Dutton Institute Blog

Single-Page Display LTI

Wed, 2019-04-17 11:43 -- azs2

Last month, three of my fellow learning designers and I made a presentation at Penn State's Canvas Day on a realtively new innovation that we utilize in several online courses called the Course Content Selector, which is our Single-Page Display LTI.

What is LTI and what does it do?

LTI is an abbreviation for Learning Tools Interoperability, which is a standard published by the IMS Global Learning Consortium. LTI allows programmers to integrate two separate systems to work seamlessly together, in our case Drupal, our department's Content Management System with Canvas, the University's chosen Learning Management System. If you want to learn more about how our programming team created the LTI, we can put you into contact with Tim Bracken for the technical explanation.

Why was it developed?

That is a simple question to answer, we developed the LTI to enhance our student's online learning experience and our faculty's teaching experience. 

What does the Single-Page Diplay LTI do exactly?

Our LTI simplifies course navigation by streamlining all of the online course materials into one spot for students - Canvas. All students need to keep track of is the next button! The LTI allows content pages, files, linked websites, discussions, activities and assessments to all flow together into one easy to follow stream. An added benefit of the LTI is that it also allows us to continue to offer our courses as Open Educational Resources (OER) without requiring duplication of effort when anything needs to be revised or fixed or updated. Our designers aren't limited in their course designs because we can continue to develop our content in Drupal using everything that is available to us. 


What is OER?

For anyone unaware of what OER is, Penn State’s working definition of Open Educational Resources (PSU-OER) is any type of educational materials that are available to the university community with little or no cost. It may also be the case with PSU-OER that the nature of these open materials means that students, faculty, and staff can legally and freely copy, use, adapt, and re-share them within the university community.



Zoom local recording no longer an option?

Mon, 2019-04-08 10:59 -- jes17

When recording a Zoom session (for example to record an office hours session or a screen capture demonstration) it is nice to have choices on whether the recording should be stored in the cloud (for easy sharing from Zoom or Kaltura) or to your local computer (for editing and higher resolution video).  To choose cloud or local recording options, you can select the carrot icon next to the record button in the Zoom toolbar and choose where to record the video.

use the carrot to select record to the cloud or record to the local computer

If you do not have options, check your zoom settings and make sure local recording is turned on.

One way to get to your settings is to sign in to the Zoom portal at: https://psu.zoom.us/ using your PSU access account.

1. Click 'Meeting Settings
2. In the Recording tab, navigate to the Local Recording option and verify that the setting is enabled.
3. If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change.

see text for directions

Note: If the option is grayed out and you can not toggle it on, it has been locked at either the group or account level, and you will need to contact the PSU helpdesk (helpdesk@psu.edu or 814-865-HELP (4357)) to turn it on.



Plagiarize-Proof Your Writing Assignments

Thu, 2019-03-21 13:40 -- azs2

Plagiarism is a big concern in higher education. In the article linked below from a recent issue of Faculty Focus, Christine Moore provides four practical strategies for fighting plagiarism in your course before any students cheat. It's a quick ready, but contains valuable information especially for faculty who use writing assignments in their courses.

Plagiarize-Proof Your Writing Assignments


Creating an Engaging Presentation

Thu, 2019-03-14 09:49 -- jes17

Members of the Dutton Learning Design team recently produced the following video, entitled Creating an Engaging Presentation, for the Online Learning Consortium. This 2 minute 34 second video shares tips for getting your participants eager and excited about your topic.   It's not all about the slides...keep it conversational and plan ways to engage your audience right from the start!


Understanding Canvas Announcements - What happens when I import announcements to a new Semester

Sat, 2019-02-23 00:42 -- jes17

When you copy an entire Canvas Course from one semester to another, course announcements also come over.  It can be tricky to understand how these copied over announcements behave in your new course. 

I’ve compiled a list of notes and suggestions to help understand how Announcements work:

  • When creating new Announcements, add a delay date to the posting.  Even if your delay is minutes when you originally want to post, the post date will be adjusted along with all your other event and due dates when you copy your course.
  • After copying a course, go through Announcements and delete any Announcements that are not applicable for the current semester.  
  • No Announcement will be sent when a course is not published.
  • If an Announcement post date is before the course publish date, students will be able to see the announcement in the new Course, but will not receive an email notification when the course is published.
  • Any Announcement that does not have a delay post date will be viewable to students when the course is published.  These announcements are not sent to students unless you edit the announcement.  After editing and as soon as you save the announcement, it will be emailed to the address students have set up in their notifications, unless you have set up a delay date.

