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
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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!

Request FREE Captions on Warpwire Videos by April 12

warpwire logoIf you are sharing videos with your students, you are most likely using the built-in video streaming platform in Sakai called Warpwire. If you have not heard of it but share videos or large images with your students, we recommend adding the Warpwire tool to your Sakai course site to securely share media with your students.

Fun fact: Warpwire was created by former UNC students – Go Heels!

Add Captions to Your Videos

When using videos, captions and a transcript should be included. Adding captions encourages an inclusive environment and promotes accessibility for all. You may have students who have been approved for accommodations by Accessibility Resources & Service (ARS) at the University, but the truth is, making your videos accessible helps everyone. According to Texas A&M University’s Division of Information Technology, providing captions and transcripts can:

  • Enhance the educational experience for people who respond to different learning styles and preferences
  • Allow content to be utilized by those in either extremely loud or extremely quiet environments
  • Ensure non-native speakers have access to information in videos
  • Facilitate understanding of vocabulary, or information presented in different dialects, as part of captured lectures or other video resources

Captions benefit all students.

Request Captions for FREE by April 12

If you are not using an automated captioning service, adding subtitles to your videos can be very time consuming or expensive. We have great news – ARS is currently accepting requests for closed captioning on Warpwire videos at no cost to you! Instructors can easily request closed captioning on their videos in just a few clicks. To request captions, you must be the owner of the video. Any course instructor may request captions, including faculty and student instructors.

On each Warpwire video that you’d like to request closed captions, all you have to do is:

  1. View Media Info (circle with 3 dots > Settings)
  2. Next to Captions, click + Add
  3. Click Request Caption
  4. Enter notes if needed and click Create

Pending approval, ARS will reach out to you after you have submitted the request. Approved requests will then be sent to a third-party subtitle vendor. Subtitle files will automatically be uploaded to the video in 3-5 days.

NOTES:

  • Captions cannot be added to copyrighted videos
  • A limited amount of resources are available for this captioning service

This is a great opportunity for instructors to easily take part in a global effort to make accessibility a reality for all. We highly encourage you to take advantage of this resource. Huge thanks to ARS!

Flexible Learning Spaces Initiative

flexible learning spaces initiative banner with instructor and students in flexible classroom

Have you seen or even taught in some of the renovated classrooms designed to support a greater variety of teaching methods? Exciting news has been shared by the Center for Faculty Excellence:

In response to a 2012 faculty survey on classrooms, the University has been experimenting with alternative classroom designs to accommodate a wider range of teaching methods. Now, Provost Bob Blouin has approved a master plan put forward by the Classroom Policy Steering Committee to expedite updates to many of the University’s general purpose classrooms. The Flexible Learning Spaces Initiative (FLSI) is a multi-year plan to implement these updates and help faculty, graduate instructors, and students make the most of them. Over the next five years:

  • As many as 50 general purpose classrooms will be updated, including several lecture halls
  • New workshops and resources will be offered to support instructors using the updated spaces
  • The faculty-led Classrooms Modernization Advisory Group will help oversee implementation of the initiative

What great news for Carolina!

*Update 3/18/19: See more on this story from ITS! This story includes interviews with Gina Bradford, our Classroom Hotline Manager, and Bob Henshaw, our CFE Liaison.

See the Flexible Learning Spaces

All UNC instructors are invited to visit the Flexible Learning Spaces! The CFE has several events planned for you to visit the flexible classrooms, as well as learn about best practices and effective design strategies for your in-class activities. We invite you to register for any that interest you!

Registration for all sessions are found on the CFE Learning Spaces Initiative page.

Flexible Learning Spaces Open House

Visit a recently renovated classroom, chat with instructors who have taught in these spaces, and meet instructional support staff from several campus groups. No registration required.

