header cirt

CIRT Newsletter Podcast

Nurse Anesthetist Program (NAP), School of Nursing
Listen Now  
Listen Now

Nurse Anesthetist is a clinical specialty track within the School of Nursing at the University of North Florida. The Nurse Anesthetist curriculum is a rigorous academic and clinical undertaking consisting of seven semesters of full-time graduate study with classroom, clinical time and study time averaging around 70 hours per week. Anesthesiology Nursing is an Advanced Practice Track in the Master of Science in Nursing program. Students in the Nurse Anesthetist Program (NAP)rotate frequently to several clinical sites in the NE Florida area including Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, and Tampa, as well as to partner universities in Salzburg, Austria and the Netherlands. NAP students need easy access to program information including contact information for faculty, clinical site information, class (lecture) schedules, the curriculum outline, clinical evaluation forms, and program policies and procedures.

NAPThe Nurse Anesthetist Program developed the NAP-Central Blackboard course in response to the need to have a single site in which general program information could be housed.  NAP Faculty, Curriculum Outline, Policies and Procedures, and a brief overview of the various clinical sites are among the resources located in the course.  Because the faculty and students already log into Blackboard to review materials and readings for courses, and because some of the program information is private and not appropriate for the Brooks College of Health website, using a Blackboard course as a centralized location for program information related to current students was ideal.

Because the Nurse Anesthetist Program has a complex schedule which includes information from the UNF Academic Calendar, clinical schedules, and class meeting times (which sometimes change), the NAP also needed a robust calendaring solution. They wanted a tool that all NAP faculty could edit, and that students and clinical stakeholders could easily access. In addition, it was important for faculty, students and clinical stakeholders to be able to subscribe to the calendar and be able to embed the calendar in Blackboard courses and link to it from the NAP website. Although products such as Blackboard and MS Office allow the creation of calendars, they are not always readily accessible and editable on mobile devices of varying platforms.  For all of these reasons, the NAP adopted Google Calendar as the shared calendar solution. The NAP Google Calendar is readily accessible online and in the NAP- Central Blackboard site.
Heath Farmer, a second-year Student Registered Nurse Anesthetist (SRNA) finds the tool critical to his success as a student.

“Due to the continuing changes that occur in the program and in the schedules of SRNA's real time updates are needed. These changes occur almost daily and our program could not function without the communication that the calendar provides……..for  the calendar to an effective tool accurate and timely updates are crucial. The NAP-Central course is the hub of communication between the school and the students. With continual updates, the NAP-Central course provides the students with answers and guidance as the student progresses. Both tools are ideal for graduate programs.”

If you are interested in setting up a program or organization Blackboard site or Google Calendar, please stop by to talk with us.

Deb Miller, Director deb.miller@unf.edu
Listen Now   Listen Now

In this newsletter, I want to share some of the resources available to you as UNF faculty members that you may find useful in your teaching and research. ELI, NMC, and Sloan-C are all organizations that CIRT has joined in the past year, and our membership extends access to their resources to all UNF faculty. In this piece I describe each organization, a select list of member resources, and how to gain access.

ELIELI Educause Learning Initiative
The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) is a community of higher education institutions and organizations committed to advancing learning through information technology (IT) innovation. ELI places emphasis on issues related to learners and learning in the resources it develops and the events it conducts. ELI's current selected topics for focus are Assessment, Interaction & Engagement, Learning Space Design, and Successful Learning.

Selected Member Resources

  • The 7 Things You Should Know About... series provides concise information on emerging learning practices and technologies.
  • ELI Focus Sessions help participants to develop a deeper understanding of a teaching and learning topic and to gain practical knowledge that can be applied on a local campus level.
  • Online Seminars offer an opportunity to hear from experts around the world on a specific teaching and learning with technology-related topic. These three-hour, highly interactive online offerings, facilitated by leaders in the field, will focus on strategies and hands-on applications. Several resources and handouts will support and help to guide activities and discussions with participants.
  • Monthly live webinars focus on key teaching and learning topics.

How to Access
Create a profile at Educause using your UNF e-mail address.


