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CIRT Newsletter Podcast

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: ENGAGING STUDENTS IN CREATING AN ORAL HISTORY OF JACKSONVILLE’S HISPANIC COMMUNITY
Constanza López, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
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Dr. Constanza López is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures whose recent exhibit in the Thomas G. Carpenter Library showcased the diversity of Jacksonville’s Hispanic community through oral histories created by students.

When López  visited El Museo Latino in Omaha, Nebraska in 2011, she was touched by the stories told in its oral history exhibit, History of Latinos in Omaha: 1900 to present.  She was further inspired by the NPR special project, Story Corps, that provides Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives. As a new Jacksonville resident, López became aware of how dispersed the Hispanic community was here and became interested in developing a vehicle to collect these voices and present a picture of Jacksonville’s Hispanic communities and their stories.

Around the same time, the  Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures was developing a new class for native speakers , and López worked with the department chair, Dr. Jorge Febles, to create Communications and Communities for Speakers of Spanish (FOL3930). The course emphasizes the development of techniques for conversation and public speaking in Spanish. Students examine the implications of bilingual and bicultural identities and study regional linguistic variations.  López  taught the course in Spring 2012, and through the coursework, students developed a common set of interview questions and began identifying and interviewing members of Jacksonville’s Hispanic community to develop oral histories.  The students recorded, translated, transcribed, and digitized the interviews and these profiles became the project Voces y caras (Voices and Faces): Hispanic Communities of Jacksonville. Spotlighit

The interviews focus on the rapidly growing Hispanic community of Jacksonville, which – as this project makes evident – is very diverse. The interviewees come from, or have connections to, fourteen Spanish-speaking countries. They occupy different roles in our community; some are doctors, business owners, teachers, architects, engineers, students, parents, grandparents, etc. Some have been here for many years, and others came recently. Some escaped political repression and violence in their own countries, others came looking for a better future, and some came following their loved ones. They all represent a happy, vibrant, family-oriented, hard-working community whose members strive to achieve their goals and dreams. They have assimilated to American society while maintaining a strong cultural identity. This desire to keep their own culture, or to become bicultural, is non-negotiable, because this varied group is extremely proud of its customs, food, music, language, and above all, of its families.
Excerpt- http://www.unf.edu/~constanza.lopez/entrevistas/

The Voces y caras: Hispanic Communities of Jacksonville exhibit was exhibited in the Thomas G. Carpenter Library during the month of October, and represents the library’s first exhibit in honor of Hispanic Heritage month. The exhibit was composed of interview posters that included photographs and interview excerpts, in both Spanish and English. These posters and digitized recordings will become part of the library’s Special collection.

López and her students faced many challenges during this project: identifying community members to interview, learning how to approach people, learning how to ask questions, and personally processing the traumatic experiences many interviewees had faced. They see these challenges as wholly worth the end result:  “Teaching this class was a learning experience in every way.  I was touched by so many wonderful stories and it was very rewarding for me to witness the growth that took place in the students as they did the interviews and, in many cases, as they discovered a part of their own history”. exhibit

Her students are also very proud of what they achieved, “First of all, I would like to say that I am so thankful for having been able to be part of this amazing project.  I enjoyed the opportunity to discover more about where a person comes from and what it’s like to start over in a new country. It was such a humbling experience and one that I will take with me wherever I go in life” - Brian Dunbar.

The class and project have been so successful that the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures applied for and received a Community Engaged Department grant  and plans to continue the project next year.

lopez

CIRT provided assistance with the project website and publishing the interview recordings. Mike Boyles, in particular, designed the posters and assisted with the library exhibit installation. Boyles also took many photographs of the exhibit and by sharing them on Facebook, spread the word about this project through the community.  In fact this social media dissemination has already resulted in the identification of additional members of the Hispanic community who will be included in next year’s interviews.

 “It was a delight to work with Professor Lopez on this project and learn so much about the diverse Hispanic community in Jacksonville. The real joy arrived with seeing the overwhelming pride in the face of one of the students involved, who so politely asked if he could take a photo to share. His smile and pride expressed a gratitude that words could not convey.” - Boyles

If you are interested in developing an oral history project or another project along these lines, please stop by to talk with us. We’d love to help.

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MAINTAINING INSTRUCTIONAL PRESENCE IN ONLINE COURSES
Deb Miller, Director deb.miller@unf.edu
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One of the challenges in teaching distance learning courses is maintaining an instructional presence in the course.  Anderson, Rourke, Garrison, and Archer (2001) define instructional presence as “the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educational worthwhile learning outcomes.”

