Posts Tagged ‘academictechnology’

4th Annual Information & Technology Showcase

Friday, January 25th, 2019

The 4th Annual Loyola Information & Technology Showcase will be held on Thursday, February 21st from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm in the Damen Student Center.

Come learn about library and technology resources available to the University community. Take advantage of a variety of breakout sessions and a full array of resource tables from vendors like DocFinity, Oracle/LOCUS, ProQuest, and Gartner. All Loyola students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend. Registered participants will receive a box lunch and have an opportunity to win raffle prizes including a new laptop computer.

Visit the Info & Tech Showcase Registration page to register for the event.

For more information, please visit the ITS Info & Tech Showcase Event page. See you there!

Info Tech Showcase Resource Table

Sakai Gradebook Checklist

Friday, December 7th, 2018

We smell the coffee. We see the library rush. It’s that time of year again: finals.

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For instructors, we’d like to make your Sakai grading process as easy as possible so you can focus on what matters most: your students. Follow the ten steps below to make sure your Sakai gradebook is good to go at the end of the semester:

  1. Verify your gradebook is set up correctly.
    • Check the gradebook settings to make sure your gradebook is set up with your teaching goals. While you may have already set-up your gradebook at the beginning of the semester, it’s a good idea to check your settings and make sure they match your syllabus. This section is particularly helpful for instructors with categories or weights to make sure all categories are entered with a weight associated.
  2. Enter grades in Sakai.
  3. Make sure all applicable gradebook items are included and visible in the gradebook.
    • Instructors can edit gradebook item details to make sure columns are included in final grade calculations and released to students. Make sure all gradebook items are shown in the gradebook using the Show/Hide Items feature.
  4. Delete gradebook column items, or set ungraded items to zero.
  5. Add any comments to individual student grades.
  6. Override a course grade for individual students if necessary.
  7. Review your settings once more.
    • After you’ve entered your grades, make sure your grade release rules display students’ final course grades to them in the way you’d like.
  8. Verify how an individual student views their grades.
    • You can also review individual student grades via the Student Review Mode. This feature is especially helpful if you need to review an individual student grade in person and do not want the student to see their peers’ grades.
  9. Export final grades.
    • It’s great practice to save a copy of the final grades in a secure location.
  10. Whew! Take a breather. You deserve it!


New Features in Panopto

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Panopto, Loyola’s lecture capture software, has some exciting new features. Panopto now allows users to easily upload slides to an existing session, change the thumbnail image for a session, access speech-to-text captions, and add quizzes to a session. For instructions on updating slides or thumbnail images, please click here.

Automatic captions are now available to creators of a session. As the creator of a session you will be able to import and edit captions generated from Panopto, as well as release these captions to viewers. For instructions on importing automatic captions, please click here. If you do not see the option to “Import automatic captions”, please contact and request for your session to be re-processed.

Users now have the ability to add quizzes to Panopto sessions. This includes sessions they recorded in Panopto and sessions they uploaded to Panopto. Quiz questions can be multiple choice, multiple select, or true/false. Viewers must be logged in to take a quiz in a Panopto session. Once a viewer completes the quiz, creators will have access to the quiz results for that session. For more information on Panopto quizzes, please click here.

Sakai 11 is Almost Here!

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

On May 12th, Loyola’s learning management system will be upgrading to Sakai 11. Per this upgrade, you will discover a few changes within Sakai. Some of these changes include:

  • A new Gradebook tool
  • Anonymous forum discussions
  • More customization options for lessons
  • A new Hot Spot question type within exams

We will be introducing the new Gradebook tool this Summer. During the Summer semester, you will still have access to both the current Gradebook (Gradebook Classic) and the new Gradebook. We encourage everyone to begin familiarizing themselves with the new Gradebook tool, since we will be removing Gradebook Classic from Sakai by the Fall semester. When using the new Gradebook this Summer, keep in mind that any changes you make to one of the Gradebook tools will reflect automatically in the other Gradebook tool, so you won’t need to make any changes twice.

You can begin working with our Sakai 11 development site to explore some of these changes on your own at Please note that this is an early development site and should only be used for testing purposes. Any courses you are building should be created in our current instance of Sakai 10. When Loyola makes the switch to Sakai 11 in May, your courses and course materials will transfer over accordingly.

