Online Success Toolkit
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SEPT. 14, 2021

We hope your semester is off to a great start! In addition to exploring the IT resources available to faculty and staff on Answers, you can contact the ITS Help Desk (help@syr.edu or 315.443.2677) for any technology-related questions. Depending on the nature of your inquiry, a representative from the Help Desk, ITS Online Learning Services, the Center for Online and Digital Learning or the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence will assist you.

We also will continue to communicate with students throughout the semester. You can find a collection of those communications on Answers, as well as an archive of past “Tech Tips” emails for faculty and staff.

This week’s topics:

  • Securing Your Zoom Meetings
  • MySlice Upgrade Sept. 25-26
  • Remote Desktop Services
  • Kaltura Video Management
  • Strategies for Missed Classes and Late Work
  • Training Opportunity: Playlists in PlayPosit
  • TurningPoint Classroom Response System

Securing Your Zoom Meetings

All faculty and staff have access to Zoom videoconferencing by logging in to zoom.syr.edu. To help ensure the security of your Zoom meetings, ITS recommends taking the following steps when hosting a session:

  • Automatically generate a Meeting ID
  • Require a meeting password
  • Enable the waiting room feature
  • Disable “Join Before Host”
  • Limit screen sharing to the host
  • Lock the meeting once all expected attendees have joined

You can learn more about these and other recommendations on the Securing Zoom Meetings page on Answers.

MySlice Upgrade Sept. 25-26

MySlice is getting a new look later this month! You can find more information on the enhanced navigation and user experience, including screenshots and customization options, on the MySlice Upgrade Answers page. Please note that MySlice will be unavailable during the weekend of Sept. 25-26 to allow for the implementation of this upgrade.

Remote Desktop Services

Remote Desktop Services offer a virtual desktop environment that allows you to access a University desktop from any personal computer with a stable broadband internet connection. More information is available on Answers. If you know how to connect already, you can go directly to rds.syr.edu.

Kaltura Video Management

Whether you need to share video content for your course or a series of training videos for your staff, Kaltura is the University’s official video repository tool. This cloud-based video management system helps you store and share video content to create engaging and accessible experiences for your audiences. You can learn more on Answers.

Strategies for Missed Classes and Late Work

Even in the best of times, learners might juggle many responsibilities and miss multiple classes, request a flexible deadline or choose to submit late work. This creates even more work for instructors. Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence Director Martha Diede offers a few suggestions to address this challenge, including incorporating Blackboard and lecture capture technology.

Technology Training Opportunity: Playlists in PlayPosit

On Friday, Sept. 24, from noon to 1 p.m. ET, the ITS Online Learning Services team will host a training with PlayPosit on the use of playlists. PlayPosit playlists allow you to build collections of learning “bulbs” with related content that can be organized via modules and presented in progression with supplementary materials. Basic PlayPosit knowledge is encouraged before attending this training. If you are not familiar with PlayPosit, please see Answers or review the PlayPosit Academy. Attendees can join by Zoom.

TurningPoint Classroom Response System

TurningPoint is the supported classroom response technology at Syracuse University. Classroom response technologies are designed for instructors to gather real-time feedback during instruction. They can be useful for students and instructors to assess in-class understanding of the materials. In-class polling can also increase student engagement while helping instructors monitor attendance and participation. You can learn more about TurningPoint on Answers.

Thank you for reading. Go Orange!

AUG. 31, 2021

Welcome to the fall semester! We recognize that your work requires more creativity and adaptability than ever. Our goal is to help you find the technology and resources that work best for you given your circumstances from day to day.

In addition to exploring the IT resources available to faculty and staff on Answers, you can contact the ITS Help Desk (help@syr.edu or 315.443.2677) for any technology-related questions. Depending on the nature of your inquiry, a representative from the Help Desk, ITS Online Learning Services, the Center for Online and Digital Learning or the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence will assist you.

We will continue to communicate with students throughout the semester. You can find a collection of those communications on Answers. Please also monitor the Stay Safe website for up-to-date information and guidance.

