TILT: Self-Service Application Tool for Vista Users

How you can manage better your Vista!
TILT logoThis presentation was held on Wednesday, September 9
2:00 – 3:00 pm

Presenters: Scott Kodai, CSU, Chico Distributed Learning Manager, and Mark Kauffman, ITC & Vista Integration/Administration

In this TILT session, Scott Kodai and Mark Kauffman explain how the product was developed and show participants how to use it for Vista course management. This CSU, Chico developed tool allows users to: add or remove guest section designers, add or remove community members, add or remove prep areas, reset sections, and hide or show sections.


Watch the archive of this session.
Type your name in the PARTICIPANT window and select Enter.

Twitter Hash Tag for CSU Chico TILT sessions is #CHICOTILT

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California Legacy in SL – Dickens in Camp by Bret Harte

Here is an exemplary use of Second Life. Please take a moment to watch the video.


The California Legacy Project at Santa Clara University is dedicated to preserving California’s unique culture through books, radio productions and now through the virtual world of Second Life, using machinima to visualize the writings.

This fourth episode feature Kevin Hearle reading “Dickens in Camp” (1870) by Bret Harte.

For more on The California Legacy Project, visit http://www.californialegacy.org

A Large Course Redesign Turns ARTS 100 Online

College of Humanities and Fine Arts
Large Course Redesign Experience moves course from face to face to online. This interview is with Asa Mittman, professor in Art and Art History. He was asked by Dean Joel Zimbelman to move a course into the summer schedule for asynchronous online delivery. Hear what he has to say about this experience.
Asa Mittman

What course did you redesign for this project?

Arts 100, Art Appreciation: Multicultural Perspectives. This course is a basic introduction to the world of art, looking at works from the present, back to the earliest moments of human creativity, 40,000 years ago. It covers many major works in the West and East and also lesser-known works that reveal facets of the cultures by which they were produced. The course is structured around major themes that are common to various periods, rather than following chronology.

What problems did you and your department hope to solve with this course redesign? What were your intended outcomes?

I/we wanted to see if we could successfully run an art history course online, given tightening budgets, need for larger course enrollments, limited access to large classrooms on campus, and already over-full schedules. This course is designed to accommodate large enrollments, and is streamlined to do so as smoothly as I could figure out, under the current confines of the GE course requirements (especially the writing requirement).

The online format allowed me to pre-record all the lectures, so that they can be used over and over in following semesters, thereby saving considerable time in the long run (also allowing students with busy schedules, full time jobs, families, and the like to listen to them at any time, day or night).

In addition, the quizzes are all automated, so that the student takes one, the computer grades it against my key, tells the student her score, and inserts it into the online gradebook. The gradebook is set to add up all the scores and calculate the final average. One really helpful addition I made part-way through was the addition of a semi-automated makeup system for missed quizzes.

How has working with TLP helped you redesign your course?

The folks at TLP were great — really helpful, and they put up with my grumbling and griping with real patience. I am a pretty advanced web user, and have worked with Blackboard in various versions for years, but they really know the ins and outs of Vista, which is a deeply imperfect system but one which can to a degree be gamed to make it workable.

How did you change your ideas about the intended course redesign over the course of this project? What evolution took place that helped for the online environment.

The most significant aspect of the course that I changed was the creation of a podcast assignment. I wanted the students to be able to generate content, not merely receive it. In discussions with Ann Steckel, I realized that not only could I have them record lectures about works of art, but could have them upload images of the works, and locate them on a Google map. This led to the further realization that this could then be made available to the public. I set up a netvibes site that has since received 3,012 views: http://www.netvibes.com/csuchicoartpodcasts#General

I also found out I could do was insert pop-up quizzes right into the recorded lectures. These really enhance the course, I think.

How would you help others who are about to undertake a course redesign prepare for this experience? What advise could you give them?

It helps to have a very clear idea of the finished product before you start developing it. This saves a lot of time in redoing work. Also, this is NOT an in-person, face-to-face course, and while there are things that cannot be replicated, there are also things it can do that a regular course cannot. I’d suggest not trying to make it just like the in-person version, but rather, playing to its strengths instead.

Academy eLearning Interview: Nancy Jones

This spring Provost Sandra Flake set forth a call for proposal to nominate a course per college for redesign that addressed large enrollment, engaging students, and saving money. Six courses were selected by the Deans for redesign through the first Chico State Academy eLearning. Hear what one faculty team member has to say about this experience.
Nancy Jones
Nancy Jones teaches in the College of Business; Accounting, Management and Information Systems department. Nancy participated in the first Academy eLearning institute this summer with team member Ru-fang Chiang, redesigning course ACCT 202: Introduction to Managerial Accounting. She was interviewed by TLP to share her experiences with other faculty.

Nancy, what course did your team redesign through the Academy?

We redesigned ACCT 202 which is the Introduction to Managerial Accounting. All business majors and construction management majors are required to take the course, usually during their sophomore or junior year. We also have music, communications, nursing, and other majors who attend our course for either a minor in business or for additional business knowledge. ACCT 202 builds on financial accounting taught in 201 and uses accounting to make business decisions.

