We Are Now ITS Educational Technologies!

UNC Information Technology Services Educational Technologies logo

We’re excited to announce that we are now ITS Educational Technologies!

After nearly 15 years as ITS Teaching & Learning, we updated our name to help clarify the specific services and expertise our team provides to UNC. See the ITS story on our division name change.

edtech twitter profile opens in new windowFollow us at our updated @UNC_EdTech opens in new window Twitter account and check out our new EdTech website at edtech.unc.edu.

This Teaching & Learning Blog will be archived and eventually removed. We’ll continue to share tips and resources and move relevant T&L Blog content to the new EdTech Blog. Please bookmark our new EdTech site!

T&L Assists Faculty with Remote Instruction

keep teaching covid-19 website

The Spring 2020 term has been a whirlwind of a semester but we all made it! Check out the story that ITS Communications wrote about our Teaching & Learning team as we and several other groups on campus have provided instructional support in response to campus moving to remote instruction.

ITS Story: ITS Teaching & Learning assists faculty with remote instruction opens in new window

Don’t forget that we’re continuously updating the Keep Teaching website opens in new window with teaching resources and upcoming trainings. Instructors can also view recordings of past trainings and post to the Help Forum for ideas and suggestions from colleagues and support staff.

Students can also find information on the Keep Learning website opens in new window on academic, financial, wellness, and career resources. Please reach out if you need any help.

We wish everyone a safe and relaxing summer!

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!

Access Thousands of Free Tutorials on Lynda.com

Did you know you have access to thousands of video tutorials on hundreds of different subjects on Lynda.com? To make it even better, all this access is available to you for FREE. This opens up a great opportunity to develop new skills and work on your professional goals using Lynda.com.

Instructors can use Lynda.com to support a flipped classroom learning environment by assigning instructional videos to watch outside of class time and then have more time in the classroom for collaboration and mastering the concepts. Faculty and staff can stay up to date with online training, learn new leadership skills, create learning pathways for professional development, and increase productivity with custom courses taught by industry professionals. Lynda.com is available to all faculty, staff, and students at UNC.

Accessing Lynda.com

To access Lynda.com, go to the UNC Lynda.com sign-in page.

Lynda.com learning pathwaysYou may consider downloading the exercise files to go along with the instructional videos. This way you can practice and apply what you are learning from the tutorials. Some of the exercise files may include templates, self-evaluations, action plans, worksheets, and comparison charts. All exercise files are carefully crafted to sharped your skills and support teaching and learning. We highly recommend checking them out!

Lynda.com Stats: UNC Fall 2017

Take a look at the top 10 Lynda.com courses viewed at UNC-Chapel Hill in the Fall 2017 Semester!

  1. Illustrator CC 2017 Essential Training
  2. HTML Essential Training
  3. Illustrator CC 2015 Essential Training
  4. WordPress Essential Training
  5. Premiere Pro CC 2017 Essential Training: The Basics
  6. Excel 2016 Essential Training
  7. Programming Foundations: Fundamentals
  8. Project Management Simplified
  9. Excel 2013 Essential Training
  10. JavaScript Essential Training

Fall 17 lynda.com statisticsHere is the total summary for UNC for Fall 2017 (Aug 22 – Dec 17 — 117 days):

  • 64,707 videos watched
  • 4,570 hours of instructional videos watched
  • 752 certificates of completion
  • 25-minute average viewing time per login

See what courses might interest you on Lynda.com!

Be Featured on Sakai


Featuring UNC students Harrison Toohey and Thomas Nations

Want to be the new face of Sakai?

We are looking for new Sakai models! Every few months we change out the image featured on the Sakai homepage and it’s time to update it again.

Apparently “Sakai models have become a source of UNC bucket-list inspiration for some students,” according to this DTH articlewe love this! While we usually send our team members in ITS-Teaching & Learning out to campus to take photos of students, we thought we’d have a little fun with this. We are launching a contest to find the next photo for the Sakai homepage!

Photo Suggestions

Here are things to consider to give you an idea of what we’re looking for:

  • Group of UNC students, faculty, and/or staff
  • Must be using a mobile device — laptop, tablet, smartphone
  • Extra points if you’re on UNC campus or in Carolina gear
  • Photo will be cropped down to 980 x 375 pixels
  • Pictures taken outside are encouraged
  • Look natural and not too staged
  • Have fun with it!

In order to be considered for the next photo we’ll use for the Sakai homepage, we must receive your submission by this Friday, March 10, at 5pm. Please email your photos to tnbui@email.unc.edu. Our team will choose which picture to use and post it next week during Spring Break. We will continue to accept photos after that, and they may make their way onto Sakai or other ITS publications later.

Photo Release Form

Please note that pictures we receive may be used for Sakai or other ITS-related material. In order for us to use your photos, everyone pictured must sign this Release Form, stating that you give consent to the University to reproduce, distribute, and display these photos and identify you. If there is anyone in the picture who has not signed the Release Form, they must be far enough where we can crop them out or blur their faces.