This week’s topics:

  • Phishing Awareness
  • Accessing Your Syracuse University Email
  • Rave Guardian Safety Mobile App
  • MySlice Upgrade Sept. 25-26
  • Technology in the Classroom
  • Connecting With Students

Phishing Awareness

Criminals use malicious email to try to trick you into revealing your password or other sensitive information or to infect your computer with malware. These phishers sometimes try to make their emails look real by using companies’ or institutions’ logos, fonts and colors. Urgent demands also are common (for example, “Reply with your password within 24 hours or your account will be closed!”). You can learn more about identifying phishing emails on Answers.

Accessing Your Syracuse University Email

Syracuse University uses email as the primary vehicle for official communication with students, staff and faculty. Complete details, including login links, are available on the Email homepage on Answers.

Rave Guardian Safety Mobile App

Faculty and staff are encouraged to download Rave Guardian, a free app created by Rave Mobile Safety, which the University already uses to send Orange Alerts via platforms such as email, phone and text. With Rave Guardian, users can receive important campus notifications, communicate with the Department of Public Safety and gain access to helpful resources. You can download the Rave Guardian app in the Apple or Google Play stores by searching for “Rave Guardian.”

MySlice Upgrade Sept. 25-26

MySlice is getting a new look in September! You can find more information on the enhanced navigation and user experience, including screenshots and customization options, on the MySlice Upgrade Answers page. Please note that MySlice will be unavailable during the weekend of Sept. 25-26 to allow for the implementation of this upgrade.

Technology in the Classroom

The ITS Learning Environments team updated the technology in 36 registrar classrooms and eight captive classrooms this summer. If you are teaching in person and want to know about the technology available in specific classrooms, you can review our Classroom Resource Guide. Our Classroom Technology Guide offers tips on getting your classroom ready for instruction.

Connecting With Students

As we get in the swing of a new semester, we know that staying in touch with students is important, both in person and online. Research shows that students learn better when they feel connected to their peers and to their instructors. Connections with staff also help to support learning. Be deliberate about building that sense of community and relationship (you can watch this video to learn more). Be sure to check your Syracuse University email and log in to Blackboard often to receive any possible communications. In particular, students might contact instructors if they are unable to access a course in Blackboard. Please make sure your courses are available in Blackboard. Also, please note that some messages sent through Blackboard wind up in recipients’ junk folders, so be sure to check your junk folder as well as your inbox.

Thank you—and go Orange!

AUG. 24, 2021

We are looking forward to the start of fall classes next week! This semester, we will focus on helping you integrate campus technology with technology you might have used while working remotely. Please remember these technologies (e.g., web conferencing solutions, file storage options, etc.) remain available in your “technology toolbox.” We encourage you to be creative and inclusive in your work. We also ask you to share your successes—and questions!

You can contact the ITS Help Desk (help@syr.edu or 315.443.2677) for any technology-related questions. Depending on the nature of your inquiry, a representative from the Help Desk, Online Learning Services, the Center for Online and Digital Learning or the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence will assist you.

This week’s topics:

  • Time Management Through Technology
  • MySlice Unavailable Sept. 25-26 for Upgrade
  • Finding Resources Around Campus
  • Lunch and Learn: Pandemic Teaching and Learning Strategies
  • Online Resources for Faculty and Staff
  • Technology in the Classroom
  • Aligning Classes for Any Format
  • Teaching Support from Syracuse University Libraries
  • Blackboard Gets a New Look

Time Management Through Technology

Technology can be a great tool for managing your time. When planning your next meeting, ask yourself: Could this just be an email? If real-time interaction is necessary, does it need to be in-person or would a Teams or Zoom meeting suffice? We want to hear from you: What are some ways you’ve used technology to save time, energy or money? Send us your success story at itscomm@syr.edu.

MySlice Unavailable Sept. 25-26 for Upgrade

MySlice is getting a new look in September! You can find more information on the enhanced navigation and user experience, including screenshots and customization options, on the MySlice Upgrade Answers page. Please note that MySlice will be unavailable during the weekend of Sept. 25-26 to allow for the implementation of this upgrade.

