This October, we are thrilled to announce the rebranding of ACCC to Technology Solutions! Also, learn to protect yourself from the “Dragons and Dungeons” of Cyber Security through this year’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month campaign, and customize your Blackboard Course Welcome Page with new templates. Scroll to discover more!
Spring 2021 Course Template
Learning Technology Solutions is excited to announce the availability of the Spring 2021 Blackboard Course Template. Beginning October 5, the Spring 2021 course shells will be available and will contain a template that includes a branded course Welcome Page and a pre-created Course Menu instead of the empty shell that you may be accustomed to.
Course Welcome Pages can be tailored with college/department name, logos and images to promote events or student resources, and contain a standardized navigation bar. These specially-designed Welcome Pages can help students feel connected to their college and stay organized with a consistent menu across courses.
The Spring 2021 Blackboard Course Template is a great way to elevate your course appearance, standardize course organization, build community online, and support your college or department’s initiatives and resources. Learn more: go.uic.edu/Spring21_CourseTemplate
Monitor Student Activity in Blackboard
Did you know there are several reports in Blackboard that can help instructors monitor student activity, identify trends, and identify students at risk? Available in Blackboard, the Retention Center, Performance Dashboard, and Course Reports provide detailed student information on how they are interacting with your course, what actions they’ve taken, their access patterns, and more.
Please note, if you use tools that are not part of Blackboard for any part of your courses (e.g. Piazza, GSuite, etc.), that activity will not be reflected in the reports listed above. Learn more: answers.uillinois.edu/uic/90774
Gradescope Coming Soon
Learning Technology Solutions is acquiring a university-wide license for Gradescope, which will be available soon! Gradescope is an online rubric-based grading tool that can speed up and streamline grading, improve consistency and transparency, helping instructors provide more meaningful feedback to students. Learn more about Gradescope and how it can improve grading tasks:
Chromebook & Respondus Update
A beta release of a new Chromebook extension for LockDown Browser and Monitor is now available for exams delivered in Blackboard Learn (Original view). This version of the extension supports both Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor. During the beta period, instructors will need to allow the use of LockDown Browser for Chromebook on a per-exam basis.
Learn how to enable students with Chromebooks to use the beta release of Lockdown Browser, and its limitations, here: answers.uillinois.edu/uic/106093
Symantec Antivirus Software Notice
Technology Solutions did not renew licensing for Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP), an antivirus software that was available on UIC-managed devices.
Please note, while Symantec is no longer available, devices can be protected by Windows Defender, which is installed by default when Windows is installed. Technology Solutions is actively working on sourcing an alternate software and will share more information when an update is available.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month
In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, beginning October 5, Technology Solutions will launch a campaign including weekly highlights that review specific cyber threats, share best practices, and educate the community on the importance of cybersecurity.
This year’s theme is Dragons & Dungeons! Keep your eyes open for the weekly campaign featuring fun custom Zoom backgrounds and digital posters with helpful tips! Stay updated by visiting go.uic.edu/NCSAM.
The Academic Computing & Communications Center (ACCC) has recently undergone organizational changes in an effort to enhance support for UIC’s innovation initiatives and academic mission.
We are happy to announce that the ACCC brand is being retired in favor of a new, overarching brand that better represents the central IT functions within the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Innovation. This new brand is: Technology Solutions.
Please note, the Technology Solutions brand does not replace the audience-specific brands of Learning Technology Solutions (LTS) and Advanced Cyberinfrastructure for Education and Research (ACER). Instead, it provides a simple, yet descriptive brand for the central IT organization as a whole.
This name change not only simplifies our identity to the UIC community of students, faculty and staff, but also marks another step in improvement initiatives for central IT at UIC. While we are maintaining our accc.uic.edu website for the time being, you will see branding updates to our website and communication channels.
Over the summer, LTS supported webinars that were part of the UIC Online Teaching Faculty-Led Mentor Initiative, a program through which UIC instructors shared their experiences with learning technology tools. If you missed these webinars, you can find the recordings here: go.uic.edu/LTS_recentwebinars
Upcoming Learning Opportunities
Using Respondus for Assessments (Faculty-Led Mentor Initiative)
In this webinar, Don Wink, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Professor in LAS’ Department of Chemistry, will walk you through his experience using Respondus and discuss how it fits within his course’s assessment system. The presentation will be followed by 30 minutes of Q&A.
