CIRT News is published 
four times a year by  the 
Center for Instruction 
and Research Technology 
at  the  University of North  Florida. 

To view past 
current events,  and more, visit  

Visit CIRT online at:

 Beyond PowerPoint - Using OfficeMix to Create Narrated Presentations in Canvas
Dr. Andrea Arikawa, assistant professor in the Brooks College of Health, teaches a 3000-level course that she finds to be one of the most challenging in the Nutrition and Dietetics curriculum. The course has a biochemical focus, where students apply concepts of metabolism of macro- and micronutrients to the dietetics profession. The class is taught once a week for 2 hours and 45 minutes. She usually has a presentation with lecture and a lot of diagrams and videos for the first 75 minutes of class, and activities for the remainder of the time. 

"I noticed that it is impossible for students to pay attention in class for more than a few minutes. It takes only one minute of distraction to completely lose the line of thought, so I started recording the class lectures to help students get back on track if they got lost in class."  

There are many options available for the creation of video and narrated presentations, but it is not always clear upfront what the cost, capabilities, and limitations will be with each tool. 

Dr. Arikawa first used Blackboard Collaborate to record her lessons, but had to give the presentation twice - once in person and once via Collaborate. She tried using Camtasia to record the actual class presentation, but the videos were too long with classroom interruptions and questions/answers. This method also required the added step of uploading the file to Sharestream for posting in Blackboard. After meeting with an instructional designer in CIRT, Dr. Arikawa tried a free add-on for Microsoft PowerPoint called Office Mix , and she's been very pleased with the results.

"It takes only one minute of distraction to completely lose the line of thought, so I started recording the class lectures to help students get back on track if they got lost in class."  

Office Mix adds interactive functionality to the already-familiar PowerPoint presentation software. Anyone who has Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows can download Office Mix at no cost. In addition to adding narration to your presentations, Office Mix offers the following benefits: 
  • Add inking, webcam videos, and screen-captures to your presentations
  • Assess and require students to be active throughout the presentation with simulations, polls, multiple-choice and open-ended questions
  • Files are stored in a Microsoft Online Gallery account so they do not count towards file storage limits in Canvas
  • Analytics inform you who is watching and where presentations lose viewers   
As a first time user, Dr. Arikawa was happy with how easy the process was. 

"It took 30 seconds to download the add-on to my computer and all I need is a microphone to record my presentations. My favorite feature is that I can record one slide at a time and if I don't like a recording for any particular slide, I can just delete that specific recording and redo it. This makes my life much easier. I also like the fact that I can choose to have a file in mp4 format. I usually do that in addition to the embedded link in Canvas, because students like to download it onto their computers to listen in the car or places where they don't have internet access."

Dr. Arikawa discovered two downsides: While recording a presentation, there isn't a typing tool (only drawing with a pen), and an inability to go back to a previous slide. She has learned a work-around to alleviate her issues - add an additional duplicate slide instead of going back to a previous slide. 

Another feature of Office Mix is that it has an online application that allows for integration with Canvas. While a normal PowerPoint presentation that has been uploaded online to Canvas doesn't allow users to click on interactive elements inside the presentation (videos, audio links, etc.), the cloud-hosted Office Mix PowerPoints give students access to interactive content within the presentation. Presentations can be assigned through the Assignment tool, which will create a "Turn it In" button for students to click when they are finished watching the presentation, and a column in the gradebook. Analytics are recorded in your Microsoft Office Mix Gallery, where you can view valuable statistics about how long students are spending on each slide, how many times a slide has been viewed, and which individual students are viewing the slides. 

Dr. Arikawa is now assigning her students to use Office Mix to create five-minute presentation videos. She hopes that they will find it easy to use and that she can use it in her classes both for her presentations and student work. 

To learn more about Office Mix and its Canvas integration, schedule a consultation with an instructional designer. We also plan to repeat our CIRT event, Dynamic Content in Canvas: Office Mix and Google Apps in Spring 2017.

Self-enroll in this Canvas Workshop Course for Office Mix resources, examples, and a discussion board where you can interact with peers:

 Director's Message:  National Study on Faculty Attitudes toward Technology
Dr. Deb Miller, Director

The Inside Higher Ed's fifth annual survey reports on faculty (n=1671) and administrator (n=69) perceptions of issues related to the use of technology. It is conducted by editors Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman in conjunction with the Gallup organization, and supported in part by various higher ed vendors.  

Learning analytics, online courses, plagiarism, and scholarly publishing are some of the topics addressed in this year's survey. I've pulled out a few of the summaries that I think would be of particular interest to our faculty.

