Sunday, October 17, 2010

Technical Issues

My students are at least beginning to explore the wiki so that's a good sign. Since the work is part of the final project, I don't expect them to move quickly but hope that there will be some evidence of new work soon.

Blackboard 8 is supposed to be so much better..........not! Had some issues with the voice announcements that needed to be addressed by 57th Street so that was one problem this week. The Voice Board seems to be working for many students but then again there are those who don't run the setup wizard, review the instructions and then complain it doesn't work. The online students seem to be having less difficulty than my f2f. I sent them to E-273 and C-216 for help since there are student workers available as various times of the day. In the Speech Communications Lab, the workers told the students not to use Voice Board but to just save their audio in audacity and email it to me. Still trying to get that straightened out. For most, they only needed access to the microphones and if the students or the workers looked, they could have imported the audacity files into Voice Board. Doesn't seem as though anyone went to the ePortfolio lab. Voice Board also allows for exporting of files so it's an easy way to add audio files to the assessment area in Digication. I had less trouble with audio assignments in Blackboard 6.

We continue work on Digication - creating new pages, exploring different modules and techniques. I am not convinced that this is a better system; easier but not sure about better.

This week we used a shared SkyDrive folder (through their live accounts) to begin on new resumes. I uploaded samples as PDF and Word files. The Word files can be used as a template and it was important to show student samples from prior semesters without identifying information....especially to demonstrate what a resume can look like for students with limited or no work experience.


  1. And I was so looking forward to working with Digication...what are the issues so far that make you think it is not that good?

  2. I think it is "flat" and students are being forced to select templates that are major specific or under/over 45 credits for introductory/advanced. So for faculty it means we have multiple templates in the room with different tabs/pages etc. While they state you can change these, they do not really want you to do that. Some of the creativity is gone but it is supposed to be easier for assessment and that is what is driving this.

  3. Having students in the same classroom working on different templates is admittedly a bit chaotic, at least initially. I think the logic behind the move, though, is to get students thinking about their programmatic development at an earlier stage.

    I'm curious what you mean by the "flat" nature of the new system. I am somewhat of a skeptical eP user myself, but I've found the portfolios created by faculty in one of our pilot seminar groups to be quite rich in terms of content.

  4. I actually cheated and had a private one-on-one session (yep!) with Thomas (he was great!!)to help me with the ePortfolio Digication...and I liked it. I was not an easy sell either because the old ePortfolio was pretty limited...and looked primitive. Not so with the new and improved ePortfolio...not only was the technology much cleaner, but it looked less like the "jumpsuit," of yore.
    In fact, it was much easier for me to comprehend (even with alllllllll the help I received) than Spruz which was a let down. How many pixels in a banner? I never could figure that out!
    I am now trying to figure out (whilst encouraging students to do all of the above) whether I should abandon Spruz and Wetpaint (I'm fickle...I admit it!) and just stay with ePortfolio Digication.
    Here is my scorecard:
    One point for Digication
    One point for Wetpaint
    Negative points for my success with Spruz
    Negative points for Ning because it is not free
    There you have it!

  5. I think Digication could be a good sharing tool. I spoke with Thomas about access, and so far it's pretty much limited to classes/teachers/a few administrators (duh), but even that is better than Blackboard, as it is easy to invite students/ teachers from other classes to work on a portfolio, etc.