New Media Consortium
The New Media Consortium (NMC) is an international community of experts whose focus is in technologies and applications that make learning more relevant and more engaging. Their goal is to drive innovation by performing research that catalyzes discussion, by convening people around new ideas, and by building communities that encourage exploration and experimentation


Selected Member Resources

  • NMC Virtual Worlds (http://virtualworlds.nmc.org/ ) provides design and development of immersive learning environments, such as Second Life, at deeply discounted prices to members. NMC also provides access to its Second Life campus at no cost for members
  • Online discussion groups explore emerging technologies, solutions to technological challenges, and pedagogy.
  • Free grant writing consultation services and assistance in identifying partners for funded projects.

How to Access
Register using your UNF e-mail address.

SloanThe Sloan Consortium
Sloan-C provides resources to help institutions and faculty gain effectiveness in online teaching and learning, with workshops, free webinars, discussion groups and peer networking.

Selected Member Resources

How to Access
Create an account using your UNF e-mail address.



iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod)  Users Social
Friday, February 10, 2 – 3:30 pm
Location: TBD
In this informal session, co-sponsored by CIRT & ITS, staff will lead discussion about anti-virus software for the iOS and recent Apple news. Participants also discuss the state of the iOS and share app favorites and strategies.
RSVP to cirtevents@unf.edu 

Blackboard GradeCenter Workshop - Online
Wednesday, February 15, 11 am – 12 pm
Location: Online- link will be provided to registrants.
This live online workshop provides an overview of the features in the Blackboard Grade Center. Participants will learn about options for successfully managing student grades including creating Grade Center columns, viewing and grading assessments and assignments in the Grade Center, Creating calculated columns, creating Grade Center categories, organizing the Grade Center and dropping the lowest grade in a category.
RSVP to cirtevents@unf.edu 

Mobile Video Production: iMovie on the iPad, Part I
Wednesday , February 15, 1:30 – 3:00 pm
Location: Building 1, Room 1801 (CIRT Conference Room)
Participants learn to record and produce a short video, including titling using Apple’s iMovie software on the iPad 2. Participants who own an iPad2 may wish to purchase and install the iMovie software ($4.99) prior to the workshop in order to follow along with the exercises. Others are welcome to attend to learn more about this portable production platform.
RSVP to cirtevents@unf.edu 

Blackboard Testing with Respondus
Friday, February 17, 2:00 – 3:0 pm
Location: Building 51, Room 1201 (Computer Lab)
Respondus is a powerful tool for importing test questions directly to Blackboard. During this hands-on workshop, learn how to import exam questions from publisher test banks and Word documents, create new assessments and question pools in Respondus and publish to Blackboard from Respondus.
RSVP to cirtevents@unf.edu 

Blackboard Rubrics
Friday, February 24, 2:00 – 3:0 pm
Location: Building 51, Room 1201 (Computer Lab)
This hands-on workshop introduces the features available in Blackboard Rubrics. A Rubric lists evaluation criteria for an activity, assignment or assessment question and instructors can use Rubrics to explain their evaluations to students. Blackboard Rubrics are created by an instructor and may be applied to Discussion Boards, Assignments, and Essay, File Response and Short Answer assessment questions. This workshop will explore creating Rubrics, editing existing Rubrics, associating Rubrics, grading with Rubrics and running a Rubric Evaluation Report.
RSVP to cirtevents@unf.edu 

Blackboard Virtual Office Hours
Wednesday, March 1, 2 – 3 pm
Location: Join CIRT staff online at the link below and ask your Blackboard questions!

Blackboard Virtual Office Hours
Date: Tuesday, March 20, 2 – 3 pm
Location: Join CIRT staff online at the link below and ask your Blackboard questions!

Mobile Video Production: iMovie on the iPad, Part II
Friday, April 6, 1:30 – 3:00 pm
Location: Building 1, Room 1801 (CIRT Conference Room)
In this advanced session, participants learn more about video management publishing options and  advanced editing using Apple’s iMovie software on the iPad 2. Participants who own an iPad2 may wish to purchase and install the iMovie software ($4.99) prior to the workshop in order to follow along with the exercises.
RSVP to cirtevents@unf.edu 


Dave Wilson, Coordinator of Educational Media, david.wilson@unf.edu
Listen Now   Listen Now

