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Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services
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ITSpotlight is designed to keep the campus up to date on ITS activities and services.

2011


ITS suggests the following end-of-semester activities involving Blackboard:
  • If using the Grade Center, manually calculate one or two of your student's grades to make sure that your Grade Center Total and/or Weighted Total column(s) has/have been set up to calculate correctly.
    • Understanding the nuances of the Grade Center is essential to insuring accurate grade calculations. See the Grade Center Tips & Tricks for additional information.
    • If you find errors, consult the Troubleshooting Grade Center Issues tutorial.
    • ITS recommends the online Mercer University Weighted Average Grade Calculator to assist in checking Weighted Total calculations.
  • Download copies of assignment submissions.
  • Download a copy of your grade center at the end of the term.
  • Make your course unavailable for student viewing after grades have been submitted. Follow these instructions but select the "No" radio button for the Make Course Available option.

Start of Semester - Spring 2012

  • Request your course shells online for Spring 2012 now. In order to assure courses are ready for the first day of classes, the deadline for receiving complete information is as follows:
School or College Complete Request Received Start of Classes
Dental Medicine & Pharmacy Thursday, December 15th January 3rd
All Other Thursday, December 22nd January 9th

All requests are handled in the order in which they are received. Please allow 5 to 7 business days

Please note that requests for Summer 2012 course shells will not be processed until after February 1st.

  • Remember that ITS can and will copy previously taught courses. Copying a course will save you exporting and importing course materials. Any courses that are copied will have links to files in the Content Collection. However, during the copying process, the "permissions" for the new course are not updated. You will have to repair file permissions for any files linked to the Content Collection. Follow these instructions to repair permissions.

Grade Center

ITS also offers clarifications and instructions regarding the nuances of the Grade Center. Information on extra credit, items without grades, weighting grades, hidden columns, etc can be found on the Grade Center Tips & Tricks site.

Blackboard Boot Camp Classes

ITS will also be offering "boot camp" style classes January 3-5, 2012, designed to bring new users up to date with the most frequently used features in Blackboard prior to the start of the semester. Visit the Blackboard workshop page for more information on the boot camp.

Streaming Server

Information Technology Services is excited to announce the availability of the new streaming server for audio and video files. We will be disabling the old streaming server at the end of the Fall 2011 semester. If you are using media (audio or video files) on our current streaming server please read the following information carefully. All media from the old streaming server has been transferred over to the new streaming server. However, the links to the media have changed. As of January 1st, 2012, the links to the old streaming media, including links to that media in your Spring 2012 Blackboard course(s), will no longer work.
If you are currently using streaming media in your courses and wish to continue to use the same streaming media for future semesters, please contact ITS at 650-5500 or email ftc_help@siue.edu before December 1st, 2011, so that we may make arrangements with you to give you the current link for your media. If you are not happy with the quality of the existing media, please provide us with a copy of the original media and we will create a new streaming file for the new server.
If you no longer want to use the existing media, your files will be deleted after January 1st. Please contact us with any questions at 650-5500 or ftc_help@siue.edu.

Network Update

In August 2011, Information Technology Services performed an upgrade to the SIUE network. Changes included an addition of a second Internet service provider, allowing for a back-up in the event a service provider should fail, and an increase in bandwidth from 200 megabits to 700 megabits, resulting in a faster Internet connection for the SIUE network. These changes provide faculty, staff, and students with faster and more reliable access to their Internet-based resources. As always, if you experience any issues with your network connectivity, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 618-650-5500 to submit a trouble ticket.

Microsoft Office Campus Agreement

Through the Microsoft Campus Agreement Home User option, full-time faculty and staff have the opportunity to purchase one copy of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 for a reduced cost of $9.95. Other items also available for purchase through this program are Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 ($9.95) and back-up media ($12.00). If your Internet connection is slow, it is recommended that you purchase the back-up media. The normal retail price for MS Office Professional is $499, so this reduced price reflects a tremendous savings for our faculty and staff. To take advantage of this offer, go to the ITS web site and choose the Faculty/Staff link on the left side. Choose "Microsoft Home Use Agreement" and follow the directions. If you have any questions, please contact the ITS help desk.


