CCUMC 2010 Conference in Buffalo

August 8th, 2010 Comments off

CUMC 2010 Conference Registration is now Open!

Registration for the national Consortium of College & University Media Centers 2010 Annual Conference “Convergence: Media, Technology and Learning” hosted by the University at Buffalo October 6-10 is now open.  The cost of the conference includes most meals.  A pre-registration discount at the Hyatt Regency is guaranteed for the next four weeks (Sept. 6th).

Please review for details regarding the keynote speakers, 33 concurrent sessions and six interest groups.  Special pre- and post-conference workshops are also available.  This annual conference is generally attended by media and blended librarians, classroom technology support personnel, instructional designers, and IT administrators.

Highlights include:
Malcolm Brown, Director of EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI)
Learning Environments: The New Learning Ecology

Robert Shibley, Professor and University at Buffalo Campus Architect
UB 2020: the Learning Landscape

Mark Greenfield, University at Buffalo Web Strategist and Consultant
The End of the Web as We Know It (and I feel fine)

John Cabra, Asst. Professor, Int’l. Center for Studies in Creativity – Buffalo State College
The Opportunities and Challenges of Technology Driven Creative Collaborations

Joan Getman, Senior Strategist for Learning Technologies, Cornell University
Technology and Education – What’s on the Horizon? (Malcolm Brown will co-present)

Interest Group Sessions – Six different discussion forums for people engaged in emerging technologies, leadership, collection development/management, small institutions, instructional design, and management/administration of campus services.

Campus Tours of the University at Buffalo – where some of the concurrent sessions will be hosted along with a facilities tour on Saturday.  Please take a few moments to view the website video featuring some UB faculty describe our “learning landscape.” The afternoon will be spent networking in beautiful Niagara Falls, including a trip on the “Maid of the Mist.”

Please broadly share this information with colleagues who may benefit from attendance.  SUNY attendees are reminded that the cost of this conference is eligible for Individual Development Award funds.  To learn more about the IDA program:

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Invitation to a Webinar: Making Better Word Documents

July 29th, 2010 Comments off

Dear Colleagues,

The SUNY Center for Professional Development invites you to attend:

Title: Making Better Word 2007 (2003) Documents

Date/Time: Thursday, August 19th – 10:00 – 11:30 am

Cost: FREE

Topic: Learn how using styles can make your Word documents look more professional, and be more searchable and accessible on the web. Using structure in your text creates better documents. Images and lists provide structure and make it easier to convert your Word documents into accessible PDF’s. This session for Microsoft Word users will demonstrate some easy techniques to make your documents better. Both Word 2003 and Word 2007 will be covered in this webinar.

Presenter: Cathy Kittle, Publications and Internet Director at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Audience: This webinar is for content providers or anyone who creates Word documents that are ultimately used on the web, particularly as PDFs. The presentation contains very useful and easy-to-follow tips guaranteed to make your life and the life of those visiting your website easier.

Mode of Delivery: Elluminate web conferencing. Visit the Elluminate “First Time User’s” page for more information. Watch individually or as a group. A personal computer and speakers are the only requirements. Text chat will be available for questions. This webinar will be recorded.

Questions: Contact Judy Marshall at the SUNY CPD at 315-233-3052 x-112.


SUNY Center for Professional Development

Categories: Applications, Tools, webinar, Workshops Tags:

METRO webinar: Mobile Site Generation for Libraries

July 6th, 2010 Comments off

Mobile Site Generation for Libraries – Free METRO webinar

Join us in the TLTC conference room on Friday, July 16th at 1pm for this free METRO webinar.

Since the release of the iPhone just 3 years ago, more and more library users have embraced the trend of small-screen devices with highly capable web browsers. So why not provide information in a format designed for those smaller screens? The Mobile Site Generator ( is designed to flatten the technical hurdles faced by those new to mobile web development – all a developer has to do is fill in a form and tweak some HTML. Only very basic HTML knowledge is required. This presentation will briefly outline some existing options for developing a mobile website, and then focus largely on using the Mobile Site Generator to rapidly produce a site structure using the iUI framework ( Features and limitations of a generated site will be discussed, as well as future plans for the generator and next steps in building a mobile site.

Categories: webinar Tags: , ,

Teaching Topics in Natural Science: New Online Instructional Resources

June 15th, 2010 Comments off


The Office of Faculty and Instructional Resources (F&OD) is pleased to announce our latest online resource on teaching topics in natural science, “Teaching in the Disciplines: College of Natural Science,” which has been recently added to the comprehensive set of teaching and learning resources on the F&OD Online Instructional Resources (OIR) website.

