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- The Blackboard Feature of the
"you this understand Can question?"
- Teaching with Technology:
"Use AAC to improve Student Learning
Tech Talk Topic:
"The Wimba Voice Tools"
- For more, see
podcast notes for
Technology & Download News Briefs
- Give your Blackboard course a voice! We
have added the Wimba Voice tools to Blackboard.
Now you can add voice recordings, voice emails,
threaded voice boards, voice presentation
slideshows, and podcasts to your Blackboard courses
with ease. See the
Tech Talk Topic below for
details and training materials.
Earth Sciences department will be holding a GIS day
celebration Wednesday, November 19 from 6-9PM in
room NS-135. Admission is free and is open to
the public. Please RSVP to (760) 744-1150 ext.
3652, or send email to Professor Wing Cheung.
At the event you will be able to meet GIS
professionals, get career information, see student
posters and learn about GIS certification at Palomar
Click here for a complete schedule of events.
- Follow the Obama transition and future weekly
presidential addresses on YouTube as Barak Obama
continues his mastery of the new media.
here to view his first transition message. Bookmark
change.gov in order to follow all the news
releases and other in-depth information from the
Office of the President-Elect.
- Tech happens. The result of a recent Pew
study shows that when technology fails (whether it
be a computer, a home internet connection, a cell
phone, or other digital device) most turned to their
manufacturer's user support, a significant number
fixed the problem themselves or, to a lesser extent,
turned to friends for help. A much smaller,
but alarming nonetheless, number were not able to
fix their problems.
Click here for the PDF version of the Pew
report, or scan the summary chart below.
announced the release of
SketchUp 7, the free 3D modeling software used
to build those 3D models you seen in Google Earth,
among many other things.
Click here for a what's new description, and
for a brief ars technica review.
- It looks as though the release of
IE8 is going to be delayed, to no one's
surprise. It had been announced that a release
candidate would be available in November, but now
Microsoft has changed its IE8 pre-release
support cutoff date to December 31, 2008, meaning,
probably, that a release candidate will not be
available until very near that time. If you
have Firefox 3, it is unclear what the wait is for.
- Also from Microsoft, they have
announced the immanent (as in, not yet) increase
SkyDrive storage space from a free 5GB to 25GB,
the second five-fold increase in the last year.
The reason? Those gazillions of pictures
everyone is taking with those very high megapixel
cameras. Microsoft wants to be your backup
location of choice in the cloud, in order to insure
your ongoing customer loyalty. Not a bad
strategy. Apple charges $100 per year for the
same amount of storage.
makers of the Flip video camera (we have several
available for checkout in Academic Technology)
announced the availability of a new model: the
world's smallest HD camcorder, priced at $229.
If it works as well as the standard Flip video
camera (about $125 from Amazon), it is a winner.
Click here for details. Interestingly,
Educause has produced a "7 things you should know
about..." article on the Flip video camera.
[PDF] to access it.
- Circuit City joined the long and growing list of
retailers filing for bankruptcy protection last
week. The current credit environment has rung
the death knell for companies who were weak before
the credit crisis surfaced. Circuit City is
not being liquidated (chapter
7) but will be restructured (chapter
11) and, they hope, will emerge from bankruptcy
as once again competitive. Whether this can
actually happen in the hypercompetitive consumer
electronics environment is an open question (NY
- File under: "The Economics of Spamming". A
recent study by UC Berkeley and UC San Diego
computer scientists revealed that the response rate
for a large-scale spam operation is 1 in 12.5
million. That is, one purchase response for
every 12.5 million spam emails sent, equating to a
response rate of 0.0001%. Scaled to the size
of the storm network (part of which was hijacked by
researchers to conduct this study) this equates to
earnings of about $7,000.00 per day. While
this study raises many ethical questions, it does
indicate that spamming is not, apparently, as
profitable as has heretofore be supposed. Read
Safari Tech Book Online:
Office 2008 for the Mac on Demand by Steve
Johnson of Perspection Inc. "What you need,
when you need it! Need answers quickly? Office 2008
for the Mac on Demand provides those answers in a
visual step-by-step format." Palomar maintains a subscription to Tech Books
Online, and the books can be accessed from any
computer on the campus network without as login, or
with your Palomar login and password from anywhere
in the world.
Click here for more information about off-campus
- Academic Technology Workshops
- Elluminate Training
- Elluminate is our new
econferencing system. There are many
excellent training resources available through
Elluminate training center. Live,
instructor led training seminars--conducted
through the Elluminate interface--occur
may be scheduled through their web site.
Feature of the Week - David Gray.
you this understand Can
Time to take a look at one of the lesser
used question types in a Blackboard test, the “Jumbled
Sentence”. Simply put, this question type allows the student
to pick which of a series of words belongs at each
designated point in a sentence.
As with all the question types, go into a
Blackboard test and open up the “Add” list in the upper left
corner of the “Test Canvas”, then find the question type on
the drop down list.
Click the “GO” button and you’ll be
confronted with the “Add/Modify Jumbled Sentence Question”
form, or at least the first page of it. On this first page
you designate the sentence and the list of possible answers;
setting up which answer is correct for each position of the
sentence is left for the next page. In the “Question Text”
box, you type your sentence and designate which words in the
sentence are part of the jumble. So, for example, the
sentence “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.”
could be typed as “The [quick] [brown] fox jumped over the
[lazy] dog.” This would allow the three words “quick”,
“brown”, and “lazy” to be selected.
