October 2016

Instructional Support and Research Support Monthly Updates

TurningPoint Cloud and UTK

Supported Clickers: NXT and QT devices
Turning Technology has been on campus working with the Office of Information Technology and several faculty members to resolve the conflicts between TurningPoint Cloud and our dual learning management systems, Blackboard and Canvas.
At this time, all connections to our Blackboard and Canvas learning management systems have been resolved. All students currently enrolled in a Blackboard or Canvas-connected course which uses TurningPoint Cloud have been linked to their course for the fall 2016 semester. Once Instructors update their participant lists and export the previous classes' session data to Blackboard or Canvas, students should see their points displayed within the Grade Center. For information on updating the participant list, refer to the Blackboard UTK Participant List Updates PDF document or the Canvas document for downloading participant lists.
Students who are not receiving points should verify the following:

  1. The student is attending class.
  2. The device is on the correct channel.
  3. The device is working properly (the check mark beside the response within the device's LCD screen confirms the response was recorded by the Instructor's receiver).
  4. The device that is being used is the one registered with the student’s Turning Account.
  5. The device is NOT in the instructor's Unassigned Devices listing.
If the student has verified these items and is not receiving points within the Blackboard or Canvas, please contact the OIT HelpDesk at 865-974-9900 or online

Get Organized with Microsoft Planner

Office 365 Featured AppPlanner is a project management app available to UTK faculty, staff, and students, at no additional cost, within the Office 365 suite from Microsoft. In Planner, you can create Plans that allow you to break apart major projects into smaller tasks. You can create collaborative plans, add group members, and delegate tasks. All Plans, individual or group, are linked to cloud resources like OneDrive, Groups, and OneNote. 

If you would like to learn more about how to use Planner to maximize your productivity, please sign up for our training workshop.

Make Your Course Materials Accessible

Word "Access" on a keyboard enter keyIn June, OIT and the Office of Disability Services (ODS) offered a Summer Accessibility Workshop program that helped about 40 instructors learn how to make their class materials more accessible to all students. This fall, you can experience the same workshops on Thursdays from 1-3p.m. now through November 10. You can plan to join us for the entire series, or pick and choose your topics. This series will be held at the Office of Disability Services (Dunford Hall, Room 125). These workshops incorporate accessibility guidelines and ideas for Universal Design for Learning.

Join us for:
Many of the workshops listed above are also available at alternate times/locations and this additional workshop is not part of the series: For additional assistance, consultation, or training contact the OIT HelpDesk online or call 865-974-9900.

Discuss Accessibility with Your Colleagues

Adam Cureton and Heather Hartman at September I T C O PThe September IT Community of Practice meeting was on “Making Accessibility Happen.” Accessibility, in this sense, means creating course materials and practices that are easier for people with disabilities, who use assistive technologies, such as screen readers. The ideal would be that all students have equivalent access to all course materials.

To explore this issue, we had a panel discussion with Heather Hartman, Office of the Provost, Chair of the Accessibility Implementation Group; David Ndiaye, Assistant Director of the Office of Disability Services, Adam Cureton, Assistant Professor in Philosophy, and Jerry Riehl, Course Delivery Manager for OIT. Rob Spirko, one of the 2016-2017 OIT Faculty Fellows, was the moderator.

Last year, the UT System approved an accessibility policy and the campus has been working on an implementation plan. The accessibility plan affords an opportunity to improve our pedagogical practices to be more inclusive to a wider range of students. The panel discussed the implementation plan, as well as the need for it, given that 10% of our students have some kind of disability.

Our new learning management system, Canvas, provides new opportunities for increasing accessibility, but there are challenges: while Canvas itself may be accessible, there’s no guarantee that the content that faculty post to it is. This was a common thread on the panel: no one is going to get accessibility entirely right the first time, and no one expects complete accessibility immediately. Accessibility is ongoing process. But it can also be a valuable process as you think through your pedagogical practices and evaluate what you’re assessing, how you’re assessing it, and why.

