Instructional Support and Research Support Monthly Updates

Instructional Support:
GTA@OIT Grant Deadline

Come Enjoy Mic/Nite

Clicker Technology Update

Join Us for the Next ITCoP

Tips for Using Styles to Make Word Documents Accessible

Faculty First 2016 Recipients

Using Document Cameras in Your Class

Research Support:
Introducing The New Qualtrics Insight Platform

Meet Your Peers at Business Intelligence
and Data Science Groups


OIT Highlights

Register for OIT Workshops

View the complete list of available workshops

Introducing the New Qualtrics Insight Platform

Qualtrics logoQualtrics began rolling out their new interface this week. We are currently in a preview period as the new version is being released. During this preview period, you will be able to switch back and forth between the new Qualtrics Insight Platform and current Research Suite version and access all your existing reports and data. All active surveys will be unaffected. After the preview period, all accounts will be migrated to the new Insight Platform.
To switch to the new Qualtrics Insight Platform from the current Research Suite, click the grey button in the upper right labeled with your name and select “Experience the new Qualtrics Insight Platform.”
To switch back to the Research Suite from the new Qualtrics Insight Platform, click the profile icon in the upper right and select “Leave the Qualtrics Insight Platform.”
Please note: if you make any changes while in the Insight Platform to any Public Reports or Scheduled Report Emails that were originally created in the Research Suite, all changes will be lost if you return to the Research Suite. In addition, response tagging and reports created in the Insight Platform are not backward compatible and will not be available if returning to the Research Suite however; they will remain available on the Insight Platform.
To learn more about the new Insight platform, you can check out the Qualtrics Support page. If you have questions about the new Qualtrics Insight Platform or would like to talk to an OIT Research Support consultant about how switching to the new platform might impact your current surveys or reports, contact the OIT HelpDesk at 865-974-9900 or via the online form.

GTA@OIT Grant Deadline Nears – Only a Few Days Left!

GTA@OITOIT offers Graduate Teaching Associates and Assistants (GTAs) an opportunity to receive a GTA@OIT Grant, which includes one-on-one instructional design consulting, Technology-Enhanced Classroom (TEC) training, and help in using Online@UT (Blackboard Learn) features including communication, assessment, and evaluation.

Recipients of this grant also receive a monetary award to be used for travel and/or professional development purposes.

The spring 2016 deadline is Friday, March 4.
For more information, visit GTA@OIT.

Come Enjoy Mic/Nite

Mic/NiteMic/Nite is a social gathering featuring several short, action-packed presentations given by faculty colleagues. All Mic/Nite presentation are in the Pecha-Kucha format, where presenters discuss 20 images for 20 seconds each. Mic/Nite is for faculty and staff only.


  • Free admission
  • Cash bar
  • Free pizza
  • Door prizes

When: Thursday, March 10
Where: The Relix Variety Theatre, 1208 North Central Street
Social hour: 5:30 p.m. Program: 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Parking is available behind Relix on Anderson Avenue.  

Clicker Technology Update

TurningPoint Clicker photoUTK is continuing with TurningPoint 5 through May 2016. Turning Technologies and OIT are providing on-campus and online training for the TurningPoint Cloud (6) transition, which will begin in summer 2016. By fall, all classes using clickers will need to be using TurningPoint Cloud (6). Please visit our Personal Response System website for more information on the TurningPoint Cloud (6) training and upgrade options impacting UTK.

Visit the links below for additional information and training .
Turning Technologies
OIT face-to-face Workshops  

Interested in Bridging Generations via Gaming? Join Us for the Next ITCoP

ITCoP LogoThe IT Community of Practice (ITCoP) forum is a Faculty Fellow initiative from OIT that provides an opportunity for faculty to bring their lunch and join colleagues in demonstrations and discussions about trends and issues in instructional technology. Meetings are the fourth Wednesday of each month in the Practice Presentation Room (220E) in Hodges Library from 12:20-1:10p.m. Our next meeting will be Wednesday, March 23.

attend the next session where we will explore an over-arching topic of Interdisciplinary Brainstorming: Connecting Research Across Time and Topography. The session on March 23 will cover Bridging Generations via Gaming.

Come join us for coffee, snacks, and interesting discussion!

Meet Your Peers at Business Intelligence and Data Science Groups in East Tennessee

Conversations with peersThe Knoxville area has four groups that help people learn about business intelligence and data science.

The East Tennessee Business Intelligence Users Group is “committed to learning, sharing, and advancing the field of Business Intelligence in the East Tennessee region.” They meet several times each year featuring speakers who demonstrate business intelligence software such as IBM’s Watson and Microsoft’s PowerBI. Meetings are at lunch and a meal is provided by sponsoring companies. Membership is free, and so is the lunch! You can join the group at their website.

Data Science KNX is a group of people interested in the broad field of data science. Members range from beginners to experts. As their website states, their “…aim is to maintain a forum for connecting people around data science specific topics such as tutorials and their applications, local success stories, discussions of new technologies, and best practices. All are welcome to attend, network, and present!” You can go here to join at the Data Science KNX website. Membership is free, though the group gladly accepts donations to help defray the costs of the pizza and beverages provided at their meetings.

