IT information for instructors - Fall 2023

Thursday, August 31, 2023
by Natasha Jennings

About this communication

A term-based communication highlighting IT-related information that may be relevant to you as you prepare for the upcoming teaching term.

The communication may identify IT-related news, changes, availability of tools and services, etc. that may impact, support, and/or enhance teaching and learning activities at Waterloo. 

Microsoft 365

Review your Stream videos

The migration of video content from Stream (Classic) to Stream on SharePoint is complete. Please follow the below steps to review your video content:

  1. Log in to your personal OneDrive account.
  2. Check for your videos in the Stream Migrated Videos folder.
  3. Determine whether the videos should be moved to Teams or SharePoint for longevity (and update any related links).

Additional resources

Projects and initiatives

Polling tools - information for Fall and a new project

Instructional Technologies and Media Services (ITMS) is supporting an initiative, with broad representation from across the University, to determine the possibility of providing a centrally supported and funded polling tool to campus. While several potential options have been investigated, a decision regarding the path forward will not be made in time for the coming Fall 2023 term. If approved, the team is hopeful a centrally supported and funded solution will be in place for 2024. Additional communications regarding the investigation into a centrally supported and funded option will be shared when available. 

Polling tools for Fall 2023 

There will be no change to the availability and use of polling tools for Fall 2023. Faculty and instructors who intend to use a polling tool of their choice during the Fall 2023 term should proceed as normal.  

iClicker 

Faculty and instructors intending to use iClicker during the Fall 2023 term should contact Shawn Gilbertson, manager, course materials, Print and Retail Solutions, to discuss iClicker options. Support resources for iClicker are available on the EdTech Hub.  

Questions may be submitted to Pam Fluttert, fluttert@uwaterloo.ca.  

Piloting Creator+ and Performance+

Information Systems & Technology (IST), with the support of the Teaching Innovation Incubator, is beginning a pilot project to test and evaluate the utility of two new LEARN products: Creator+ and Performance+, specifically due to feedback we have been collecting to determine if they provide a viable solution to issues and gaps in our current LMS. Interested faculty, instructors, and staff are currently being recruited and asked to help test and evaluate these products in the short-term, and subsequently provide feedback on their potential for further, more robust testing over the next year or so. Initial testing is set to begin in September so that a decision can be made in alignment with timelines around deciding LEARN’s future.

About this project

The University of Waterloo is currently engaged in a review of our learning management system (LMS), a process to determine the future of LEARN (Brightspace from D2L). The version of LEARN that we use at UW has many pedagogical features that are used frequently by instructors and to great effect. There are, however, additional features available that we have not yet licensed, nor have we investigated their potential efficacy for our institution, but which may address gaps and ensure our LMS meets our teaching and learning needs.

Should you have any questions about this project, please contact Kyle Scholz (kwscholz@uwaterloo.ca), Interim Managing Director of the Teaching Innovation Incubator.

EdTech Support Model project engagement opportunities

There will be opportunity during the Fall 2023 term to provide input towards improvements to the Educational Technology (EdTech) support model. Consultations to understand current state have been completed, and the project team is currently planning engagement opportunities with the appropriate stakeholders for input into the issues, challenges, gaps, and changes that may need to be addressed. Please watch for more information regarding this opportunity.

Teaching and learning tools and resources

Electronic classrooms (E-classrooms)

Upgraded technology

By the start of term, ITMS will have replaced over 100 projectors in centrally supported e-classrooms since the winter 2022 return to campus. Other technology in the classrooms has been replaced based on need, and will continue to be assessed and replaced during the upcoming year. Fobs will not be required again for the fall term, but we are expecting to introduce an upgraded fob system in 2024.

Testing technology in centrally supported classrooms

Complete system tests in all of the centrally supported classrooms are being conducted through the month of August. The week before classes start, there will be a second set of tests done on randomly selected classrooms, for as many rooms as possible. Please note, many of the rooms are in use between the time that ITMS performs any system tests and the start of term; ITMS can only ensure that the systems are completely functional as of the time they are tested.

New digital support resources

In support of the University’s sustainability goals, the instructions for the centrally supported classroom AV technology have been converted to digital format and will be accessible via a QR code posted on the podiums. Self-service support can be obtained using the QR code, or by bookmarking the link on a device you bring to the classroom. Support from one of our technicians can also requested by calling extension 33233 or emailing eclass@uwaterloo.ca.

Self-service options for start of term

EdTech Hub

Educational technologies, or EdTech, are digital technology tools used to deliver and facilitate learning, learning activities, and aid in creating or disseminating content. The EdTech Hub pulls together information regarding our centrally supported EdTech tools to help you decide which EdTech tool(s) may suit your use and how or where to get support. Visit the EdTech Hub site to learn more. 

Information and support for IT services

Other teaching and learning services available to you including media production and classroom technology.

Includes Media Resources, assessment tools, and learning management system.

A member of IST will review and respond to your support request or inquiry.