The process is also easier than you might think. The OIT accessibility workshops will show you new habits for using familiar programs like Word and Acrobat to improve your course materials. The next ITCoP meeting on October 26, from 12:20-1:10p.m. in Hodges Library 220E, will also focus on accessibility on campus, looking at both face-to-face and online courses, and following up on issues raised in the September meeting.

For more information, visit the the campus accessibility initiative website.

Faculty First Grant 2017 Call for Proposals

Faculty First
OIT Instructional Support invites UTK faculty members to apply for the 2017 Faculty First Grant.

Proposals are due by Monday, December 12, 2016.

Program faculty participants will form a year-long partnership with OIT staff to implement an innovative approach to teaching with technology. The program runs from February to December 2017. Faculty will serve as subject matter experts and OIT staff will help them incorporate the appropriate technology into their course. OIT assistance may include course redesign, instructional multimedia design and development, and technical assistance. This grant does not offer a stipend. 

Read the Call for Proposals at the Faculty First website. Please contact Tonya Mathis at 865-974-9670 or

Distributing Qualtrics Surveys: Anonymous link vs Qualtrics Mailer

Qualtrics survey bar chart showing initial responses dropping off, then increasing after emailThere are two primary methods of distributing Qualtrics surveys: the anonymous link and the Qualtrics mailer.

The anonymous link (also called a single reusable link) is ideal if you do not have email addresses for your target sample. You can distribute this link through a distribution list, personal email, or place it on a website. The anonymous link allows multiple submissions; however, it will not allow the respondent to stop and resume a survey where they left off. One important thing to note: by default, the anonymous link is not truly anonymous because the IP address is recorded along with the response. However, there is an Anonymize option (in Survey Options) that tells Qualtrics not to record the IP address, making the response truly anonymous.

The Qualtrics Mailer requires you to create a Contact List containing the respondents’ email addresses. The email invite, containing a unique link, can be sent immediately or scheduled to go out on a specific date and time. The three main benefits to using the mailer are that respondents can stop and resume their survey, they are limited to one response, and you can send reminders to the non-respondents. The reminders, which are sent only to the non-respondents, should increase your response rate. In general, two-thirds of the responses you receive will come from the initial invite with an additional third of the responses coming from the reminder. By default, the data will not be anonymous because email addresses are recorded. However, the Anonymize option will tell Qualtrics not to record email addresses. Even if you decide to anonymize the responses, you are still able to send reminders to the non-respondents. The distribution history tracks who has completed the survey and who hasn’t and when Anonymize is selected, the connector between the data and the distribution history is removed, guaranteeing anonymity.

To learn more about distributing Qualtrics surveys, including options other than the default settings, contact the OIT HelpDesk online or call 865-974-9900.

Amos for Windows by SPSS, an IBM Company

Amos graph exampleAmos (Analysis of MOment Structures) analyzes Structural Equations Models (SEM) by either drawing a path diagram or using a command language. These models are also known as LISREL models, confirmatory factor analysis, analysis of covariance structures, path analysis, or causal modeling. 

Amos is available at no additional charge to faculty, staff, and students at all UT campuses for installation on university-owned and personally-owned Windows PCs. The download and installation instructions are available from the OIT software download page. For UT Knoxville, Amos is also available on OIT’s Apps@UT server and the computers in the OIT public computer labs. There is no simultaneous user limit for Amos. 

OIT offers Full Support for this software. For assistance or to schedule a one-on-one consulting appointment, contact the OIT HelpDesk online or by phone at 865-974-9900. A tutorial is also provided as part of the Amos Help files.

O I T HighlightsProject RITE Deadline: October 14

Project RITE deadline October 14 post it note reminderThe deadline for applying for the OIT Project RITE grant is Friday, October 14. The grant provides faculty at UT Knoxville and UT Martin the opportunity to study the impact of using technology-mediated instructional strategies on student learning outcomes. 

Recent recipients have studied synchronous online research, enhancing pre-service K-12 teachers' instructional strategies, data-driven decision making, studying WWII via digital humanities, and more. 

What are your ideas?

For information on Project RITE, please contact Christina Goode,

Blackboard Uptime

September 2016 Uptime:
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