InstI think of it as that steady presence in any course that communicates to students you are actively leading their learning experience. This is expressed by engaging in regular communication, providing feedback on student interaction with course content, engendering a sense of learning community, and helping students to weave the course content strands into a larger conceptual framework.

In the traditional classroom, this presence often happens organically. Students hear and see the instructor in class sessions and much of the communication during and outside of class is instinctive. In distance learning courses, particularly when they are a new milieu for the instructor, there is a need to be more deliberate in establishing this presence. The effort can pay off with courses that have higher levels of engagement, ongoing dialogue, and increased satisfaction for students and faculty with the distance learning experience. Following are suggestions for establishing and maintaining that instructional presence in online courses and some resources for further exploration.

Provide regular feedback. This is Teaching 101; feedback promotes learning and is motivational to students. Effective feedback is prompt, specific, carries a positive emotional tone, and provides corrective information (Eggen & Kauchak, 2012). There are many tools in Blackboard that support providing students with feedback: Rubrics, Instructor comments field in the GradeCenter, and discussion forums. Many instructors also provide feedback on written assignments using comments in MS Word, or tools like iAnnotate PDF. A recent post in the Chronicle’s ProfHacker blog described how Physics professor Heather Whitney at Wheaton College uses several simple online tools to provide verbal feedback to students.  See also our September 2012 Faculty Spotlight which details how UNF Professor T.J. Mullen uses a similar technique for providing test feedback to his class.

Use photos and small bits of audio or video to establish social presence in your course. Social presence refers to presenting yourself as a real person in online interactions and is a key component to creating an online learning community. Additionally, there is evidence that social presence is a significant predictor of retention in online courses (Liu, Gomez & Yen, 2009; Richardson & Swan, 2003). A popular assignment at the beginning of online courses is a blog in which everyone introduces themselves and shares some unique bit of information. The instructor can model this process and get the ball rolling. It is also fairly easy to record very short bits of audio or video to introduce each week’s topics and activities, which further establishes your presence.  If you want to get fancier, several instructors effectively use video tools like Voki, Screencast-O-matic, and XtraNormal to establish presence, motivate students, and improve communication in their distance learning course.

Foster collaborative and reflective communication among course participants. When students become excited about the course content, share ideas, and work together to build knowledge, it’s a beautiful thing. Beldarrain (2006) asserts that using social interaction tools can provide opportunities to promote student interaction and collaboration, which builds learning communities in both face to face and distant courses. The wealth of tools available for online collaboration supports a constructivist framework that can “motivate, cultivate, and meet the needs of the 21st century learner” (p. 140). Several of these tools, including wikis, blogs, and podcasts, can be found within Blackboard.  Journals, particularly for students involved in community-based or practicum experiences, also provide a powerful tool for reflection on experience and opportunity for peers or instructors to comment on the reflection.

Connect the strands. As the instructional leader and content expert, you are uniquely positioned to create learning activities that will support students in taking the course content and experiences and weaving these into the “big picture,” the overarching course concepts and attainment of learning outcomes. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. The short audio or video pieces to introduce each week’s content mentioned above provide an opportunity to link content and concepts. Activities and assignments in which students create conceptual maps of the course content is another strategy. These strategies can be particularly effective when students collaborate on the conceptual framework and have opportunity to discuss its strengths and weaknesses, and share their reasoning. There are several good online tools that allow for this type of collaboration, including Mindmeister, bubbl.us, and Mindomo.

CIRT is sponsoring a discussion of instructional presence in distance learning courses on Friday, November 30. I hope you’ll join us for further discussion and consideration of these and other strategies. Please visit CIRT’s Events page for details and to RSVP.

Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D., & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing teaching presence in a computer conference environment. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 5 (2).

Beldarrain, Y. (2006). Distance education trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance Education. 27 (2).

Eggen, P. D., & Kauchak, D. P. (2012). Educational psychology: Windows on classrooms Upper Saddle River, NJ : Pearson.

Lehman, R. & Conceicao, S. (2010). Creating a sense of presence in online teaching: How to “be there” for distance learners. San Francisco, CA: Wiley.

Liu, S., Gomez, J. & Yen, C. (2009). Community college online course retention and final grade:
Predictability of social presence. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 8 (2).

