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LT Newsletter Winter 2013

Canvas, Plain and Simple: What UW Bothell Faculty Need To Know To Prepare for Summer 2013

As we approach a full transition to the Canvas learning management system this Summer (meaning, we will not create Blackboard course sites for Summer courses), you might be asking yourself questions such as, “What do I need to know now?” and “How should I be preparing for Summer quarter?”. This article will attempt to answer these questions clearly.

What do I need to know now?

First, you need to know that Canvas is available for you to use right now. So, if you haven’t started using it already, you could begin using Canvas starting Spring quarter. If you don’t know where or how to start, we recommend attending one of our Canvas workshops. The final workshop of Winter quarter is: Thursday, March 7 from 2:30 to 4 PM. If you’re interested in coming, please complete this short survey (seriously short) to let us know you are coming. In the workshops, we’ll cover how to transfer course materials from Blackboard and provide an overview on the various features available in Canvas. We’ll also be offering additional workshops during Spring quarter (still to be scheduled).

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Teaching Hybrid at UW Bothell

With the successful conclusion of the fourth Hybrid Course Development Institute (HCDI) this winter, it’s time to take a quick look at what’s happening with hybrid courses at UW Bothell.

Hybrid courses are defined as having 25-50% of the course online, replacing face-to-face time. A number of UWB faculty and students are interested in hybrid courses because they can provide the best of both worlds, combining the flexibility and enhanced ability to interact with course materials in the online world with the personable and spontaneous experience in the face-to-face world.

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Five Techniques for Better Digital Storytelling

Five Techniques for Better Digital Storytelling:

1) Drop your audio files into Audacity

Do you ever find yourself recording audio over and over again to get that perfect take? Is your audio not quite loud enough? Drop your audio files into Audacity to do quick edits, level audio and multi track/take recording. It is free and easy! http://www.uwb.edu/learningtech/dml121/tutorials/audacity

2) Use color correction on photographs for better consistency

Photographs, especially non-digital, are often plagued by lighting and contrast discrepancies. You can fix photos relatively quickly in Photoshop by doing a batch process, on all your photos, for color, tone and contrast. http://marckean.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/use-photoshop-batch-to-process-all-photos-in-a-folder/

3) Record your audio using an external microphone

Camcorders manufactures often cut corners when it comes to microphones built into the camera. They do this so you will buy external microphones as an add-on item. While I don’t condone the practice, I would take them up on their offer. External microphones can really benefit your digital story’s audio quality. You may not think your audio is a big deal, but inaudible sounds can disengage your audience and even ruin your story. For UWB students and faculty, the IT helpdesk offers microphones for checkout. Absolutely free! You have nothing to loose only better audio quality to gain.

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Uploading Media Files into Tegrity

Update: As of March 14th, 2013 media can now be uploaded using Mac OS.