Then, in section 3, you define the
possible answers to the jumble. Obviously the three correct
words need to be possible answers, but so can many other
incorrect answers, up to twenty possible answers. Once this
page is filled out, click the “Next” button in the lower
On the following page you will set up the
jumbled sentence to read correctly, which will define each
of those words as correct for that location. (Frankly, this
process is easier to do than describe. It will make sense
when you actually do it.)
Then click the “Submit” button in
the lower right corner to be returned to the “Test Canvas”
Make sure you take a look at the jumbled
sentence on the test canvas, and ensure that the answers are
correctly set. Voila, a jumbled sentence question is now a
part of your Blackboard test.
Teaching with Technology -
Dr. Haydn Davis
Use AAC to improve Student Learning
Outcomes, Student Retention, and both Student and Instructor
Online education has become increasingly
popular with students and faculty, not to mention college
administrations. Probably the number one reason cited by
those who prefer to teach on campus classes is that they can
more easily connect with their students in a traditional
teaching-learning environment. A number of commentators have
argued that the so-called “Web 2.0” tools, tools that
facilitate collaboration, communication, and sharing of
information online, will have profound implications for
A recent study by Jody Oomen-Early, et al,
published in the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching
explored this idea. The researchers selected Asynchronous
Audio Communication (AAC) as the Web 2.0 tool to assess.
Specifically, this study set out to answer these questions:
- Did online students find AAC
- Did online students believe that AAC
made the class more engaging?
- Did online students have a preference
for audio or written feedback?
- Did online students believe they
learned more as a result of AAC?
- Online instructors were surveyed as
Anyone who has taught online knows how
easy it is for online students to become distracted with
other demands on their time and begin to procrastinate in
their online class. We have adopted various measures to help
students stay on task but, without the physical presence of
other students and, most particularly, the instructor, all
the timelines, weekly quizzes, discussion board
requirements, to-do lists and so on, aren’t sufficient for
many online students. The Oomen-Early study hypothesized
that audio feedback could provide the sense of presence in
the class that is otherwise missing.
Participants in the study were 156
students who enrolled in online classes at two mid-size
public universities. The online instructors recorded Mp3
audio files and posted them in the students’ Blackboard
classes. “Students received at least five collective (i.e.,
for the entire class) audio messages from their instructor
and at least two individual audio feedback messages by the
end of the semester” (p.270).
A survey instrument was developed to
assess the students’ experience. While the survey was not
mandatory, 75% of the students completed it. The survey
results were a strong endorsement of AAC. Over 88% of the
students reported that the audio feedback was helpful, 72%
stated the audio feedback helped them to understand the
content better, 82% reported that the audio files enhanced
their relationship with the instructor, and 80% said that
the audio kept them engaged in the course.
Source: Journal of Online Learning and
Teaching, Vol. 4 (3), September, 2008
Tech-Talk-Topic - Terry
The Wimba Voice Tools
We have now added the Wimba Voice
Tools to Blackboard.
What are the Wimba Voice Tools?
They provide the ability to add your voice, and your
students' voices, to your Blackboard courses.
There are five tools:
Make an audio recording in any course
messages via email.
Conduct an audio threaded discussion.
Create an audio-enhaced, web-based slide
your audio files via RSS syndication.
Click here for a screen video overview
of the tools along with some suggestions for using them.
While the voice tools have obvious
advantages for ESL and Foreign Language classes, they
bring a new dimension to any class. They can be
the instructor’s presence and involvement with
Add additional, re-usable explanations of
Personalize engagement between instructors and
Teach correct pronunciation and provide audible
learning cues to students
Enhance the instructor’s ability to reach
students who learn best by hearing, and to
better address students with visual and print
Add energy and interactivity to class
for an overview screen video that briefly describes each
tool and offers some suggestions for their use.
Click here (
for the related PDF document.
Before beginning to work with the
Voice Tools, run the
Wimba Setup Wizard
to be sure your computer can support them. It will
check for supported operating system, browser, java version, and
microphone and speaker capabilities.
Click here (
for a PDF document that explains the technical
requirements for running the Wimba Voice Tools.
We have developed an extensive set of
training screencasts and PDF documents on how to use the new
Voice Tools, linked from the table below. Click
the icon after the topic for access.
How to use the
Voice Authoring Tool (voice recorder)
How to create a Voice Email in a
Blackboard content area.
How to create a Voice Email in
the Blackboard communication area.
Use PDF above
How to use a Voice Email archive.
Use PDF above
How to create a Voice Board.
How to use a Voice Board.
Use PDF above
How to import an audio file to a
Use PDF above
How to export audio files from a
Use PDF above)
How to publish an audio message
from a Voice Board as a stand-alone audio
Use PDF above
How to use the Voice Presentation
An alternate method for creating
an audio slide show with the Voice Presentation
Use PDF above
How to use the Wimba Podcaster.
How to subscribe to a podcast
created with the Wimba Podcaster.
Use PDF above
How to save any individual audio
You will also find these screencasts and PDFs, along
with some other materials, samples and an
"experimentation area" in the Blackboard Academic
Technology training course. To access it, just
login to Blackboard and click on "Academic
Technology Training" in the My Courses area listed
under "Courses in which you are enrolled". If
you want to play with the voice tools without
actually deploying them in your Blackboard courses,
you can always do so on the
If you need assistance in
setting up or using the Wimba Voice Tools, do not
hesitate to request technical support from Academic
Technology. There are three ways to get
Submit a Help Ticket
3) Call (760) 744-1150 ext. 2862
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