  • March 20 | 2:30-4pm | Kenan Labs 125
  • March 22 | 1-2:30pm | Peabody 220

Intro to Teaching in a Flexible Learning Space

Find out how you can take advantage of the new classrooms. Presenters will model practical teaching techniques that can be implemented in any class.

  • March 6 | 9-10am | Alumni 203
  • March 7 | 3:30-4:30pm | Carolina Hall 213
  • April 5 | 1-2pm | Peabody 220
  • May 3 | 1-2pm | Peabody 220
  • May 9 | 2-3pm | Peabody 306

Best Practices for Small Group Activities

Learn about examples of potential group work and projects that fit course goals, and reflect on how the instructor’s role changes using this format. You’ll also discuss common group work pitfalls and strategies to overcome them.

  • March 29 | 2:30-3:30pm | Bingham 217
  • April 4 | 3:30-4:30pm | Greenlaw 317
  • April 17 | 3-4pm | Kenan Labs 125
  • May 8 | 11am-12pm | Phillips 212

Designing Effective Discussion Prompts

Discuss strategies for developing effective question prompts for in-class activities and out-of-class assignments.

  • March 19 | 12:30-1:30pm | Dey 301
  • April 10 | 3:30-4:30pm | Dey 205

Flexible Learning Spaces Retreat

Don’t have time to stop by on multiple days? Sign up for this half-day event to get a comprehensive overview of best practices of teaching in the new spaces. It will incorporate strategies discussed in the previous workshops listed above.

  • May 10 | 9am-12:30pm | Location TBA

We are excited for faculty and how you all will use these new Flexible Learning Spaces! Thank you to the CFE for providing these many learning opportunities on campus.

Summer 2019 Rosters in Sakai

summer 2019 rosters in sakaiHere’s a sweet treat for you. Summer 2019 rosters are now in Sakai, which means you can get your classes ready well before the summer! Whether you want to start today or wait until Spring Break in a few weeks, you can now create your Summer 2019 course sites!

Step 1: ConnectCarolina

Don’t forget that you must be listed as one of the following for each of your course rosters in ConnectCarolina to create your course site in Sakai:

  • 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 Summer Session I or II for 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 Summer 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. Change Academic term to 1st / 2nd Summer 2019 and Continue — Maymester courses listed under 1st Summer 2019
  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

ATLAS 2019 Awards Competition

Apereo Teaching and Learning Awards (ATLAS)

Apereo LogoAre you using Sakai in innovative ways to advance teaching excellence? The Apereo Foundation is seeking submissions for the annual Apereo Teaching and Learning Awards (ATLAS) competition. The international award recognizes innovation and excellence in the use of digital technologies and Apereo tools, such as Sakai, to enhance teaching, academic collaboration, and student engagement and learning.

The innovative method, practice or strategy used may not be new in the world, but its implementation may be out of the ordinary in your field of practice or new to you. It is more than simply using new technologies; rather it is an approach to teaching and learning that results in a much-enhanced, even transformative, educational experience for students.

The award selection process opens January 15, 2019 and closes March 11, 2019. (deadline extended!) Please note the application must be downloaded by March 7, 2019.

Reach out to ITS-Teaching and Learning if you have questions about the application process or would like to brainstorm ideas. Contact us through help.unc.edu. We’d love to hear from you and help you get recognized!

Learn more about the ATLAS competition

Please see the ATLAS FAQs to learn more about the award.

Previous ATLAS applications and sample rubrics are available:

Winners will be announced in early April 2019 and recognized at the Open Apereo Conference June 2 – 6, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

*This post was drafted in collaboration with the ATLAS Awards Committee

Start of Semester Checklist & Sakai Workshops

happy golden dog in unc hat announces spring rostersSpring classes are starting! 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 at the end of the week to quickly assist you with any of your questions.

Remember we just upgraded to Sakai 12 last week. You will likely need to clear your browser cache to pick up the Sakai 12 style sheet. Simply hold down SHIFT + refresh your browser.

