Today we had a really good turnout and three presentations: Tony from Ed Media, Heather from Academic Technologies, and Jermain from ITS.
Tony gave us an update on Echo360, which is our lecture capture software. In the past, all recordings would be pushed to Blackboard and a separate link would be created for each. Recently, there was one link that a Professor would manually have to post and the students could click that to access all the recordings. Now, with this new feature a new content area will be automatically added and accessible within Blackboard. Echo users simply let Ed Media know via a Help Desk ticket and it will be created and it will house the necessary link for students to access any recorded content. It’s simple and makes life easier for all parties involved. Please contact your Ed Media office for further details.
Heather was our next presenter. She talked about OER, or Open Educational Resources. Open Educational Resources are free, openly licensed documents and media that professors and students can utilize in their course work. It is becoming a very popular tool especially among higher ed institutions. The cost savings to students, who spend $1100 a year annually on books, etc. for their course is immense. The Pace library has assisted with putting together a nice list of these resources that are out there. You can find that info by clicking here. OpenStax is a popular one, and we have a past blog post that talks about that more in detail. You can find that info by clicking here. For more information on OER please contact Heather: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jermain was our last presenter. He talked about Starfish which is a new student centered retention tool that Pace is piloting and will roll out this upcoming Fall to all users. Starfish is a robust platform which allows many different areas to track student progress at different levels. This includes, but is not limited to, advising, counseling, the writing center and more. Kudos, concerns and notes can all be input into the system to assist the student in navigating their way through their time here at Pace. Students can even make appointments with their advisors and more using the direct Outlook integration. The nice thing about it is that you can set certain permissions so some items may be visible to certain users and hidden to others. So there is a nice level of transparency, but some tweaking that can be done to keep certain things seen by only those who need to.
Overall it sounds like the pilot has generated a lot of great feedback and this new tool looks to be a great one stop shop for student information. According to the Starfish website: “Staff can take action through early alert, appointment scheduling, and case management software.” – See more at: http://www.starfishsolutions.com/
For more information on Starfish and the roll-out at Pace please contact Jermain: email@example.com
We have one more meeting scheduled for the Spring 2016, so please join us. It will take place on Monday May 9th from 12:10pm-1:10pm in M16 (PLV) and E319 (NYC). Please reach out to us or leave a comment below if you have any questions, ideas, or topics you’d like to see a presentation on!