Captions are now automatic on all new Kaltura media

New media content added to Kaltura MediaSpace will be automatically captioned, whether uploaded via the Langara MediaSpace website at https://mediaspace.langara.ca, or via My Tools > My Media in Brightspace. These captions are machine-generated and should be available within 30 minutes of uploading your file. All media, including screen recordings, file uploads, web recordings, and most YouTube imports, will have captions added when uploaded to Kaltura. These are closed captions that can be deactivated by the media owner and when available, toggled on and off by the viewer. Existing media—uploaded before October 18th, 2022—will not have captions automatically added but you can request captions for this media.

Keep in mind, machine-generated captions are only 85% accurate and will not meet the requirements of students with closed captioning accommodations. Students requiring an accommodation will contact Accessibility Services, who will inform you directly. If you have a student that requires closed captions, edit your captions to ensure they are 99% accurate or contact Langara’s Assistive Technologist to request assistance with human-edited closed captions. 

We developed a Closed Captions slideshow (below) to provide step-by-step instructions for all you need to know about captioning your media in Kaltura MediaSpace/My Media.

Discontinuing LockDown Browser

LockDown Browser
As the spring semester winds down, you may now be shifting your focus to final exams and wondering if LockDown Browser will be available for the upcoming exam period. After over six months of troubleshooting, it has become clear that, unfortunately, LockDown Browser is no longer compatible with Langara’s computing infrastructure.
While this announcement may disappoint some faculty members, please know that this decision was not taken lightly. There were several key issues that contributed to our decision:

  • Random Freezing on Citrix Computers

    Since LockDown Browser was most frequently used during midterm and final exams, the fact that it might freeze up a Citrix computer during these critical and stressful times made it an unreliable solution—for both instructors and students. Furthermore, the conditions under which Citrix computers froze were quite random. This made it challenging to identify the specific circumstances / scenarios that might trigger these freezes. And given the prevalence of Citrix computers across Langara’s campus, EdTech and IT needed to ensure a solution that would work with all of Langara’s computers.

  • Only an Older Version Worked on Citrix Computers

    In trying to find a solution, EdTech discovered that only an older version (from Summer 2021) worked on the Citrix computers and this older version is no longer supported by Respondus, LockDown Browser’s parent company. Taking into consideration future support and compatibility issues, this was not a viable solution.

  • Reduced Use of LockDown Browser Post-Pandemic

    During the pandemic, many instructors revamped their online exams and quizzes to address academic integrity in new, innovative, and creative ways. As a result, fewer faculty required LockDown Browser after our return to campus.

That said, we are committed to supporting our faculty and instructional staff. So, if you are still concerned about academic integrity, please feel free to read our article, Designing Online Exams / Quizzes, and/or contact us. We are more than happy to help you explore and implement alternative online exam / quiz options!

Turnitin and Student Privacy

Turnitin is a text matching tool that compares students’ written work with a database of student papers, web pages, and academic publications. The two main uses for Turnitin are: 1) for formative or low-stakes assessment of paraphrasing or citation; and 2) for prevention and identification of plagiarism.

Privacy Concerns

When an assignment is submitted to Turnitin for a text matching report, the student’s work is saved on a U.S. server as part of Turnitin’s database of more than 1 billion student papers. This raises privacy concerns that include:

  • Students’ inability to remove their work from the database
  • The indefinite length of time that papers are stored
  • Access to the content of the papers, especially personal data or sensitive content, including potential security breaches of the server

How to Use Turnitin While Protecting Student Privacy

To mitigate these privacy concerns, we recommend the following guidelines for all instructors using Turnitin:

  1. Be clear and transparent that you will be using Turnitin. Even if a course outline includes a statement indicating that Turnitin will be used in a course, we recommend not relying on that statement alone. Ideally, instructors should also explain to students that their papers will be stored on the company’s database in the U.S. and ask for their consent. If they don’t provide consent, have an alternate plan. For example, to increase confidence that the students are doing their own work you can require them to submit multiple drafts of their assignments and to annotate their reference lists.
  2. Decide whether or not students’ work needs to be saved on Turnitin’s database. The default is for all papers to be saved, but this can be changed. Not saving papers to the database means that those papers can’t be used to generate future similarity reports, but it does remove the privacy concerns. (Note: Student Conduct and Academic Integrity at Langara recommends that students’ papers be saved to help identify plagiarism.)
  3. Coach students to remove identifying details. If the students’ submissions will be added to Turnitin’s database, make sure you get them to remove any personal information from their assignment, including their name, student number, address, etc. Meta-data that is embedded should also be removed (e.g. in track changes or file properties). If you’re having them submit to an assignment folder on Brightspace, their name will be with their submission so it shouldn’t be a problem if it’s not on the paper itself.
  4. Think carefully about running a similarity report for an individual student without their knowledge. Ethical use of Turnitin occurs when it is transparently and equally used for all students. Running a report only on a specific student’s work without their knowledge or consent is not transparent or equal.
  5. Consider whether or not the assignment is appropriate for Turnitin. If the students need to include personal or sensitive information in the assignment, Turnitin should probably not be used. If you do decide to use it, the students’ papers should not be stored in the database.
  6. If contacted by another institution, be cautious about revealing student information. If at some point in the future there is a match to one of your student’s papers in Turnitin’s database, Turnitin does not give the other institution access to the text of the paper but will provide the instructor at the other institution with your email. If you are contacted about a match, consider carefully before forwarding the paper or any identifying details about the student to the other institution. If you do want to forward the paper, you should obtain the student’s consent.

Helping Students Make Turnitin Work for Them

If you’re using Turnitin, it’s highly recommended that you adjust the settings to allow the students to see their similarity reports. You may need to teach students how to interpret the reports if they haven’t learned how to do so from a previous course. Turnitin’s website has resources if you need them (https://help.turnitin.com/feedback-studio/turnitin-website/student/student-category.htm#TheSimilarityReport) and you can also point your students to the Turnitin link on Langara’s Help with Student Learning Tools iweb (https://iweb.langara.ca/lts/brightspace/turnitin/). Finally, remember that these reports won’t be helpful to a student if they’re not given the chance to revise and resubmit after they see the report. In Brightspace, we recommend that instructors set up two separate assignment folders with Turnitin enabled: one for their draft and one for the final submission.

Have questions?

If you need support with Turnitin, please contact edtech@langara.ca

References

Vanacker, B. (2011). Returning students’ right to access, choice and notice: a proposed code of ethics for instructors using Turnitin. Ethics & Information Technology, 13(4), 327-338.

Zaza, C., & McKenzie, A. (2018). Turnitin® Use at a Canadian University. Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 9(2). https://doi.org/10.5206/cjsotl-rcacea.2018.2.4

Zimmerman, T.A. (2018). Twenty years of Turnitin: In an age of big data, even bigger questions remain. The 2017 CCCC Intellectual Property Annual. Retrieved from https://prod-ncte-cdn.azureedge.net/nctefiles/groups/cccc/committees/ip/2017/zimmerman2017.pdf

PebblePad ePortfolio Pilot at Langara

What is PebblePad*?

Langara is currently in the pilot phase of implementing the online portfolio platform, PebblePad. Digital portfolios, or ePortfolios, are powerful tools for learning, assessment, and career development because they enable users to document their skills, learning, and creativity, as well as reflect on what/how/why they learn. Using PebblePad, students can create portfolios, blogs, basic webpages, online collections of files, formal and informal reflections, action plans, and more.

Why Use PebblePad?

PebblePad is student-owned. Once a student takes a course using PebblePad, they will be issued a PebblePad account that they will have for their entire time at Langara and beyond.  This makes it a great tool for them to make connections across their learning journey, and it can support the transition to further studies or employment.

