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The Return of Countdown to Classes

The Return of Countdown to Classes

Each school year gives us a fresh start and a chance to try something new. The IRC wants to inspire you with some different ways to use campus technology tools. Here’s a sneak peek of what we have lined up for the Countdown to Classes:

4 Weeks to Go

This Year I Want to Rethink my Syllabus

Syllabus and Course Schedule Design
Description: Our syllabus and course schedule set the stage for our classes. This session will cover different options for designing your syllabus and course schedule while exploring ways of posting and displaying information in Canvas. Please bring a copy of a current syllabus.

August 2nd from 1:00 – 2:00pm in Decker 347

3 Weeks to Go

This Year I Want to Rethink my Course Homepage

Course Homepage Options in Canvas
Description: Canvas has many options for creating a course homepage that suits you. This session will cover different course home options and share some design secrets for creating something inviting and useful for students.

August 9th from 1:00 – 2:00pm in Decker 347

2 Weeks to Go

This Year I Want to Rethink my Presentations

Creating Engaging Presentations
Description: We only have a short amount of time with students each week. This session will help you rethink the way you communicate and present data in the classroom.

August 16th from 1:00 – 2:00pm in Decker 347

1 Week to Go

This Year We’re All Going to Rethink Accessibility

Accessibility Basics for Teaching and Technology
The IRC will be part of a panel discussion on accessibility issues related to teaching and technology during the fall faculty sessions. We hope to see you there!

Please remember that the IRC is available all year to work with you on whatever teaching and technology project you might have. Email us today!

Want more out of YouTube?

Want more out of YouTube?


Ever wanted to start a YouTube video at a later spot?  The folks at Google have continued to add features to YouTube over the last 11 years to help organize, manage, and utilize over 800 million hours of video.  Right click on a video at the point you want the video to start and select the “copy video URL at current time” option from the menu. The URL will be copied to your clipboard.  In addition, you can choose to copy the embed code or make the video loop. Starting a video at a chosen point allows you to target learning for your students; or to shorten the most boring video in the world (below).  Want to try it?  Start the video below and right click to see the options.

Canvas Help is now Help & Resources

Canvas Help is now Help & Resources


One of the things I have always loved about Canvas is that their help guides are actually helpful. I’m really excited to share that we are now about to make Help even more wonderful by expanding our listing of links to include AU resources.


We’ve added links to the Nicholson Library and the Chat with a Librarian feature for easy access to these important resources for you and your students. There’s also a link to the KLC’s Canvas page with information on tutoring and workshops for students. Finally, we’ve added a link to this very blog for faculty to also have access to our tips and tricks.

What’s New in Canvas?! Faculty Winter Session

What’s New in Canvas?! Faculty Winter Session


Canvas updates every 3 weeks with new features and fixes to problems, so sometimes it can be hard to answer “What’s New in Canvas?”. Tim and Jodie presented cool new features and showed off a few that old favorites during the Faculty Winter Sessions on January 17. Here are some of the highlights:


Jodie shared the new setting that allows you to show recent announcements on the Course home page. She also let faculty know that it’s okay to change the course name to something easier to remember…no harm to Canvas and it can make identifying multiple sections much easier. Finally, she pointed out the button to Validate Links in Content that will check your course for broken links.

Rich Content Editor:

Tim shared some keyboard shortcuts that we can use within the Rich Content Editor (RCE)  in Canvas. Tim’s favorites were revealing the hidden menu for the RCE by pressing ALT + F9 and inserting links by pressing CTRL + K for the links page.


Jodie showed how to exclude an assignment from the course total and also how to excuse an individual student from an assignment. Finally, she pointed out how to you can message students within the gradebook by who haven’t submitted the assignment, haven’t been graded yet, or who score more or less than a certain point value.


