This fall semester is unlike any other we’ve experienced. COVID-19 has impacted how instructors teach, communicate, and connect with students. These past several months, we have witnessed the dedication, determination and passion UIC instructors possess for their profession, their pedagogy, and mission to help students achieve academic excellence by providing quality educational experiences. We applaud your efforts and are proud to support you.
In this month’s Tech Talk, we would like to highlight an insightful survey ACCC conducted in late spring on the instructor experience with remote teaching during COVID-19, and share some tech updates, important security alerts, and upcoming learning opportunities.
Based on an Educause survey, ACCC launched a survey late spring to collect information helping us identify instructors’ greatest challenges in teaching remotely, and to better understand how we can address those challenges as a department.
See what over 300 instructors said were their greatest challenges with teaching remotely during COVID-19. This report shares key findings, survey data and analysis, online learning resources, and instructor suggestions to fellow peers: go.uic.edu/2020-Teaching-Remotely-Survey-Report
ACCC is fully committed to instructor success through supporting your technology needs and improving services. We want to thank the instructors who took the time to complete this survey, as well as those instructors who volunteered for an interview.
As a reminder, nominations for the Robert Sandusky IT Community Leadership Award and UIC IT Community Rising Star are still being accepted. Last month, we announced that the Office of the CIO and the University Library, with the support of the IT Leadership Council’s Infrastructure Committee, renamed the IT Community Leadership Award to the Robert Sandusky IT Community Leadership (RSCL) Award in honor of Robert’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, after a long battle with illness in April. 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.
We understand the beginning of the fall semester is a very busy time, particularly this year as we adjust to new ways of working and teaching. In consideration of this, the deadline for nominations has been extended to Friday, October 16, 2020.
For more details, nomination eligibility and forms, visit: go.uic.edu/IT-community-awards.
Blackboard Course Entry Point
The entry point of your course is the page students see when they access your course in Blackboard. The entry point is easy to change! If your course has a branded course homepage as the entry point, but you’d like your students to see Announcements instead, follow these instructions: answers.uillinois.edu/uic/75826. You can learn more about the new Blackboard branded course pages at: answers.uillinois.edu/uic/104733.
If you need to share videos with your students in Blackboard, Panopto is the best choice for you. Panopto is a video creation platform that allows instructors to easily record, stream, and manage video content directly in Blackboard. To learn more about Panopto, access resources and get answers to FAQs, visit: go.uic.edu/use-panopto
Respondus on Chromebooks
Chromebook operating systems currently do not support Lockdown Browser or Respondus Monitor. As a result, students with Chromebooks are not able to take assessments that require these tools.
Respondus is actively working to make Respondus Monitor available for Chromebooks and stated a resolution will be available in the coming weeks. LTS is meeting regularly with Respondus representatives to stay updated on any developments. As soon as we have an update, we will notify the UIC Community. To learn more about Respondus tools and online proctoring, visit: go.uic.edu/online-proctoring
If you want to add a video component to student discussions in your asynchronous course, VoiceThread is the best option for you. VoiceThread is an interactive collaboration tool available in Blackboard that allows instructors to create multimedia content and generate a conversation around it using text, audio, and video, unlike traditional discussion boards, which are usually text-based and can limit online conversations. Learn more about VoiceThread and how you can use it: accc.uic.edu/news-stories/voicethread
Laptops and Hotspots for Students in Need
ACCC will close the program that supports students' technology needs on September 18, 2020. Over 1,000 students have benefited from the program since March 2020. If any of your students are still struggling with reliable access to the internet or a computer, remind them to submit a request before the program closes at go.uic.edu/technology-tools-students.
Support for teaching technology tools such as Blackboard, Echo360, Panopto, etc. is available to faculty and will be provided virtually. Please email or call LTS for support.
Email, phone, and in-person support will be available Monday through Thursday, 7:30 am to 9:00 pm and Friday 7:30 am to 7:00 pm.
- Website go.uic.edu/LTS-support
- Email LTS@uic.edu
- Phone 312-413-0003, option 1
- If you leave a message, a ticket will automatically be created on your behalf and we will follow up with you.
- In-Person Support
- Available to faculty teaching on campus – Lecture Center E room E112
Delivering Assessments Remotely with Gradescope
LTS and Gradescope are hosting two online workshops for UIC. Gradescope is a feedback and assessment tool that dramatically reduces the stress and time associated with grading exams, homework, and other assignments.
Tuesday, September 15, 11:00 am - 12:15 pm CT
Thursday, September 17, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm CT
Register here: info.gradescope.com/uic-workshop
Using Blackboard Annotate to Effectively Grade Online Students
This faculty-led webinar is part of the UIC Online Teaching Faculty Mentor Initiative. Grade online student submissions using the new Blackboard feature Annotate. Connect class assignments to Blackboard Rubrics and easily download your comments. Join Jamie Chriqui from the UIC School of Public Health’s Division of Health Policy and Administration for a 30-minute Q&A session. No registration is required. Click on the Zoom link on the date and time of the event to join.
