Creating Custom (Talking-Head) Videos with MediaSite

A recent email from Caroline El-Khoury, PPS director, noted, Classes are held unless the University closes. During inclement weather some faculty members may choose to cancel their own class and send a lecture capture link to the students rather than rescheduling.In this update, we want to give you an option that will allow your class to “meet” even if all of you can’t be on campus. In particular, these following tips will help you create your own custom talking-head videos, which you can then provide to students on Carmen.

(For completeness’s sake, you can also perform a custom capture using one of the college’s capture-equipped rooms, and requesting a link from VIS.)

At the very least, you should have the following tools available (recommendations not meant as product placement):

  • A webcam – We have used the Logitech C920 and we like it; you may also have one already built into your monitor or your smartphone/tablet
  • A microphone – We have used the Blu SnowBall for various custom caption solutions; if you have a headset with microphone, such as the Apple EarPod (free if you are an iPhone user), it may also be a good option. 

Many laptops come with a microphone built-in, but we have found that these usually do not yield clear recordings.

Using MediaSite

MediaSite is the university’s solution for video capture and consumption. What’s nice about MediaSite is that it can give us in-depth analytics on areas such as who’s watched a video, how much of the video an average viewer watches, and popular segment(s) of the video. With MediaSite, you have the option to create content with a combination of video, audio, slides, and desktop recording. MediaSite is the system that is being actively investigated for use in the Clinical Skills Lab.

(Before you start, here are 10 tips to record yourself with a webcam, written by Laura Schmitz for the UniCast blog.)

Custom talking-head videos can be created on your own PC/Mac device using the MediaSite Desktop Recorder application. Here are some tips to get your started:

If you are using a smartphone or a tablet, such as the iPad:

Finally, you can share your media by Adding a Presentation to Carmen, or by Linking a MediaSite Presentation elsewhere. 

In the next installment of this series, we will show you how Top Hat can be used as more than an in-class audience response tool!  As always, please feel free to reach out to for ideas and/or assistance.

What’s New in CarmenCanvas (01/06/2018 Release)

(Read more about this release in the release notes.)

For Everyone:

  • (CVM-Specific) A “CVM Course Schedule” link is now available in the left menu within courses. This will take you directly to the CVM Schedule site.
  • The image picker in the sidebar of the Rich Content Editor now provides a checkbox to mark an image as a decorative image. (This can be used from an accessibility standpoint to indicate the image does not provide relevant meaning.)
For Instructors Only:
  • Updates to the new Gradebook: Ask us how to opt-in!
    • You can now set rules for late and missing submissions. For missing submissions, you can set a default percentage of the total possible score; for late submissions, you can set a percentage that will be deducted from the final assignment score per day/hour, as well as a lowest possible score.
  • Rubric criterion now support extra credit (i.e. excess points above maximum point value specified).
For Students Only:
  • Submissions to graded discussions can now be found under your personal “Submissions” folder.

Teaching and Learning Showcases Projects at the AAVP’s Biennial Veterinary Parasitology Educators Symposium

If you have been following the newsletter, hopefully you would have had a chance to learn a little bit about some innovative projects that have been happening right here at CVM!

Teaching and Learning is honored to have had a chance to present at the biennial Veterinary Parasitology Educators Symposium, which took place at the CVM on 12/14 and 12/15. We would like to share our presentations with you.

What Is New in CarmenCanvas (12-09-2017 Release)

For Everyone:
  • The accessibility checker icon has been updated for the Rich Content Editor
  • You can now reply to or forward messages to more than 100 individuals
For Instructors Only:
  • (Ask us about opting into the New Gradebook!)
  • There is now a new button on the Assignments index page to move all items from an assignment group to another
  • Inactive students are now marked as such in the Groups editor

What’s New in CarmenCanvas (11/18 Release)

(Complete notes for the 11/18 release)

For Everyone:

  • Emails for Canvas notifications are now better formatted for mobile devices.

For Instructors:

  • The following actions now utilize the new sidebar interface:
    • Moving of course navigation items (within course settings)
    • Moving of modules and module items
    • Moving of people into groups (within the People tool)
  • The new gradebook is coming! The feature can be enabled on an opt-in basis start Spring 2018, and will become default in Autumn 2018. Teaching and Learning will be holding showcases in the following weeks. (More Information)
  • Items that can be duplicated (assignments, graded discussions, and pages) can now be duplicated within a module.
  • Criteria can now be duplicated within a rubric.