At the New Media Consortium Summer 2010 Conference, I attended the presentation From Consumers to Creators: Student Produced Educational Video Mashups by media staff at Dartmouth University Jones Media Center. (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ssimon/nmc2010/). The presentation explained how the staff in a department similar to CIRT worked with faculty to create video mashup assignments for their classes. After attending the presentation, I realized that with some modifications CIRT could use Dartmouth’s process as a model at UNF.  This semester CIRT started a pilot student media project with a professor in the Department of Communication. Our goals are to familiarize students with the processes and tools for creating video, create an assignment that is an effective learning object, and to evaluate this type of collaboration between CIRT and faculty.You Tube Channel

A mashup video combines video, audio, and text from other sources to present a new idea or story. A good example is the YouTube video Donald Duck Meets Glen Beck by Jonathan McIntosh. Making the assignment a mashup instead of a completely original video saves time because students don’t need to learn how to use video recording equipment or film their own source video. And, because they are using existing materials, they don’t need access to recording equipment. The other advantage is that students end up watching and evaluating videos related to the subject. 

The Media Projects at Dartmouth YouTube Channel has several great example video assignments. http://www.youtube.com/user/MediaProjDartmouth/videos

Not only is video creation a beneficial skill for students to have, research suggests that it’s also a good way for them to learn (Buckingham 2007, Hakkarainen 2011, Shuldman 2010) . I’ve experienced this first hand while taking documentary film classes here at UNF. The amount of research I had to do on the topics easily equalled that of a written assignment and like written assignments, students have a finished product that can be added to a portfolio or website.

In my next edition of Digital Thinking I will share more ideas about media assignments.

Buckingham, D. (2007). Media education goes digital: an introduction. Learning, Media & Technology, 32(2), 111-119. doi:10.1080/17439880701343006

Hakkarainen, P. (2011). Promoting Meaningful Learning through Video Production-Supported PBL. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning, 5(1), 34-53.

Shuldman, M., & Tajik, M. (2010). The Role of Media/Video Production in Non-Media Disciplines: The Case of Health Promotion. Learning, Media and Technology, 35(3), 357-362.


In response to low response rates on the online ISQ used for DL and Hybrid courses and requests from faculty, the Distance Learning Committee worked with ITS to make modifications to the way that students are notified about and access the online instrument.

The following modifications were implemented for the Fall 2011 evaluation period:

  • Hybrid courses no longer have multiple evaluation links in myWings.
  • Student Email Notifications were automatically sent out on days 1 & 8 of the evaluation period, and on each of the last 7 days if there were outstanding evaluations.
  • Students could access the instrument directly from the student tab in myWings.
  • Students also saw a reminder channel in Blackboard below their course list.
  • Instructors could monitor student completion during the evaluation period from Faculty Self-Service.

isqThese changes led to a significant increase in response rates for the Online ISQ, as shown. The Distance Learning Committee is continuing to work with ITS on a request for additional modifications to improve response rates, including full Blackboard integration and pop-up windows in myWings during the evaluation period.

Julie Carter, Coordinator of Instructional Design, julie.carter@unf.edu
Listen Now   Listen Now

onlineWhen developing course content, regardless of whether for a traditional, hybrid or online course, we must be cognizant of the various learning styles that exist among our students.  It is just as imperative to consider our students’ variety of learning skills – some well-established and some literally non-existent – when developing learning activities and assessments.  As a result of my developing a Teaching Multicultural Students to Success project, I learned that the limited, if any, set of study skills that some students come to a course with cannot be wholly attributed to their lack of efficacy, but may be the result of the type of learning environment from which they have evolved. 

Therefore, to assist students in solidifying their learning skills, I advocate the use of rubrics to help them understand your expectations for their course deliverables, whether it be their active participation in a wiki, blog, or discussion board or how to be successful in the completion of an assignment.  Now that instructors can attach rubrics to learning activities in Blackboard, your students can instantly view the evaluation criteria for the learning activity.  In order to further enhance the learning process for your students, I suggest that you consider using more than one delivery format for sharing rubric criteria.  Since students have different learning styles, it may be effective to include an audio or video file with your learning activity so that students can view the rubrics while listening to the audio file with your review of the assignment and rubrics. As the semester progresses, if needed, you can include additional posts or audio files, based on the students’ questions about the assignment or rubric.  To attach files to an assignment, refer to this link.  To schedule an appointment to create or edit an audio or video file, contact our CIRT office at cirtlab@unf.edu or 620-3927.
In addition to promoting student learning, rubrics can be used to provide individual student, group or class feedback and to evaluate the effectiveness of your learning activities in relation to the course learning outcomes.  If needed, you can use more than one set of rubrics per learning activity. For example, if you assign a research project that has a deliverable of a research paper and a class presentation, you can attach one rubric for the paper and another rubric for the presentation.

