Has Springboard had any impact on the way you teach? Do you use Springboard to collaborate with students and provide innovative learning experiences? If yes, you should nominate yourself for the 2015 Brighspace Excellence Award.

To enter the competition, share your inspiring and innovative ways you teach with Springboard (please refer to it as Brightspace).

The official rules for the competition can be found at http://goo.gl/4oTpGE. To enter the competition, visit http://goo.gl/OPZyLA.

Please note that you may not submit more than one entry.

For more inquiries about the competition, send an email to BrightspaceExcellence@D2L.com or call 208-476-7405.


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Created  by Sean MacEntee. Obtained from https://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/4414374988

Created by Sean MacEntee. Obtained from https://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/4414374988

Are you innovative? Do you enjoy sharing your ideas? All you have to do to win $500 is to enter the 2015 Brightspace Excellence Student Award.

To enter the competition, students are required to share innovative ideas on how to improve Springboard (please refer to it as Brightspace). You need to explain how you’ve used the platform, how you’d like to be able to use it and how technology can be used to improve learning and make learning an exciting experience.

The official rules for the competition can be found at http://goo.gl/qKQLDz. To enter the competition, visit http://goo.gl/9geXSF and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Please note that you may not submit more than one.

For more inquiries about the competition, send an email to BrightspaceExcellence@D2L.com or call 208-476-7405.


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Create Online Exams in Minutes

Creating online exams from publisher test banks is fast and easy – if you use the Respondus Test Bank Network! Over 6,000 ready-to-use test banks are available for the leading textbooks in higher education.

Join a webinar on Wednesday, January 28th at 2:00pm EST, Leigh Hall room 208 to learn how this free resource works with Respondus and Springboard. You will quickly see how the Respondus Test Bank Network can save you countless hours each term.

Register through the Institute for Teaching and Learning (ITL) seminar site and join us for this informative webinar. https://www.uakron.edu/itl_seminars/

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Walk-in Support for Faculty

During the week of January 12-January 16, Design & Development Services will provide walk-in support for all Instructional Technologies including Springboard. Support will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. Here are the details:

  • Hours*: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Friday
  • Location: Leigh Hall 506

*If you need assistance after hours, we can schedule a virtual conference. Please email ‘support@uakron.edu’ to request this.

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Changes to Springboard Login

Later this week, we will be turning on single sign on functionality for Springboard. Once SSO has been enabled, instead of seeing the normal Springboard login page:


You’ll see a page similar to the one you use to log in to My Akron:


Enter your UAnet ID and password, and you’re all set!

For those that are used to accessing Springboard via My Akron, you likely won’t even notice the change. Single sign on will, however, eliminate some of the issues that instructors and students have had from time to time when attempting to access Springboard via My Akron.

If you need to log in to Springboard using a local account (typically Firstname.Lastname), you can still log in using a different page. The login page for local Springboard accounts can be found here: https://springboard.uakron.edu/index_local.asp. (Link currently is not live, but will be once SSO is enabled).

If you have any questions or experience any issues when attempting to log in to Springboard, please contact the ZipSupport Center at 330.972.6888, or by email at springboardhelp@uakron.edu.

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Update to Springboard – Grid View Returns!

This morning, Desire2Learn applied a new service pack to Springboard. There was no downtime associated with the update. In addition to the normal assortment of bug fixes, a few new features were introduced:

  • For instructors and administrators accessing the Table of Contents in Content for the first time, the landing page now includes an informative message about importing course material and creating modules.
  • Improvements to navigation while viewing Content topics.
  • The HTML Editor was updated to support auto-linking of external web addresses (URLs).
  • The quiz time limit now displays the time limit in hours, minutes and seconds, making it more obvious exactly how much time is remaining to complete the quiz.
  • Save and Save and Close buttons are now available in Grades for grading a single item, a category of grade items, and the final grade.

Last, but certainly not least:

  • Reintroduction of the grid view in Discussions!

Desire2Learn has also provided a helpful video for instructors on grid view in Discussions.

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Spring 2015 Designing and Developing Your Online Course Workshop

Design and Development Services (DDS) has just completed it’s fifth “Designing and Developing Your Online Course Workshop”. This workshop was created to help faculty members with the development of their online and hybrid courses.

Our workshop focused predominantly on how to streamline information for students, how to use Springboard to its fullest potential, and how to apply sound pedagogical practices in an online environment. In addition, we covered a wide variety of topics, which included:

  • Redesigning a syllabus for an online course
  • Developing the structure of a course
  • Customization of the homepage and navigation bar
  • Creating an online gradebook
  • Developing scoring rubrics and dropboxes
  • Establishing online discussion forums
  • Selecting and creating assessments
  • Course automation through intelligent agents and release conditions
  • Designing a collaborative group work location through Wiggio
  • How to use eReserves, Creative Commons and Fair Use when developing online courses
  • External Web 2.0 Tools such as Prezi, Google Drive, Visual.ly, and TubeChop
  • Creating video introductions for an online course
  • Lecture capture with Panopto
  • Creating interactive presentations with Storyline
  • Using ePortfolio
  • Creating surveys with Qualtrics
  • Teaching synchronously with WebEx
  • Apps in the classroom and Gamification

Attendees of the workshops represent a wide variety of departments from across campus. Most of the instructors had previous experience with Springboard, but everyone comes in with differing skill levels. Part of our role in DDS is to assess where each faculty member is with their comfort level using Springboard, and to help them acquire the knowledge needed to be successful in running their online course. In order to do this, each instructor is assigned an instructional / curriculum designer, who meets one-on-one with them each session during open lab time. This helps to ensure that their course development stays on track, and provides a great opportunity to get some individualized attention.