Richardson, J. C., & Swan, K. (2003). Examining social presence in online courses in relation to students' perceived learning and satisfaction.  Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 7 (1).

Whitney, H. (2012, October 20). Grading computer programming with voice.  Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/grading-computer-programming-with-voice/

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Online Assessments, Part I: Improve Student Learning with Diagnostic Assessments
Date
: Thursday, November 8, 3:00 - 4:00pm
Location
: Online
In this online workshop, participants learn about the pedagogical value of diagnostic assessments, learn to identify different types of diagnostic assessments, and see examples of effective feedback and remediation learning activities to improve student learning. Strategies for implementing this type of assessment in Blackboard are also discussed. 
RSVP to cirtevents@unf.edu  to receive session link.

Online Assessments, Part II: Improve Student Learning with Formative Assessments
Date
: Friday, November 16, 3:00 - 4:00pm
Location
: Online
In this online workshop, participants learn about the pedagogical value of formative assessments, learn to identify different types of formative assessments, and see examples of effective feedback and remediation learning activities to improve student  learning. Strategies for implementing this type of assessment in Blackboard are also discussed. 
RSVP
to cirtevents@unf.edu to receive session link. 

Distance Learning Discussion & Lunch: Instructional Presence Online
Date
: Friday, November 30, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Location
: Building 2, Room 2002
Join current distance learning faculty for a discussion on creating and maintaining instructional presence in online courses. Best practices, tips, and techniques will be discussed, so bring your ideas and questions. CIRT will provide lunch. Please RSVP to cirtevents@unf.edu  by November 27 so we can include you in the count.

End of the Semester Tasks & Treats
Date
: December 3 - 7, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Stop by CIRT during finals week to enjoy tasty treats and coffee with CIRT Staff. We will be available to assist with your end of the semester tasks including: deploying tests in Blackboard, using the Scantron to grade tests (we recommend scheduling an appointment), computing grades in the Blackboard Grade Center, and submitting final grades in MyWings. 

Teaching Online Tool Essentials (TOL4100)
This course is appropriate for all instructors utilizing the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) at UNF. Six modules cover the LMS, incorporating best practices for tool use in each. Each module contains learning objectives, tool overviews, best practices, an assessment activity, and an optional advanced unit. Self-paced course; register and start at any time. 6 – 8 hours.
To enroll in TOL4100, e-mail cirtlab@unf.edu 

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DIGITAL THINKING: QUALTRICS
Dave Wilson, Coordinator of Educational Media, david.wilson@unf.edu
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QualtricsIn October, the University officially launched Qualtrics, the new online survey tool.  As the primary support person, I’ve been working with it a lot in the past two weeks and I’m generally impressed.  Qualtrics has several editing and delivery features that Vovici lacks. Since I’ve been working with it I thought this column is a good place to tell you about the new features and also to discuss ways Qualtrics can be used.

While talking to people over the past couple months, I realized that many people think that Qualtrics is only for giving surveys for research and occasionally for customer satisfaction. Qualtrics can be used for other things as well. It’s especially useful for online forms because of its ability to send an email when a form is completed. It can even be setup to only send email when a question or questions were answered in a particular way.  For example, say you have a registration form for an event on your website with a question that asks if the respondent will need reasonable accommodation. It can be setup to send an email only if the answer to that question is ‘yes’. All other responses will be collected normally without sending an email.

Qualtrics has a scoring function that can be used to calculate a total score for a survey/form and optionally report it to the respondent after completion.  While this feature should never be used for academic testing, it can be useful for measures and scales. There are a few departments on campus that have used online surveys as a way to manage internship tracking and evaluation. With these types of surveys, it is often more important  to see individual response than it is to see the aggregate data. Qualtrics allows you to create a PDF report of an individual response.  Any time that you need to collect data, you should consider Qualtrics as an option.

There are also features in Qualtrics that help with academic surveys.  One of the most important features is the ability to specifically make surveys anonymous. Qualtrics has a checkbox in the survey options that you can set to make the survey anonymous and it has an advanced setting when you send out an email invitation where you can also set the survey to be anonymous. 

