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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Assignment Grader Tips

A lot has changed since our last post about Desire2Learn’s (D2L) Assignment Grader app. For those unfamiliar, Assignment Grader is an iPad app created by D2L to enable grading dropbox assignments away from your computer. It synchronizes with Springboard and provides mobile, offline, access to dropbox submissions. Learn more by reading the previous post; “Using Desire2Learn Assignment Grader with Springboard”.

Since 2014, D2L has released a number of updates to the app in recent months to address some major stability and connectivity issues along with some minor optimizations to the user interface. These updates make a huge difference in usefulness of the app for faculty using Springboard.

Update Problems

After going almost a year and a half without a single update, it is great to see D2L put some much needed work into updating Assignment Grader but, those updates come with a price. Installing each update will remove any data that hadn’t been synchronized with Springboard. This is especially problematic when your iPad is set to automatically install updates. A number of people were caught by this “bug” in the Spring and, lost a lot of work and student grades when an update was installed without their knowledge.

Eliminating Update Issues

With a simple change to your App Store settings, you can remove this downfall to your successful use of Assignment Grader.

  1. Start by opening your Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to the iTunes & App Store section.
  3. Turn off Automatic Downloads for app Updates.
    • The toggle should be to the left, with a white background. If the toggle is to the right, with a green background, then Updates are on. Tap on it to turn updates off.

Make sure automatic app updates are turned off.

Note: this will impact updates to all of your apps. You will need to manually update apps by visiting the App Store on your device.

Best Practices

Assuming you have turned off automatic downloads for app updates, as outlined above, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of Assignment Grader. If you are just getting started with Assignment Grader, you may want to refer to our first post to learn how to connect to EduDentity, log into Springboard and, make use of the various tools.

Use EduDentity

As outlined in our previous post, in order to take full advantage of all of the features of Assignment Grader, you will need to use a free EduDentity account. Remember, you can use any email address you want when setting up EduDentity since it is completely independent from your university account.

Always Add Feedback

Unlike the standard web-interface, Assignment Grader requires you to add feedback to graded assignments. If you only provide a score and/or annotate a document, Assignment Grader will not sync the score with Springboard. You must provide some written feedback, as little as a single character.

Optimize your Grader Settings

Once you are logged into your EduDentity account and connected to Springboard, you may want to explore the new settings screen. D2L has made some minor changes the the available settings.


We recommend turning on the option to Auto-Submit Feedback. Assuming you are connected to a network, this will automatically upload your feedback to Springboard as you move from student to student. This is a good way to make sure you don’t lose any data.

Turn on the option to Auto-Ssubmit Feedback

Test and Verify

As some users in the past have discovered, the Assignment Grader app can sometimes “break”. There are time, after an update, in which the app will no longer sync data with Springboard. This is another reason to turn off automatic app updates. In case there is a connection issues, we recommend grading a single student’s assignment first, then verifying that your feedback was synced with Springboard. A quick test will catch any problems before you grade your entire class, only to discover that the app isn’t syncing with Springboard.

Hide Old Items

A good way to simplify that amount of content displayed in Assignment Grader is to turn off, or hide, old content. Assignment Grader allows you to hide a number of items. If you have a lot of courses or assignments, we recommend the following settings:

  • Hide Graded Dropboxes
  • Hide Courses Past Their End Date
  • Hide Inactive Courses

Hide graded items and old courses to simplify your view.

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Jumpstart Your Semester with Binder

BinderStudying on the go? No WiFi where you’re going?
Binder provides full access to all of your Springboard courses when and where you need them. With Binder, you are able to download all of your course materials
for offline viewing. Then, view, and annotate all of your courses’ material, without the need for WiFi. Binder allows you to easily find and organize course materials how you prefer. Binder is available for free on iPad, Windows, Android and, the web.

Go to http://binder.desire2learn.com to learn more and get started. Check out,
the Guide To Binder to get connected to Springboard and to start using Binder.

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