Date: Friday, October 9
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Zoom Link: uic.zoom.us/j/95894569798?pwd=NEFOSGR2SHVhdHl3RUxWdHhCOGZ5UT09
This webinar will be hosted on Zoom. No registration is required. Please add a reminder to your calendar and click on the Zoom link above to join at the time and date of event. Organized by Extended Campus and LTS, the session will be recorded and shared in the LTS Calendar after the event.
Gradescope: Delivering & Grading Assessments Remotely
Join LTS and Gradescope for an online workshop to learn how instructors and TAs can use Gradescope to streamline and speed up grading. There are two workshops: a STEM-focused workshop and a non-STEM workshop:
Date: Tuesday, October 20
Time: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm CT
Date: Wednesday, October 21
Time: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm CT
* Recording of the Gradescope sessions will be shared with all registrants, so please feel free to register even if you can't make it to the live session.
Preparing for Spring 2021: Utilizing a Blackboard Template
If you’re interested in using a ready-made template to structure your course for Spring 2021, join us for the top pointers in getting your Blackboard course up and ready for your students!
Date: Tuesday, October 13
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Zoom Link: go.uic.edu/LTSwebinar
This webinar will be hosted in the LTS Zoom. No registration is required. Please add a reminder to your calendar and click on the link above to join at the time and date of the event.
LTS Webinar Calendar
Visit the LTS Webinar Calendar at go.uic.edu/webinarcalendar to view upcoming learning opportunities including:
- Blackboard Assignments
- Using Panopto
- Navigating Grade Center
- And More!
Technology Solutions continues to roll out improvements to the university’s wireless infrastructure, and is happy to announce that enhanced outdoor Wi-Fi coverage is now available on East and West campus locations. The current expansion includes areas frequented by students near many of our busiest buildings.
With these enhancements, the UIC Community will have a wider range of access to Wi-Fi services throughout campus both inside and outside of classrooms and buildings. Visit accc.uic.edu/news-stories/improved-wifi for maps of the wireless access points on East and West Campuses.
This month, we invite you to participate in the LinkedIn Learning’s October Challenge. Kicking off October 13, it’s designed to provide you with tips to build resilience against daily stresses, and encourage healthy living.
Download the October Challenge Guide and commit yourself to complete each day’s 5-minute challenge as listed. Initial each completed daily challenge to keep yourself on track. Be well, and happy learning!
De-stress: Meditation and Movement for Stress Management (36 min)
Finding healthy ways to eliminate stress is critical to a happy, healthy life. This course introduces a series of guided meditation and movement exercises that allow your body and mind to relax and refocus.
Learning How to Unplug & Recharge (37 min)
Live a life filled with less stress, greater well-being, and enhanced productivity by learning how to make transformational changes.
Working from Home: Strategies for Success (42 min)
Get tips for successfully working from home. Learn how to stay focused, effective, and sane while balancing work and life.
As a reminder, nominations for the Robert Sandusky IT Community Leadership Award and the UIC IT Community Rising Star are due Friday, October 16, 2020.
The UIC Robert Sandusky IT Community Leadership (RSCL) Award
This award is in memory of Robert Sandusky’s leadership and collaboration across UIC’s IT community as well as his significant contributions to information technology. As some of you may know, we sadly lost Robert, better known as Bob, in April after a long battle with illness. Bob was the Assistant University Librarian for Information Technology and Clinical Associate Professor in the Richard J. Daley Library at UIC. Since 2007, Bob’s dedicated efforts and research made significant impacts to the university, library, and the information science community.
The UIC IT Community Rising Star (ITRS) Award
This award recognizes and celebrates a member of the UIC IT Community who consistently demonstrates high potential in the daily execution of their role and approach to common issues within IT.
For more details, nomination eligibility and forms for both awards, please visit: go.uic.edu/IT-community-awards.