The Knoxville R Users Group (KRUG) focuses on the free and open source R language. Each meeting begins with a bit of socializing followed by a series of talks given by its members or guests. The talks range from brief five-minute demos of an R function to 45-minute in-depth coverage of some method of analysis. Beginning tutorials on R are occasionally offered as well. Membership is free of charge, but donations are accepted to defray the cost of snacks and website maintenance. You can join at the KRUG website.

Each spring and fall, The University of Tennessee’s Department of Business Analytics and Statistics offers a Business Analytics Forum that features speakers from both industry and academia. The group consists of non-competing companies for whom business analytics is an important part of their operation. Forum members work together to share best practices and to develop more effective strategies. The forum is open to paid members only and you can join on their registration page.

Top Tips for Using Styles to Make Your Word Documents More Accessible

Microsoft Word screenshot
A good heading structure is the most important accessibility consideration in most Word documents. Headings make the document easier to read for everyone and allow screen reader users to navigate through the page easily.
Many people do not have a habit of using header styles in Word. For example, when creating a section heading or title, they simply change the font, enlarge the font size, make it bold, etc. If this is done, the document has no real structure that can be discerned by a screen reader and section headings may appear as different sizes, confusing readers. This also makes editing the document more complicated for the author because they must remember how they formatted each section heading.
Word’s Styles gallery, located on the Home ribbon, is the correct way to use headings, provide structure for the document, and separate the format of your document from the content. This helps you to format documents more efficiently, saving you time while also making them more accessible.
The following list notes several high impact things you can do in Microsoft Word to start using structure and styles. These tips will also help keep control of formatting when you change the font type, the font size, and the paper size.

  • Use the heading styles (e.g. Heading 1, Heading 2, and Heading 3) to indicate main and sub-section areas in your document. It is important to use these headings in a hierarchical or nested order.
  • Use the numbered and bulleted list formatting options, rather than just typing numbers and bullet characters.
  • Format tabular information as a table rather than using tabs or spaces to line up columns. You can turn off the table borders if you don't want it to visually look like a table.
  • Set the row of the table that has the column headers (usually the first row) to "Repeat Header Rows" so that screen readers know what the columns mean and so that the headings always appear when the table is split across more than one page. 

See the Microsoft Word article on WebAIM for more detailed descriptions of these tips.

Congratulations to the Recipients of the 2016 Faculty First Grant!

Faculty First Grant
This year, three faculty members will partner with OIT to develop media-enhanced course materials through the Faculty First Program. This OIT-sponsored grant program supports UTK faculty in developing courses that use technology in their teaching.

This year’s recipients are:

Teaching Fundamental Concepts of Forest Biology through Short Video Modules

Dr. Jennifer Franklin from the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries plans to create two videos that employ time-lapse photography. The videos will be used to test the effectiveness of a progressive learning system on student retention of course material. Students will watch the videos as they progress through three stages of learning: observation, understanding of concept, and application of technical terminology.

Engaging All Learners: Use of Multimedia for Instruction in the Principles and Practices of Surgery

Dr. Karen Tobias from the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences will translate a print-based manual to online resources that uses multimedia to describe and illustrate basic surgery skills. The integrated manual will use various graphical control elements to allow the user to select the level of detail desired and to control visual materials such as illustrations.

Developing a New Online Course to Address the Emerging Food Safety Issues from Food Animals

Dr. Chika C. Okafor from the Department of Biomedical & Diagnostic Sciences will be developing a new graduate-level online course in the Comparative and Experimental Medicine program, called Pre-Harvest Safety of Foods of Animal Origin. The new course is intended for UTK and UTIA students interested in food safety and public health.  

Using Document Cameras in Your Class

Many classrooms have document cameras. These cameras are often located in a drawer on the right-hand side of the podium. Document cameras are more than just fancy overhead projectors. Here are some ideas for using the document cameras in your classroom.

  • Laptop suddenly not working to show a video, webpage, or picture? Set your phone or tablet on the document camera and zoom in to show the item that way.
  • Have a detailed rock sample, plant, feather, or other small item you’d like your class to see? Set it on the document camera and zoom in to show fine details.
  • Do you work with your students on re-writing their papers, poetry, articles, or other assignments? Use the document camera to show your thought processes as you markup papers.

There are many ways to incorporate document cameras in your class. Remember you have a tool at hand that can help you share with your students! 

OIT Highlights
Learn like a Lion in OIT’s March Workshops

OIT has several workshops available for faculty, researchers, and staff in March.
Here are a few:

  • Register for OIT workshopsRemoving Barriers: Creating More Accessible Word, PowerPoint, and PDF Files – workshops available for both Mac and Windows platforms to help you make your documents more accessible to everyone.
  • Transitioning from Bb Collaborate to LiveOnline@UT (Zoom) – learn how to use Zoom to schedule a meeting, share meeting information, and share content in a meeting in your class video conferencing sessions.
  • Introduction to Nvivo – In this researcher focused workshop, participants learn how to use Nvivo to organize, code, query, and create reports for qualitative data. The software allows researchers to bring social media data, survey data, and web-based data into qualitative projects with ease.

Go to the OIT Workshops page to see even more offerings for March.

February 2016 Uptime:
Blackboard Learn 100%
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