Sakai Help Sessions

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

Intro to Teaching in Sakai [Registration]
Thursday, January 10
11am – Noon
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Thinking of teaching in Sakai for the first time or need a refresher? Join us at this crash course on teaching in Sakai!

Drop in for Sakai Help [Registration]
Friday, January 11
9am – 10:30am
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Have last-minute Sakai questions for the start of term? Drop in any time to get quick 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

Instructors can select to reuse old course material 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 course site at a time. Checking multiple rosters will place all checked rosters on the course site you are currently creating. See Rosters FAQ.

2. Check Rosters

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. Publish Site

To give students access, publish your site.

publish now button4. Upload Syllabus

You can upload your course syllabus in the Syllabus tool or in Resources. 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)!

5. Give Your TAs Access

Do you have Teaching Assistants? Make sure they have the proper access! We recommend TAs be added to the official course roster through ConnectCarolina 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 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 option.

Good luck with classes this semester!

Sakai 12 Upgrade: 10 Gradebook Improvements

It’s the last post in our Sakai 12 Upgrade Blog Series! We hope this series has gotten you excited for the many improvements coming to Sakai on January 3rd when we come back from winter break. Don’t forget we must take Sakai completely offline that day from 8am until 5pm to apply the upgrade.

And finally … Here are *10 Gradebook improvements* coming in Sakai 12!

Performance Enhancements

The new Gradebook is a big improvement to Gradebook Classic as it allows you to view and enter scores like in a spreadsheet. Because of this spreadsheet-view though, large classes and/or courses with several Gradebook Items experience degraded performance with loading times, occasionally completely timing out. These performance issues have been addressed in Sakai 12 and you should notice a considerable difference in how quickly your Gradebook loads, even in the large classes!

Keyboard Navigation for Accessibility

There is a new detailed Keyboard Navigation help guide in Sakai 12! Look for the keyboard icon to see all the keyboard shortcuts.

gradebook keyboard navigation menu(click for larger view of Keyboard Navigation options in new tab)

These are the Keyboard Shortcuts:

  • Jump to Grades Table = AccessKeyShortcut + g
  • Jump to Student Filter = AccessKeyShortcut + f
  • Enter table mode (when grades table is focused) = Return
  • When in table mode:
    • Navigate cells = Arrow keys or Tab
    • Open cell menu = Space
    • Open cell header menu = Control + Space
    • Toggle cell summary = s
    • Exit table mode = ESC
  • When editing score
    • Cancel changes = ESC
    • Save changes = Return

NOTE: Your AccessKeyShortcut depends on your browser and operating system.

Export Sections

While you can import and export your Gradebook scores, you are currently limited to exporting all student scores. Sakai 12 allows you to export by specific sections or groups! This will be particularly useful for large classes with different sections and TAs who are grading. Just use the Custom Export option and Filter by group/section.

export by section in gradebookSee & Search All Students at Once

A huge interface improvement in Sakai 12 is showing all students at once in the Gradebook instead of on separate pages. This is especially helpful when using the filter option to search through your entire roster.

See Dropped Scores

No longer will you have to wonder if you set up your Gradebook correctly to drop scores in a Category. The Sakai 12 Gradebook will show instructors exactly which scores have been dropped!

dropped scores in gradebookCategory Average Listed at End of Category

One very slight change that will improve the workflow of the Gradebook is moving the category average column to the very end of that category. The average column currently sits in the middle of a category with one Gradebook Item always to the right of it. This small change should clear up any confusion!

category average column in gradebookEasily Reorder Gradebook Items

In addition to being able to move and reorder Gradebook Items through the top header row options, there will be a new Item Order button that will easily allow you to sort your Gradebook Items in one quick, convenient menu! It’s a simple drag-and-drop.