Teaching in the Disciplines: College of Natural Science features links to the best online resources that focus on the following:

You may also access this resource at

Special thanks to our colleagues in the MSU College of Natural Science who assisted in the development and review of this new online resource. We especially acknowledge Lois Rosen, who compiled and annotated these resources and who assisted us with this project.

We welcome your input and feedback.

Eron Drake, Ed.D.
Director of Faculty and Instructional Development Programs
Michigan State University

Categories: Resources Tags: ,

Managing your Moodle Course Participants List

May 10th, 2010 Comments off

Enrolling Students and Managing Your Moodle Course Participants List

To enroll/manage/remove participants (students, other faculty members, learning assistants, etc.) into and from your Moodle courses:

  • click on the ‘Assign Roles’ link within the course’s Administration block
  • click on the link for the role that you’d like to manage (i.e. student, non-editing teacher, librarian, learning assistant, etc.)
  • search by last name for whomever you’d like to add in the list of potential users and then select the name and click on the “<–Add” arrow to move the user into the course participants list at the left
  • If you click the check box above the Add button (with the eye next to it, it you’re using the default Moodle theme), then people will be added to your course as a ‘hidden assignment’ – students will not see anyone with a hidden assignment when they look in the class participants list, which may cut down on any confusion on their part.
  • To unenroll/remove users from your course, select the name(s) under the “existing users” column on the left and click the “Remove –>” arrow between the two columns to remove/unenroll them from your course. They will be brought back into the “potential users” pool in the right column.

Marie Sciangula

Course book creation project – wiki or Google Docs?

April 21st, 2010 Comments off

I recently received an email from a faculty member who wanted his students to collaborate online to essentially write a text on the course topic, and he asked whether to use a wiki or Google Docs.  So I replied:

A wiki would be a good choice to support collaborative writing, and you would have a number of options for which wiki to use: the Wiki activity in Moodle, the campus Confluence wiki, or a third party wiki such as PBWorks:

Advantages for Moodle: no need for students to go to a site separate from the other course materials, one stop shopping, no need to deal with sign-in issues.  You can set up a discussion forum activity for students to talk about the project, and the wiki for them to do it.  Limitations: it’s not the most powerful wiki engine, and it would be another step at the end for the project to be exported to an accessible location.

The Confluence wiki on campus has better editing features, and pages that students are working on can also include separate comments for discussing the work and planning changes.  No sign in issues as it uses the Purchase College login.  The campus Confluence wiki is not accessible to outside parties though.

Outside systems such as PBWorks: you and your students would need to deal with a separate login, and it wouldn’t be tied in with other resources and activities you are using in your Moodle course.  It would be a more robust wiki system however, and sharing the final product with the world would be easy.

For any of the wiki options, I’m guessing you would set up the different chapters as distinct pages in the wiki project, and have a front page with table of contents that links to the different chapters.  Both Moodle and Confluence would allow you to export the site in one format or another.  I’m sure something like PBWorks would allow that as well.

If you went the Google Docs route, you’d have to deal with making sure students are set up with Google accounts so that the developing docs can be shared with all of the students.  You’d probably set up each chapter as a separate doc, and you would have the option to choose which students have editing rights on the different chapter docs and which have just view access.  You could share the set of docs with everyone, once the project is done.  You’d also be able to export each doc as a Word or PDF file, if that’s the end point you’re looking for.  You could then combine all of the chapter .doc or .pdf files to create your overall book.

If this is going to be a major project for your online course, you’ll also want to be able to see what contributions each student is making.  All the wiki tools and Google Docs saves a version history, which you can use to see who’s updating the documents and what they are adding (or substracting).  I don’t know that any of them have an option for reviewing all of the changes made by a specific collaborator, so you might be stuck with having to review each document version, to see how substantial each individual contribution by a student is.

Too many options maybe….

Let me know what direction you think best fits your project idea.


Categories: Pedagogy, Tools Tags: , ,

Free online workshops from the Smithsonian Institution

April 5th, 2010 Comments off

Received this email notice today:

Dear Colleague,

LearningTimes is very pleased to invite you to another unique online conference sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution.

The “Smithsonian Online Conference: Problem Solving with Smithsonian Experts” is a free series of interactive workshops taking place throughout April 2010.  Register now at:

The live online events will be of special interest to educators, entire classrooms of engaged students, and to the general public. Throughout the month, Smithsonian historians, scientists, researchers and other experts share their questions, their methods, and their unique way of thinking in an interactive format that welcomes you to contribute your own ideas.

The sessions span the arts, history, science, and culture, and are organized around four key themes. All events take place live online — you participate and interact directly from your computer in real time. Each session will be recorded and posted after it takes place for on-demand access.

