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Use Blackboard-to-PeopleSoft Grade Transfer App to Speed Up the Grading Process

Blackboard and PeopleSoft logos

Last semester, 161 instructors used the Blackboard-to-PeopleSoft Grade Transfer app to easily transfer grades for 337 courses. The app appears in the instructor view of myBoiseState for most faculty three days prior to the last date of instruction.

Once available, the tool allows instructors to transfer letter grades from Blackboard into PeopleSoft with just a few clicks.

Helpful Resources

For assistance, contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 or helpdesk@boisestate.edu.

Recently Completed Projects

Project Management Office

Status information about individual projects is available through the Office of Information Technology’s Project Management Office website at https://oit.boisestate.edu/pmo/current-projects/.

You can view projects scheduled to go live in the next 30 days, active projects, requested projects, and projects completed in the last 90 days.

The following represent a few of the projects recently completed by the Project Management Office:

Student Billing Data Report

The College of Business and Economics (COBE) requested development of a report for student billing detail, including:

  • Total fees/tuition
  • Waivers applied
  • Scholarships applied
  • Any other deductions applied
  • Bottom line total paid
  • Number of credits enrolled

The Project Management Office developed and delivered this report for COBE.

Honors College GPA

The Honors College requested a method to identify Honors students who are struggling through comparing semester by semester GPA.

The Project Management Office developed and implemented a solution for the Honors College.

Athletic Camps Application

OIT developed a new Athletics Camp application to replace an online form to register for individual and team camps.

The application provides for camp registration, uPay/TouchNet payments, and reporting available to Athletics business office, trainers, and camp directors.

Project Requests and Information

To submit a project for consideration, or for additional information about our Project Management Office, visit oit.boisestate.edu/pmo.

Research Computing Days 2018

text title "research computing days 2018" over a photo of students at a poster session

If “Research Computing Days” is the answer, the question would have to be:

What annual campus event brings together instructors and students, undergraduate and graduate, from disciplines as diverse as Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Geosciences, Biomolecular Sciences, Human-Environment Systems, Educational Technology, School of Public Service, Kinesiology, and English?

Research Computing Days (RC Days), presented March 15 and 16, 2018, is an annual two-day event sponsored by the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and Division of Research and Economic Development. This year’s event brought together 103 people  from across the university, uniting students and faculty around scientific computing.

“Research computing days really highlighted the impact that computing is having across the entire campus, both in areas of research and in student education. The diversity of presentations, from English to Physics, really demonstrates the importance of compute to our current students and researchers”, says Steve Cutchin, Director, OIT Research Computing.

“It’s a celebration of computing and research on campus,” says Mendi Edgar from the OIT Research Computing department, who coordinates RC Days. Students and researchers get to present research based on their own scientific computing during the poster sessions and lightning talks on topics ranging from application performance and representational modeling to overviews of high performance computing (HPC) systems utilized at Idaho National Laboratory.

Faculty and student volunteers presented hands-on Software Carpentry coding workshops in command interpreters, Git, R, Intro to Python, Python for Machine Learning, Python for Biology and MatLab.

RC Days kicked off with introductory remarks by Boise State’s Steve Cutchin, Ph.D., Director Research Computing, Harold Blackman, Ph.D., Associate Vice President, Office of Research and Economic Development, and Eric Jankowski, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and chair of the Inclusive Computing Initiative. These speakers detailed the increasing importance of computing literacy for all majors, helping to explain the growth in popularity of computing across campus. The combined efforts of their offices are focused on enabling high performance computing, automation, and reproducible workflows for all researchers, they explained, with  Research Computing supporting hardware, the Office of Research and Economic Development helping with funding and infrastructure, and the Inclusive Computing Initiative with training and community.

Joshua A. Anderson, Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, presented the keynote address this year on the benefits of open source software for research computing in massively parallel systems–a software he developed.

One of the more exciting aspects of RC Days this year was that the Graduate College provided special funding to certify 10 volunteer faculty, students, and staff in the Software Carpentry curriculum, enabling RC Days to add 40 seats and present twice as many workshops as last year.

RC Days concluded with a hands-on lab for researchers on how to use and take advantage of the Boise State R2 High Performance Computing Cluster. This same workshop was presented last year and increased usage of the R2 cluster by almost 15 percent. You can read more about the Boise State R2 cluster here.

Thank you to all of our sponsors, presenters, funding partners, and the many volunteer instructor and student workshop facilitators. Please contact Mendi Edgar in OIT Research Computing at mendiedgar@boisestate.edu with questions about Researching Computing Days.

Now You Can Record Macros in Google Sheets

Google Sheets

For years we’ve heard, “I only use Excel because Google Sheets doesn’t do macros.”

Behold! Now you can record macros in Google Sheets!

Because macros are stored in the cloud, you can run macros while collaborating with others on the same spreadsheet without interrupting those collaborators.

Google has also added new formatting features to Sheets, including waterfall and 3D charts, adding checkboxes to cells, and page breaks for printing.

Learn more about macros and new formatting features on Google’s website.