The last thing I wanted to point out about Qualtrics is how it handles logic and branching. Branching is used in surveys when you want to customize what questions a respondent sees based on how they answered questions earlier in the survey.  This functionality is not unique to Qualtrics, it was also available in Vovici. The thing that impresses me about the way Qualtrics handles it is how well it’s implemented. Qualtrics has a feature called survey flow that gives a visual, chart-like, view of the branches where you can manage the different paths a respondent can follow.  It provides a similar feature for delivering survey called the survey director which Qualtrics describes as “Maybe you want to distribute one link and redirect it to different surveys. With Survey Director, you can even make the redirect conditional based upon a series of criteria.”

The more I learn about Qualtrics, the more impressed I become.  I’ll be talking more about it, so if you are interested keep your eye on the CIRT Blog and the newsletter.  If you would like help with  creating a survey or form please feel free to call, email, or stop by CIRT.

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BEST PRACTICES ONLINE: IMPROVING STUDENT LEARNING WITH ASSESSMENT
Julie Carter, Coordinator of Instructional Design
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onlineWhen developing a course, the instructor has numerous decisions to make regarding the course design, objectives, learning activities, and assessments. Different types of assessments support various teaching and learning needs,and starting this month we will be offering a series of workshops covering diagnostic, formative, summative, and authentic assessments. This article gives a high-level synopsis of each of these assessment types, and the upcoming workshops will explain the pedagogical value of these assessments, demonstrate methods of implementing these assessments using Blackboard, and offer options for providing effective assessment feedback and remediation learning activities to improve students’ learning.  Below is a table that lists each assessment type, its purpose, examples, and classic implementation timeframes for delivering these assessments.

Assessment Type

Purpose

Examples

Classic Implementation

Diagnostic

Determine a student’s prior knowledge and provide remediation activities and additional learning-support resources.

  • Quiz worth no or minimal points
  • Learning style inventory
  • Journal entry describing KSAs
  • Discussion Board post sharing learning preferences and studying tips.

Prior to Instruction

Formative

Provide a student direction and feedback with her/his learning.

  • Quiz worth minimal points
  • Reflection journal entry or paper
  • Draft documents – outlines, concept maps, etc.

Throughout Learning Process

Summative

Measures a student’s performance by using a formal evaluation tool, such as rubric.

  • Quiz worth high point value
  • Quiz/writing assignment combo
  • Application exercises, case studies, group projects

At the end of a lesson, unit or module

Authentic

Measures a student’s performance as s/he applies newly-acquired knowledge and engages high-order thinking skills to create an original work or approach to problem-solving using a formal evaluation tools, such as a rubric.

  • Patient Assessment
  • Performance Analysis
  • Nutrition and Dietetic Consulting

 

Throughout Learning Process

The first online workshop, Improving Student Learning with Diagnostic Assessments, provides an overview of designing courses using Dee Fink’s Integrated Course Design methodology in terms of analyzing a course’s situational factors to determine the students’ prior knowledge and the knowledge they need related to the course content.  A method of assessing this knowledge is to give the students a diagnostic assessment that can help identify their knowledge gaps and provide them resources to increase their knowledge. These types of assessments can be implemented using traditional approaches, such as delivering a diagnostic quiz or learning style inventory or through other on-line approaches, such as having the students submit journal entries describing their course-related knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes or submit discussion posts sharing their learning style preferences, study tools and strategies. By the students completing these diagnostic assessment activities, the instructor can share remedial and additional learning resources, such as StudyMate Class learning activities and games, to improve the students’ learning. 

To learn more about these types of assessments and providing feedback to improve student learning, contact CIRT and join us for the upcoming online workshops focusing on this topic.

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BLACKBOARD NEWS: BLACKBOARD MAINTENANCE WINDOW AND FUTURE UPDATES
Jen Urbano, Coordinator of Distance Learning Training & Support

BbBlackboard Maintenance
The Blackboard Semester Maintenance window is scheduled for December 12-16, 2012.  Fall 2010 courses will be removed from Blackboard and Fall 2012 courses will be set to “unavailable” and will be renamed by prepending “zzFall2012” to each course name.

Spring 2013 Courses became available for request in BbCAR on October 28, 2012.
Summer 2013 Courses will be available for request in BbCAR on March 10, 2013.
Directions for requesting courses and other semester tasks are available at this link:
http://www.unf.edu/cirt/bb/support/Semester_Tasks.aspx

Blackboard Collaborate 12
The Blackboard Collaborate client will be upgraded to version 12 during the December maintenance window.  New in this version is Echo Cancellation. This upgrade should greatly improve the sound within a Collaborate session, reducing the need for dedicated headsets. Faculty & students can participate using their computers’ built-in microphone & speakers. 

