Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kahlia Ford

TLT welcomes Kahlia Ford, our new Compliance LMS Administrator.  She will be the system administrator for the University's new online compliance training system, TLC, which will be replacing Chalk in 2015.

Kahlia brings a long record of experience supporting customers and complex systems and we are excited to have her join our team.  Kahlia can be reached at (913) 588-7088 or  If you have any questions about TLC, Chalk or compliance training at KUMC, please call TLT at (913) 588-7107 or email

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

HEIM 501: Information Resources for Health Professions

Information Resources (IR) has teamed with the Health Information Management (HIM) department to create and teach HEIM 501: Information Resources for Health Professions, a required online course in the HIM academic program. It focuses on intermediate and advanced knowledge and skills identified by HIM faculty as critical to their students’ success both in their coursework on an academic medical school campus and future careers.

Dave Antonacci, PhD is the lead instructor, but IR staff experts teach each course module:
  • Presentations (PowerPoint) - Sonny Painter
  • Word Processing (Word) - Nellie Modaress
  • Spreadsheets (Excel) - Doug Adams
  • Databases (Access) - Edward Wilson
  • Collaboration (Adobe Connect) - Dave Antonacci/Grant James
  • Collaboration (SharePoint) - Scott Strausbaugh
  • Everyday Computing - Byron Johns
  • Internet Techniques - Heather Collins
  • Library Resources - Heather Collins
  • Citation Management - Heather Collins

Blackboard Will be Unavailable Tomorrow Morning

PLEASE DO NOT begin any assessments or course activities that you cannot complete before Midnight.

Blackboard will be unavailable from 12:00 midnight until 1:00 am Thursday August 27th. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Blackboard Profiles Currently Unavailable for New Users

Some users are experiencing an issue editing their profiles. This seems to only be happening to users who have not edited their profile before. Users who have used the profiles before are unaffected. We are aware of the issue and are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blackboard Discussion Forums - Best Practices

This list of best practices pertains specifically to setting preferences in Blackboard 9.1 to increase engagement in your discussion forums.

Upload Profile (Avatar) picture.

To allow online students to develop online relationships, suggest that students provide a visual representation of themselves (an avatar or picture) through Blackboard’s Profile feature.  Follow this link for instructions on how to change your profile picture in Blackboard:

Grade discussion forum participation.

Online students tend not to participate in optional activities.  In order to engage them in online discussions, you need to give the forum a grade and set expectations to meet. 
Establish post and reply expectations with rubrics.
There are a variety of discussion board rubric available to implement.  Make sure the one you choose clearly set the expectations for the particular discussion forum it is associated with and aligns with your course objectives and grading criteria.

Use ‘Post First’ setting to encourage original thought.

This option should be set if you expect your students to post their original thoughts to prompting questions without reading other students’ post.  Once the student submits their thread, they will have the ability then to review other students’ posts.

Establish post-due dates and reply-due dates.

In Blackboard, you can only assign one due date per assessment.  However, to allow for more quality posts and replies, you should establish in your schedule due date for first posts and due dates for replies to other students’ posts.  Be sure to provide your grading policy regarding posts/replies submitted after due dates.

Allow student to subscribe to discussion forums.

To encourage active discussions, you can the option to allow email subscriptions.  Just like with other notifications student receive from social media, they may feel the urgency to reply to post comments to their posts if they receive an email indicating activity in the forum.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Powtoon EDU Subscriptions Available for KUMC Faculty

As mentioned in one of our previous blog posts, a few members of the TLT staff recently attended the 15th Annual Summer Institute on Distance Learning and Instructional Technology (SIDLIT) at Johnson County Community College. One of the great aspects of the conference was the opportunity to learn more about some of the great products that are available to enhance teaching and learning.

One of the products that TLT had the opportunity to see in action was Powtoon (, an online tool that allows users to create engaging, animated presentations and videos that can be shared with others. Powtoon is a great option if you are interested in moving beyond traditional voice-over PowerPoint presentations or if you would like to provide a creative way for students to demonstrate their learning. You can view an example of a Powtoon below that gives a brief explanation of the tool.


As a sponsor of the SIDLIT conference, Powtoon generously provided all SIDLIT participants with Powtoon EDU subscriptions for free, and each user was given 150 additional EDU subscriptions to share with their colleagues. As a result, TLT has Powtoon EDU subscriptions available for KUMC faculty, and each subscription also comes with 60 student accounts for you to share with your students!

If you are interested in obtaining one of the Powtoon EDU subscriptions please contact TLT at or at (913) 588-7107, and we would be glad to get you started. We are looking forward to seeing the creative ways faculty and students will use this new tool!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Editing Blackboard Announcements

When editing Blackboard Announcements, please remember to un-check the box Send a copy of this announcement.  If left checked, all users in the course will receive an email of the announcement.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Last week, TLT staff attended the Summer Institute on Distance Learning and Instructional Technology (SIDLIT) at Johnson County Community College. SIDLIT is an annual technology conference that includes presentations, discussion groups, and demonstrations for educators and distance learning support staff.  

TLT staff has presented multiple times throughout the years and 2014 was no different. Sonny presented his Second Life work with "Second Life is not dead: Current research project using Second Life virtual learning environment."  Julie and Nellie highlighted their work in the School of Nursing with "Aligning and analyzing your course data." Both presentations were well attended and the presenters received ribbons attached to their name tags for all to see. 

Other topics discussed were student success in online courses, accessible content, and presentation tips. Highlights from these sessions include:

  • Student-to-student interaction is important in promoting student success in online courses. Let students lead discussion boards and blogs. Instructors, only post to clarify topics or answer questions.
  • Create an FAQ section in your course to reduce confusion and number of student emails.
  • KU provides information on how to make your course content more accessible at

  • The power of the pause when presenting: breaks up a rapid pace, adds power to a phrase or section of content, and allows the audience to catch up.  

TLT had a great time presenting, learning, networking, and best of all winning prizes! See you in 2015, SIDLIT!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Classroom Technology Orientation and Training

If you're new to KUMC classrooms and classroom technology, please plan to attend one of our orientation and training sessions, where you'll learn all about our auditoriums and classrooms, and how to operate the technology in these rooms. No RSVP is needed. Just attend whichever session best fits your schedule.
  • Thursday, 8/21 at 2-3 pm in B018 SoN
  • Monday, 8/25 at 10-11 am in 1014 OM
  • Wednesday, 8/27 at 8-9 am in 1050 SoN
  • Friday, 8/29 at 1-2 pm in B018 SoN
If you're unable to make one of these sessions, please give us a call at 913-588-7326 to arrange a one-on-one session.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Scheduled Blackboard Maintenance (8/7) - COMPLETED

We have completed this maintenance and Blackboard is functioning normally. We apologize for any inconvenience this have caused.

UPDATED: Scheduled Chalk Maintenance - August 13 (5-8 am)

UPDATE: This maintenance has been rescheduled for Wednesday, August 13 between 5:00-8:00 am.

Original post:
Due to scheduled database maintenance, we are recommending users refrain from completing training in Chalk this Thursday, August 7 between 5:00-8:00 am.  While we do not expect extended down time, Chalk users may experience intermittent errors and a brief period while the site is inaccessible.