What problems did you and your department hope to solve with this course being redesigned?

1) Increase student engagement – sometimes students get scared off when they hear the word “accounting” and they may feel like accounting doesn’t apply to their career choice. We wanted to change that mis-perception; 2) improve student success rate as measured by grades and retention rates; 3) address larger class sizes while maintaining course learning objectives and quality; 4) reduce instructor grading workload, but still provide sufficient feedback and individual contact.

How has the “Academy eLearning” experience helped you redesign your course?

Wow! So many great ideas to build upon and so many resources! The morning Academy eLearning meetings exposed us to new technology and pedagogies, which ignited a myriad of new ideas regarding the redesign and even applications for other courses. Whenever we thought we had our design “hard-coded,” we would be inspired by exploration of other opportunities and end up improving what we thought had been the “final” plan.

We found the Academy eLearning faculty and TLP staff talented and dedicated to teaching excellence. During our meetings, we could bounce ideas off other groups who often ended up helping us refine or define the original idea. Everyone shared willingly and had great feedback. Many had some great suggestions and ideas and the group’s enthusiastic energy became contagious.

Similarly, we are fortunate to have absolutely awesome personnel in TLP. Our team sometimes had some crazy pie-in-the sky ideas and TLP was able to translate our sometimes abstract visions into realizable and realistic projects. The TLP professionals were always there when we needed them and willing to do research or find us other resources if they didn’t have an immediate solution.

Did you learn anything that you will take away and apply to other courses?
If so, what?

Did I learn anything? Tons! I hope that I can retain even a small percentage of what I learned. I learned about collaborative work using Web 2.0 and creation of online communities. I had been using discussion groups, Vista, and chat rooms before, but not as effectively as I could have. I now have a Google and a YouTube site and am encouraging my students to use Google Docs and post on YouTube. We have been able to add a presentation component to our course that we didn’t previously have time for. I hope to do the same for one of my other accounting courses to expose Accounting majors to other channels of communication and in another class to encourage idea generation.

A really simple, but important “technology” we learned was how to make our courses disability accessible. I had no idea how awful our syllabi sounded using automated readers. Now all my documents are formatted with “accessibility” in mind.

I learned how to attach links and macros to “clicker” slides. My imagination is going crazy with that one. Goodbye boring PowerPoints!

If you could advise others, who may apply to the next Academy eLearning, what would you tell them about preparing for a large enrollment course redesign?

First off, don’t limit yourself. Explore all options. Spend time investigating technologies and pedagogies. Don’t discount anything that looks “weird” until you see what it’s all about. Let your creativity flow. Aim high! Then as you start fine-tuning the course, you’ll be able to figure out what will work and what won’t.

Be excited! Be energized and prepare to work hard! The results are well worth the work!

And lastly, expect to be challenged. This is all new stuff for many of us and kind of scary to learn, but it’s not any different for our students. Many of them don’t know the technology either. Fortunately for us, we have the support of our TLP staff to help over the humps and through the learning-curve.

Royalty Free Icons & Clipart Stock Images

icons etc logo

If you are thinking of personalizing the icons used for files, folders, and other elements in Vista, Icons Etc is a great place to look. Once you find the theme you like, click into the set and save the thumbnail images to your computer. (Creating a folder on the desktop called “Vista Icons” might be a good place to save them.) After you collect the necessary icon, enter your Vista course, and in the Build tab, click the action arrow to the right of the icon to be changed. Select “Customize Link,” “Replace Icon,” and browse for the correct icon saved to your computer.

More about Icons Etc:
Icons Etc offers 107,553 free icons and clipart stock images for web design, application design, graphic design, and many other purposes. Click on the Browse All Tags tab in the menu to browse all of tags in alphabetical order. Go to the top of the sidebar to Browse By Category (Icon Style) or scroll down and Browse Icons & Clipart by Most Tags (In descending order).

Teaching & Learning Tips from CSU

The Institute for Teaching and Learning Connections quarterly newsletter is online from the Cal State web site, http://www.calstate.edu/itl/newsletter/09-summer.shtml. On the right column, half way down the page is an interesting article, Top Ten Practices to Promote Good Learning. Here’s an excerpt.

“In chatting with colleagues, this question came up: ‘Given the last 25 years of cognitive science research about how we learn, what should students be doing in my classroom?’ Emphasizing that learning is about making connections in a supportive, yet challenging, active social environment, here’s a quick top ten good practices. ”

I recommend you give it a quick read. -Laura Sederberg, manager of TLP

Respondus password updated for 2009-2010

If you’re one of the many faculty who use the Respondus assessment builder program to create and modify your online assessments, you might notice that you could no longer launch the program because the password has expired. Respondus is licensed by the CSU centrally, and we are happy to say the license has been renewed!

To obtain the new installation password, visit the Vista Campus Community in Blackboard Vista and click on “Respondus”. If you have any questions, contact TLP.