Date: Friday, September 25, 2020
Time: 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm CT
Zoom Link: uic.zoom.us/j/99150104613?pwd=ZHJrdHBnemVWbjM3L2dtT0lNK3lFZz09
Visit the LTS Webinar Calendar to view other upcoming learning opportunities and access previous webinar recordings: go.uic.edu/webinarcalendar
Web Conferencing Tools
Did you know ACCC supports Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom, Webex, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams? As a UIC instructor, you have access to these communication tools for teaching, meeting with students, and collaborating with your colleagues. While these tools provide similar services, they do have different features and user cases. Learn more about how to select the right tool for you: go.uic.edu/web-conferencing
Google Meet Update
Beginning this October 1, Google Meet for UIC G Suite will revert back to the standard G Suite for Education Meet capabilities. Earlier this year, Google granted access to Google Meet’s premium features that allowed up to 250 participants in meetings until September 30, 2020. As of October 1, the number of participants that can join a Google Meet will be reduced to 100.
If you have large meetings (over 100 participants) scheduled on Google Meet after October 1, we suggest moving those meetings to an alternate platform.
The recording functionality for Google Meet will also be changing later this year. Stay tuned for more details to be shared when they are available.
As of this August 21, ACCC updated UIC Zoom cloud recording settings in an effort to provide a more secure recording functionality and remain compliant with recording mandates. See updates:
- Auto Deletion: cloud recordings will be deleted after 180 days.
- Access to Cloud Recordings: by default, only individuals with a UIC Zoom account will be able to view cloud recordings; these settings can be changed.
- Cloud Recording Downloads: The ability for anyone to download the recording with a link to the cloud recording will be turned off.
- Recording Disclaimer: Attendees must be made aware the Zoom session is being recorded.
Note: If you need to keep Zoom recordings for teaching purposes, we recommend you save a copy of them in Panopto. See Panopto retention policy: answers.uillinois.edu/uic/96586.
To learn more about the recent Zoom updates and changes visit: accc.uic.edu/news-stories/zoomupdates
UIC has invested in LinkedIn Learning, a great online learning tool available to faculty, students and staff with a valid UIC NetID and Password. Previously known as Lynda.com, LinkedIn Learning offers over 16,000 classes on technology and applications, creative programs and software, as well as business topics, including soft skills and professional development. Log in today! go.uic.edu/linkedinlearning
September Featured Courses
Microsoft Teams Quick Tips
This 24-minute video is composed of quick 1-minute tips on Microsoft Teams features, a communication and collaboration tool made available to the UIC Community by ACCC. Learn tricks for working with messages and teams, customizing the interface, setting up notifications, running meetings, and more.
Balancing Work & Life
Learn how to have it all and enjoy it all by balancing your life and work in this 30-minute class.
Writing with Flair: How to Become an Exceptional Writer
This 4-hour class can teach you how to avoid common issues that can weaken your prose, such as careless repetition and out-of-focus ideas. Plus, learn strategies that can help you craft elegant paragraphs and transitions, add freshness to your writing, and more.
LinkedIn Learning Faculty Webinar
LinkedIn Learning is hosting a free online webinar specifically for instructors on how it can be leveraged inside of the classroom to support your students as part of a blended learning strategy. Learn more about LinkedIn Learning and how you can leverage it in your courses.
Date: Monday, September 28th
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm CT
The UIC Information Security and Privacy Office has received numerous reports of email and telephone scams targeting UIC’s community of faculty, students, and staff. These attacks may be financially motivated, targeting your valuable university data, or seeking to steal credentials to leverage them for further attacks.
Faculty should be aware of email scams and know what to look for to prevent becoming a victim.
- Criminals posing as university leaders, deans, or department heads will email potential victims asking for a favor such as purchasing a gift card with promises of reimbursement.
- Emails claiming you have a voicemail from a university leader, dean, department head or employee with a link to the voicemail that redirects to a fake page requesting your login credentials.
- Emails stating a request to deactivate your UIC school email has been submitted with a link to “Cancel the Deactivation” to avoid the cancellation. The link redirects to a fake login page with the intent to get you to enter your login credentials.
Avoid falling victim to cybercriminals and know what to look for and how to protect yourself:
- Pay close attention to the FROM email address. Emails are often sent from addresses crafted to trick the recipient into thinking they are legitimate despite not actually originating from an @uic.edu address.
- Contact the sender by another mechanism including sending a separate email direct to their real @uic.edu address instead of replying to an email you are unsure of.
- Be careful with emails that contain links that redirect to non-UIC pages related to voicemails, email activation, or other “actions” that require you to enter your login and password.
- Always take extreme caution when providing personal information in response to an email or phone call.
- Anyone can fall for phishing emails, even other UIC staff. Although evaluating scam and phishing emails based on the sender is the best first step, always be careful and remember that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- If in doubt, forward the email to email@example.com.
Learn more about the scams targeting UIC faculty, students, and staff.