In summary, rubrics support the development of student-centered curriculum and their use promotes the development of critical thinking, writing and study skills in students.


Erin Soles, Coordinator of Instructional Design, esoles@unf.edu
Listen Now  


Blackboard Collaborate 11
Elluminate 10 was recently upgraded to Blackboard Collaborate 11. Blackboard Collaborate 11 features a redesigned interface with easy access to commonly used tools including the Whiteboard, Application Sharing and Web Tours, a combined audio and video window and drag and drop content loading. More information on Blackboard Collaborate 11 is available here: http://www.unf.edu/cirt/bb/bbtools/Tools_-_Blackboard_Collaborate.aspx. Although Elluminate 10 was upgraded to Blackboard Collaborate 11, we are still using the Elluminate Scheduling Manager to create Blackboard Collaborate 11 sessions.

Blackboard Rubrics
Rubrics are now available in Blackboard. Blackboard Rubrics are tools that share evaluation criteria with students. Rubrics are created by an instructor and may be applied to Discussion Boards, Assignments, and Essay, File Response and Short Answer Assessment Questions. Rubrics are created in the Rubrics tool located under Course Tools or when creating Assignments, Essay, File Response and Short Answer test questions and may be viewed from the Grade Center during the grading process. For more information, visit: http://www.unf.edu/cirt/bb/bbtools/Tools_-_Rubrics.aspx

Paste from Word
Paste from Word is a tool now available within the Blackboard Text Box Editor which allows users to paste text directly from MS Word, removing all extraneous XML markup which can cause display errors. More information on Paste from Word is available here: http://www.unf.edu/cirt/bb/bbtools/Tools_-_Paste_from_Word.aspx


bLOGCIRT is growing and we’re coming up with more ideas, tutorials, Blackboard tips, and other useful information than ever before that we want to share. We thought of different ways we could get the word out. . . carrier pigeons, pneumatic tubes, Morse code, and even St. Bernard Rescue Dogs.  We finally decided the best way to distribute our wealth of information was a blog.  That way you can go to the blog and find everything. You can even subscribe to it with an RSS Reader, like Google Reader (my personal favorite) or Outlook. At the beginning of the semester we launched our blog here
Be sure to check it out and subscribe!  We'd also love to hear from you about what you'd like to see there.


CIRT TEACHING ONLINE SEMINAR 2012 (applications due Jan. 31)

The Teaching Online (TOL) seminar offers an opportunity for faculty members to redesign a traditional course for distance learning delivery via UNF's Blackboard Learning System. The intensive seminar covers pedagogy, course design, instructional strategies, communication strategies, and online assessment.  Participants examine course objectives and learning activities for the selected course and complete a conversion/redesign process.

The 2012 seminar is open to all UNF faculty, including those who have participated in a TOL seminar in the past. Preference is given to:

  • Full-time, tenure-track applicants
  • Courses which are part of distance learning programs
  • Courses that have not been previously delivered via distance learning
  • Applicants who have not previously participated in the seminar

Participating faculty will receive:

  • $2000 stipend after completion of all seminar modules.
  • Distance Learning Development budget, up to $2000, which may be used for hardware, software, books, or travel related to the development of distance learning. See this page for examples. *currently under construction
  • Access to two additional Sloan-C workshops within the calendar year: http://sloanconsortium.orgworkshops   
  • Certification as a UNF Online Instructor.

Faculty may apply for one of two cohorts that will run during Summer 2012. Modules 1 & 2 (online) must be completed prior to Module 3 (face-to-face), and participants must be available from 9 am to 4 pm on all Module 3 dates. Up to fifteen participants will be selected for each cohort. Applications are evaluated by CIRT staff in consultation with members of the Distance Learning Committee.

