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ITS - Teaching and Learning

Sakai Virtual Conference Nov 6

sakaiger with apereo logoJoin us and the rest of the global Sakai Community at the annual Sakai Virtual Conference opens in new window! This completely-online conference will take place on Wednesday, November 6th, from 10am until 5pm. While technical topics will be covered, the emphasis of this conference is on pedagogy and best practices. It’s a faculty-friendly conference targeted toward the teaching and learning aspects of Sakai, so we encourage faculty, instructional designers, and support staff to attend!

Sakai Virtual Conference 2019 opens in new window
Wednesday, November 6
10am – 5pm
All Online

Registration Spots Available

We have purchased a group registration and have several spots available. If you are interested in using one of these registrations, please let us know by sending an email to tnt@unc.edu by Friday, November 1st. Departments are also welcome to use a registration to view sessions as a group. Each registration account gives you access to all the conference sessions, and you pick and choose which sessions to attend.

Here are a couple cool things to know about registration:

  1. All registration proceeds go toward development of Sakai features and enhancements
  2. You’ll be entered in prize drawings with your registration account!

Sessions of Interest

Here are possible sessions of interest. Be sure to check out the full schedule opens in new window and session details opens in new window!

  • Keynote by Matthew Rascott, Duke University
  • Sakai Learning Path: Lead Your Students to Success
  • Promoting Innovation through Adjunct Faculty
  • Building a Lesson-Centric Course
  • Lessons: Let it go!
  • The (Student) User Experience in Sakai
  • What’s new in Sakai 20
  • The new Sakai Grader – making the grading experience more fluid (Sakai 20)
  • Mapping the Road Further Ahead for Sakai – share your thoughts on improvements you’d like to see
  • Lightning Talks
    • Using Videos to Bring Your Online Classroom to Life
    • Gamifying iLearn: Implementing Kitcoin Exchange

We hope you’ll join us and the rest of the Sakai Community around the globe!

#SakaiVC19 opens in new window

Spring 2020 Rosters in Sakai

tulips in front of Old Well

Happy Fall Break! We hope you’re able to take the time this week to relax or perhaps catch up on any work.

If you’d like to get a head start on upcoming tasks, Spring 2020 rosters are now in Sakai. This means that you can now start creating your Spring 2020 course sites!

Step 1: ConnectCarolina

To create your course site in Sakai, you must be listed as one of the following for each of your course rosters in ConnectCarolina opens in new window:

  • Primary Instructor
  • Secondary Instructor
  • Proxy Instructor
  • Dean’s Designate

Contact your departmental course scheduler to list you in ConnectCarolina with the appropriate instructor role. If you log into ConnectCarolina and don’t see your courses listed for Spring 2020, your scheduler needs to make this change. Please note that it may take up to 24 hours to update in Sakai. Also note that Teaching Assistants in ConnectCarolina cannot create course sites in Sakai.

See more information on access:

Create Spring 2020 Course Site

Once your departmental scheduler has listed you for your course rosters in ConnectCarolina and our Sakai data has refreshed (happens 3 times a day), here are the steps to follow on creating your course site opens in new window.

Get started by clicking on Home > Worksite Setup > New OR Sites > Create New Site. Then follow these steps:

  1. Select course site
  2. Change Academic term to Spring 2020 and Continue
  3. Check course roster you want to create and Continue — Check only 1 roster if you want separate course sites
  4. Edit Home Description (or later) and Continue
  5. Check tools you want to use and Continue — can add/remove later
  6. Leave as Draft and Continue — remember to publish site when ready
  7. Finish

If you want to reuse any old course material, you may do so before continuing in Step #5 through the “Re-use Material from Other Sites You Own” option. You can also wait until after you have created your site and use the Import from Site feature. See details on duplicating course content opens in new window.

Organize Favorite Sites

Your new sites will automatically appear in your top favorites bar. You may remove old Sakai sites from your favorites bar by clicking Sites and then the star next to each site you wish to remove (star will dim). You can also completely hide sites from your view opens in new window through Preferences. The Organize Favorites tab allows you to reorder how your tabs are listed. Up to 15 sites can be displayed in your favorites bar.

