October 2016

New Notification Policy Implemented to Improve Communication

Posted October 31, 2016



For the past several years, students and employees alike have reported a recurring problem: too many emails.

Students, faculty and staff received emails for campus lectures and events, several reminders for each lecture or event, multiple announcements each month from the same department, corrections for errors in previous emails, reminders about deadlines, activities, and fundraisers, and much more.

This volume of email made it difficult for members of the College community to read everything they were sent, much less keep track of the information that applied to them.

Chief Information Officer Wendy Woodward explained, "The technology governance committees brought up how swamped people, and especially students, were by the amount of email they received. It created a real problem where people would miss important information because they lost it in the middle of everything."

The Internal Digital Notification Policy addresses this issue by providing guidelines for email communication along with alternate methods for disseminating information. These methods include bulk email to all students, faculty, and staff for critical or time-sensitive information, department newsletters for consolidated announcements and information, digital signage, Wheaton Portal announcements, and the biweekly Wheaton Announcements email.

"The policy is designed to help encourage departments and student groups to think more carefully about why, how, and to whom they send their notifications," said Woodward. "When people think critically about these how they communicate, our community members can trust that the information they receive is correct and relevant to them."

During the 2016-2017 academic year, AIT will work to implement subscription and participation based communication methods, including email subscription lists and Schoology groups.

These methods allow departments to more accurately gauge interest in resources and events and allow recipients more control over the information they receive. Users will be able to subscribe to mailing lists and join groups relevant to their interests. At this stage, these projects are in their testing and pilot phases.

AIT will continue to update the College community during the process to improve communication across campus.

Recommended Video Courses for Faculty and Staff

Posted October 31, 2016

Tags: ,



In each edition of Technology Review, we provide recommended videos to help you get the most out of ThunderCloud Training. Powered by lynda.com, ThunderCloud Training provides thousands of professional on-demand video courses that teach valuable business, software, and life skills.

This edition, we're recommending "Introducing the Calendar." This course section focuses on the fundamental skills you need to maintain an accurate and helpful calendar in Outlook, Wheaton's official tool for email and calendaring. Each video is around five minutes long, and the full calendar portion of the course is only 33 minutes long. Topics include creating meetings, sharing a calendar, and opening other calendars.

Remember, you can always save videos to a playlist to watch later, and your place is automatically saved. After you watch a course, be sure to check out the suggested courses to see related videos as well as more advanced and in-depth options.

Calendaring Standards Promote Efficiency

Posted October 31, 2016

Tags:



Scheduling a meeting can be difficult, especially across departments or when a large number of attendees are required. To date, many staff and faculty at Wheaton College use a variety of methods to find a time to meet, including online polls, phone calls to attendees, long email chains, and even printed schedules.

This lack of unity regarding scheduling and calendars often causes confusion, overlapping meetings, double-booking, and wasted time.

"It's important for an institution to have consistency in the technology tools it uses," said Wendy Woodward, Chief Information Officer (CIO). "When that consistency is missing, people use tools that might not work well together and end up wasting time and resources."

In order to address this lack of consistency, the Senior Administrative Cabinet (SAC) recently approved the Campus Calendaring and Communication Policy, which specifies a standardized set of calendar and communication tools and includes provisions for campus-wide training.

"The College provides collaboration tools to staff and faculty to facilitate efficient and effective communication and collaboration," the policy states. "To fully capture the efficiencies these tools provide, the Administrative Application Advisory Committee (AAAC), the CIO and SAC strongly encourage staff and faculty to exclusively use these tools [Outlook and Skype for Business/Lync] for institutional calendaring, email, and instant messaging."

According to Woodward, the new policy aligns with the Technology Guiding Principles which were adopted in 2015 to provide a clear vision for technology-related decision making.

The policy includes the appendix "Best Practices for Scheduling Your Day and Setting Appointments Using Outlook," a document that provides a starting point for staff and faculty members who might be unfamiliar with using Outlook to manage their schedules. Furthermore, AIT will provide focused professional training for staff and faculty in order to facilitate adoption of the policy. This training will be provided through Tech Talks and ThunderCloud Training video courses.

Woodward is confident that the new policy will be a success. "Implementing Outlook and Skype for Business [Lync] as our institutional standard will allow faculty and staff to communicate reliably and effectively across the College."

The Campus Calendaring and Communication Policy, which you can read in full here, will go into full effect on January 1, 2017. New to Outlook? Get started on using your calendar with this recommended ThunderCloud Training video course.

Recommended Video Courses for Students

Posted October 31, 2016

Tags: ,



In each edition of Technology Review, we provide recommended videos to help you get the most out of ThunderCloud Training. Powered by lynda.com, ThunderCloud Training provides thousands of professional on-demand video courses that teach valuable business, software, and life skills.

Do you need a refresher on the skills you learned in your research classes or an introduction to basic researching skill? We recommend "Information Literacy," a course focusing on the skills needed to find and use accurate and relevant information. This course is under two hours long and contains shorter videos that focus on things like search terms and keywords, resource evaluation, and types of source material.

Remember, you can always save videos to a playlist to watch later, and your place is automatically saved. After you watch a course, be sure to check out the suggested courses to see related videos as well as more advanced and in-depth options.

Making Grading Easier: Turnitin’s Feedback Studio

Posted October 27, 2016

Tags:



Turnitin's Feedback Studio, available within Schoology, is designed to reduce the burden of grading and make it easier for faculty to promote academic integrity and provide actionable feedback to students.

Feedback Studio checks for originality, corrects grammar and spelling, and provides easy-to-use markup tools. This allows faculty to spend less time correcting simple or common errors and focus on the quality of a student's analysis and writing.

Markup tools include voice commentary, rubric-based grading, and drag and drop reusable comments. Feedback Studio also provides a built-in method for student peer review to allow students to analyze and comment on each others' work.

Faculty members who are interested in Feedback Studio can try an interactive demo or look at the instructions and setup guides within Schoology. Those interested in using Feedback Studio for peer review are also welcome to attend a training session on November 29 from 3:30 to 4:30 PM in BGC 011.

Schoology training topics for the remainder of the semester also include third party communication tools and building a curriculum repository. Learn more and RSVP here.

You can watch recordings of Schoology training sessions on YouTube, or find instructions and how-to guides in the Wheaton College Resource Folder within Schoology.

Media Center