"The growth of technology has made it easier for students to plagiarize  when doing schoolwork but also given instructors new tools to combat it. Thirty-nine percent of faculty members say they require students to submit work through plagiarism detection software. A slim majority, 51 percent, believe the software they use detects "all" or "most" cases of plagiarism, while 42 percent say it detects "some" and 7 percent "not that many" cases. Fifty-eight percent of faculty members say they "frequently" or "occasionally" receive reports of possible plagiarism from the detection services they use."  (Jaschik & Lederman, 2016, p.46) 

"Nearly all faculty members and academic technology administrators express concerns about the  price of textbooks and other course materials. Ninety-five percent of faculty members and 98 percent of academic tech leaders think course materials and textbooks are priced too high. Eighty-three percent of faculty members and 91 percent of academic tech leaders believe professors should make price a significant concern when assigning course readings. More than 9 in 10 faculty members and technology administrators endorse the idea of faculty members assigning more free open educational resources."(Jaschik & Lederman, 2016, p.45) 

"Although faculty members tend to be skeptical about the quality of online education, they believe certain factors are important indicators of a quality online education. Foremost among these are that the institution provides meaningful training to instructors before they teach an online course, that the online course is offered by an accredited institution, and that the online course provides meaningful interaction between teachers and students. Roughly 8 in 10 faculty members say these are "very important" indicators of a quality online education. Technology administrators also rank the same three factors as most important." (Jaschik & Lederman, 2016, p.26)

Faculty are also skeptical about the use of analytics and data to improve student learning outcomes and overwhelmingly believe these initiatives are aimed at appeasing outside groups. This is the second year that questions about institutional use of data have been included in the survey. 

New to this year's survey were questions about scholarly communication, including both formal publishing and use of social media. Faculty report having more respect for scholarship published in subscription journals, while also identifying concerns that journal prices are too high for both individual subscribers and institutional libraries.

Jaschik, S., & Lederman, D. (2016). The 2016 Inside Higher Ed survey of faculty attitudes on technology .  Inside Higher Ed. 
  Library Services to Support Online Learning

Did you know that the University has an  Online Learning Librarian ? Stephanie Weiss serves as a special liaison between the Thomas Carpenter Library and any department offering online courses and programs. If you have questions about library resources, copyright and fair use, or information literacy, you can   schedule a consultation with Stephanie.

Students can ask a question using phone, chat, email, or text, or schedule individual research consultations in an online format using the Research Consultation request button.

Lastly, it's easy to link to library articles, Ebooks, and media directly from Canvas. Visit the Library Resources & Services for Faculty Teaching Online for directions.
 Upcoming Events
 Digital Thinking: Using Facebook Groups to Facilitate and Enhance Communication While Traveling Abroad With Students
Mike Boyles, Graphic Designer

Traveling abroad with a large group of students brings the age-old problem of keeping everyone informed in a timely manner. A simple and convenient way to accomplish this task is through the use of Facebook Groups. Almost everyone uses Facebook to check in with friends and family, and while traveling. It is an easy way to send quick announcements to everyone and know that they will get the message and can share it with others. Facebook offers the added advantage of not using requiring cellphone data as long an adequate Wi-Fi connection is available. It is a wonderful tool to use over course of the entire trip, from before you leave until after the journey is over.
Facebook Groups facilitate pre-planning travel and build excitement and community before the trip begins. Such groups also provide an ideal platform for sharing reminders and fielding trip-related questions. The familiar environment of Facebook makes it comfortable for students and faculty to share packing advice, compare notes on what they plan to bring, and to ask questions related to course requirements such as pre-trip readings. Such communications also alleviate travel-related anxieties by providing an easily accessible place to post last-minute details about airport departures and arrivals.

As soon as people arrive at a location with WiFi in a new country, it is natural for them to check their phone for messages, and many look at Facebook first. Oftentimes, airports, restaurants and cafés will give you the password for their free WiFi. This is especially helpful if your group is arriving at different times. "Where EXACTLY are we meeting again?" "We have a small group of four at Terminal 3, at the Vacanze Romane Italian Restaurant. It's to the left when you get out of customs. We are sitting down at one of the tables."

You can share reminders or last-minute changes in the schedule along with other important information. If the group's dinner plans change from previously-communicated schedule, everyone gets the message to be there at the right time. The questions become easy to ask and the connection facilitates a very open communication with the entire group. "Who has extra Band-Aids?" "Does anyone have a power adapter I can borrow this evening?" "Does anyone want to get a group together to have dinner tonight?" Even if someone doesn't respond they find comfort reading a post confirming that their own information is correct.