Research indicates that using digital portfolios like PebblePad within courses and programs also seems to advance student retention and success (Eynon, Gambino, & Török, 2014). Proponents theorize that ePortfolios are beneficial because they support learning in the following ways:

  • learning can be made visible, including through reflection activities
  • connections can be made across and between academic (course, program), extracurricular (work experience, volunteering), and personal (family, community life) learning
  • personal, academic, and professional identity construction can be supported
  • social pedagogies can be employed, supporting group work, peer feedback, mentorship, etc.
  • competencies – within and outside of formal academic courses – can be documented and assessed

How Might it Be Used Within a Course or Formal Learning Experience?

Instructors interested in using PebblePad have many options in terms of assignment type. Classic portfolio assignments are often used for students to document and showcase their creative work, or to create individual or group presentations.  This type of assignment empowers students to design and collate content ranging from text and hyperlinks, to images and video. In addition to portfolios, instructors can also create more guided learning activities by building templates, workbooks, and other resources for students to complete and share for assessment. We hope to be able to share some Langara examples soon, but in the meantime you can go to the PebblePad Community Learner Showcase to explore some of the work being done at other institutions.

Want to Learn More?

If you are interested in learning the basics of PebblePad, a workshop series is starting the first week of November that will run for 7 weeks (there is a morning or afternoon option — please don’t sign up for both):

Mondays: 4:00-4:30 Sign Up | PebblePad (Afternoon Series)

Thursdays: 9:30-10:00 Sign Up | PebblePad (Morning Series)

If you are unable to attend these synchronous sessions, a self-directed asynchronous option will also be made available concurrently.  If you would like to do the asynchronous option, please email edtech@langara.ca for more information.

 

*PebblePad is now the preferred ePortfolio technology of BCNET.

References

Blake Yancey, K. (Ed.). (2019). ePortfolio as Curriculum: Models and Practices for Developing Students’ ePortfolio Literacy. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Eynon, B., & Gambino, L.M. (2017). High-Impact ePortfolio Practice: A Catalyst for Student, Faculty, and Institutional Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Eynon, B., Gambino, L. M., & Török, J. (2014). What difference can ePortfolio make? A field report from the Connect to Learning Project. International Journal of ePortfolio, 4(1), 95-114. https://www.theijep.com/pdf/IJEP127.pdf

Penny Light, T., Chen, H., & Ittelson, J. (2011). Documenting learning with ePortfolios: A guide for college instructors. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Watson, C. E., Kuh, G. D., Rhodes, T., Light, T. P., & Chen, H. L. (2016). Editorial: ePortfolios – The Eleventh High Impact Practice. International Journal of EPortfolio6(2), 65–69.

Yeo, N., & Rowley, J. (2020). ‘Putting on a Show’ Non-Placement WIL in the Performing Arts: Documenting Professional Rehearsal and Performance Using Eportfolio Reflections. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 17(4).

End-of-Semester Sharing Session

On Friday, November 27th from 10:30 until 12:00, Ed Tech is hosting an End-of-Semester Sharing Session and we would love for you to participate. 

 

How can you participate? 

Share your tool or activity

If you have adopted a tool or educational technology-based activity this semester that is effective for both you and your students and you would like to share it with others, we invite you to share. 

Each Ed Tech tool/activity show & tell can be a few minutes long and up to 5 minutes and requires no formal preparation. If you would like, you can share a screenshot or share your screen to show us your activity, but it’s not absolutely necessary.  

To sign-up as a presenter, email Mirabelle Tinio (mtinio@langara.ca) or Briana Fraser (bfraser@langara) and let us know what tool or activity you plan on sharing. 

Ask questions and help solve issues

If you are looking to solve an issue with a tool or educational technology-based activity, we invite you to attend. 

Through sharing our successes and challenges, we hope to brainstorm solutions we can test next semester. 

To sign-up as an audience member, sign-up on the iWeb event page. 

We hope to see you then. 