For additional information about using Google Sheets, visit the G Suite Learning Center, or contact our Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 or helpdesk@boisestate.edu.

New Look Coming to Student Center, Campus Solutions

New PeopleSoft Campus Solutions

Big changes are coming later this year as Boise State updates our PeopleSoft Campus Solutions system.

Students will see a new look for Student Center, along with an improved user experience on mobile devices. Faculty and staff will likewise view a new, flexible interface for the Student Administration system.

The update uses the PeopleSoft Fluid interface, which is designed for responsiveness and usability on desktops, tablets and smart phones. The Fluid interface presents related items using dynamic tiles, personalized page views, and other modern design elements which create a simple, intuitive and optimized experience:

Test screenshot of new Student Center interface in upcoming Campus Solutions 9.2.

Test screenshot of new Student Center interface in upcoming Campus Solutions 9.2.

 

Changes to PeopleSoft Access through myBoiseState

Due to this Campus Solutions update, we have to make a change to the way Boise State faculty and staff (including student employees) access PeopleSoft through myBoiseState.

Previously, faculty and staff have logged in to myBoiseState, browsed to their Employee page, and selected PeopleSoft to access both Campus Solutions and PeopleSoft Human Resources systems.

With the Campus Solutions update, we must add a separate link to the PeopleSoft Human Resources system; we’ll no longer be be able to access both systems through a single “PeopleSoft” link.

HR System Link

That’s why some of you may have recently noticed a new HR System link on the myBoiseState Employee page:

HR Link for myBoiseState employees

We quietly put that link out there for faculty and staff to discover over the next few months. This is the link faculty and staff will use to access PeopleSoft Human Resources (time reporting, paycheck info, direct deposit, etc.) going forward.

Documentation and Resource Updates

Departments and areas that currently have online or printed materials with instructions for students, faculty or staff on how to access and use PeopleSoft systems will want to be sure to work closely with Management System Coordinators to update those materials to reflect the new Campus Solutions system interface and navigation changes.

We’ll have more information to send out as the project gets closer to completing development of the new PeopleSoft Campus Solutions system and determining a go-live date.

For more information, contact OITCommunications@boisestate.edu.

Improve Your TechSmith Relay Skills with Upcoming Webinars

TechSmith Video

TechSmith has lined up several new webinars for TechSmith Relay users this spring, including one featuring Boise State’s own Tracie Lee in the College of Business and Economics:

  • Create an Introduction Video for Your Upcoming Course
  • 7 Tips in 30-minutes: Things you didn’t know you could do with TechSmith Relay
  • Driving Student Engagement: How Video Can Help
  • Engaging the Reluctant Learner – w/Tracie Lee, Boise State University
  • Creating Digital Posters to Interact With Students- w/Autumn Schaffer, Gordon State College

To view the full catalog of topics and webinar descriptions, as well as register, visit the GoToTraining website.

For more information about TechSmith Relay at Boise State, see our Video at Boise State site.

New Google Activity Dashboard

Google Activity Dashboard

Google has released a new Activity dashboard for G Suite at Boise State. You can access this new feature in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides by selecting Tools > Activity Dashboard from the top menu.

The Activity dashboard lets you see who viewed shared Google Docs, Sheets or Slides files for which you have edit access, as well as then when those files were viewed.

Google’s intent with this feature is to give you better information to decide how and when to follow up with collaborators.

Editors have the option of adjusting document privacy settings to control whether viewing a shared document shows up in the Activity dashboard. For information about configuring privacy settings, visit the Activity dashboard Help Center page on Google’s website.

For additional information, please contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 or helpdesk@boisestate.edu.

State of Learning Technologies

Learning Technology Solutions offers technology help for teaching and learning

Please join us for a presentation about learning technologies at Boise State University on Friday, April 6th.

The Spring 2018 Learning Technology Advisory Group (LTAG): State of Learning Technologies will focus on the Office of Information Technology’s Learning Technology Solutions department and the strategic initiatives they are working on in the coming year.

Topics will include training, open educational resources, infrastructure improvements, and educational data. Presenters will also share key findings and recommendations from the faculty survey that was sent in February.

Date: Friday, April 6, 2018
Time: 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Location: MBEB 3016 or virtually (Click here to join us virtually!)

For more information, please visit the State of Learning Technologies – Spring 2018 website.

OIT Offers Micro-Certifications for Web Accessibility

Accessible Technology

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is pleased to announce a free course to achieve a Micro-Certification for Web Accessibility, a new professional development opportunity for staff and faculty that is the first of its kind at Boise State University.

Enrollment and requirements are available through Boise State’s WebGuide site:

The course was designed and developed by Carolyn Quintero and Tammy Schmidt to document, assess, and validate accessible web design skills utilizing industry and disciplinary defined standards for Boise State’s WordPress environment via a flexible online format.

Carolyn is a Web Accessibility Analyst in OIT and has nearly a decade of experience in online education and student support, and a Masters of Arts in Technical Communications. Tammy is an Accessibility and Training Specialist OIT and has over 25 years of experience in instructional design and training, and a Masters of Science in Instructional Design and Performance Technology.

