Thursday, February 26, 2015

Scheduled Blackboard Outage (2-27) - COMPLETED

To resolve an issue Blackboard users may experience a loss of connection or the inability to login between 6 - 7 AM Feburary 26th. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

UPDATE: The outage is over and Blackboard is now working normally again. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Best Practices for Using Video in the Classroom

Video is everywhere! This is very evident when you look at statistics on YouTube.  On average there are 1 billion YouTube users in the world.  These users watch about 4 billion videos per day (YouTube, n.d.).  Romanov in 2007 did a study that showed students had higher learning gains in programs that included video compared to programs without video (Romanov, 2007).  Reflecting on experiences, we all have experienced the distraction of videos that are irrelevant, have too much extra information or are too long and boring at some point in our education.  The question is how can video be used to enhance learning.

Here are several recommendations to help you use video effectively in your classroom or online course:

  1. Focus on the key information:  Keep the video focused on one learning objective and make sure information is presented in a way that is clear to the students.  Don’t throw in a lot of extra information because this will distract learners and will stress their working memory capacity (Mayer, 2009).
  2. Use short clips:  Short clips help learners learn from video clips better because they can only process a limited amount of information at once.  Breaking information into multiple short videos also gives the student more control over the speed and repetition of the content (Fujimoto, 2015).
  3. Provide User Controls:  If the video is available to students online, provide users with stop, pause, play, rewind and fast-forward controls. Learners process information differently and providing this option helps them control the speed of the content and easily navigate to portions they need to review.  This helps reduce cognitive load and differentiates for learners who need more time or more repetition to process (Mayer, 2009).
  4. Include narration and pictures:  The Redundancy Principle shows us that learners learn better when information is presented in different channels.  The best format is graphics or animations and narration because learners can process these two inputs together the best.  Pictures and words are both processed with the eyes which makes it more difficult for students to process.  Avoid the “talking head” lecture format.  Seeing the speaker does not add to learning (Mayer, 2009).
  5. Use Signaling: Signaling is when key words or main ideas are highlighted or emphasized in someway so that the learners are signaled of their importance. This can be as simple as underlining a key word or it could highlight or bring forward a specific item on the screen that learners should focus on.  Signaling is most effective when it is used for only key information (Mayer, 2009).  
  6. Use video for demonstrations:  Videos are great for showing students how to do something because it can provide audio and visual information on how learners should move and complete complex procedures.  Good demonstrations break the task into steps that are easy to follow and are available for learners to reference (Fujimoto, 2015).
  7. Use video for complex systems:  Video can show things that are complex and can signal learners to the important aspects.  Examples include human development, body systems or for medical procedures (Fujimoto, 2015).
  8. Respect Copyright and Fair Use: If you use videos from an online source, it is best to get permission to use the resource or to link to it.  You can link to the video in your course.  You should only upload a video in a course that you created or that you own the rights to use in your course (Linking, n.d.).


Fujimoto, Randall. Using video in interactive learning programs.  Shoyu Learning Solutions. Retrieved February 17, 2015, from

Linking to copyrighted materials. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2015, from

Mayer, R. (2009). Multimedia Learning. 2nd Edition. Santa Barbara, CA: Cambridge University Press.
Romanov, K., & Nevgi, A. (2007). Do medical students watch video clips in eLearning and do these facilitate learning? Medical Teacher, 29(5), 490-494.

YouTube stats. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2015, from

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How to print from Blackboard

With the new upgrade in Blackboard some of you may have noticed a printing issue. Currently, there is not an option within the Blackboard, however by copy/paste into a Word document instructors are able to print a Blackboard test to paper or save it as a .pdf.
If you are using a Mac computer – Blackboard has changed some functionality that has resulted in no longer being able to print tests using a Mac computer.
If you are using a Windows computer –This will cause a “screen shot” print so only the text displayed on your screen will be printed.

For example if you would like to print a test will have to be copied and pasted into a Word document and printed in Word.

For more information or questions regarding printing in Blackboard, please contact: TLT x8-7107

New to TLT: Anthony and Lauren

TLT would like to introduce two new members to our team, Anthony Madison and Lauren Mathiott.

TLT Media has a new Classroom Support Specialist, Anthony Madison.  Anthony comes to us from Omaha, Nebraska where he worked as a Technical Support Supervisor at a call center.

In Anthony’s free time he enjoys the Kansas City nightlife and working on a “fixer-up” house.  He brings a great deal of technical experience to the department and has terrific rapport with the clients.  We’re lucky to have him!

Lauren Mathiott was hired December 15th as the eLearning Support Specialist for the School of Nursing. Lauren received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Northwest Missouri State University in Interactive Digital Media: new media. She is a proud Bearcat and excited about working with the School of Nursing and TLT staff.

In her spare time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her family, taking care of her dogs (Sophie and Lizzie), refinishing furniture and trying new restaurants.

TLT Media Rate Changes July 1

Effective July 1st, there will be rate increases for TLT Media Event Support and Technical Support. Please refer to the TLT-Media website for specific information.

Classroom Updates

Spring brings a time of new beginnings, and it seems like everything TLT Media classroom support is doing is in the beginning phases awaiting the summer break for full implementation.  We continue to improve the informal learning enclaves with the updating of furniture and services in the southeast corner of 2nd floor Orr-Major.  Expanded electrical access, improved lighting, and comfortable seating along with a movable, dry-erase board enable a collaborative learning experience in a casual atmosphere.

We have added to our inventory of room spaces with the addition of G013 Olathe Pavilion.  It used to be the FM Discretionary Shoppe and I wish I had before and after pictures to demonstrate how our illustrious Facilities crews could turn a do-anything workshop into a really nice classroom/conference space.

Transition from LXR to ExamSoft Nearing Completion

This spring marks the final semester in our transition from LXR to ExamSoft as the primary system for high-stakes online testing at KUMC. ExamSoft is a market-leading computer-based assessment-management system that supports exam creation, administration, delivery, scoring and analysis. It offers many new features previously unavailable in LXR such as option strike-out, the ability to zoom in and out of attached images, and support for mobile devices.

Hundreds of students are already successfully using ExamSoft in the CTC and we will complete the transition when we shut down LXR at the end of this semester. If you were planning on using LXR beyond May 2015 and have not already been notified by Testing Services about this transition, please contact Tim Doughty ( at 8-1471, Ron Knight ( at 8-8655, or Phil Wilhauk ( at 8-7292.