Tim introduced AU’s new bubble test solution called Akindi. The system is integrated within Canvas and is able to pull your class roster and also send test scores to the gradebook. Instructors can create test sheets within Canvas and print them at their local scanner/printer. After students have taken the test, the instructor just scans and emails the test sheets to their email and can upload the scans to Akindi in Canvas. This will grade the tests, provide statistical information about the test, and allow instructors to upload the grades into the Canvas gradebook.

Roll Call Attendance:

Jodie showed instructors what their students see when they view their attendance record on Canvas.

Help! My Students’ Final Grades are Wrong

Help! My Students’ Final Grades are Wrong


Tim and I usually receive a few panicked calls towards the end of the semester from instructors who feel like their students’ final scores are inflated. We usually look in two places to solve this problem…

First, have you given zero points for assignments students haven’t turned in?

Ungraded assignments in Canvas are treated as though the student was not supposed to complete that assignment. So if Chuck Wagon hasn’t completed a 200 point assignment, his grade will be calculated based on 800 points possible instead of the 1,000 points possible that the rest of the class is being graded on. There are two solutions for this. You can put a zero in for the grade at the time that the student doesn’t turn it in (I find this is a jolt of reality for a lot of students). Or you can wait to the end of the semester and select the options in the Grades to “Treat Ungraded as Zero.” I would wait to the end of the semester because otherwise it counts all ungraded assignments as zero and students will (and this is a technical term) freak out when they’ve only turned in 1 assignment and it shows them failing the course during the first week in class.

Second, are the points possible for all your assignments correct?

It happens to the best of us. The assignment was worth 10 points, but we put in an extra zero and now grades are being calculated for 100 points possible. Students getting 10 out of 100 are definitely going to see a lower final score than if it was 10 out of 10. The easiest way to check this is to scan the points possible on the Grades page. Pay attention to the points possible in the column heading but also scan the student scores. If I see something is labeled as out of 100 but all the students have scores under 10, I know I’ve got a problem.

Still have questions about your final grades? Tim and I are always happy to help you figure those issues out.

Resources for New Faculty (and You Returning Faculty, Too)

Resources for New Faculty (and You Returning Faculty, Too)

Welcome, New Faculty! Information Technology Services (ITS) provides computer support for AU students, faculty, and staff. We’d like to share some information that will help you use technology resources at AU (because we all now that trying to remember this after an orientation session is nearly impossible):

ITS Contact Information: You can reach ITS in the following ways: search the ITS Knowledge Base, email us at, stop by Decker 54, or call 765-641-4300.

ITS Ticket Tracking System: ITS has a ticket tracking system which is found at If you need assistance from ITS, click on the Submit a request link in the upper right corner. You will be prompted to login and provide us information on your request. You will be able to check back to see the status of your request and to communicate any additional information necessary for us to complete your request.

ITS Knowledge Base: Part of the ticket tracking system is the ITS Knowledge Base at Found in this Knowledge Base is helpful information you need to navigate and use AU electronic resources. Articles are continually being developed and added. If you cannot find what you are looking for or you would like to suggest an article, let us know at

MyAU: This portal at is your link to Anderson University electronic resources. The portal is web based so there is no software to install on your computer. Links are available to many of the resources mentioned in this document as well as resources like AccessAU and Canvas. You can also enable single sign on. For more information on MyAU, search for “MyAU” in the ITS Knowledge Base.

Network password: Your network account allows you to access resources such as MyAU, AccessAU, and Canvas. If you are having problems logging into these resources or if you want to proactively change your network password, please visit the MyAU portal at to reset your network password. Network passwords expire every 6 months.

Email address and password: Your email address is your official campus email.  Your AU email account is separate from your network account so changing your network password has no effect on your AU email password. Visit the ITS Knowledge Base for instructions on changing your Email password.

Use your AU ID card to login to Copier: Your AU ID card can be associated with your network username and password so all you have to do to copy is present your ID card to the ID card scanner on the copier. The first time you present the card near the scanner, you will be prompted to login with your network username and password. Subsequent presentations of the ID card to the scanner will automatically log you in.

