Springboard Upgrade on July 25th

Springboard will be updated to the latest version, v.10.6, on Monday, July 25, beginning at 12:15 a.m. Springboard will be unavailable for 8 to 10 hours while it is being upgraded.

Springboard is changing.

Version 10.6 brings a new design and a number of new features to Springboard, including:

  • Many improvements to the appearance and navigation to improve the user experience on a wide variety of mobile devices (ALL users)
  • New personal landing page (ALL users)
  • Startup checklist that will greatly reduce the number of clicks you need to get your course ready each semester (faculty)
  • Improvements to discussion grading with rubrics (faculty)
  • Changes to tool names for the Dropbox, News, and Pager (ALL users)
  • Numerous improvements to the Groups tool (faculty)
  • New mobile app for students (Pulse) that will help you monitor workload (students)
  • The ability to subscribe to a course calendar on your mobile devices (ALL users)
  • Preview of the new Awards tool (ALL users)

To learn more about the upgrade and to download short handouts for faculty and students, visit the Springboard 10.6 Upgrade website.

Training for faculty is available to use the new features and to continue building your Springboard skills. To sign up for training, visit the ITL website. 

View the IT Status page or follow ITS on Twitter for updates.

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Panopto 5.0

The University of Akron’s Panopto server has been upgraded to version 5.0. New versions of the Windows and Macintosh Panopto Recorders are available for download.

The new recorders incorporate additional features and have a refreshed look. The Windows Panopto Recorder now has the ability to capture system audio, such as video playing in a web browser. The Macintosh Panopto Recorder can now capture multiple cameras.

Webcasting functionality has also been greatly improved. You can read more about the new features in Panopto 5.0 on Panopto’s blog: Panopto blog about what’s new in version 5.0

Updating to the new Panopto Recorder is highly recommended and only takes a few minutes.

Download Windows Recorder

Download Macintosh Recorder


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Upcoming Webinars from Respondus

“Instructor Training for LockDown Browser & Respondus Monitor: Prevent Cheating During Online Exams”

This comprehensive training webinar is intended for instructors who plan to use LockDown Browser and/or Respondus Monitor with online exams. The session will include coverage of the new automated flagging system within Respondus Monitor. The webinar is 45 minutes, plus a Q&A period at the end.

Please note: at this time, Respondus LockDown Browser can be enabled for exams that are being proctored in the Computer Based Testing Center, but Respondus Monitor is restricted for use in 100% online courses only.

“Using the Respondus Test Bank Network to Quickly Create Online Exams”

Learn how the Respondus Test Bank Network enables instructors to create online tests and learning activities – in just minutes – from official publisher test banks. The Respondus Test Bank Network is free to instructors who use Respondus 4.0 and who adopt a participating textbook. The webinar is 45 minutes, plus a Q&A period at the end.

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FAQ: My professor says they sent an email, but I don’t see it

Question: My instructor says they sent me an email, but I don’t see it in my inbox. HELP!

Answer: It might have gone to your Spam folder.

Cartoon with three panels. First panel is a man looking at a sieve. Second panel is a man surprised as something drops into his sieve. The third panel is him smiling with a can of Spam in his sieve.

Image via By Peter Eich (Own work) , CC BY-SA 2.5 , via Wikimedia Commons

Your Spam Folder is located on your UA Gmail account after you have logged in.

How to find your Spam folder

  1. Log into your UA Gmail account
  2. On the left, click More
  3. Scroll down and choose Spam
gmail spam

Choose More, and then choose Spam

You will have to click the More button by hovering your mouse over it. This will be in the position shown in the image above. Notice how the selections have expanded. There are 130 emails in this particular SPAM folder.

You can also use the search to look through your Spam folder, but you need to change a setting. Learn to search your Spam and Trash folders here. 

How do I stop this from happening again?

To stop important emails from going to Spam, click the checkmark next to the email that is not supposed to be Spam. Then, select the Not Spam Button.

Click the check box next to your email, then click not spam

You can also add the email sender to your Contacts, and this will prevent it from going to Spam. Learn how to do that on Google’s guide: Legitimate email is spent to Spam.

I forwarded my UA email to another Email service

It’s important to remember that forwarding your email to another email provider (or email address) can also cause problems. Consult the help guides or support page of your email provider, or consider using your UA email directly through the UA Gmail page.


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Using Yellowdig for Classroom Engagement

Yellowdig is an information-sharing and social learning platform that enables classroom engagement through interactive collaboration. Students can learn from each other, anytime, anywhere and from any device. Yellowdig is currently being used by UPenn, Duke, Northwestern, ASU and many other top universities to drive better collaboration and immersive learning between professors and students. The University of Akron is currently running a pilot.

Faculty can quickly and easily use Yellowdig to turn your classroom into a collaborative learning community with these key features;

– 1-click student signup from your Springboard course,
– Customizable points rubric to track student participation, and
– Automatic sync with your Springboard gradebook.

John Boland will present virtually during a brown bag lunch session on Wednesday April 6 from 12:00-1:00pm. John Boland leads faculty and institutional adoption of the Yellowdig platform. John has been a Faculty member of Temple University for the past 12 years with extensive background in business development and sales with various corporations. John brings his passion for teaching, learning and a natural entrepreneurial drive to Yellowdig. He holds a graduate degree from the London School of Economics and an undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame.

