Instructional Support and Research Support Monthly Updates

Instructional Support:
Calling GTA's: Receive a
Grant, Enhance Your Course
with Technology

Creating Accessible
PDF's Everyone can use

TurningPoint Clickers: Upcoming Changes and
Help for Windows 10

Give Us Your Opinions:
LMS Demos Available for Online Review

Faculty Can Assign Playlists or
Individual Videos to Students

Research Support:
All SPSS Users Should Update with Fix Pack 2
Access MPlus from Apps@UT
OIT Highlights

View the complete list of available workshops

Calling GTAs: Receive a Grant, Enhance Your Course with Technology

        GTA's at OIT
OIT 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.  

Creating Accessible PDFs Everyone Can Use

Unlock AcessibilityWhy create accessible PDFs?
Accessible PDFs use tags to help users find information and view PDFs more easily. Using tags in PDF files makes it easier for screen readers and other assistive technologies to determine a logical reading order and navigation for the file. Tags make re-sizing of text possible for content reflow when using devices with large font displays, such as tablets and mobile phones. This tagging can be done automatically when you save a file as PDF format starting in Microsoft Office version 2007 of Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Visio, or Word.

How does PDF tagging work?
Tagging adds a layer of information called “semantics” to a PDF document, which indicates what types of objects are included in the file (for example: headings, paragraphs, images, and tables). When you save your file as a PDF, these semantics are identified and labeled by the Office application you are using and embedded into the file.

Assistive technologies, such as screen readers and magnifiers, are then able to access the tagging and use it to present the information to users. If you do not tag your file, assistive technologies may not be able to accurately interpret your file, in context, and may present the user with a confusing representation of the file. In some cases, some items may not be presented at all.

Tagging is useful to everyone when examining a document for certain terms through “Search” or “Find” functions; the tags embedded in the file work for browser searches, search engine searches, and document navigation.

You can prepare your source file for creating an accessible PDF by running the Accessibility Checker (starting in the 2010 version of Excel, PowerPoint, or Word) or by following the guidelines in the following articles:


All SPSS Users Should Update with
Fix Pack 2

SPSS LogoFix Pack 2 for IBM SPSS Statistics for all platforms is now available. It is recommended that all SPSS users download and install the latest Fix Pack to keep their SPSS Statistics up to date. However, if you are a Mac user and are running OS X 10.11 El Capitan, the Fix Pack is required since it addresses compatibility issues that arose from El Capitan being released after SPSS 23.

This Fix Pack also repairs bugs related to importing and exporting of Excel and other file types. It improves syntax issues for R, Python and Java programmers, and improves overall stability. A comprehensive list of the issues addressed in this patch can be found here.

Instructions on how to download and install Fix Packs can be found in the OIT document “ATTN – SPSS Installation and Renewal Instructions 1/12/16” located on the OIT Software Distribution page (link requires you to log in with your NetID/password) in the SPSS download section. If you need assistance with installing SPSS or applying the Fix Pack, contact the OIT HelpDesk at 865-974-9900 or via the online form

TurningPoint Clickers: Upcoming Changes and Help for Windows 10

TurningPoint Clicker photoUpcoming Changes
UTK is continuing with TurningPoint 5 through May 2016. Turning Technologies and OIT will be providing on-campus and online training for TurningPoint Cloud (6). Please visit our website for more information on the TurningPoint Cloud (6) training and upgrade options impacting UTK.

Help for Windows 10
Certain operating systems and/or software are not supported in TurningPoint 5; these will be supported in TurningPoint Cloud (6). Please visit our website for some suggestions that may assist with Windows 10 using TurningPoint 5.

Please review the system requirements for TurningPoint 5 at the following links.

PC Requirements.pdf
Mac Requirements.pdf

For more information on TurningPoint Cloud (6) or support for TurningPoint 5, contact Turning Technologies at 1-866-746-3015.  

Give us Your Opinions: LMS Demos Available for Online Review

LMS SystemsWe are in the fifth year of our contract with Blackboard Inc. to provide Learning Management System (LMS) services and, per state policy, we are required to re-bid our contract. In December, Blackboard, Inc., Instructure Canvas, and D2L Brightspace visited campus to provide demonstrations of their LMS solutions. If you were unable to attend any of the public sessions, you can still catch up and view a recording of each session by clicking on the LMS Demonstrations link on the LMS Evaluation web page. You will also find some short tutorials highlighting key features in each product for fast comparison on the same site.
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 review other information regarding this LMS review. We have access to both the Canvas and D2L systems. If you would like a test account to try some things out, just contact the OIT HelpDesk online.
Next Steps
We will be issuing the formal Request For Proposal (RFP) for the competitive bid process to be distributed to vendors in early February 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. We expect to award the bid by the end of March 2016.
If you want to provide YOUR input, now is the time!

Faculty Can Assign Playlists or Individual Videos to Students logoDid you know you can assign playlists through a Blackboard course or as a Group Administrator within You can also create a playlist and customize it with selected videos as a means of building your own coursework assignment within This way, you can view reports and assess how well your students are doing in learning the content. For instructions on how to assign playlists through Blackboard or Lynda, visit our OIT Lynda page

Access Mplus from Apps@UT

MPlus logoMplus is a latent variable modeling program capable of many types of analyses, including analysis of Structural Equations Models (SEM) that can include both continuous and categorical latent constructs. It is available only at Apps@UT and accessible to only four people at a time. As its website states, Mplus can analyze cross-sectional and longitudinal data, single-level and multi-level data, and data that comes from different populations with either observed or unobserved heterogeneity.

Analyses can be performed for observed variables that are continuous, censored, binary, ordered categorical (ordinal), unordered categorical (nominal), counts, or combinations of these variable types.

Research Computing Support (RCS) offers minimal support for this package. To learn more about Mplus, RCS recommends using the Mplus help files within the program, or going to the Mplus website.


OIT Highlights
Register for Spring Workshops

Register for OIT workshopsRegistration for spring workshops is open, and several new workshops are being offered.

New workshops include:

  • 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. Register for the Skype for Business workshop.
  • Prezi for Faculty 1 (Basics) – Learn how to collaborate with peers on a presentation, create an infographic using Prezi, and more. Register for the Prezi workshop.

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

February 2016 Uptime:
Blackboard Learn 99.9%
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