Email your photos and everyone’s signed release forms to tnbui@email.unc.edu and identify the photographer and everyone in your photos.

Past Photos

Need some inspiration? Check out these pictures we have used in the past!



So, why is there a random cat hidden in our Sakai photos? This mysterious cat is actually not so random. He is the mascot of the Sakai Community — meet the Sakaiger!

We can’t wait to see your photos! The picture we choose will be posted to the Sakai homepage next week during Spring Break. Who knows, it could be you and your friends!

Stay Connected with ITS on Twitter

twitter_logoWant to stay connected with what’s going on around campus and news on learning technologies? Here’s a list of campus Twitter accounts we recommend following for all your teaching, learning, and technical needs!


ITS Accounts on Twitter

tli_twitter_2Teaching & Learning Interactive: @UNC_TLI
This is our Teaching & Learning Twitter account! Follow us for updates on campus tech tools we support, such as Sakai, VoiceThread, and Virtual Lab, campus tips, different strategies to try in the classroom, and news in higher ed.

Follow us on Twitter!

itrc_twitterITS Service Desk: @UNChelpdesk
Your first stop for campus tech support. Follow them for student tech tips, service updates, and tech opportunities. The Service Desk is available 24/7. See help.unc.edu or call 962-HELP.

its_twitterInformation Technology Services: @UNCTarHeelTech
This is the official Twitter account for all of Information Technology Services. See the most up-to-date announcements on any service outages and other ITS news.

Other Campus Departments on Twitter

adv_twitterAcademic Advising: @UNCAdvising
Students! Follow for tips and reminders on staying on top of your academic career at Carolina. Advisors will guide you towards achieving your goals for graduation.

adv_peer_twitterAdvising Peers: @UNCPeerAdvising
This is the student Twitter account for Academic Advising. Students, follow them for even more tips from your fellow peers at Academic Advising!

ars_twitterAccessibility Resources and Service: @ARSatUNC
The ARS is committed to ensuring equal access for students with disabilities. We encourage instructors and students follow for advice and tips.

cfe_twitterCenter for Faculty Excellence: @unc_cfe
The CFE supports faculty members and graduate students in all aspects of their career. Follow them for instructional advice, innovative teaching strategies, and upcoming events.

grad_twitterGraduate School: @UNC_GradSchool
Graduate Students! Get news and updates from the Graduate School by following them on Twitter. Find details on events, student life, and having a successful academic career.

lc_twitterLearning Center: @UNCLearningCent
Study smart! The Learning Center provides academic coaching, peer tutoring, academic coaching, test prep, study camps, LD/ADHD resources, and more. Follow them for updates!

research_twitterResearch Hub: @UNCResearchHub
Part of University Libraries, the Research Hub connects researchers with technology and expertise in the library. Follow them for updates and upcoming workshops.

summer_twitterSummer School: @UNCSummerSchool
Taking a class in the summer? Be sure to follow UNC Summer School for registration details, tips on how to succeed in these fast-paced classes, and summer events.

undergrad_reten_twitterUndergraduate Retention: @UNCSuccessTips
Undergraduate Retention is committed to all students and helps them advance to academic success by identifying their individual strengths and offering resources to help them succeed.

unc_online_twitterUNC Online: @UNCOnline
Taking or thinking about taking an online class in the UNC system? Follow UNC Online for program advice and other online higher education tips.

lib_twitterUniversity Libraries: @UNCLibrary
Not just books! Get updates on what’s new with University Libraries, including SkillfUL Tech classes, group study locations, media resources, and research tools.

wc_twitterWriting Center: @UNCWRITINGCTR
The Writing Center can help all UNC members at any stage of your writing projects through brainstorming, full completion, or revision. Follow them for tips and tricks!

Other ITS Accounts to Follow

Here are some other great ITS Twitter accounts to follow as well for all your tech news! We recommend checking out the ITS website to know how to stay in touch with ITS on social media.

Happy Tweeting!

End-of-Semester Sakai Reminders

The end of the semester is here! We wanted to give you a few reminders and tips on Sakai before closing out the semester.

Gradebook Checklist

Instructors, make sure to check these 5 steps off the Gradebook Checklist:

  1. Verify all grades have been entered
  2. Check items are included in final grade calculations
  3. Set ungraded items to 0 – Sakai will only calculate items with scores!
  4. Release final grades to students
  5. Export grades for ConnectCarolina

Providing Feedback on Assignments & Tests

Here are some valuable tips on providing feedback and returning grades to students. Save valuable time by bulk-uploading Assignments, and make sure you are not showing students feedback while they are taking your test! See tips here.