Schedule and Themes

Day One: Understanding the American Experience
Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Day Two: Valuing World Cultures
Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Day Three: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe
Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Day Four: Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet
Thursday, 29 April 2010

To review the complete program and to register please visit:

Write to with any questions.

Warm regards,

John Walber, CSTP

Categories: Conferences, Workshops Tags:

POD-IDEA Center Notes on Instruction

March 14th, 2010 Comments off

This is a repository of 20 short papers dealing with various aspects of effective teaching, put together by the IDEA Center and the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD).  The papers are all 2 pages long, and would be good resources for faculty brown bag discussions or other talks on teaching.  The papers share a common format: a background section, that lays out the conceptual framework for the topic; helpful hints, which describes applications of the topic to instruction or examines different scenarios; and assessment issues, which discusses approaches to assessing the implementation of the topic in teaching and learning.  Each paper includes a references and resources section as well.

Topics covered by papers in the repository include:

  • Displayed a personal interest in students and their learning
  • Found ways to help students answer their own questions
  • Scheduled course work (class activities, tests, projects) in ways which encouraged students to stay up-to-date in their work
  • Demonstrated the importance and significance of the subject matter
  • Formed ‘teams’ or ‘discussion groups’ to facilitate learning
  • Made it clear how each topic fit into the course
  • Explained the reasons for criticisms of students’ academic performance
  • Stimulated students to intellectual effort beyond that required by most courses
  • Encouraged students to use multiple resources (e.g. data banks, library holdings, outside experts) to improve understanding
  • Explained course material clearly and concisely
  • Related course material to real life situations
  • Gave tests, projects, etc. that covered the most important parts of the course
  • Introduced stimulating ideas about the subject
  • Involved students in ‘hands-on’ projects such as research, case studies, or ‘real life’ activities
  • Inspired students to set and achieve goals which really challenged them
  • Asked students to share ideas and experiences with others whose backgrounds and viewpoints differ from their own
  • Provided timely and frequent feedback on tests, reports, projects, etc. to help students improve
  • Asked students to help each other understand ideas or concepts
  • Gave projects, tests, or assignments that required original or creative thinking
  • Encouraged student-faculty interaction outside of class
Categories: Pedagogy Tags: ,

Reserves Network Share

January 22nd, 2010 Comments off

All faculty members now have access to the Reserves Network Share (where we save all content scanned by the Library). Here, you can browse your own materials as well as other faculty members’ scanned files.

The Reserves Network Share is now available to all faculty on and off-campus:

If you are using Internet Explorer:
Your username is: your Purchase College email address
Your password is your Purchase College email password

If you are using Firefox:
Your username is: firstname.lastname (do not include
Your password is your Purchase College email password

Directions for making Reserves Network Share content available to your students through Moodle.

Moodle Update / Consultation Sessions

January 18th, 2010 Comments off

We did a minor upgrade to Moodle over the holiday break and changed some other configuration settings:

• The Gradebook has changes to some of its views that make it more obvious how grade items are organized into categories, and that also make it easier to set up weights for weighted means of grades.  If you use the Moodle Gradebook, be sure to check out the changes.  I’ll be developing some new online tutorial materials for the Gradebook and other Moodle functions soon.

• With the upgrade, you can now run a report to see which of your students haven’t accessed a specific resource or activity in your course Moodle, and if you want send them a message about it.

• Moodle pages (other than the secure login) are now displayed as regular web pages, which means you can now embed content from external sites such as YouTube without triggering security warnings from Internet Explorer and some other browsers.

• Other changes are mostly behind the scenes improvements.

I’ve scheduled a series of Moodle help/consultation sessions for the first week of the semester:

  • Wed, Jan 20, 11:30-12:20 (before the School/Conservatory meetings)
  • Thurs, Jan 21, 12:30-1:20
  • Fri, Jan 22, 11:30-12:30
  • Mon, Jan 25, 12:30-1:20

All sessions will be held in the Library 1004C computer lab.  Feel free to drop in if you want help setting up any aspect of your course moodles, if you want help setting up your new gradebooks, or if you’d like to see how some of the new features we added last semester work:

• Book resource, which allows you to set up multi-page documents in your course Moodle

• Attendance activity and block, which provide a way for you to record attendance information into your course Moodle and present that information to each of your students

• Outcomes, which allow you to record student performance on course learning objectives within the Gradebook for your course Moodle

Also over the break, we moved Moodle to a new web server.  Since the migration, we’ve been seeing sporadic internal server error messages (mostly 500 Internal Server Error messages at this point), which we are working on.  If you do get a 500 Error message, try waiting a half-minute or so and reloading the page.  But also send me an email about what your were trying to do when you got the error message and when, so we can better track down what the issue is.  Thanks.

keith landa