Sakai Sites menu

Register for the CFE Faculty Showcase

center for faculty excellence faculty showcase on teaching march 27, 2020

Early registration is now open for the CFE Faculty Showcase on Teaching opens in new window! The Faculty Showcase is the University’s one-day campus conference on teaching and learning, and will be held on Friday, March 27, 2020, at the Carolina Club. Learn about promising instructional techniques and technologies and connect with faculty colleagues from a wide range of disciplines. All UNC Faculty are invited to attend and encouraged to stay for as much of the day as your schedule allows.

If there is a topic that you would like to see covered during the Showcase or if you are interested in sharing something yourself, consider submitting a program idea by December 31!

Showcase details, registration, and program idea submissions can all be found on cfe.unc.edu/showcase opens in new window.

The CFE Faculty Showcase on Teaching is sponsored by the following:

This is always a great event for UNC instructors, and we encourage you to register now!

Adverse Weather Tech Options

person with blue umbrella walking behind old well in the rainChapel Hill and the surrounding areas will feel the effects of Hurricane Dorian this week, making it possible that you won’t be able to come to campus. If you cannot meet in person, you can still have class / meet online or make your materials digitally available!

Here are some options to consider:

  • Meet in a virtual classroom
  • Record your presentation over your slides and share them digitally
  • Schedule office hours and meet with students online
  • Have students watch videos and report their feedback via online assessments or a discussion board

All the tools mentioned in this blog post are available through Sakai opens in new window. You can add each tool opens in new window to your course site through Site Info > Manage Tools.

Meet Online in Zoom

Not being able to meet in person doesn’t have to prevent you from having class. You can set up a virtual classroom using Zoom opens in new window and share your slides or desktop with meeting attendees. You and your students can turn on your microphones and speakers or even enable video connections for a more interactive experience. If you have not already, you can easily create a UNC Zoom account opens in new window, create a Zoom meeting, and share the Zoom meeting link with your students!

Here are two quick 1-minute videos on creating and joining Zoom meetings:

You might also consider recording your whole lecture in Zoom and then sharing the recording with your students. See Zoom Support opens in new window if you have any questions.

If you want to schedule office hours to meet with students individually, consider the Sakai Sign-up opens in new window tool!

Record Your Presentation in VoiceThread

Voicethread logoAnother way you can share your recorded presentation with your students is through VoiceThread opens in new window. You can quickly upload your PowerPoint slides as you’re creating a VoiceThread opens in new window and then narrate over the slides with an audio or video recording with comments opens in new window. Don’t forget to share your VoiceThread opens in new window with your class when you’re done!

Share Videos through Warpwire + Student Feedback

You might just have some videos you want your students to watch. If the videos are not already online but on your computer, you can easily upload the videos into Warpwire opens in new window. Warpwire will privately stream your media directly in your Sakai course site.

Perhaps you want to assess your students after watching the video. You can set up a discussion Forum opens in new window and have students post their thoughts and replies to other student posts, or you can quiz their knowledge using the Sakai Tests & Quizzes opens in new window tool — we recommend creating quizzes using Markup Text opens in new window!

We hope the hurricane impacts will be minimal but be sure to stay safe!

See Alert Carolina opens in new window for updates.

Start of Semester Sakai Checklist & Workshops

bell tower behind autumn colored leaves

The Fall Semester is almost here! Below you will find a quick 5-step checklist to get your Sakai course sites ready. If you prefer in-person assistance, we are offering a 1-hour crash course on teaching in Sakai, which will be especially beneficial to new instructors. We’ll also have a Sakai drop-in help session the first week of classes to quickly assist you with any of your questions.

Sakai Help Sessions

Be sure to register for any help session you wish to attend! We also offer personal consultations opens in new window if you prefer one-on-one help.

Intro to Teaching in Sakai
Thinking of teaching in Sakai for the first time or need a refresher? Join us at this 1-hour crash course to learn the basics of teaching in Sakai! This workshop will be offered 3 times. Please note that you must bring a laptop if you are attending either workshop on August 19 or 22.