If you would like to learn more about the Sakai 11 changes, please register for one of our training sessions or come to one of our Open Forum Discussions held on Fridays. If you are unable to make it to either one, feel free to contact us at so that we may schedule another time to introduce you to these new features in Sakai 11.

For more information please visit

Inactivity Alert for Lesson Pages within Sakai

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

A new inactivity alert feature has been added as an option to all lesson pages within Sakai. When activated, the alert will automatically trigger and email for any user that has not selected a specific lesson page. Instructors have the ability to set one time, daily, or weekly reminders for users that have not selected a specific lesson.

Each lesson page can have its own alert implanted. This new feature ensures that all students are accessing classroom content.  Instructors have the ability to discover if students are really taking part and using classroom material or simply doing without.

Alerts take just minutes to create and can be done before or during a semester. Check out the support documentation for a set-by-step guide on achieving an inactivity alert.

Use an Educational PowToon Account to Enhance Presentations

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

PowToon is an easy to use resource that allows users to create animated videos and presentations. An instructor could use PowToon to enhance lectures or a student could use PowToon to create entertaining presentations. Creating a PowToon presentation allows the user to add visually appealing backgrounds and animations with audio and text that will keep viewers engaged.

There are several options in terms of creating an account with PowToon. Users even have the ability to create an account for free. On the other hand, users have the option to select a premium or educational account in order to access additional features. To try an educational account, please visit: An educational account allows users to create a “classroom” through PowToon, add students to their class, and view student presentations. This is useful for instructors who wish to have easy access to student presentations. The PowToon blog ( includes several examples of PowToon presentations. For more information and resources on PowToon, please visit:

Join the BigBlueButton Pilot

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

BigBlueButton is a web conferencing solution that Loyola is piloting this year. BigBlueButton allows instructors to host class sessions, meetings, or office hours online. Additionally, students are able to enter a BigBlueButton online room without their instructor. Therefore, students have the ability to utilize BigBlueButton rooms for group work at times that are convenient for them.

Within a BigBlueButton room participants and hosts are able to share web cams and microphones, as well as use a chat window for communication. Users have the option to use emojis, a raised hand icon, and an away icon to indicate their thoughts or status during a session.

The presentation window is a space for users to upload documents and presentations that can be annotated during a session. A polling feature is also located in the presentation window and gives instructors the ability to quickly assess student opinion or learning using true/false, yes/no, multiple answer choices, or custom polls.

BigBlueButton provides options for easy access to the meeting room. There is a call-in feature where users can join a meeting with audio and listen to others’ comments. Additionally, users can download the Puffin Browser (version 4.6 or later) and connect to the meeting using an iPad, iPhone, or an Android device. This allows students to access meetings in a manner that is convenient to them.

For more information on participating in the pilot or on BigBlueButton, please visit:

Top Hat, Let the Polling Begin!

Thursday, September 10th, 2015


Top Hat is Loyola University Chicago’s new response system. This “bring your own device” web based platform takes classroom polling to a new level. Student engagement can be compiled through seven different questions types, including sorting and clicking on target, discussion boards, and even tournaments. Instructors have the ability to allow students to view old questions or turn questions into a review that students can use throughout the semester. Reports can be generated based on daily attendance, student participation, and student performance giving a clearer view of how a student is interacting in the course.


Top Hat is a hardware free system that allows students to use the devices they already own such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Instructors no longer have to worry about checking out equipment and carrying it to and from class, as all information is stored on the web and can be accessed on any web enabled device. There is an integration, so adding Top Hat to your Sakai course is easy.


Instructors then have the ability to continue the conversion outside of the classroom by use of the discussion board or assigning unanswered questions as homework. With the ability to ask questions before or after class, the understanding and knowledge of students can be tracked and used to help drive future sessions. Top Hat provides a whole new interactive platform.


For more information please visit the Top Hat page at

Welcome to the New Tech Tips Blog

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

We have changed the format of our weekly “ITS Technology Tips” from a Web page listing of PDFs to a blog. The real advantage of presenting Tech Tips in a blog format is that readers have an opportunity to comment and share their own tips and experiences. We will continue to bring you timely information about technology here at Loyola and keep you up to date with useful Web tools each week. Remember to visit our Technology Tips Archive, to find all Tech Tips in PDF format, categorized for easy access.