What is New in CarmenCanvas (10/28/2017); Also, Exciting Features Coming Soon!

The October 28th release is packed full of features and enhancements for instructors!

For Instructors:

  • The new Accessibility Checker in the Rich Content Editor (RCE) helps you with enhancing your students’ ability, especially those who use a screenreader, to perceive and to process content created using the RCE, such as content pages, activity instructions, and discussion posts. Remember: making your course materials usable and accessible benefits all students. Some issues that the checker currently identifies include: text size contrast, table captions and headers, heading structure, and image alt tags. For more information about the tool, please check out the release notes posted above; for more information about accessibility, please feel free to email us! (Recommended resource on accessibility)
  • You can now copy a discussion.
  • The move-to menu that appears when you copy an assignment or a discussion has been replaced with a sidebar.
  • The Gradebook History page has been redesigned to include filter controls for student, grader, assignment, and start/end date.
For Students:
  • An issue that results in students receiving an error following quiz submission has been resolved.
For Everyone:
  • In the document previewer (DocViewer), you can now collapse and expand longer comments.

In addition, a recent blog post by the Office of Distance Education and eLearning lists some additional enhancements that are coming to CarmenCanvas next semester:

  • With the Office 365 integration, you (and your students) will have the ability to, in CarmenCanvas, create collaborative documents, access and create links to files stored in Office 365, create assignments where students can receive, edit and submit a document stored in Office 365, and more. (More information)
  • A new Gradebook is coming! The basic functionality remains the same, but it will come with new features and enhancements that will help with efficiency. Some items include additional ways to soft filter the columns (including student names), custom per-account colors for statuses such as late and missing, hiding unpublished assignments, cross-hairs to highlight the currently focused cell, late policy automations, as well as reordering the group and total columns. These functionalities will be rolled out in phases, with the first phases being available on an opt-in basis – Teaching and Learning will offer resources and showcases prior to Phase 1 becoming available in January of 2018. 

    New Gradebook with Cross Hairs

  • A newer, faster and better Quizzing tool (codenamed Quizzes.Next) is coming some time during the Spring 2018 semester! This is a complete rewrite of the quizzing functionality, and it will be initially available as an additional assignment type rather than a complete replacement (which will happen no earlier than 2019). See a feature comparison between the existing Quizzes tool and Quizzes.Next in its current form. Teaching and Learning will offer resources and showcases as soon as the new tool becomes generally available.

Learning Activity Focuses on Future General Practice Application of Technology

This semester, Drs. Jessica Hokamp and Maxey Wellman have introduced an activity into their cytology elective course that both anticipates increased future application of technology in general practice and supports student ability to identify the ideal area on a lymphoma slide for diagnosis.

Some practitioners are sending cell phone images to pathologists for diagnosis, and their activity asks students to effectively use the microscope, identify areas and cells being viewed, and capture the area identified using the iPhone.

Pictured are students attempting the capture. Drs. Hokamp and Wellman plan to refine the pilot learning module into a teaching and learning research project.

What’s New in CarmenCanvas (2017-09-16 & 2017-10-07 Releases)

You have noticed many visual changes in CarmenCanvas since the last “What is New in CarmenCanvas” entry! There were large lists of bug fixes in these two releases; below is a sub-list of changes that we would like to highlight.

(For additional information, visit the 2017-09-16 and 2017-10-07 release notes)

For Instructors Only:

  • Did you know that Canvas has a built-in course conferencing tool for running remote synchronous class sessions among individuals enrolled in the course? The Conference tool received various enhancements in the 2017-09-16 release, including an interface update, ability to allow student download of presentations, download public chat logs, full-screen mode, multi-user whiteboard, and shared notes.
  • Rubric criteria ratings can now be defined with point ranges,. Previously, entering a point value not specified by a rating would not trigger selection of a rating.
  • Published/unpublished icons have been updated.

For Everyone:

  • Email notifications from Canvas are now shown to be from the course instead of from “(Instructure) Canvas”

Resources: Trends and How-To’s on Teaching Without Lectures

Teaching and Learning hosted a discussion with faculty and teaching staff regarding the merits of didactic lectures, the role and pitfalls of PowerPoint-dependent deliveries, and the advent of modern classroom pedagogical applications such as active learning. You can find the resources at this public Top Hat course.