An important announcement for WileyPLUS users

Planned Upgrades for WileyPLUS users:

On Saturday, April 22nd from 1 AM to 7 AM ET, WileyPLUS will be unavailable due to a scheduled improvement release.

This release focuses on performance improvements, better user experience for LMS integrated users, and updates for customers using Math courses.

Performance Improvements: WileyPLUS will be updated for improved performance.

Improvements for Integrated Users: Instructors integrating WileyPLUS with their campus Learning Management System (LMS) and using ungraded assignments will no longer see those ungraded assignments count towards the students’ total score in the LMS.

Updates for Math Customers: Question assistance in math courses, such as images, and algorithmic solutions, will appear as expected.

If you have any questions, please contact The WileyPLUS Team at accountmanager@wiley.com.

MATC’s Internet Service – Scheduled Maintenance April 11, 2017

Per the IT Department:

On Tuesday April 11th from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (Central), all MATC internet connectivity will be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance and hardware upgrades.

This will NOT affect access to Gmail or the Blackboard Learning Management System, as these are hosted offsite.
If you have additional questions, please contact the IT Helpdesk at 414-297-6541.
Thank you for your understanding.

Need Help with SumTotal? – Open Labs

sumtotal imageHR is hosting the following open labs to provide Sum Total assistance.  If you or any of your employees have questions or need assistance, please stop by. This is first come, first serve; there is no registration for the open lab.

Milwaukee Campus – M458
Tuesday, March 14 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Friday, March 17 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Oak Creek Campus – A214
Wednesday, March 15 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Mequon Campus – A224
Wednesday, March 15 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

West Allis Campus – Room 200
Thursday, March 16 from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m.

As a reminder, there are also electronic resources available for your use on MyMATC. Employees not able to attend the open lab can contact me or Jodie McCutcheon in Human Resources with questions..

Best regards,

Michelle Krueger
Manager, Training & Development
Milwaukee Area Technical College
414-297-7479

Blackboard Clean-Up: Archive Last Spring’s Courses Before April 7th

bb-cleanup-sp2016

If you have not already done so as a part of the End of Semester Process,  download an archive and Grade Center file from each spring 2016 course you taught before they are permanently deleted from Blackboard on Friday April 7th at 8:00 AM (Central).

Remember, courses that were offered in the spring of 2016 will have Blackboard IDs that begin with SP2016.

Best Practices for Saving Courses

If you do not have a “master copy” of your course permanently stored on the Blackboard system,  please complete the Personal Master request form and import your archived course file into it for future use and revision.

Warning

Due to changes in username formats, hosting servers, and service packs, requests for old course archives may be time-consuming and restorations may be unsuccessful. Downloading an archive of your course and grade data NOW ensures that you will have easy access to them LATER!

SP2017 Mid-semester Course Evaluation

Image result for course evaluation image

Please urge your students to complete a course evaluation for your course. Students have received an email with a link to the evaluation, and they have a Take Survey button on the homepage of the Blackboard site for your course. The evaluations remain open until midnight on March 21st.

Thanks,
Milwaukee Area Technical College

 

Upcoming Blackboard Workshops

All faculty are invited to attend the following workshops to learn how to use Blackboard tools to make instruction more efficient and student learning experiences more effective. No registration is required, simply attend the sessions of your choice.

For questions about workshops, please contact the workshop’s leader directly.

In-Line Grading in Blackboard: Crocodoc!

During this one hour information session, faculty will review how to use Blackboard’s inline grading tool called Crocodoc. This tool allows you to grade and annotate documents that students submit as assignments right in the course’s Grade Center!

Date & Time Location Leader
Thurs. March 9th. 1-2PM South Campus, room A-120 Doni Bartley
bartledw@matc.edu

 

Join Professionals Abroad in Guatemala this summer!