Microsoft Office Campus Agreement

Through the Microsoft Campus Agreement Home Use option, full-time faculty and staff have the opportunity to purchase one copy of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 for a reduced cost of $9.95. Other items also available for purchase through this program are Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 ($9.95) and back-up media ($12.00). If your Internet connection is slow, it is recommended that you purchase the back-up media. The normal retail price for MS Office Professional is $499, so this reduced price reflects a tremendous savings for our faculty and staff. To take advantage of this offer, go to the ITS web site and choose the Faculty/Staff link on the left side. Choose "Microsoft Home Use Agreement" and follow the directions. If you have any questions, please contact the ITS help desk.

If you have questions about or require additional information on any of the topics discussed below, visit the Blackboard tutorials page or contact ITS at ftc_help@siue.edu or at 618-650-5500.

Announcements

  • Blackboard Training "Boot Camp" - A series of Blackboard training sessions has been scheduled for August 8, 10, 11 in a "boot camp" format (Blackboard will be down August 9th for an update, more information is available below). At the end of three days, participants should be well-versed in the most frequently used aspects of Blackboard. While all faculty and staff are welcome to attend, these sessions should be of particular interest to new faculty and those who find it difficult to make training sessions scheduled during the academic year. Register today at: http://www.siue.edu/its/bb/fac_staff/workshops.shtml.
  • Upcoming Training - There are still several ITS training and open labs scheduled in the upcoming weeks. Training will be offered on Luminis, Banner, WebNow, and MS Office 2010. Hone your skills or learn something new for the fall semester. View upcoming training opportunities and register today!

Start of Semester Blackboard Activities

ITS suggests the following start-of-semester activities involving Blackboard:

  • Requesting Blackboard Course Shells - All Blackboard course shell requests must be made online by choosing the appropriate option under "Blackboard Faculty Forms" at http://www.siue.edu/its/bb.
    • Please allow 3 to 5 business days for us to process requests for new course shells. Remember that you can request that we copy materials from a previously taught course into a new course shell at the time the new course shell is requested.
    • Note that we generally do not add students into a Blackboard course until the Thursday or Friday prior to the start of the course. If you need your students to have access to a course early, please specify that in the "Comments" section of the online request form.
    • To ensure that your fall course shells will be ready for the first day of the fall semester, be sure to submit your complete request no later than Thursday, August 4th for the Schools of Dental Medicine and Pharmacy, or Monday, August 15th for all other academic divisions. Requests received after those dates will be filled within 3 to 5 business days in the order in which they are received.
    • Remember that all newly created courses are set to be "unavailable" at the time of their creation and cannot be seen by your students. When you deem your course is ready for your students to see, you must make it available.

Application Updates

  • Blackboard and a number of related software and/or plug ins have been or will be installed or updated prior to the start of the Fall 2011 semester, including:
    • Blackboard update- Blackboard will be unavailable for use between midnight and noon on Tuesday, August 9th while the system is updated to the latest service pack.
    • Turnitin- Turnitin, an intellectual property verification tool, is replacing SafeAssign effective this fall. The building block was installed late last spring and was used in a number of summer classes. Please see the Turnitin section below for additional information about this product.
    • Respondus- The annual license has been renewed for Respondus, StudyMate, Author, and LockDown Browser. Users accessing Respondus and StudyMate Author after July 31st will be prompted for the new license key. The license key can be located on the "Download Installation" web page for each product via http://www.siue.edu/respondus. Due to licensing restrictions, those pages are only accessible via an SIUE IP address.

What is Turnitin?

  • Turnitin is an intellectual property verification tool which is immediately replacing Safe Assign in Blackboard. Turnitin serves as a plagiarism checker in that it: flags text that has been identified as closely matching other internet, article, or student resources; displays possible sources where that text is located; and indicates the percentage of a paper that is attributable to other sources. The tool will ideally reduce overt and accidental plagiarism by helping students understand quotation attribution and citations. Turnitin does not analyze or identify spelling, grammatical, or citation style errors. Turnitin accepts the following file formats: Microsoft Word (.doc and .docx), plain text (TXT), rich text (RTF), PDF, HTML, WordPerfect, and PostScript. Instructors can set up Turnitin assignments in their Blackboard courses to let students submit papers. Instructors not using Blackboard can also set up courses on the Turnitin site to let students submit papers; in this case, both instructors and students will need to create accounts on the Turnitin site. In both instances, the student submissions are checked against Turnitin's comprehensive databases of source materials and Originality Reports are generated that list the results of the matching process. A resource site has been created to address the Turnitin options both inside and outside of Blackboard.
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