November 2016

Instructional Support and Research Support Monthly Updates

Canvas Plagiarism Prevention
and Detection

Canvas and Unplag logosMany instructors have expressed the need for a plagiarism checker in Canvas as an equivalent feature to SafeAssign, which is currently available in Blackboard Learn.

Unplag is now available for use in Canvas as a pilot test. This semester-long pilot will expire at the end of fall 2016. Visit Unplag’s website to learn more about the product.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) is underway to seek a permanent plagiarism tool that can be used in Canvas.  

Unplag User Guides:
•    Instructor guide (video): Unplag LTI 
•    Student guide: Unplag LTI

OIT and Turning Technologies
Begin Preparation for Spring 2017

ClickersUTK's migration from Turning Technologies' TurningPoint 5 to TurningPoint Cloud system during the fall 2016 semester was met with many challenges as a result of the "perfect storm" between product testing, licensing, and registration on our dual learning management systems (Blackboard and Canvas). Our students, faculty, and the support staff on both ends were heavily impacted. Coordinated efforts are already underway for a better spring 2017 implementation. 

On Wednesday, October 19, Turning Technologies' CEO Ethan Cohen, along with his support team, visited UT to extend, in person, sincerest apologies for the system challenges experienced by the vast majority of our users. Through a series of meetings, Cohen and the Turning Technologies team received substantive input from OIT staff, and UT faculty and student representatives to enhance the TurningPoint Cloud product and its use here at UTK. For current information, visit our Personal Response System website.

OneNote Brings Notetaking
to the Next Level

Office 365 Featured AppOneNote Online is an app in the Office 365 cloud-based suite.  Like its desktop counterpart, OneNote Online offers you the ability to create notebooks with sections and pages that you can customize, making it similar to a pen-and-paper three-ring binder. Since everything is saved in the cloud in OneDrive, you can sync your notes across devices, including your tablet or smartphone, and never forget them at home.  Added bonuses of the OneNote Online mobile app include the ability to add photos or audio notes, and even take a picture of a whiteboard and add it to your notebook. OIT supports Office 365 apps like OneNote, so if you would like more information please contact the OIT HelpDesk online or at 865-974-9900. 

Our digital tools notetaking workshop will be available later this fall for those requesting a special topic group workshop and it will be available in spring as part of our regular offering of workshops.

ITCoP Meeting: Canvas - Making the Move

Canvas logo as destination on road with sun in the backJoin us on Wednesday, November 16, from 12:20-1:10p.m. for the final IT Community of Practice (ITCoP) meeting for fall 2016. In our final meeting for the semester under the theme Making Accessibility Happen, Lisa Yamagata-Lynch, online instructor in Educational Psychology and one of the 2016-2017 OIT Faculty Fellows, will address Transitioning Your Online Course to Canvas. Yamagata-Lynch, along with OIT staff, will share insights on course design, collaboration, accessibility for the online teaching and learning environment, as well as other tips for making your move to Canvas successful.

Come to the Practice Presentation Room in the Commons at Hodges Library, room 220E to join the discussion.

Please note, the ITCoP usually meets on the 4th Wednesday of the month; however, due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the meeting will be held on November 16th.

GTA@OIT Grant Recipients to Enhance Teaching and Learning for Many

GTA@OIT showing technology related to teaching

OIT is pleased to announce the recipients of the fall 2016 GTA@OIT Grant who will be making a major impact on teaching and learning at UTK.

From general education courses to secondary teacher education, this semester's GTAs are poised to guide students and peer instructors into deeper learning, enhanced evaluation, and greater knowledge retention for many years to come. 

Visit the GTA@OIT grant website for more information on their proposal abstracts and the program.

Recipients are:

Lindsey Fox, Mathematics
Utilizing the Web to Enhance Hands-On Learning

Amy Heger, Psychology
Turning Metacognition into Mobile-cognition: Educational Benefits of Experience Sampling

Tricia Phillips, Mathematics
Creating Online Components for a Calculus Course 

Vincent Price, Theory & Practice in Teacher Education
Using Video Recordings as a Means of Self- and Peer Reflection/Evaluation in an Introductory Pedagogical Course

Cara Sulyok, Mathematics
Group Activities in Online Basic Calculus

Are You Canvas Ready?

Canvas logoThe transition to the Canvas LMS has been met with enthusiasm from both faculty and students. More than 300 faculty in more than 400 courses involving more than 10,000 students have adopted Canvas for the fall semester. Spring 2017 course shells in Canvas will be created about November 11, 2016. We encourage all faculty to make the move to Canvas as soon as they are ready. If you are interested in using Canvas this spring for your class, please contact the OIT HelpDesk online or at 865-974-9900. Let us know now so that we can move your content over from Blackboard.

Blackboard and Canvas will continue to run side-by-side through May 17, 2017, when Blackboard will be retired and unavailable. Check our workshop offerings as we will continue to add workshops to the schedule throughout the fall semester. Additionally, we are available for departmental workshops, as well as small group and individual consultations.

Plan now! It is not too early to get Canvas Ready!

Scientific Software Available on Newton

Newston HPCMany people are aware that OIT offers scientific software packages for download and software that is installed on the Apps@UT service. OIT also provides a large collection of software installed and managed by the Newton HPC Program.

Newton provides many commercial software packages like MATLAB, Maple, Mathematica, and SAS as well as nearly 200 open-source software packages and multiple high-performance software compilers for development of custom applications.

Links to all these resources are located on the OIT software page.

Spice Up Your R Graphics with ggthemes

sample column graph with male/female data
The most popular graphics package in the free and open source R language is ggplot2. In the example below, mydata100 is a dataset that includes the workshop and gender variables. 

Here’s an example of using ggplot2 to create and save a bar plot:

myplot <- ggplot(mydata100, 
      aes(workshop, fill=gender) ) +
          geom_bar(position = "dodge")

Now that the graph has been saved in myplot it’s easy to use the ggthemes package to spice it up. To give myplot different looks you can simply add various themes to it:

myplot + theme_base()  # Traditional R look
myplot + theme_bw()    # Black & white with grid
myplot + theme_stata() # Stata style
myplot + theme_wsj()   # Wall Street Journal Style
myplot + theme_economist()  # The Economist Magazine Style

You can also choose colors that can be perceived by colorblind people, who make up about 8% of the population. The image above is done in Wall Street Journal style corrected for colorblindness:
myplot + theme_wsj() +  scale_fill_tableau('colorblind10')

For more details, see the package’s help file:

help(package = “ggthemes”)

OIT’s Research Computing Support team can help you learn to use the ggplot2 and ggthemes R packages. For assistance, contact the OIT Help Desk at 865-974-9900 or view our schedule and stop by our walk-in area located in 540 Greve Hall.

Blackboard Uptime

October 2016 Uptime:
Blackboard Learn 100%
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