Guatemala (2015)

  • May 26 – June 9
  • Open to full and part-time faculty and staff
  • Earn three credits
    • Cultural Competence – 1 credit
    • Service Learning – 1 credit
    • Spanish Language Acquisition – 1 credit

Contact: Deb Hoem-Esparza hoemesd@matc.edu or Barbara Surwillo surwillb@matc.edu

ER&D - Professionals Abroad Guatemala brochure_Page_1 ER&D - Professionals Abroad Guatemala brochure_Page_2

Professionals Abroad: Guatemala

MATC Planned Internet Outage on Sunday February 5th

Information Technology has been informed by our Internet Service Provider that they require a brief (15 minute) maintenance window on Sunday morning, February 5, 2017, to upgrade our Internet router. This will result in a loss of Internet connectivity from Midnight to roughly 12:15 a.m. this Sunday morning.

Note:  This will NOT affect access to the Blackboard Learning Management System as this is hosted offsite. 

If you have additional questions, please contact the IT Helpdesk at 414-297-6541.

Need Help with Sum Total? – Open Labs

Michelle Krueger, Manager of Training & Development is hosting the following open labs to provide Sum Total assistance.  If you or any of your employees have questions or need assistance, please stop by and attend one of the Open Labs listed below. This is first come, first serve; there is no registration for the open lab.

Milwaukee Campus – M458
Thursday, January 26 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 31 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Oak Creek Campus – A120
Wednesday, January 25 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Mequon Campus – A224
Friday, January 27 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

As a reminder, there are also electronic resources available for your use on MyMATC or Sumtotal. Employees not able to attend the open lab can contact Michelle Krueger or Jodie McCutcheon in Human Resources with questions.

Best regards,

Michelle Krueger

Manager, Training & Development
Milwaukee Area Technical College

Winterim Faculty Guide to Preparing Courses

winterim-banner

snowflake2Because MATC’s campuses and support services are closed during the holiday break, we strongly advise faculty teaching Winterim semester courses to refer to these guidelines and resources.

Do Not Use Course Copy to Develop Courses

We strongly advise using the Archive and Import process of moving course materials from one section into another to avoid experiencing technical problems caused by Course Copy.

Support Resources

Faculty may use the tutorials and contact form on the Faculty Blackboard Support website.  Additional information to advise Winterim students is available here.

Students new to using Blackboard should review the Start Here page and Blackboard Student Orientation.  Students may use the tutorials and contact form on the Student Blackboard Support website.

Login Problems

Use the online Password Manager  to retrieve your login credentials or update an expired password.  If you can not use the Password Manager, create a ticket using the Help Desk’s online form to request assistance. The password to submit the request form is: MATC.

Resolving Common Technical Problems

  • Use the Browser Tester on Blackboard’s home page to check your technology’s settings and review the Resolving Common Browser Problems page for solutions.
  • Advise students using Google Chrome as their browser to update it to the latest version to prevent technical problems when taking tests in Blackboard.
  • If you see a “Module Information is Unavailable” message in Blackboard, see the workaround instructions here.
  • To troubleshoot content availability settings, use your course’s Student Preview Mode to see what students see.
  • For problems with publisher content, please contact your publisher’s technical support directly for assistance. We have compiled a list of publisher support resources here.

Deterring Cheating in Proctored Exams with Respondus Lockdown Browser

This December, faculty may view a one hour training session on how to use Respondus Lockdown Browser to deter cheating on tests delivered through Blackboard. Please note that Respondus Lockdown Browser is a software program that is meant to be used in proctored classroom environments only.

Instructor Training for LockDown Browser & Respondus Monitor: Prevent Cheating During Online Exams

DATE & TIME SIGN UP
Thurs. December 15th
12 PM – 1 PM
Click here to register and view on your own computer.
Wed. January 11th
1PM – 2PM
Click here to register and view on your own computer.
Thurs. January 19th
2PM – 3PM
Click here to register and view on your own computer.