Emergency Notification: Rave Mobile Safety is an emergency notification system available to members of the Anderson University community. To participate, go to, login with your network username and password, then enter your contact information.

AccessAU: AccessAU is the web-enabled version of the AU administrative records system. We have two entry points into AccessAU. In AccessAU Academic, instructors can view their class schedules and rosters, find information about students, enter grades, advise students, monitor degree progress, and much more. In AccessAU HR, employees can find information about payroll, compensation, and benefits. AccessAU can be found in MyAU or directly at

Instructional Resource Center: ITS has a small staff dedicated to supporting faculty and instruction called the Instructional Resource Center. The IRC is located right next to the ITS Helpdesk in Decker 45 and has a small training center where we often work with faculty. The staff includes Tim States (Assistant Director in ITS and jack of all trades), Jodie Reminder (Instructional Designer and online education lover), and Matt Parker (Classroom Technology Support and technology tinkerer). Please let us know if you you have questions about Canvas, classroom technology, online education, or need any other help with instructional project.

Classroom Technology Support: Most classrooms on campus are equipped with technology and we have students and full-time staff available to assist faculty during daytime class sessions If you need help with a classroom, please call 765-641-4300 and let us know that you are having an issue with the technology in your classroom. Be sure to give us your name, the classroom, a general description of the problem, and let us know if the problem is preventing you from teaching. Our techs will quietly work to resolve the problem as quickly as possible, but can certainly wait until after class so as to not disturb your class.

Instructional Equipment Checkout: The Instructional Resource Center has equipment available for instructional use. This includes video cameras, classroom response sets, portable document cameras, projectors and screens, and video/web conferencing systems. Requests can be made by emailing or putting in a ticket at

Canvas: Canvas is our learning management system on campus. This is our second year using the system and faculty report that it is a very user-friendly technology. AccessAU can be found in MyAU or directly at To get a course into Canvas, you will request it in AccessAU. Tim States and Jodie Reminder are available to provide you with training on using Canvas and suggestions on how to best use the system. Additional Canvas help can be found by clicking the Help icon in the Canvas menu and selecting Search the Canvas Guides.

Instructional Design Services: Whether you’re teaching a class online or need help reworking your course, Jodie Reminder is available to help you with instructional design. We take a systematic approach to problems in the classroom and find a solution that works best for you. Of particular interest, Jodie helps a lot of departments and instructors with online teaching so don’t despair if you’re being asked to teach online. She is here to help you out!

Google Apps for Education: AU is a Google Apps for Education School and that means you have unlimited storage. We recommend using Google Drive for sharing files with students and for storing large items like video files. The IRC tries to promote good ways of using Google apps for instructional and productivity purposes. If you have questions on how to do something or if you’re looking for suggestions, Tim States loves to work with faculty on Google Apps.

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Countdown to Classes

Countdown to Classes

Each school year gives us a fresh start and a chance to try something new. The IRC wants to inspire you with some different ways to use campus technology tools. Here’s a what we have lined up for our Countdown to Classes:

4 Weeks to Go (Week of August 1st)

This Year I’m Going to Do More with Canvas

Recap of Introduction to Canvas Workshop

Recap of Advanced Canvas Workshop

3 Weeks to Go (Week of August 8th)

This Year I’m Going to Be More Productive

Recap of 12 Tips for Being More Productive with Google Apps Workshop

2 Weeks to Go (Week of August 15th)

This Year I’m Going to Do More With Video

Recap of Videoconferencing: Google Hangouts and Canvas Conferences Workshop

Recap of Recording Videos with Screencast-o-Matic Workshop

1 Week to Go (Week of August 22nd)

This Year I’m Going to Understand  the Technology in my Classroom

Special One-on-One Sessions to Get to Know Your Classrooms

Can’t make the listed time? Please remember that the IRC is available to work with you on whatever teaching and technology project you might have. Feel free to give us a call or send an email.

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