We are investigating additional enhancements available in version 12, including mobile accessibility to Collaborate sessions from iPhones and iPads, as well as direct Grade Center and Calendar integration. 

Blackboard Spring Upgrade
The Blackboard Team will begin reviewing and testing a new version of Blackboard during the Spring 2013 semester, with plans to implement in May 2013. This will be a significant upgrade to the existing version, including:

  • A clean, modern facelift to the overall look of Blackboard.  This new user interface makes it easier to navigate between courses and complete tasks.
  • The introduction of a Quick Setup Guide, which makes it easy for faculty to build their course structure & content – so you spend less time designing the course and more time teaching it.
  • The much-anticipated Automatic Regrading of tests & quizzes – which will allow instructors to adjust individual test questions/answers after an assessment has been deployed, and the system will re-grade the submitted assessments and provide notification about any changes.
  • The all-new Course Relationship Management & Task-Based Navigation tools.  These tools allow instructors to manage all aspects of multiple sections of a course in a single course environment, and provide for easy navigation between courses when performing specific tasks.  For example, when you are grading in one course, you likely need to grade in other courses as well – this can now be done in a few simple clicks instead navigating in and out of courses and associated grade centers.
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CIRT ONLINE SCHEDULING FOR INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN CONSULTATION AND SCANTRON

Instructional Design ConsultationsX
The instructional design staff in CIRT is available to consult with faculty on a wide range of topics including effective use of Blackboard, online course development, learning activity development, creation of course materials, technology integration, audio and video production, presentation development, accessibility, group assignments and communication in online, hybrid and face-to-face courses. On November 1, 2012, the instructional design team launched a new online appointment-scheduling tool. Faculty may now schedule instructional design appointments online from the Instructional Design page of the CIRT website.

To schedule an appointment with an instructional designer, click an instructional designer’s name to view a calendar that displays available appointments. Select a time and complete the short form to schedule your appointment. Once an appointment is scheduled, you will receive an email confirmation that you may use to add the appointment to your calendar.

Scantron Scheduling
On November 1, 2012, CIRT launched a new online scheduling tool for the Scantron machine located in CIRT. Faculty may now schedule Scantron appointments, both self-service and assisted, from the Scantron page of the CIRT website. Simply click the appropriate link under “Schedule an appointment to use the Scantron,” select a time and complete the short form to schedule an appointment. Once an appointment is scheduled, you will receive an email confirmation that you may use to add the appointment to your calendar.

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APP REVIEWS: FLIPBOARD
Mike Boyles, Coordinator of Graphic Design, mboyles@unf.edu
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flipboardLove at First Flip

Flipboard is a beautifully-designed app that takes content you’re interested in and presents it in an impressive aesthetically-designed layout. It collects the content of other websites, presents it in magazine format, and allows users to "flip" through feeds from websites that have partnered with the company. The app was created to be very intuitive and easy to use. Once you have installed Flipboard, the first page visually lists the content, or magazines. When you tap to open the magazine, you can “flip” through the pages like a magazine and tap the title of a story to read it in full.

The appeaL of this app is ability to add your own magazines and other sites so it becomes your personal, customized news source. You can select many options from subjects such as News, Business, Politics, Tech & Science, Photos & Design, Living, Entertainment, Sports, Travel and others. For example, under the section of News, you will have many options such as ABC News, The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Huffington Post and many more. You can also search for subjects that interest you and find additional sources to add. When you come across a website, feed or magazine through the search function, there should be a plus sign displayed at the top of the page. Press this to add that site or feed to your Flipboard.

Flipboard also connects to your favorite social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Google Reader feeds, and more. And of course, the app offers easy ways to share interesting articles via Twitter, Facebook, and email, and to save them to Instapaper or Readability, two simple tools to save web pages for reading later. Whether you’re browsing stories from social networks or the curated feeds, Flipboard jettisons photos wherever it can, and makes it easy to swipe through story after story.

iPhone/iPod Touch/Android: Pages flip using an up and down motion. Place your finger at the bottom of the screen and swipe it upward to flip forward through the digital magazine, or swipe it downward to flip backward through the magazine.

iPad: Pages flip using a left and right motion, just like a real magazine. Swipe your finger across the screen from right to left to move through the pages, or swipe it from left to right to go backwards.

If you want to reorganize the icons on your Flipboard app, just hold down one of the icons until it becomes "engaged," then slide it to where you want it to be. To delete an icon, hold it down and tap on the "x" in the corner.