To help faculty identify more robust, effective strategies to deter cheating in online tests, we strongly recommend that faculty review these resources:

5 Ways to Make Your Online Classrooms More Interactive

Faculty Focus | Higher Ed Teaching & Learning

By: Amy Peterson

The convenience and flexibility of the online learning environment allows learners to develop new skills and further their education, regardless of where they live. However, for all of its benefits, online learning can sometimes feel isolating for students and faculty. The question is: how do you build a sense of community in your online courses? One approach involves cultivating more interaction—between you and your students and among the students themselves. Here are five practical tips for increasing the human connection in your online classrooms.

1. Integrate real-time interaction

college student sitting outside with laptopWhen online courses are completely asynchronous, there is often limited interaction between you and your students and class members with each other. Consider, for example, that real-time conversations don’t occur during a video lecture, when you post announcements, or when students post on a discussion board. That lag in response time kills the momentum of a back-and-forth discussion and can sometimes lead to misunderstandings.

Integrating opportunities for real-time interaction into your online course can help change that and develop a sense of community in a course. Consider how impromptu conversations outside the traditional classroom forge relationships, clarify ideas, and spark new insights. You can facilitate these interactions by setting up opportunities for class members to meet online synchronously both formally and informally. Using web conferencing applications, you can create a variety of synchronous interaction opportunities, such as office hours, small group discussions, whole class discussions, and study groups.

2. Get creative with discussion boards

Discussion boards have long been the communication staple for online courses, but there are ways you can make this experience more interactive for much wider and deeper participation. In a traditional classroom, it’s common for only a small percentage of students to participate in discussion. In an online environment, you can structure your discussions so that everyone contributes, plus they’ll have more time to consider what they want to say before responding. Class size helps determine how you organize discussions. In a larger class of, say, 100 students, you can set up smaller discussion groups of 20 or so people so that students can get to know their fellow classmates. You can also create even smaller groups (5-7 people) for more intimate interaction, and rotate these groups to expand interactions. This approach also works with smaller class sizes.

One technique that fosters richer dialogue is creating discussion prompts that are open ended, such as requiring students to provide examples or asking them to interpret a concept from a variety of perspectives. You could also set up student-facilitated discussion opportunities where students craft the discussion prompt and guide the ensuing dialogue.

3. Maximize engagement with non-task interaction

Non-task interactions are those exchanges that are not part of the direct learning, but help create a supportive learning community. You can facilitate these types of interactions by leveraging the social networking capabilities that are available in many learning management systems, such as chat and web conferencing. Using the group functionality, students can create special interest groups or study groups. If your LMS doesn’t have the functionality to support a social network, you can still create one with a private Facebook page or one of the many group messaging apps available, such as Telegram and Slack.

information overload computer keyOf important note, academic social networks require planning and ongoing maintenance. The value of the social network needs to be explicit before it will become a common destination. Many schools begin by asking students to create bios and add profile pictures, but these activities alone will not encourage students to keep coming back to the network. Techniques for transforming the social network into a destination include frequently updating content (on a weekly or if possible daily basis) and incorporating contributions to the social network into classes (e.g. using the social network tools for group work; asking students to post their discussion contributions into their social network feed).

4. Use multiple communication tools

You’re not alone in wanting to increase and enhance student engagement and interaction. For example, schools can create a program-wide social network that allows students to continue their relationships with other students from course to course. Within this private social network, the administrators and support staff can use direct messages, announcements, and live events to enhance student engagement in the program.

This sort of institutional support is not necessary, however, for your class to be interactive. In addition to external social networking tools, such as Facebook, Telegram, Slack, and WhatsApp, students can meet each other in real time on Skype and Google Hangouts. Preprogrammed communication, such as introductory videos, content presentation, and email, are still important components of online learning, but student interaction can take the learning further, faster.

5. Have a plan around the tool

A tech tool is only as good as you the way you use it from a pedagogical perspective. When you move a face-to-face course online, or create an online course from scratch, consider how interaction will support the learning goals in your course. By enhancing the opportunities for interaction in your online classrooms, you can take an already powerful learning opportunity to the next level for all of your students.

Amy Peterson is senior vice president of course design, development and academic research at Pearson. She has more than 15 years of experience developing online and hybrid courses and learning experiences for dozens of universities and colleges.