Application forms and more information available here:

Mike Boyles, Coordinator of Graphic Design, mboyles@unf.edu
Listen Now 

Extract editable text from photos with Image to Text. 

appImage to Text is a free Optical Character Recognition app which allows you to convert images of typeset pages into editable text. This app is quite easy to use and provides a useful and powerful way to archive printed text so you can sort through notes later to search for ones that might otherwise be hard to find. The app works best on sharp, printed text with a reasonable resolution which was photographed in good light.

After opening the app, you are prompted to either take a photo of the text you want to convert or import a photo from your gallery. After shooting a photo of the copy you want to convert, you have the option to either reshoot it or convert the photo to text. When you click the convert to text option you’ll be prompted with two choices: email it to someone or send it to the Evernote app. Image to Text sends both the digital image and  the converted ASCII text. I'm impressed. The good part of emailing the ImageToText results before viewing them is that it is a really clever way to offload all the heavy OCR processing to server. The app on phone can stay nice and lightweight as a result. Pretty neat. :)

The app has many uses,  including sharing your notes with your students electronically, capturing and converting text directly from your computer screen, converting screen captures to text, converting old documents or notes without retyping them, and converting pages from books, newspaper articles and other media. It’s also a great app for storing contact information from business cards, and even recipes from printed material.

While it is always good to proofread after converting any optical recognition text to make sure the text is converted correctly, I’ve found minimal mistakes with clear photos from text. The app also sends a message to its recipients saying, “An image has been shared with you via ImageToText mobile app. Please note that this app uses an automatic character recognition engine and its accuracy may vary widely based on the quality of the image, the font type, and other factors. For best results, please make sure that lighting is sufficient, there are no shadows, and that the image is well focused. (end quote?)

This is a great app for capturing text that you want to share or edit. I’m impressed with its capabilities for converting clear, typeset documents to editable text.

Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/image-to-text-ocr/id431757093?mt=8
Cost: Free
Platform: iOS
Requires: iOS 3.1 or later
Current Version: 1.2
Updated: Jul 06, 2011
Size: 1.9 MB



Vovici (online survey app) Upgrade to Version 6.3 in February
This is a minor upgrade, but will fix some issues with certain types of reports and provide the ability (using roles) to “hide” email addresses in a “send to email list” type survey. This enables anonymity in this type of survey. The data has not been set and is dependent on the vendor releasing the update.

OnSSET (Online Survey Selection Evaluation Team) Update
The committee reconvened this week. They are finalizing the scripts that will be used for Vovici and Qualtrics application demonstrations. The demos are scheduled for February 14 and 16 from 1 to 4 pm. They will be open to anyone who wants to attend. Committee members are Judy Miller (ACA), Alison Cruess (ITS), Jim Wirth (COAS), Fen Yu (IR), Dawn O’Connor (ORSP), Terry Smith (CCEC), Dave Wilson (CIRT), Lakshmi Goel (CCB), Michelle Bednarzyk (BCOH), and April Johnson (ITS).


CIRT is expanding and we are delighted to welcome Jennifer Urbano and Yentl Dunbar to our staff. Please stop by and say hello if you haven't already.

Jennifer Urbano, Coordinator of Distance Learning Support & Training, CIRT, jennifer.urbano@unf.edu, (904) 620-1623

Jen graduated from UNF with a BA in Psychology in 2003. Previously, Jen worked for the Office of the Provost, where she coordinated the migration of the Academic Affairs websites into the CMS utility and served as the commencement/event coordinator. She started at UNF in 1998 at the Help Desk, where she worked at the technical and manager levels. In her free time, she enjoys photography, traveling, music and spending time with family.  


Yentl Dunbar, Program Assistant, y.dunbar@unf.edu, (904) 620-5712
Yentl Dunbar  Yentl is a recent graduate of UNF. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and a Minor in Public Health. Her interests are spending time with family and close friends, cooking, reading and listening to music.

new spaceTo go along with these new faces, and the two other positions we are currently searching on, we needed some new space, so we have expanded into 1/1701, which has become the instructional designers workspace.



This newsletter is a publication of the
Center for Instruction & Research Technology
at the University of North Florida.
Deb Miller, Editor

Please direct any comments or questions to cirtlab@unf.edu

Click here for past newsletters