gradebook item reorder menuOverride Course Grade with Numerical Value

The Sakai Gradebook allows the convenience of overriding students’ final course grades at the end of the semester. Sakai 12 will allow you to not only override course grades with letter grades but you will also be able to override with numerical values! Depending on your Grading Schema in Settings, Sakai will automatically assign the overridden course letter grade with the number you enter.

numberical course grade overrideNew Course Grade Distribution Chart

There is a new Course Grade Distribution chart available in Sakai 12 in the Grading Schema in Settings. Here you can easily see the following for all of your students:

  • Average grade
  • Median grade
  • Standard deviation
  • Lowest grade
  • Highest grade
  • Total graded students

course grade distribution chartAdd or Remove Letter Grade

Using a different grading scale? You’re in luck because Sakai 12 will allow you to add and remove any letter grades from the Grading Schema so you can easily adjust your final grade distribution! You will see a Remove button next to each letter grade and the new Add a mapping button to add new letter grades. Remember the number you enter is the minimum value required for students to receive that particular letter grade. Sakai does not automatically round up (you must adjust the minimum score to end in .5).

options to remove or add letter mappingNOTE: The new Gradebook was implemented when we upgraded to Sakai 11 in 2016. This Gradebook will eventually completely replace Gradebook Classic. We recommend moving over to the new Gradebook as soon as possible to give yourself ample time to adjust to the new look and feel, if you have not already. You can also use both Gradebook tools at the same time. Updates in one version will automatically push those changes to the other Gradebook.

We’ll see you back in 2019 when we upgrade to Sakai 12! Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season!

Sakai 12 Upgrade: Auto-Grade Attendance

The Attendance tool in Sakai is a convenient way of tracking student attendance for the whole semester. One of the great features includes being able to grade and send those scores to the Gradebook. The current version of Sakai is all done through manual grading by instructors, but come January 3rd when we upgrade to Sakai 12, you can set up automatic grading through the Attendance tool!

You have 2 options:

  1. Students start with Total maximum points and lose points for missing class
  2. Students start at 0 and earn points attending class

attendance grading setup(see larger view of Attendance Grading Setup in new tab)

We recommend checking out our full Attendance Grading tutorial to see step-by-step how to set up manual or automatic grading in Attendance!

NOTE: Automatically assigned grades can be overridden by the instructor on the Student Overview page.

Option 1: Start with Total & Lose Points for Missing Class (Recommended)

With this option, students start with the total possible maximum points and then lose points when they miss class. You can also choose to automatically deduct partial points (or full points, if you prefer) if students are late or leave early. This is the method we recommend using.

Add Grading Rule

As you Add Grading Rules, you select a status from the drop-down menu and enter how many points to add or deduct from the total when a student has a total of that particular status for their attendance for the semester.

For example, when a student has 1 absence, they are deducted a total of 1 point, so “-1”. When a student has 2 total absences, they are deducted a total of 2 points, so “-2”.

attendance grading rule to lose point for absenceThen continue through each of the statuses you want automatically graded to specify exactly how many points to deduct. See our Attendance Grading tutorial for specific steps on setting this up!

Option 2: Start at 0 & Earn Points for Attending Class

The other automatic grading option you have for Attendance is to start all students at 0 points and have them earn points as they attend each class (and have excused absences). You can also set up partial points if they arrive late or leave early, if you wish. We don’t recommend this option because it requires a rule for each attendance session, which can be time consuming.

Add Grading Rule

For your Grading Rules, you would want students to receive a point each time they are marked present. You would need to create a rule for each total of Present statuses each student can get. If you have 10 total class sessions, you have to create 10 separate rules so that students who were present all 10 times receive credit for all 10 days, students who were present 9 days receive credit for those 9 times, etc. You will need to do the same for Excused Absences as well.

These steps are listed in more detail on our Attendance Grading tutorial. We highly recommend checking it out!

attendance grading rule to gain point for present statusWe have just one more post in our Sakai 12 Upgrade Blog Series! Stay tuned to see what big things are happening in the Gradebook!