A Curated List of Ed Tech Articles

A Curated List of Ed Tech Articles

""Whether you are on your NID and preparing for the spring semester or you are currently tackling your debut semester teaching remotely online, this list has something useful for you. In this short curated collection of articles, you will find practical tips for the use of educational technology in online classes, lessons learned and opportunities made possible by the pivot to remote teaching and food for thought related to the use of tech for teaching and learning.

Ideas for Remote Online Classes

""“Structuring Synchronous Classes for Engagement” by Bonni Stachowiak suggests how one can structure a 50-minute online synchronous session followed by an after-party office hour.

Zoom to the next level: Active learning in the virtual classroom An openly licensed Pressbook from Indiana University.

From note-taking tools, to online book creation, to 3D modelling tools, you’ll find a plethora of free tech tools in a “Typology of Free Web-based Learning Technologies” by Matt Bower and Jodi Torrington.

“7 High-impact evidence-based tips for remote online teaching” by Youki Terada offers ideas on organizing your virtual learning space and time, and other simple but powerful practices.

Lessons Learned

""The pandemic is forcing many instructors to rethink and sometimes reinvent their teaching practices. Here are one instructor’s reflections:

“What an Ed-Tech Skeptic Learned About Her Own Teaching in the Covid-19 Crisis” by Manya Whitaker

Nine ways online teaching should be different from face-to-face by Jennifer Gonzalez (Cult of Pedagogy podcast).

For certain courses, technology may be a learning outcome, but for most courses, it isn’t, so it’s useful to be reminded that it’s a tool and re-direct our attention to how we can effectively achieve our learning outcomes.

The images gives examples of how technology can be used as a tool, not a learning outcome.

Langara’s Learning Tools and Technologies

We know you are becoming Brightspace experts, but have you tried out any of Langara’s other learning tools and technologies? Try this quiz to see how much you know about our tools and support.

Langara’s Ed Tech department provides expertise, support, and guidance in a wide range of learning tools and technologiesTo clarify our support structure we have categorized these into four levels: Level 1: core, supported technologies, Level 2: advised-on technologies, Level 3: recognized technologies, and Level 4: technologies in the pilot phase. 

Level 1: Core, Supported Technologies 

Core technologies are those that Ed Tech administerscontrols, and supports as part of our core business. Support for core technologies includes: 

  • Providing full support to faculty and instructional staff using these technologies 
  • Offering a comprehensive faculty and instructional staff development and troubleshooting service 
  • Collecting statistics regarding use 
  • Ensuring that their setup complies with legal requirements (i.e. FIPPA and PIPA) and institutional policies (i.e. retention, backup, risk management) 

Ed Tech’s core, supported technologies are currently: 

Level 2: Advised-On Technologies 

Ed Tech faculty and staff have expertise with a range of apps, software, and cloud tools which have the potential to enrich learning and teaching. However, we do not necessarily have administration rights or control over these tools and they are not part of our core business. Support for these tools predominantly consists of advising on effective pedagogical practice in embedding them in learning and teaching activities. Where troubleshooting or technical support is required, please be aware that it may take us longer to respond as we prioritize our Level 1 technologies. 

Users must ensure that their use of ‘advised-on’ technologies complies with legal requirements (i.e. FIPPA, PIPA, data protection, copyright) and institutional policies. 

Ed Tech’s advised-on technologies include: 

  • Pressbooks (a free to use open textbook publishing platform based on WordPress) 
  • Screencast-O-Matic (screen capture software: currently we have 25 ‘Deluxe’ licenses per month available) 
  • Mattermost (instant chat software provided through OpenETC https://opened.ca) 
  • Audacity (a free, open-source audio editor) 
  • PeerMark (a peer review assignment tool integrated with Brightspace) 

Level 3: Recognized Educational Technologies 

Recognized technologies are used in many educational institutions to enhance learning and teaching. Ed Tech does not offer any formal support of these tools so be prepared to seek out online support yourself; however, faculty and staff may be able to offer some support. 