For more information on how Canvas Announcements work, feel free to look at the PSU Canvas Learning Center on Communicating with Students, contact Canvas Help or contact one of the Learning Designers in Dutton. 

~ Jane Sutterlin

Study Skills

Wed, 2019-02-06 13:16 -- mrs110

Looking for a way to help your students get more out of their studies? The study of effective teaching and learning strategies is sometimes known as the science of learning, and it delves deep into cognitive science to inform the ways we teach and learn. Research-backed strategies have proved to be effective for students of all ages.

Click the image below to download PDF files of these Study Skills handouts, and check out this article from Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications for more information: "Teaching the Science of Learning."

link to study smarter, Not Harder infographics

Click for an accessible version of the handouts. (This will expand to provide more information.)

Creating a Welcoming Presentation

Wed, 2019-02-06 12:57 -- mrs110

Members of the Dutton Learning Design team recently produced the following video, entitled Creating a Welcoming Presentation, for the Online Learning Consortium. This 3-minute video features tips for making sure your presentations are understood and seen by all and that they are inclusive to every member of your audience. As the speaker, you set the tone and help your audience engage! 


Strategies for Building in Academic Integrity

Thu, 2018-03-01 11:48 -- azs2

Building Academic Integrity into the design of the course and the assessments.

  • Set time limits on quizzes and exams.
  • Use and leverage test banks or groups in Canvas.
    • Create several questions that cover the same objective at the same level.
    • Add new questions each time the course is taught to have more versions. Consider starting with 3 versions of each questions and an 1-2 more versions each time you teach. Eventually, you will have a large bank to draw from without having to write a new quiz or exam each semester.
  • Change essay questions regularly or at least cycle through a few different ones from year to year.
  • Use the same problems, but  give students different data to use from semester to semester. 
  • Use video to have student record themselves answering questions as a backup if you suspect an issue might arise.
  • Use proctoring if it is available.
If you want a more comprehensive look at strategies for preventing academic integrity, take a look at Strategies for Preventing Academic Integrity Issues
For more information on academic integrity policies and procedures see Dutton's Academic Integrity page

Interactive Flowcharts

Mon, 2017-12-18 12:45 -- mas960

During course development, a faculty member was interested in finding a way to make her pictures of flowcharts interactive. I was able to assist her with this by using Adobe Captivate to create an interactive flowchart. This is what the flowchart looked like before:

Flow chart to determine whether the data meets the requirements for hypothesis testing.
Credit: J. Roman

This is what the interactive piece looks like now:

First part of flowchart: is your data an independent random sample? Yes, Is your data parametric? Click yes or no.

Instead of viewing a stagnant flowchart, students can now choose their path by clicking on the buttons in the interactive element.

Same piece of flowchart above with additional pieces of flowchart. The next part of flowchart begins with question: is your data normally distributed?

There is also an option to restart the process, so students can start over if they want to see what would have happened if they had chosen another path. The interactive flowchart is visually appealing and allows students to focus more closely on the smaller pieces of the flowchart by working through a decision-making process.

The interactive element is not fully accessible with a screen reader, therefore, it is recommended to create an accessible version of the chart. This can be done by providing a long description of the flowchart. There should be text above the interactive element noting its presence below, as well as an indication that there is an accessible version available. This text indication can be made visible to screen readers only.

Videos for missed points

Fri, 2017-09-01 12:32 -- mrs110

Here’s an innovative idea to promote deep learning: allow students to make up missed exam points by creating their own short videos to explain the missed concepts. Once evaluated for accuracy, the videos can be posted for classmates to discuss and also use for study.

Shouldn’t these videos be proctored? Won’t students simply try to read their explanations? You’ll have to tweak this exercise to fit your needs, but explanations should require that students do some research and planning in order to create effective videos. And requiring students to act as teachers is a great way to promote learning. 

Here’s one teacher’s experience with this idea, from www.facultyfocus.com:

Students Recoup Exam Points by Creating a Video on Items Missed