Drop in for Sakai Help Session
Have quick, last-minute Sakai questions for the start of term? Drop in any time between 2:30pm and 4pm to get help from a Sakai expert!

Start of Semester Checklist

Here is the 5-step checklist to get your Sakai course sites ready!

1. Create Course Site opens in new window

Instructors can select to reuse old course material opens in new window in new sites during the course creation process (or after the site has been created). At the bottom of the Course Site Tools page, select “Yes, from these sites:” to Re-use Material from Other Sites You Own and select the courses from which you want to reuse material. Continue onto the next step to select which tools you want duplicated.

re-use material from other sakai sites you own

NOTE: This process creates only one site at a time. Checking multiple rosters will place all checked rosters on the course site you are currently creating. See Rosters FAQ opens in new window.

2. Check Rosters opens in new window

You can easily add/remove rosters in your course sites through Site Info > Edit Class Roster(s). Keep in mind that enrollments occur three times a day, which means that it may take up to 24 hours for enrollments to update in Sakai.

NOTE: If you accidentally attached an extra roster to the wrong course site, you must first remove the extra roster from the original site to create a new course site for that roster. Each roster can only be attached to one site at a time.

3. Upload Syllabus opens in new window

You can upload your course syllabus in the Syllabus tool or in Resources opens in new window. If using the Syllabus tool and you wish to upload your syllabus as an attachment, you must first add the Syllabus Item in order to see the Add Attachments link. Don’t forget that students won’t see the syllabus item unless it is published (light bulb is lit)!

4. Publish Site opens in new window

To give students access, publish your site.

publish now button

5. Give Your TAs Access opens in new window

Do you have Teaching Assistants? Make sure they have the proper access! We recommend TAs be added to the official course roster through ConnectCarolina opens in new window by your departmental scheduler, but you can also manually give them access. If they are manually added, they do not automatically inherit grading permissions. Instructors must give TAs grading permissions through the Section Info tool.

Please contact the ITS Service Desk at help.unc.edu opens in new window if you have any questions. They are available 24/7. Since the first week of classes is always very busy, the quickest way to get help is most likely through their Live Chat opens in new window option.

Good luck with start of Fall!

Celebrating 10-Year Partnership with CFE

Furthering the educational mission of the University is all about supporting new and innovative technologies in the classroom and in the digital world. We are able to most effectively provide instructional support by working together with groups across campus. Our ITS Teaching & Learning team is celebrating a 10-year partnership with the Center for Faculty Excellence opens in new window in supporting faculty and graduate instructors at UNC! As Bob Henshaw, our Liaison to the CFE, says:

“When instructors have easy access to all teaching options, students stand to benefit the most.”

instructor and students write on whiteboard wall

ROML Prof Glynic Cowell and students use whiteboard walls in flexible classroom Dey 205. Photo: Lars Sahl

It is with this idea of providing instructors with all teaching options that we continue to expand on the resources we provide and the projects we work on together. Many exciting new things have come out of or are in the works through our partnership with the CFE, including:

Before becoming our Teaching & Learning Director, Suzanne Cadwell served as another ITS liaison to the CFE and therefore understands and appreciates the many benefits that come with building relations across campus through these partnerships.

The partnership between Teaching & Learning and CFE has enriched the experience and efficacy of instructors and IT professionals, spurred innovation and experimentation with new technology-supported approaches and enabled instructors to provide a richer learning experience for students.

Read the full story on ITS News.opens in new window

LinkedIn Learning Now Available

welcome to linkedin learningWe are excited to share that you now have access to LinkedIn Learning, the on-demand learning solution designed to help you gain new skills and advance your career! LinkedIn Learning includes all Lynda.com content and more, and is available to all UNC-CH Faculty, Staff, and Students at no cost to you.

For more details and to access UNC’s LinkedIn Learning portal opens in new window, visit:

linkedin.unc.edu opens in new window

LinkedIn Learning is available to you through Information Technology Services. See the ITS story on the upgrade opens in new window featuring one of our very own Teaching & Learning members!