Online Testing Reminders for Students

What students need to know about online testing.Students, are you taking an online exam? Here are 5 things you need to know about online testing:

  1. Confirm you have dedicated Internet access
  2. Use Firefox
  3. Avoid opening new browser windows or tabs
  4. Use Sakai’s built-in navigation
  5. You will time-out after 60 minutes of inactivity

Sakai Help Session Friday

Have last-minute Sakai questions before the semester ends? Need help finalizing your grades? Sakai experts will be in the House Undergraduate Library this Friday to assist you with your Sakai needs! Drop in any time between 2pm and 3:30pm. Please register for the event to ensure that a consultant will be available to meet with you. We hope to see you!

Sakai Drop-in Help Session [Register]
Friday, May 1
UL 034

Sakai Outages: April 26-28

We also wanted to apologize to the Carolina community for the Sakai performance issues we experienced Sunday and Monday of this week. We know this is an extremely stressful time for our faculty and students. Sakai has been stable since late Tuesday night, and we are continuing to monitor the system. Please see our ITS Website for communications, a log of service disruptions, and other updates. Also prepare for nightly maintenance work from 3AM until 4AM for the duration of the final examination period. If you experience any issues with the Sakai system, please call 962-HELP. Thank you!

Good luck on finals! You’re almost done!

ITS Annual Report: 2013-2014

its_report_13-14The ITS Annual Report is in! See what Information Technology Services has been working on in 2013 and 2014, with special highlights on Teaching & Learning!

As the report states:

ITS is building a new, higher standard of connectivity in both on-campus and digital classrooms…we focus on how technology can enhance learning objectives and create a richer student experience.

See the full report here.

Classrooms Go Digital

As we previously mentioned, several campus classrooms have been undergoing upgrades since this summer, including the addition of new Document Cameras. This new equipment is part of a multi-year project of converting 200 analog rooms to digital, ten of which were completed this summer! All 200 analog classrooms are scheduled to be completed by mid-August of 2016. Here are some key points:

  • classroom_before_afterWe now have 56 digital classrooms
  • 21 rooms with only a chalkboard converted
  • 13 rooms outfitted for web conferencing with cameras and ceiling mics, ranging from 15-seat to 190-seat rooms
    • New Doc Cams enable web conferencing
    • Allows for guest speakers and subject experts in the classroom!
  • Added HDMI cable outputs to project tablets and smartphones
  • 232 new wireless access points to bring wireless internet to 182 classrooms!

Don’t forget that red telephone in the classroom! Any time you need assistance, just pick up that red phone to connect directly with the Classroom Hotline. Because the Hotline monitors classroom equipment remotely, chances are that we may have already discovered and fixed the problem before the classes started, allowing you to focus on what’s truly important–learning in the classroom!

MOOCs at Carolina

If you have not heard, there has been a big movement towards Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in higher education these past few years. UNC became a part of the MOOC Movement in 2013 by offering several MOOCs through Coursera.

By the Numbers

  • mooc_unc7.5 million Coursera learners
  • 160,000 students enrolled in UNC MOOCs to date
  • 190 Countries represented in UNC MOOCs
  • 30% Students from emerging economies
  • 38,000 Students currently “watching” UNC Course MOOCs for new offerings

Check out Coursera to see all the MOOC offerings by UNC! They are FREE and open to anyone. Here is some more information on MOOCs in higher ed:

Sakai Migration

The Blackboard to Sakai Migration officially ended early January 2013, which was a collaborative effort between numerous people across campus to provide support to Faculty, Students, and Staff to make way for the new learning management system at UNC. The transition included many outlets of support, several of which are still available to the UNC Community today

Way to go, Carolina! It’s been a great year for teaching and learning!

“Building on success…is an atmosphere of collaboration that we foster at ITS
and with our students, faculty, staff and broader community.”
Chris Kielt, UNC Vice Chancellor for IT and CIO

What to know about IT @ UNC

IT@UNC_FA14Welcome to the Fall 2014 Semester! Classes are back in session, and now is a great time to familiarize yourself with UNC resources available to you to make your semester a success!

Information Technology Services has made the following infographic available for a quick go-to guide on important things to know about IT at UNC. Click on the image to view the full infographic or read on for some important IT tips!

IT Tips

It is very common nowadays for someone to own multiple devices, such as a laptop, smartphone, and tablet. With more devices on hand, there is a bigger chance of accidentally exposing information that was not intended to be shared. Be sure to protect your devices by staying up-to-date with browser and security updates, installing anti-virus software, and storing sensitive data in a secure location. When viewing private information, such as student grades, keep FERPA regulations in mind. See FERPA Documents from the University Registrar for details.

Using multimedia is a great way to enhance discussion and learning in a classroom, but do not forget about copyright concerns! Violators could lose network access and potentially face fines and criminal charges. For more information on copyright policies, visit the Scholarly Communications Office and do a web search on these three terms:

  • Copyright
  • Copyright infringement
  • Fair Use

Get IT Help

Don’t forget that IT help is always here! The ITRC Help Desk is available 24 hours, every single day of the year! There are several ways to get in touch with the ITRC:

You can also visit the (newly redesigned!) ITS Website for more information on IT Services at UNC. Remember to share with care!