This is when the unexpected surprises and long-term benefits appear. "Where do we turn in our assignments? In Canvas or in person?" People begin sharing travel photos and videos, links to things happening in cities that they just visited, and support with post-trip blues. Some groups have put together websites and have published books, all shared with each other through Facebook posts. Many keep in touch with their current news of graduating and entering grad school, military deployments, and even marriage proposals.

It becomes a great tool for arranging post-travel get-togethers. For example, a group that traveled to Spain during a summer study abroad trip organized a Spanish dinner in St. Augustine and a hike around the city after their return, all of which probably wouldn't have happened without the ease and open dialogue facilitated by using Facebook Groups. All of this helps to build alumni camaraderie and memories that last for years. Facebook Groups have the option of being set to public or private, depending on your use case.
Contact CIRT if you are interested in learning about how to set up a group, and more suggestions for using it on your journeys.

 Best Practices Online: Course Analytics in Canvas
Allison Archer, Instructional Designer

In a face-to-face course, an instructor often promotes student retention and success by assessing students' engagement or participation in the course. Are students showing up to class? Are they taking notes? Participating in discussions? Are assignments being turned in on time? Have students read the material? Do they look confused? Are they awake? While some of these cues are observed behaviors, many can also be measured in an online course. 

Learning Analytics (LA) is the collection and analysis of data that is gathered while students are engaging with and in the learning management system (LMS) (Pappas, 2014). Instructors should be aware of how students are using the online course so that they can look for patterns and predict outcomes, make meaningful adjustments to the course, and proactively intervene on behalf of at-risk students, if necessary. Knowing when and how to use course analytics can empower the instructor and help to prevent students from falling through the cracks (Avella, Kebritchi, Nunn, & Kanai, 2016).

Canvas features course-wide and individual student analytics reports for published courses. These reports can provide a snapshot of how and when the system is being used, when submissions are taking place relative to set due dates, and what student achievement looks like in terms of scores.

In Course Analytics, there are four main sections that can be displayed graphically or as a table.

Activity reports the number of page views and participations (posting to a discussion, submitting an assignment or quiz, joining a conference, etc.) by date.  An instructor may look for and consider trends such as greater activity as a due date approaches. This information may prompt the instructor to ensure availability accordingly (Lorenzetti, 2016). An instructor may also notice a week where activity is significantly lower and wish to add an element to motivate students to interact with the content or fellow classmates. Note that currently, activity on a mobile device is not recorded. In addition, consider the time students may have spent with content or activities taken outside of the system (for example downloading and reading a PDF or working on a project using an external program or website). 

Submissions shows the breakdown of those on time, late, and missing by activity. If a large percentage of students submitted late or not at all, the instructor might consider breaking the assignment into smaller chunks for the next iteration of the course or sending out a reminder announcement before the next assignment's due date.

Grades provides the point distribution for each activity, including the lowest, median, and highest scores, the interquartile range, and the possible points. An instructor may wish to consider the activities that deviate from a normal distribution. Was the assignment too challenging or not challenging enough? Were the objectives, content, and assessment all in alignment? Be wary of late assignments for which you have not yet entered a grade of zero. The distribution only features scores that have been entered and could be misinterpreted for that reason.

The  Student Analytics table gives information on the page views, participations, submissions, and score for each individual student. It is sortable by page views, participations, or score. This could be helpful in determining which students are low scoring and why. Is it because not enough time is being spent in the course or some other reason? By clicking on a student's name, the instructor will be taken to the Student Analytics.

Another way to access individual Student Analytics is from the People link on the course menu. Student Analytics features four sections, which can be viewed graphically or as tables.

Activity shows page views and participations of the individual student by date. The instructor may wish to navigate to an at-risk student and look for trends, for example declining activity. For such a case, the instructor may wish to contact the student in an attempt to re-engage him or her.

Communication shows a record of Inbox conversations between an individual student and instructor, by date, according to who initiated. This may be a helpful visual representation of students the instructor has communicated with most and least frequently, when communications have taken place, and whether students have responded to the instructor's communication and vice versa.

Submissions reports when a student submitted an activity, whether it was submitted on time, late, or not at all, and displays future assignments. For this section to be meaningful, the instructor should set due dates for all activities prior to the start of the course. (Tip: Use the drag-and-drop feature on the Calendar to quickly and easily assign due dates.)