What is LinkedIn Learning?

LinkedIn Learning is an award-winning industry leader in online training, with a digital library of thousands of courses covering a wide range of technical, business, software, and creative topics. It has all the features of Lynda.com but with added insights and social engagement that make learning a more personalized and data-driven experience.

With LinkedIn Learning, you get:

  • Unlimited access. Choose from more than 6,000 video tutorials covering business, creative, and technology topics
  • Personalized recommendations. Explore the most in-demand skills based on your experience
  • Expert instructors. Learn from industry leaders, all in one place
  • Convenient learning. Access courses on your schedule, from any desktop or mobile device
  • Helpful resources. Reinforce new knowledge with quizzes, exercise files, and coding practice windows

Please note that if you have a personal LinkedIn account, it will not be connected to your UNC LinkedIn Learning account.

Action Required of Lynda.com Users

If you have been using Lynda.com, you must activate your UNC LinkedIn Learning account to transfer your Lynda.com history to LinkedIn Learning. Simply log into linkedin.unc.edu opens in new windowto activate your account. This must be done by March 2020 to avoid losing your data.

Also, if you have saved any Lynda.com links outside of the Lynda.com platform, in your course syllabus or on a WordPress site for example, those links will automatically redirect through March 2020. After this time, those links will no longer work. See details on updating your links at linkedin.unc.edu opens in new window.

Happy Learning!

Graded VoiceThread Assignments

VoiceThread logoIf you are sharing media with your students, we highly encourage you to check out VoiceThread new window icon! VoiceThread transforms your media into collaborative spaces and allows you and your students to communicate on each other’s media. It brings the human component you get from face-to-face interactions back into the digital world.

You can access your UNC VoiceThread account through unc.voicethread.com new window icon.

Why Use VoiceThread?

One of the great things about VoiceThread is its flexibility. Users can privately share VoiceThreads with individuals or an entire class, moderate or turn off comments, or make VoiceThreads completely interactive and have all users add text, voice, or video comments as they please. Participants are not forced to be present at the exact same time but can contribute on their own time.

VoiceThread can be used in a number of different ways new window icon. Here are just a few examples of how you might consider using VoiceThread:

  • Upload lecture slides and record presentation over slides — great way to save valuable class time or make up snow days!
  • Share set of media and have students give their opinion on that media
  • Ask students to upload their papers into VoiceThread so that you can instantly share feedback through comments
  • Individual or group student projects around media to be shared with instructor or entire class
  • Students can recite passages for foreign language courses

Setting up VoiceThread Assignments

To make things even better, instructors now have the option of setting up graded VoiceThread Assignments in Sakai that are linked to the Gradebook! You can require students to:

  • Watch a VoiceThread
  • Add a comment on your VoiceThread
  • Create a VoiceThread

VoiceThread Assignments are set up through the Sakai Lessons tool. See our VoiceThread Assignments tutorial new window icon for step-by-step instructions on setting up your VoiceThread Assignments.

create voicethread assignmentHere are some helpful tips new window icon on VoiceThread Assignments before you get started:

  • VoiceThread Assignments are automatically worth 100 points. This can be modified in the Gradebook
  • Only add the VoiceThread tool to your site for ungraded VoiceThreads
  • VoiceThread Assignments must be created through the Lessons tool. Do not use the Assignment Builder option within the VoiceThread tool
  • Comments students add to other students’ VoiceThreads cannot be graded

Submitting VoiceThread Assignments

When students are ready to complete their VoiceThread Assignments, they will navigate to the Lessons tool you have set up and linked to the VoiceThread Assignment. Once students have completed the required task of either watching, creating, or commenting on a VoiceThread, students must click on the blue “Submit Assignment” button in order to receive credit.

