Design. During this presentation, I was able to demonstrate and promote the valuable components of Universal Design (UD) and Universal Design of Learning (UDL).

Participants in the 2014 Summer Institute also experienced disability simulations, and I demonstrated specific assistive technology that students at UW-Whitewater are utilizing to make online content accessible (ZoomText and Kurzweil 3000) and provided tips in creating accessible documents for students.

To view Eric’s presentation on Online Accessibility and Universal Design given at the 2014 Summer Institute, please watch the video below.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Snackable Series: Digital Badging

A digital badge is an earned credential, which validates a person’s specific accomplishment, knowledge, or skill.  “Badging” can be used to supplement letter grades, combat grade inflation, instill motivation to advance their level of competency, and showcase learning outside of the formal classroom.

This presentation introduces the basic principles of badging, models of badging, and ways you can use badging in your course.

What’s New in D2L Version 10.3

Desire2Learn is scheduled for an upgrade to version 10.3. The upgrade outage will start at 9:30 PM on Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 and end at 10:30 AM on Thursday, June 5th, 2014 (all times CT).

During this upgrade, D2L will NOT be available. This outage and upgrade will greatly affect Summer courses, so please plan your course work accordingly. It is also suggested that you end any dropboxes, quizzes, or other deadlines a half hour before the outage’s start time (i.e., 9:00 PM CT) if there are items due on that day.

In addition, Learn@UW has scheduled server maintenance on Saturday, June 14th from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Desire2Learn will not be accessible during this window.

We have a “What’s New” video for instructors that highlights some of the changes that are coming with the upgrade.

A “What’s New” wiki page is also available that covers version 10.3 tool changes in more detail, and you can visit that page here: https://geturl.uww.edu/1sk

If you have any questions about the D2L upgrade, please Contact UW-W D2L Support.

D2L eGrading Process Now Open for Spring 2014

The D2L eGrading process allows instructors to transfer final grades from their D2L Gradebook to their WINS Grade Roster in a few simple steps. This process is currently open and available for instructors to transfer their semester grades from D2L to WINS.

For more information on how to use this process, please see the following Instructional Resources wiki pages:

We also have a video available to guide you through the first two steps:

If you need additional assistance with your Gradebook or if you have eGrading questions, please contact UW-W D2L Support.

Now Introducing: Lynda.com!

UW-Whitewater recently gained access to Lynda.com. Lynda.com is an extensive and valuable knowledge base of video tutorials for different kinds of technology and software. Topics covered include (but are certainly not limited to) 3D and Animation, Audio and Music, CAD, Design, Photography, Video, Web, and other specific software programs. All UW-W students, faculty, and staff have access to Lynda.com.

lynda_com screenshot

To access Lynda.com, go to http://go.uww.edu/lynda, and log in with your UW-W Net-ID and password.

Once you are logged in, you can browse the Lynda.com library or search for a topic. You can either individually watch one video tutorial at a time on a specific subject or you can watch an entire class. You can view which courses are recommended for you, create playlists of your favorite videos, or view your course history. Lynda.com is a wonderful resource that you can utilize for learning a new technology or brushing up on some rusty skills!

Desire2Learn Service Update (4/24)

On Thursday, April 24th, Desire2Learn Inc. deployed Service Pack 16 to our D2L Learning Environment. This will be the last service pack that is applied to our D2L instance before the upgrade to version 10.3 in June.

In this latest service pack, several performance improvements were made to tools across the Learning Environment, including navigation, Quizzes, and Content. The following fixes were also included:

Dropbox: The Dropbox folder event log now correctly records the creation and deletion of Dropbox folders performed via the Content tool.

Document Viewer: PDF documents containing math equations with negative signs are now converted and displayed in Content or Dropbox correctly.

Calendar: If Content contains a topic that is linked to course objects that are not yet available (e.g., an “Inactive” quiz, a hidden Discussion forum, etc.), but have due dates set through Content, users no longer encounter an error when attempting to access the Content or Calendar tool.

If you have any questions or concerns about the service pack updates, please contact UW-W D2L Support.