Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Unscheduled Blackboard Outage - RESOLVED

Due to an issue Blackboard is currently down. Blackboard began having issues around 9:15 PM on Tuesday evening. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

UPDATE: The issue with Blackboard is resolved and Blackboard is now functioning normally again. This outage was from Tuesday 11/29 at 9:15 PM until 1:05 AM on Wednesday 11/30. We apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

5 Steps Toward Accessibility


  1. Provide contact information to Academic Accommodation Services within your course. At KUMC, students can call (913) 945-7035 to discuss accommodations.

  1. Caption or transcribe video and audio content.

  1. If you are adding images to your course, you must provide alternative (alt) text for the image. You need to be as descriptive as possible when describing the image so screen readers can tell the students what the image is of. Your description should ue 5-15 words. Here are a couple of examples of how to properly label an image versus lacking description:
    • Lacking: “man”
    • Detailed: “Director of HR Initiatives Fritz Achen”

    • Lacking: “building”
    • Detailed: “An aerial view of Kirmayer fitness center”

  1. Do not use color to convey meaning. If you make all important dates a specific color, it will not be accessible to students who are color blind.

  1. To check Microsoft Word documents for accessibility errors, go to File > (Info) Inspect Document/Check for Issues > Check Accessibility. This will inspect your document and notify you of any accessibility errors.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Use of Virtual Reality in Higher Education

Virtual Reality is a hot topic we keep hearing about. It is engaging and provides an immersive experience for the user. At the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, there was an interactive session dedicated to Virtual Reality and how other higher education institutions are using it. 

Participants at the EDUCAUSE conference try out different types of virtual reality headsets. 
Before you continue, it is important for you to know a few terms:

Virtual Reality (VR) - simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way

Augmented Reality (AR) - technology that places a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.

Mixed or merged reality (MR) - merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time

Have you ever imagined watching virtual reality stories or watching stories develop in front of you? With the NYT VR app now you can watch stories take place with Google Cardboard.

Other apps you can download to try with your VR headset include:
Within - VR storytelling
You Visit - Share memorable and interactive VR experiences
Jaunt - VR 360 experience
VRideo - Share and stream immersive video

During the VR workshop at the EDUCAUSE conference, there were several universities using VR on their campus. The most popular VR headsets were Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Microsoft Hololens, and HTC Vive.

Schools have started building VR labs to promote student engagement and learning. The University of Minnesota created a Virtual Reality Design lab and the University of Southern California has a MedVR Lab for clinical purposes.

Where is VR, AR, and MR going in education?
VR, AR, and MR can be used for experiential learning, virtual field trips, social interaction, simulation, visual science, and problem based learning.

Scheduled Blackboard Maintenance (11/18)

Due to a minor issue with Blackboard we will be restarting the servers starting at 12:01 AM to 1 AM on November 18th. Please do not start anything you can not complete before this maintenance window. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Exemplar Courses Presentation Recording

If you missed this afternoon's excellent Exemplar Courses presentation, a recording is now available:

NURS 446/OCTH776 : an online interdisciplinary course taught collaboratively by Gina Johnson (SON), Wendy Hildenbrand (SHP-OT), and Vicki Hicks (SON) 
In this unique Interprofessional Education learning environment, this Population Health Course guides students through a community assessment and project plan using concepts from population health and the domains of interprofessional collaboration to guide students work together.   Although online team work is not new in this course, this year's students have used Adobe Connect to bond as a community of learners.  In this forum, students have been able to connect (engage) more with one another seeking answers and information of each other first rather solely relying on instructors.

Peer Evaluations Solutions in the Health Information Management (HIM): Norb Belz (HIM)
HIM has implemented peer-evaluation through Blackboard discussion forums and a new tool, TeamMates, to allow students to provide feedback to each other on a variety of assessments. Peer evaluation is a great solution to increase quality of work and students' critical thinking skills. Blackboard's peer evaluation tool is not very effective and too cumbersome to implement, thus HIM uses the discussion forums and TeamMates. TeamMates, is a free, Google-forms based software that allows for a variety of survey questions, options, and reporting to support peer evaluations. In this presentation, HIM faulty will discuss their implementation of peer evaluation and the benefits of using these technology solutions.

Monday, November 7, 2016

TLC Scheduled Maintenance

TLC will be unavailable during the following times due to scheduled maintenance.  


Please do not plan on completing training during this time:

Sunday, November 20, 2016 from 11:00PM - 3:00AM CST

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Scheduled Blackboard Maintenance (11/2)

Due to a minor issue with Blackboard we will be restarting the servers starting at 12:01 AM to 1 AM on November 2nd. Please do not start anything you can not complete before this maintenance window. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.