Step-by-step submission instructions can be found on our VoiceThread Assignments tutorial new window icon.

submit voicethread assignmentGrading VoiceThread Assignments

As soon as the first student submits to the VoiceThread Assignment, a Gradebook Item will automatically be created. It will default to 100 points but you can change the weight in the Gradebook. You can enter scores directly in the Gradebook or through the VoiceThread Assignment interface by clicking on the Lessons link you created. Students are not required to have submitted to a VoiceThread Assignment in order for you to manually give them a score in the Gradebook. See our VoiceThread Assignments tutorial new window icon for more details on grading.

grade voicethread assignmentIf you need any assistance with setting up VoiceThread Assignments, just let us know by submitting a help request new window icon or signing up for a personal consultation new window icon. We’re here to help you!

Fall 2019 Rosters in Sakai

bell tower behind fall colored leavesAnother semester has come and gone.

Congratulations to all the new Carolina Graduates!

The spring may be over but it is already time to start thinking ahead to the fall. Fall 2019 rosters are now available in Sakai so you can get a head start and create your Fall 2019 course sites now!

Step 1: ConnectCarolina

In order to create your course sites, your departmental course scheduler must list you as one of the following for each of your course rosters in ConnectCarolina:

  • Primary Instructor
  • Secondary Instructor
  • Proxy Instructor
  • Dean’s Designate

Contact your departmental course scheduler to list you in ConnectCarolina with the appropriate instructor role. If you log into ConnectCarolina and don’t see your courses listed for Fall 2019, your scheduler needs to make this change. Please note that it may take up to 24 hours to update in Sakai. Also note that Teaching Assistants in ConnectCarolina cannot create course sites in Sakai.

See more information on access:

Step 2: Create Fall 2019 Course Site

Once your departmental scheduler has listed you for your course rosters in ConnectCarolina and our Sakai data has refreshed (happens 3 times a day), here are the steps to follow to create your course site.

Get started with either of these two options:

  • Home > Worksite Setup > New
  • Sites > Create New Site

Then follow these steps:

  1. Select course site
  2. Mark Academic term as Fall 2019 and Continue
  3. Check course you want to create and Continue — Check only 1 roster if you want separate course sites
  4. Edit Home Description (or later) and Continue
  5. Check tools you want to use and Continue — can add/remove later
  6. Leave as Draft and Continue — remember to publish site when ready
  7. Finish

If you want to reuse any old course material, you may do so before continuing in Step #5 through the “Re-use Material from Other Sites You Own.” You can also wait until after you have created your site and use the Import from Site feature. See details on duplicating course content.

Step 3: Hide Old Sites

New sites will now automatically appear in your top favorite tabs. You can clean up your top tabs by removing old sites from view (still accessible). Simply click Sites and then the star next to each site title. The lit star means the site is favorited and will appear in the top tabs. To remove a site from the top tabs, click the star to dim / “hide” the site. You can organize how favorited sites are listed through the Organize Favorites tab.

organize favorite sites in sakai

Get Quick Sakai Help May 1

checking off checklist item next to calculatorSpring classes end this week and it is time to get those final grades ready!

Remember that all final grades are due in ConnectCarolina 72 hours after the scheduled time of your final exam. Be sure to follow the University Registrar schedule for entering and approving your grades.

Get Sakai Help May 1 @ the UL

Need help finalizing your grades or returning student work with feedback? Have any last-minute Sakai questions before the semester ends? Sakai experts will be in the House Undergraduate Library on Wednesday next week to assist you with your quick Sakai questions! Drop in any time from 1:30pm until 3pm to get help from us!

Drop in for Sakai Help [Registration]
Wednesday, May 1
1:30-3pm
UL 034

Please register for the event to ensure that a consultant will be available to meet with you. We also offer one-on-one consultations for more personal assistance!

5-Item Gradebook Checklist

Want to finalize your grades on your own? Check out our 5-item Final Gradebook Checklist to get your grades ready and approved in ConnectCarolina!

  1. Verify all grades are entered
  2. Check items are included in final grade calculations
  3. Set ungraded items to 0
  4. Release final grades to students
  5. Export & approve final grades for ConnectCarolina

If you have any questions, please submit a help ticket.

Good luck with finals!