Finding Resources Around Campus

If you haven’t already, check out our digital maps on maps.syracuse.edu, where you can sort by a range of location types (buildings, computer labs, parking, dining options, etc.) You also can find bus schedule information at subus.syr.edu. Learn more about face mask requirements on campus shuttles and Centro buses.

Lunch and Learn: Pandemic Teaching and Learning Strategies

The “Focus on Teaching and Learning” lunch and learn series is a collaborative effort between the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence and Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment that aims to build your skills and knowledge while engaging in conversation with colleagues. The next session is titled “Pandemic Teaching and Learning Strategies: What Do We Keep and Why Do We Keep It?” You can learn more and register online.

Online Resources for Faculty and Staff

ITS maintains a collection of online teaching and working resources on Answers. This collection includes web conferencing solutions, file sharing and storage options, helpful links and login locations. You also can review some tips for safe computing.

Technology in the Classroom

The ITS Learning Environments team updated the technology in 36 registrar classrooms and eight captive classrooms this summer. If you are teaching in person and want to know about the technology available in specific classrooms, you can review our Classroom Resource Guide. Our Classroom Technology Guide offers tips on getting your classroom ready for instruction. Please also refer to last week’s message from Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost John Liu about managing COVID in the classroom.

Aligning Courses for Any Format

Using the course alignment checklist on Answers, instructors can ensure that their course outcomes align with their assessments, assignments and activities. Aligned courses:

  • Support students from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Require fewer explanations for why students must complete particular assignments—you can cite specific, pre-established outcomes.
  • Foster an atmosphere that encourages learning.
  • Can pivot easily from format to format.

Teaching Support from Syracuse University Libraries

The upcoming Syracuse University Libraries Faculty and Teaching Assistant Support Workshop will discuss several practical ways that the Libraries can support teaching during these unpredictable times. Topics include discovering and sharing digital resources, showing videos in class, supporting students with videos and tutorials about the research process. Two Zoom sessions will be offered on Tuesday, Aug. 31, from 3 to 4 p.m. ET and on Thursday, Sept. 2, from 11 a.m. to noon ET. You can learn more and register online.

Blackboard Gets a New Look

Syracuse University Blackboard has upgraded to Ultra Base Navigation. The change provides a modernized landing page that includes a new notification system, a consolidated view of course activity and easier ways to navigate to course content. You can learn more, including how to find your courses within Blackboard, on the Blackboard Navigation Update page on Answers. The Answers resource also includes schedule information for faculty support sessions offered by ITS Online Learning Services.

Thank you for reading—and go Orange!

AUG. 17, 2021

We are excited to start the fall semester in less than two weeks! Throughout the semester, Information Technology Services (ITS) will provide updates and insights about how you can make the best use of technology in your work.

In addition, you can contact the ITS Help Desk (help@syr.edu or 315.443.2677) for any technology-related questions. Depending on the nature of your inquiry, a representative from the Help Desk, Online Learning Services, the Center for Online and Digital Learning or the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence will assist you.

This week’s topics:

  • MySlice Unavailable Sept. 25-26 for Upgrade
  • Inclusive and Accessible Events
  • Finding Resources Around Campus
  • Lunch and Learn: Pandemic Teaching and Learning Strategies
  • Online Resources for Faculty and Staff
  • Blackboard Gets a New Look

MySlice Unavailable Sept. 25-26 for Upgrade

MySlice will be unavailable during the weekend of Sept. 25-26 to allow for an upgrade to the system’s navigation and user experience. You can find additional information, including screenshots and customization options, on the MySlice Upgrade Answers page.

Inclusive and Accessible Events

As you plan events, following the guidelines for inclusive events can help everyone to feel welcome. For a comprehensive checklist to ensure you are adhering to all guidelines for attendees, please review this document: Inclusive Event Planning Checklist.docx. You also can review a brief planning guide for in-person events, which includes such considerations as budget, space and audio-visual needs.