To help faculty members visualize the knowledge they have mastered thus far, we created badges for each major lesson. During the June workshop, instructors could see how much progress they were making simply by taking a look at each others name cards. Another advantage to issuing badges was that it promoted conversation and idea sharing. We awarded instructors with “great comment” and “great question” badges.

DDS_Badge_Comment      DDS_Badge_Question

We have received wonderful feedback from our instructors:

“Overall, workshop instructors and facilitators are knowledgeable, helpful, and very personable. The workshop environment is easy-going and non-threatening. I’m learning a lot and looking forward to applying newly acquired Springboard skills!!”

“Most importantly, I became more comfortable navigating the Springboard interface. Since most of what I knew prior to [each] session was self-taught, I discovered additional meaning & process behind what I previously blindly utilized.”

“In the past, I’ve simply emailed materials & links to students. This should be much more useful in terms of linking them to useful data with minimal confusion.”

“”Online teaching tools and embedding media were the most enjoyable sessions. These two sessions were very informative because the material presented was entirely new to me and I now have choices on how to create certain aspects of my online course. I appreciated the variety of tools presented allowing ample opportunity for me to customize my course with a certain level of comfort and professionalism.”


Spring 2014 Workshop Participants

“I most enjoyed the showcase. It was a lot of fun to see how each professor incorporated some of the learned techniques into their classes. It was especially interesting to see how online courses differ from discipline to discipline.”


Summer 2014 Workshop Participants

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Our next workshop is scheduled to be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00PM to 4:00PM beginning February 3rd and ending on April 21st. Sessions will be held in Leigh Hall, Room 414 unless otherwise specified.

To register for the upcoming Spring 2015 workshop, please click here.

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Springboard Faculty Steering Committee – Call for Members

We are looking to expand our membership for the Springboard Faculty Steering Committee. By serving on the committee, you can help us to customize Springboard to meet the needs of our faculty and students. The committee consists of faculty members from colleges and departments around campus. Staff members from Design and Development Services also participate in committee meetings, but are not involved in voting.

What you can expect:

  • One meeting per semester (including Summer) to discuss upcoming changes and vote as needed.
  • Occasional email messages from DDS staff
  • An opportunity to connect with DDS staff to discuss and troubleshoot issues in Springboard.

What we ask of you:

  • Provide honest and constructive feedback.
  • Participate in meetings when scheduling permits.
  • Disseminate information with colleagues in your department and college.
  • Participate in voting on proposed changes.

If this sounds like something you would like to be involved in, please follow the link below to provide your information. Thank you in advance!



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Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) workshop on November 14th

Design and Development Services is sponsoring a free face-to-face Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) session for those who are interested in the Quality Matters standards, or who would like to start the process of becoming a certified Peer Reviewer. The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, November 14, 2014 in Bierce Library 274A. The new workbook (5th edition) and lunch will be provided.

There is no cost to UA participants, but space is limited. To reserve your seat for this QM training session, please log into the Institute for Teaching and Learning Seminar website and register for this workshop.  https://www.uakron.edu/itl_seminars/

For additional information about Quality Matters visit:


Direct questions to Jill Phipps at Phipps@uakron.edu or call 330.972.2431


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Register for a Free MOOC in Web Accessibility

Our Springboard vendor, Brightspace, is partnering with the Portland Community College (PCC) office of Distance Education to offer a free 5-week professional development course in web accessibility. The Web Accessibility MOOC for Online Educators, or #WAMOE, “is designed to help e-Learning professionals meet the challenges of compliance with web accessibility requirements as they pertain to electronic learning environments.”

The activity-based MOOC is co-facilitated by Karen Sorensen from PCC, a national leader in efforts to improve web accessibility for distance education, and Barry Dahl of Brightspace. Participants will:

  1. Build a personal knowledge base in web accessibility for online education
  2. Create accessible photo images, diagrams, and charts for online courses
  3. Create accessible audio and video components for online courses
  4. Create accessible HTML content pages for online courses
  5. Create accessible course content in other formats

Participants who successfully complete the MOOC will be awarded a certificate of completion from Brightspace.

The course runs from Monday, October 20, to Friday, November 14, 2014, and there are weekly modules designed to help you improve your web accessibility skills specifically for teaching online. The first module is already available for those who want to get an early start. Register for the Web Accessibility MOOC for Online Educators here. 

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