To register for the session, sign up on the ITL Seminars site.

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FACULTY – One day left for NEXT!


There’s only one day left to register for the NEXT Conference! NEXT is a one-day conference designed by UA faculty for faculty.

NEXT, which stands for New Explorations in Teaching, is focused on student engagement, enhancing the learning experience, and best practices from fellow faculty members across a wide variety of departments. Each year will have a theme, and for this first year, we wanted to focus on how our faculty have been using various classroom technologies to engage their students.

We have been working with faculty from all over campus to plan this annual conference, and over 100 faculty members have registered thus far! We would love for you to be there to share, collaborate, and learn alongside your colleagues.

This conference will be hosted here at UA on Friday, February 19th from 9:00am to 4:30pm at Quaker Station.

This is a great opportunity to hear about what’s resonating with students and to network with colleagues from different colleges. If you are interested in learning more and to register, please visit:


If you have already registered, then we’ll see you soon!

– The NEXT Steering Committee

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How to fix Springboard documents not displaying correctly

Welcome to the Spring 2016 semester. This is the first post in what is likely to be a long series answering questions that are frequently asked of the Design and Development Staff.

Check back frequently to see what new tips and tricks we are sharing.

How to fix Springboard documents not displaying correctly

Sometimes, when you view a document in Springboard it will seem as if the formatting has disappeared. This might look like the pages is displaying in plain text, or as just the HTML. Below is an example of what this might look like.

Image of Springboard file in text view

This is an example of a page in text view. The formatting is not lost, you just need to change your view back to page view.

What has happened is that you are viewing the document in text view. This can be helpful if you want to copy and paste text directly from Springboard without needing to download the document. But, it also makes it more difficult to view a well-formatted document.

To exit the text view, and change it back to page view, click the button at the bottom of the screen titled “View as Page”.

image of view as page button

When you click “View as Page” you will see that this button then says “View as Text“. This is how you can change it back to text view if you would like.


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Spring 2016 – Designing and Developing Your Online Course Workshop

workshop_blog_banner-01Design and Development Services (DDS) has just completed it’s ninth “Designing and Developing Your Online Course Workshop”. This workshop was created to help faculty members with the development of their online and hybrid courses. To date, we have had 94 faculty members here at UA complete the workshop.

Our workshop focuses 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 cover a wide variety of topics, which include:

  • 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 / Zaption / GoAnimate
  • 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 utilize badges for each major lesson. During the Fall 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 is that it promotes conversation and idea sharing. We award 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

0003  0005  0009 0010 0011 0012 0013 Our next workshop is scheduled to be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00PM to 4:00PM beginning February 9th and ending on April 26th. Sessions will be held in the College of Business Administration, Room 202 unless otherwise specified.

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

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Releasing Final Grades to Students

As the Fall semester is winding down, we know that many instructors are wrapping up their grading in Springboard before submitting final grades in My Akron. If you use Springboard to calculate your students’ final grades, you might not be aware that they aren’t visible to students until you’ve released them. To release students’ final grades, refer to the following steps:

  1. Click Grades.
  2. Locate the Final Grades column on the Enter Grades screen.
  3. Click the dropdown arrow next to Final Calculated Grades.
  4. Click Grade All.

    Screenshot showing location of Final Grades > Grade All

  5. Click the dropdown arrow next to the Final Grades heading at the top of the screen.
  6. Click Release All.

    Screenshot showing location of Final Grades > Release All

  7. Click Yes to confirm.
    Note: This will release all of the final grades for students currently enrolled in the course. If additional students enroll in the course later, you will need to perform these steps again for those additional students.
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Facilitating Student Engagement in Online Classes

Tips for maintaining instructor presence in an online course:

  • Login and monitor the course activity regularly.
  • Post news items on a regular basis. Topics may include reminders, course updates, an upcoming event, a weekly class recap, comments on any recent news relevant to the course topic, or even a picture from a trip to a conference.
  • Participate in student discussions. Students do want to hear your voice and need your guidance, just like in a regular classroom. Even something quick like ‘good comment, {{firstname}},’ followed by a question that shows you read their comment or to continue the conversation.
  • Post a weekly recap message or video as a way to provide a weekly review of the course and give group feedback to the class. When I am teaching, I will often make notes about the discussion and then send these out to the class in an email at the end of the week, with my own thoughts about their discussion, making different connections or encouraging the class to consider a different view. I try to use student’s names in these recaps so they know I was following the entire discussion even if I did not want to insert my views directly (sometimes when the instructor speaks, the students view this as the ‘answer’ and stop discussing prematurely).
  • Offer online office hours – through WebEx.
  • ADVANCED strategy – Change your homepage layout weekly. Create new widgets and move the news items around. Insert stuff such as a relevant YouTube video. I make dramatic changes to my homepage so students know I was there.
    • Post online presentations by innovative or controversial thinkers in the field shared on YouTube, iTunesU, TEDPBSNPR podcasts, video, and guest speakers in your class.
  • For more ideas take a look at this video for tips from experienced UA colleagues:
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