Finding Resources Around Campus

If you haven’t already, check out our digital maps on maps.syracuse.edu, where you can sort by a range of location types (buildings, computer labs, parking, dining options, etc.) You also can find bus schedule information at subus.syr.edu. Learn more about face mask requirements on campus shuttles and Centro buses.

Lunch and Learn: Pandemic Teaching and Learning Strategies

The “Focus on Teaching and Learning” lunch and learn series is a collaborative effort between the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence and Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment that aims to build your skills and knowledge while engaging in conversation with colleagues. The next session is titled “Pandemic Teaching and Learning Strategies: What Do We Keep and Why Do We Keep It?” You can learn more and register online.

Online Resources for Faculty and Staff

ITS maintains a collection of online teaching and working resources on Answers. This collection includes web conferencing solutions, file sharing and storage options, helpful links and login locations. You also can review some tips for safe computing.

Blackboard Gets a New Look

Syracuse University Blackboard has upgraded to Ultra Base Navigation. The change provides a modernized landing page that includes a new notification system, a consolidated view of course activity and easier ways to navigate to course content. You can learn more, including how to find your courses within Blackboard, on the Blackboard Navigation Update page on Answers. The Answers resource also includes schedule information for faculty support sessions offered by ITS Online Learning Services.

Thank you for reading—and go Orange!

AUG. 3, 2021

Each month, Information Technology Services (ITS) provides updates and insights about how you can make the best use of technology in your work. In addition, you can contact the ITS Help Desk (help@syr.edu or 315.443.2677) for any technology-related questions. Depending on the nature of your inquiry, a representative from the Help Desk, ITS Online Learning Services, the Center for Online and Digital Learning or the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence will assist you.

This month’s topics:

  • Orange Alert Contact Information
  • Web Conferencing Comparison
  • Maps.syracuse.edu
  • ITS In-Depth: Ransomware
  • Fall 2021 Reentry for Instructors
  • Blackboard Navigation Update

Orange Alert Contact Information

Orange Alert is Syracuse University’s crisis notification system, designed to provide rapid notification and instruction to students, faculty and staff in the event of a crisis in progress. When activated, Orange Alert uses email, text messaging and phone calls to send a brief notice about the situation and instructions of what to do. Learn how to update your Orange Alert contact information.

Web Conferencing Comparison

Even if you’re on campus, online meetings can save time and energy compared to in-person meetings. ITS supports a variety of web conferencing tools, including Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and Google Meet. If you need assistance in determining which web conferencing tool is right for you, check out the Web Conferencing Comparison guide on Answers.

Digital Maps Help You Navigate Campus

If you haven’t already, check out our digital maps on maps.syracuse.edu, where you can sort by a range of location types (buildings, computer labs, parking, dining options, etc.). You also can find bus schedule information at subus.syr.edu.

ITS In-Depth: Ransomware

Ransomware attacks have been in the news lately, including an attack over the Fourth of July weekend that impacted up to 1,500 organizations. In the new edition of “ITS In-Depth,” we speak with Syracuse University Chief Information Security Officer Chris Croad about what ransomware is—and how to protect against it.

Fall 2021 Reentry: Inviting All Students (Back) to Class

The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence invites instructors to a week of virtual reentry sessions that will cover ways to promote deep learning for all students. Each session features small, researched steps instructors can take and provides brief periods of time for hands-on course planning. You can learn more and register online.

Blackboard Navigation Update and Accessibility

On July 17, Syracuse University Blackboard updated to Ultra Base Navigation. The change provides users with a modernized landing page that includes a new notification system, a consolidated view of activity across their courses and easier ways to navigate to course content. You can learn more on Answers.

A few small adjustments to your Blackboard course materials might improve their accessibility and provide advantages to all of your students. Along those lines, you might consider using such tools as Blackboard Ally and reach out to the Center for Disability Resources. Of course, you can always contact help@syr.edu for support in enhancing the accessibility of your course materials.

Thank you for reading—and go Orange!

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