Boise State’s Commitment to Web Accessibility

Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web, once said, “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.” (https://www.w3.org/Press/IPO-announce)

This quote encompasses the spirit in which this badge course was created. One of the major goals of this course is to recognize users who create and publish accessible, inclusive content on the web. By providing real-world experience and exercises for users to hone their basic technology skills and incorporate best practices for web design into every aspect of their process, the Web Accessibility Micro-Certification Badge Course is helping Boise State reach its goal of an inclusive web environment.

According to Boise State University Policy 8140, “The University is committed to supporting an information technology (IT) environment that is accessible to all, and in particular to individuals with disabilities.”

Since 2016, Boise State has made concerted efforts to ensure that all web content published on our public-facing sites are accessible for all users. With over 42,000 individual webpages, 57,000 image and media files, and 217,000 hyperlinks, this is no small task.

While the Office of Information Technology and Office of Communications and Marketing have collaborated to host a series of in-person training sessions on topics covering web accessibility, we realize not all staff and faculty are able to attend these sessions.

As a result, OIT has created this new professional development opportunity for web accessibility.

What People Are Saying

This course is the first of its kind at Boise State in that it is designed specifically for the needs of our web community, as well as the first University-designed professional development opportunity for faculty and staff offering a micro-certification badge.

As part of the design process, the course was tested for accessibility and usability with a variety of different stakeholder audiences.

Here’s what they had to say:

I understand the importance of making our content accessible to everyone, but I haven’t always known the best way to turn this goal into a reality. I’m excited about the micro certification badge because it offers a real-world training on how to make our accessibility efforts more effective and create a better experience for all our users. The opportunity to demonstrate professional development is a real bonus as well!James Munkres, Promotions Coordinator, School of Public Service

The Web Accessibility Badge is essential professional development. It will help ensure that our Boise State staff and faculty have the 21st century skills needed for online communication and education!Betty Miller, Online Faculty/Technology Manager, School of Nursing

Accessibility is about user experience which is crucial in my work. I can’t wait to add this training to my professional development portfolio.Kris Sansing, Director, Communications, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

I’m impressed by the diligence that has gone in to developing the first accessibility badge for Boise State. This is a great professional development opportunity for anyone who wants to show their commitment to accessibility, and to prove competence in this extremely important subject.Teri Williams, Director of Web Strategy, Office of Communications and Marketing

This new professional development opportunity is representative of the Office of Information Technology’s innovation, flexibility, and commitment to ensure access to Boise State’s web content is available to all.Max Davis-Johnson, Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice President

More Information

For more information about the Web Accessibility Micro-Certification Badge course, visit WebGuide or email oitaccessibility@boisestate.edu.

Upcoming Learning Technology Solutions Workshops

Classroom Technology Workshops

The semester is nearing the end and it’s time to start looking to final grades and course wrap-ups. Faculty are invited to consult the Learning Technology Solutions team during one of our upcoming 30-minute workshops:

Managing Grades in Blackboard

Simplify your Grade Center so that it is easier to manage and capable of using the new Grade Transfer feature in myBoiseState. Grade Transfer saves you time by sending all of your student grades from Blackboard to PeopleSoft in just a few clicks.

  • Monday, April 2, 12:30 pm-1:00 pm
  • Wednesday, April 4, 10:30 am-11:00 am
  • Thursday, April 12, 10:30 am-11:00 am
  • Thursday, April 12, 1:30 pm-2:00 pm
  • Monday, April 16th 1:30pm-2pm
  • Wednesday, April 18, 10:30 am-11:00 am
  • Wednesday, April 25, 1:30 pm-2:00 pm

For registration, visit https://oit.boisestate.edu/learning/learning-technologies/professional-development-opportunities/

Preparing for Next Semester

Get your Blackboard course ready for next semester by cleaning up content and implementing course-copy best practices. Our workshop helps you streamline course management and minimize frustration by getting a head start on the next semester and avoiding common mistakes.

  • Wednesday, April 4, 1:00 pm-1:30 pm
  • Thursday, April 5, 10:30 am-11:00 am
  • Monday, April 9, 12:30 pm-1:00 pm
  • Tuesday, April 10, 10:00 am-10:30 am
  • Tuesday, April 17, 1:30 pm-2:00 pm
  • Thursday, April 19, 10:30 am-11:00 am
  • Monday, April 23, 1:30 pm-2:00 pm

For registration, visit https://oit.boisestate.edu/learning/learning-technologies/professional-development-opportunities/

Additional Assistance

Learning Technology Solutions supports many different classroom technologies on campus. If you ever need technical assistance with Blackboard, Techsmith Relay, Qualtrics, or iClicker, schedule a one-on-one consultation with an LTS technologist. We’ll will meet with you face-to-face, over the phone, or internet hangout to answer your questions.

To schedule a consultation, visit the LTS Website at oit.boisestate.edu/learning, or select the Help tab in Blackboard and click on the One-on-One Consultation button.