Instructional Support and Research Support Monthly Updates

Instructional Support:
We Need Your Help Reviewing LMS Options

Find Out What’s Coming With Clickers

Faculty Spotlight – Lee Murphy, Nutrition

Using the MS Office Accessibility Checker Makes Your Documents Easier to Read

Research Support:
Need Help With SPSS?
Big Data and High Performance Procedures in SAS/STAT


OIT Highlights

View the complete list of available workshops


We Need Your Help Reviewing LMS Options

logosBlackboard, Inc., Instructure Canvas, and D2L Brightspace have visited campus to provide demonstrations of their Learning Management System (LMS) solutions. If you were not able to attend any of the public sessions, please view the recordings by selecting the LMS Demonstrations link on the LMS Evaluation web page.

If you view any of these LMS demos, please complete the Feedback Form for each. Your input is extremely important as we continue with the LMS review process! While you are at the site, take some time to check out other information regarding this LMS review.

We have access to both the Canvas and D2L systems. Interested faculty, staff, and students may also request a demonstration and test account in both Instructure Canvas and D2L Brightspace. If you would like to experiment and try some things out, contact the OIT HelpDesk at 865-974-9900 or via the online form.

Next Steps: We will be using your feedback to craft the formal Request for Proposal (RFP) for the competitive bid process to be distributed to vendors in January 2016. A review committee composed of faculty, staff, and students will evaluate the final RFP responses, evaluate costs, and recommend the best LMS solution for UTK going forward.

If you want to provide YOUR input, now is the time! 

Find Out What’s Coming With Clickers

Turning ClickersThrough May 2016, UTK will continue with Turning Point 5, a hybrid polling option featuring a hand-held clicker device and ResponseWare for web-enabled polling via a mobile license and a smartphone, tablet, computer, etc.

Beginning summer 2016, Turning Technologies is upgrading to Turning Point 6, which will continue the hybrid polling while providing secure, centralized, cloud-based management of courses, rosters, and assessment data.

What does this mean for UTK now?

Visit the OIT personal response system website for more information. We will update the website with new information as it arrives.   

Faculty Spotlight – Lee Murphy, Nutrition

A Quality Online Course Overcomes a Bottleneck in Student Graduation

Lee MurphyLee Murphy, a lecturer in the Department of Nutrition, discusses how her department developed an online version of the Nutrition 100 course, a general education requirement in Natural Sciences. The popularity of the course made it difficult for students to enroll and make progress towards their graduation. To meet the high enrollment demand, the Nutrition department developed an online version of the course ensuring that the academic rigor and quality of instruction were equal in the traditional classroom and online.

Murphy emphasizes that the keys to success were careful long-term planning and implementation of online Nutrition 100, and taking full advantage of the educational technology support services provided by OIT. By offering both face-to-face and online versions of the course, the department has increased the course enrollment from 200 students per semester to almost 800 without expanding its academic resources.

View Lee Murphy’s OIT Faculty Spotlight to learn more.

Visit the Spotlight Archive where other faculty share how they use technology in their teaching and research. 

Using the MS Office Accessibility Checker Makes Your Documents Easier to Read

The Accessibility Checker is a tool provided in Microsoft Office for Windows that checks your document for possible issues that people with disabilities may experience when viewing your Word, PowerPoint, or Excel file. The tool checks against a set of rules developed by ADA standards and provides a list of items that should be adjusted.

To run the inspection tool on a Windows computer, open the document, go to the File tab, select Info, select Check for Issues, and choose Check Accessibility from the drop-down menu. 

Accessibility Checker

Each issue found is classified as an Error, Warning, or Tip.

Accessibility Checker Error Results

  • Error: An error is for content that makes a file very difficult or impossible for people with disabilities to understand.
  • Warning: A warning is for content that in most, but not all, cases makes a file difficult for people with disabilities to understand.
  • Tip: A tip is for content that people with disabilities can understand, but that might be better organized or presented in a way that would improve their experience.

Fixing some issues might require a change in formatting, heading styles, captions, or providing Alternative Text for images or data tables. The Checker’s results pane will offer suggestions for why-to-fix and how-to-fix these issues.

For a hands-on introduction to creating accessible Word, PowerPoint, and PDF files, register for an OIT accessibility workshop.  

Need Help With SPSS?

SPSS LogoSPSS users can quickly get hands-on examples of how to run a variety of statistical methods and how to interpret the results using the application’s Case Studies feature.

After starting SPSS, select Help from the menu bar and then choose Case Studies from the drop-down menu. Case Studies will appear in your web browser with a table of contents in the left pane and chapter contents in the right-hand pane. Choose topics from the table and follow examples in the content pane.

From the SPSS Help menu, you can also choose the Statistics Coach, a web-based guide to finding the appropriate statistical procedure that will answer a particular question. For those who use SPSS command syntax, the Command Syntax Reference is also available in PDF format from the Help menu. On IBM’s SPSS website, you can view videos on general features of SPSS and on selected statistical topics. SPSS training tutorials are also available through your UTK account with

For more information about SPSS or to schedule an appointment with a Research Support consultant, contact the OIT HelpDesk at 865-974-9900 or via the online form 

Big Data and High Performance Procedures in SAS/STAT

SASThe use of the term “Big Data” has increased recently in several academic fields due to the exponential growth and availability of data collection methods that result in large databases full of information. Now that researchers are able to accumulate large datasets, the issue becomes what to do with the data after it has been collected. Fortunately, with SAS High Performance Analytics (available in SAS version 9.4) there are specific procedures designed to help model large datasets.

SAS/STAT high-performance procedures provide predictive modeling tools that have been specifically developed to take advantage of parallel processing in both multithreaded single-machine and distributed multi-machine modes. This allows for extremely fast and efficient processing and modeling of large datasets. High-performance modeling methods included in SAS can be used for regression, logistic regression, generalized linear model, linear mixed models, nonlinear models, and decision trees. In addition, the High-Performance procedures in SAS are specified in a very similar manner to traditional modeling procedures which makes for an easy transition to the high performance architecture for large datasets.

OIT’s Research Computing Support group can help you utilize the SAS High-Performance Analytics procedures. For assistance, contact the OIT HelpDesk at 865-974-9900 or via the online form, or stop by our walk-in area in Greve 517. View our walk-in support schedule 

OIT Highlights

Register for OIT Workshops New Adobe Captivate Workshop Helps You Make Your Class Interactive

Come to the new Adobe Captivate Interactive Practice and Assessment Templates workshop and learn how to create activities using Captivate templates to deliver in class. Make your class interactive using the practice and assessment activities. Get samples of work that you can use to create your own activities. This workshop will be offered in February and March. Register for the new Adobe Captivate workshop.

Register for New Spring Workshops

New WorkshopsRegistration for spring workshops is open, and several new workshops are being offered. Make time to hone your skills and bring exciting new ideas to your classes.

Some of the new workshops include:

  • Prezi for Faculty 1 (Basics) – learn how to collaborate with peers on a presentation, create an infographic using Prezi, and more. Learn more about the Prezi workshop.
  • Removing Barriers: Creating More Accessible Word, PowerPoint, and PDF Files – Learn how to create electronic course documents that are accessible to all students, including students with disabilities. These workshops are available for Mac users as well as Windows users.
  • Skype for Business – learn how to better collaborate with students by chatting, sharing a whiteboard, presenting, and polling the audience. Learn more about the Skype for business workshop.

Check out the full workshop list to see all the possibilities. 

December 2015 Uptime:
Blackboard Learn 100%
Blackboard Collaborate 100%
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