Flipboard creates a single place to enjoy, browse, comment on and share all the news, photos and updates that matter to you. See why Flipboard has been named Apple's iPad App of the Year, one of TIME's Top 50 Innovations, the top social app at the 2012 Webby Awards, and other accolades.

APP INFO
Flipboard for iOS Devices
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flipboard-your-social-news/id358801284?mt=8
Flipboard for Android Devices
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=flipboard.app&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImZsaXBib2FyZC5hcHAiXQ                                          
Cost: Free
Platforms: Compatible with iOS and Android devices
Current Version: 1.9.7
Updated: September 20, 2012
Category: News

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NEWS FROM ITS: CYBERAWARENESS AND IT REORG

Be Cyber Savvy
October was National Cyber Security Awareness Month and Information Technology Services sponsored a series of events last month that focused on several areas of online information security. Weekly themes included Social Media Privacy, Protect Mobile Devices, Fend Off Phishing & Cyber Scams, and Be Safe Online. Some activities included a cyber-security tip published in Osprey Update each week, a webinar titled “Being Private with Social Media”, a brown bag presentation and discussion on “Keeping Your Data Safe in an Unsafe World”, and a video on “Five Things to Know about your UNF Password”. Even though Cyber Security Awareness Month has concluded, it is important that the campus community take action year-round to help protect themselves from online scams, identity theft, viruses, and other cyber security threats. Click here to review tips, videos, and information about cyber security awareness.

IT Reorganization Update
The IT Reorganization Task Force was charged by the VP of Administration & Finance to review the current Information Technology Services (ITS) structure as well as the overall university IT composition, operations, and governance. The review process included discussion with ITS staff, decentralized technology staff, department chairs, and peer aspirant institutions. The task force surveyed faculty and ten peer institutions and engaged with the Education Advisory Board to conduct a research project on Academic Technology. The IT Reorganization Task Force findings and recommendations can be found at https://www.unf.edu/uploadedFiles/anf/its/CIO/IT%20Reorg%202012.pdf  

Of the recommendations presented in the report, the following tasks have been completed or are proceeding at this time:

  • The Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) has been established.
  • An Assistant Director of Communications & Training was appointed to the Office of the CIO. The ITS budget officer was moved under the Office of the CIO. The creation of a Project Management Office is underway and will report to the Office of the CIO. 
  • The responsibilities belonging to the Networking & User Services and IT Security departments were realigned. The network, systems, and security teams were combined to form the Networking and Security Department, which is led by Jeff Durfee. The User Services Department, led by Kathy Hughes, is comprised of the Help Desk, support coordinators (C-Techs), and classroom technology. A review of the Help Desk staffing and services is also underway.
  • Ms. Hughes is chairing the Academic Technology Task Force that will define the role and scope of an academic technology unit. The task force will review recommendations outlined in the IT reorganization report regarding academic technologies and consult with campus stakeholders to develop an action plan for the creation and operation of the academic technology unit.
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NEW IN CIRT: KINDLE FIRE, iPAD CLASS KIT, AND DEPARTMENT PROMOTIONS

kindleThe Kindle Fire has become an increasingly popular alternative to the iPad as a personal tablet/media device. If you're interested in trying out out for yourself, please let us know as we have one available for checkout, for up to two weeks.

We also now have available a set of seven iPads that can be used for in the classroom for groupwork, in the field for data collection, or other similar uses. They are the iPad2 model, with video capture and editing capacity, and can be checked out for up to three days at a time. If you have an instructional goal or research need you think the kit could support, please contact us and we'll be glad to work with you to provision the iPads with the appropriate setup for your needs.

Department Promotions
Two familiar faces are taking on new roles. Please join me in congratuating Donatella Schianomoriello on her promotion to Academic Support Tech, a full-time position that adds additional resources for non-DL faculty support. Donatella has been a student assistant in CIRT for the past two years and we are thrilled she has accepted this new positon. Her passion for helping others and problem-solving nature make her an ideal fit.

Ross Bell, a newer addition to our team, has recently been promoted to Lead Distance Learning Support Tech. Ross brings a wealth of user and Help Desk support experience to this position. He will be playing a key role in managing the Blackboard system and providing technical support to faculty, working in concert with the instructional design team. We are thrilled he has decided to make a home in CIRT and look forward to growth in capacity his experience brings to our team.

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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

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