Online discussion options

In some courses, instructors choose to create an online space where students and faculty can pose and answer questions. This technology has many names: message board, discussion forum, bulletin board, and so on. The way it works is that someone posts a message and others are invited to reply whenever they like. The original message and its replies are called a thread. The communication is asynchronous; participants don’t have to be online at the same time.

A blog can provide similar functionality. After someone publishes a post, others can make comments that evolve into a discussion. An email list is another place where discussion can occur. The instructor can also disallow student posting and create a one-way “announcement list.”

A chat room is different. Chatting is synchronous — all of the participants are online at the same time. Conversation is free-form and the contents are usually not saved.

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Poster printing

You can easily print affordable full-color posters up to 12″ x 18″ at several locations on campus, including Fedex Office in LaFortune and the Copy Center in O’Shaughnessy. However, some courses and activities require students to create a large-format academic poster, infographic, or creative work.

Large posters are expensive to print ($40-60 or more), so it’s important to let students know early in the course if you expect them to pay. In some cases, grants or departmental funds have been secured to cover the cost, but there are no ongoing sources of money for this kind of thing.

At Notre Dame

  • Copy Center / DCL Services Print Shop (O’Shaughnessy)
  • Center for Digital Scholarship (Hesburgh Library) – matte only
  • Engineering Graphics (Fitzpatrick) – for College of Engineering faculty and students
  • Digital Printing Studio (Riley) – for College of Arts & Letters faculty and students
  • Off-Campus – Fedex Office, Ironwood and SR 23 – Notre Dame contract, discounted pricing
    • Contact: (574) 271-0398

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Calendaring

Many instructors use an online calendar to keep track of course-related events: class times, office hours, guest speakers, and more. Some go much farther, organizing the course syllabus as a calendar with links to readings and assignments, and then sharing it with students.

At Notre Dame

  • Google Calendar – use it for yourself or share it with a Google Group for a class — you decide how public it is
  • Sakai Schedule tool – add directly or from other tools (Sign-Up, Assignments, Tests & Quizzes, etc.)

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ePortfolio

nDEEP logo

An ePortfolio (short for “electronic portfolio”) is a virtual workspace where students publish samples of their work and showcase their knowledge and skills. As of the 2015-16 academic year, all undergraduate students at the University of Notre Dame have an ePortfolio based on the Digication system.

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Screencasting

Camtasia for Mac - EditorA screencast is a video of what’s happening on a computer screen, accompanied by system sounds from the computer (like beeps). More sophisticated screencasts can include a recorded voice, highlighting, arrows, and other effects. Instructors can use screencasts to ..

  • Create a course introduction,
  • Show how to use a piece of software,
  • Explain a difficult concept,
  • Demonstrate a website,
  • Tell a story, or
  • Capture a presentation.

Apple’s Mac OS includes basic screen recording through QuickTime Player. Windows does not have this feature, but software like Snagit can do the job inexpensively on either platform. Need more than just basic features? Try Camtasia for Macintosh and Camtasia Studio for Windows. The two products share many features but there are important differences. Here’s a comparison chart.

Notre Dame does not have a campus license for screencasting software, but offers a way to purchase the three recommended titles at a discount.

At Notre Dame

  • Discount purchase of Snagit, Camtasia Studio, or Camtasia — contact Mary Toll (631-5557)
  • Consultation regarding tools and strategies to promote effective learning

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[updated June 2015]

E-books and readers

BryteWave screens

Electronic books or e-books are typically digital versions of printed books, but some are “born digital,” with features unavailable in the print medium. You can read e-books on a Kindle or other dedicated reader, but you can also use a tablet, desktop computer, or smartphone.

One of the advantages of e-books is that you can carry many of them on a single, lightweight device. It’s also easy to search an e-book for a specific quote or reference – and some readers allow you to save highlighting and personal notes. One of the disadvantages is that it’s generally not easy to share e-books with someone else.

The Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore uses a system called BryteWave to offer e-textbook rentals (see a video demo). If a digital edition of a book is available, students are presented with that option when they purchase a text.

At Notre Dame

[updated June 2015]

Plagiarism detection

plagiarism

Notre Dame has a strong Undergraduate Academic Code of Honor; students receive an orientation to it before they arrive on campus. As a precondition for course registration, all undergraduates pledge:

As a member of the Notre Dame community, I will not participate in or tolerate academic dishonesty.

The Kaneb Center strongly urges instructors to address plagiarism before it becomes a problem. Take a positive approach; contact us about designing assignments in ways that encourage academic honesty.

Technology is available which can check for plagiarism in student work. If a Notre Dame instructor believes this is necessary, the Provost’s Office can provide an individual license to Turnitin.com at university expense.

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[updated June 2015]