Grades gives a picture of how the student is scoring on graded activities relative to other students in the course. This may be helpful for an instructor to determine which students require special attention and on what types of activities. An instructor may find that a student has scored below average on all activities or that a student typically scores well on discussions and assignments but not on quizzes. 

For more on when to monitor analytics, see this Checklist.

Avella, J., Kebritchi, M., Nunn, S., Kanai, T. (2016). Learning Analytics Methods, Benefits, and Challenges in Higher Education: A Systematic Literature Review. In Online Learning, 20 (2),7-9. Retrieved from
Lorenzetti, J. (2016, May 13). Using Student Analytics for Online Course Improvement. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from
Pappas, C. (2014, June 3). 5 Reasons Why Learning Analytics Are Important For eLearning. eLearning Industry. Retrieved from

 Canvas News
Ross Bell, Assistant Director of Online Learning Support

Welcome to the new Canvas News section of CIRT News!  We are more than halfway through our first semester with Canvas, so now is a good time to begin planning for Spring 2017. 

Your Spring 2017 courses are available now in Canvas and if you already have courses in Canvas, you'll find course copying to be an easy process.
If Spring 2017 will be the first time you are teaching in Canvas, we recommend attending a  Canvas 101 training . If you wish to transfer content from a Blackboard course, visit our Canvas Transition website for information on how to migrate your Blackboard content to Canvas.

Between CIRT and Canvas there is a wealth of support documentation available to assist you during your Canvas journey.  
Canvas Apps are external tools that allow faculty to integrate 3rd party tools and services into their Canvas courses.  For more information, and a full list of available apps, visit our Canvas Apps page .  The list is continuously growing, so be sure to check it regularly.

For any Canvas questions, contact CIRT at 620-3927 or  

Blackboard will be unavailable from December 14 at 12:00 a.m. until December 16 at 11:59 p.m. to perform scheduled system maintenance. During this maintenance window, the Fall 2014 courses will be removed from the system and the Fall 2016 courses will be set to unavailable for students. SafeAssign and ShareStream will be updated, but the updates do not include any new features.

  A Recap of UNFIS 2016: Canvas Edition

This year, we hosted our annual  UNF Academic Technology Innovation Symposium with a twist: everything throughout the day was focused on Canvas. With the retirement of Blackboard quickly approaching on May 31, 2017, it was a great way to provide faculty, staff and administrators with helpful information about Canvas. 

 The day featured short presentations from Instructure representatives, a panel of UNF faculty members discussing their experience with Canvas, and breakout sessions on specific tools hosted by CIRT and Carpenter Library staff.
The event was well received, with many participants commenting that the information was interesting, relevant and helpful as they embark on this new adventure with Canvas. The Instructure representatives remarked that they enjoy attending events like ours to learn what faculty are doing with the LMS. 

Thank you to the Thomas G. Carpenter Library for collaborating with us on this year's event and for providing us with a wonderful environment in which to explore the new LMS!  

For a look into UNFIS 2016: Canvas Edition, please visit CIRT's Twitter feed to view photos and updates from the event. 

 If you have any questions about UNFIS or your transition to Canvas, please contact CIRT at:

 New in CIRT - TurningPoint Clicker Upgrade


We welcome Caleb Johnston as a Course Development Assistant on the Instructional Design Team.  

You can see all of the smiling faces on our  People page .

Beginning in Spring 2017, the TurningPoint clicker system will be upgraded to the latest version of the software, TurningPoint Cloud, and Canvas integration will be available. At that time, TurningPoint will be discontinued in Blackboard.
TurningPoint Cloud requires both instructors and students to have a Turning Technologies account. Account creation is easy and free of charge. It is set up upon registration of the clicker device in Canvas. The bookstore will continue to stock the NXT clicker device that students need to purchase. Students who already own a clicker device can continue to use it and will then only have to create their account through Canvas when they register the device in their course. The cost to students for new clickers remains the same. 
To use the TurningPoint Cloud system in Canvas, faculty must fill out the adoption form in MyWings. Without completion of this step, clickers will not be available in your course. Faculty will also need to pick up a new USB receiver from CIRT that contains the Cloud software. More information, including training documentation for both instructors and students, will be available on CIRT's website in the first week of December. 
Please keep in mind that you will still need to add clickers as a required course material in your bookstore request. The clicker device inventory on hand for students is contingent on your course material submissions, so please ensure that you complete this important step. You may also continue to use the same language in your syllabus that you have been using, as the ISBN number for the clicker remains the same.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to  contact CIRT directly.

This is a publication of the
at the University of North Florida.

Beauty Kolenc, Publisher
Deb Miller, Editor

Please direct any comments, or questions to