Users must ensure that their use of ‘recognized’ technologies complies with legal requirements (i.e. FIPPA, PIPA, data protection, copyright) and institutional policies. 

Ed Tech’s recognized technologies include: 

Technologies in the Pilot Phase

Before Ed Tech adopts a tool as a core supported technology it must go through a pilot process. The following technologies are currently in the pilot phase:

  • Padlet (digital bulletin board)
  • H5P (interactive content creation tool)
  • WeBWork (online homework system for math and science courses)

To connect with us about a tool or technology, visit our Hours page for contact information.

OER Publishing With Jekyll, Reveal.js, and GitLab

Learning management systems (LMS) have some great content authoring tools. Unfortunately, LMS have some limitations when it comes to OER publishing. Students typically lose access to the content once the course ends and LMS are not really designed for broad collaboration among content authors. One practical solution is to author OER content outside the LMS. The problem then becomes which tools to use and how to make that content available to others to collaborate on. I recently completed a project to do just this using a collection of open source software and services.

I wanted to create a collection of lecture notes, lab exercises, and presentation slide decks for a new course I was developing and make the content available online to students. For the lecture notes and lab exercises, I settled on using the Jekyll static site generator. A static site generator transforms simple content written in markdown into a beautiful website. Using markdown allows the author to focus solely on the content without getting hung up on the minutiae of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Many themes are available and most of the more popular ones produce a website that works well on desktop as well as mobile browsers.

For presentation slide decks, I used Reveal.js. Like Jekyll, slide decks can be authored either in markdown or very simple HTML. The major benefit of Reveal.js is that you can present directly from the browser. No special software or plugins are required. Presentations can contain many of the basic features that you might expect from PowerPoint or Keynote.

The final piece of the puzzle is making the content available and inviting collaboration. Both of these objectives can be met using the GitLab service. GitLab is an online service primarily designed to enable computer programmers to collaborate on the development of software projects. The service can be easily adapted to collaborative authoring of OER content. It is a simple matter of creating a public project and letting others know. For public projects, anyone can submit a “pull request” which the project owner can accept and incorporate into the project. For an OER project, this might be other instructors or even students. Like any other public project, if some members of the community are dissatisfied with the direction the project is taking, they are free to “fork” the project and continue developing the project independently. Finally, GitLab offers a service called “Pages” which allows the project to published in a format suitable for consumption by students and others.

jekyll logo reveal.js logo GitLab logo
Decorative

12 Apps of Christmas!

Originating at Regent’s University London in 2014, 12 Apps of Christmas is a fun and free online micro-learning activity aimed at staff and students working in educational institutions. The idea behind it is to introduce a series of mobile apps sent out via a blog 12 Apps of Christmas logopost over twelve days in December. Each post introduces the app, explains how to use it, suggests some possible uses in learning and teaching, and finally sets a challenge for the reader that is shared on social media. The activity is a bit of fun but is also a great way to find out about some of the useful mobile apps out there and have a go at using them. You can learn about the App and do the challenge in around 10-15 minutes so it is a great professional development opportunity for time-pressed educationalists!

This is the second year that the Educational Technology User’s Group in BC have run the activity. This year’s 12 Apps has been very successful so far with over 200 people from around the world signing up to receive the daily updates. To see the Apps released so far visit https://12appsofchristmas.ca/ You can also register here to receive daily updates for the remainder of the Apps. Check out #12AppsBC on Twitter to see some great examples that participants have created using the Apps.

12 Apps of Christmas from BC campus

On December 1st, ETUG will launch the first B.C. 12 Apps of Christmas for teaching and learning. Similar to the successful U.K. event, participants will explore a new app a day for 12 days. Each day will introduce you to an app, where to get it, how to use it, and provide some ideas of how it might be used for teaching and learning. A challenge activity will be highlighted and participants are encouraged to share their results and reflect on any additional ideas of how to use it in the future through their blogs and on social media, using the #12appsBC hashtag.

12-App-Wordmark-300dpi-1024x257

Read More