Faculty: schedule your spring classroom media needs & training

January 03, 2013

Dear Faculty and Instructors,


Happy New Year!   This is a gentle reminder that if you have not done so as yet, it is time to schedule your classroom instructional technology/media needs and training.   Scheduling is important to keep us informed of your technology use and help us plan for equipment repairs and replacements.  To schedule your technology and media needs, please follow the instructions below.  To schedule training, please call the Media Hotline: 215-898-9570.   


A few notes:


1)      Given the challenges of staffing, ITS can only support technology requests that have been scheduled through the Media Requests tool in the Course Portal.  Complete how-to instructions are linked below. 


2)      ITS Instructional Team no longer has access to modify classroom technology requests.  This can only be done in the Course Portal, by the instructor or faculty support staff.


3)      If you would like an ITS Media staff member to meet you before your class, please choose Technician on the Media Requests form.   


4)      If you plan to use a technology for the first time, such as a tablet computer or the In-Class Survey, please let us know so we can provide training.


5)      A password is no longer required to use the classroom touch panels—just touch and go! 


6)      Please remember to shut down the technology at the end of your class session.  Often the instructor following you in the room will either not use technology or need to use a different configuration.   If you need help, please let us know by choosing Technician in the Media Requests form and adding a comment requesting help to shut down the equipment.


7)      Students have asked ITS to encourage course recordings:  Recording is easy.  Simply choose Media Requests  in the Course Portal.  In the Shortcut Box under Select a Technology, choose Audio or Video Recording, then choose Add to All Meetings.   Be sure to click Save Changes when you are done


Tip:  If you worry that class recordings will impact on class attendance (although there is no evidence that it does), you may initially schedule recordings as private (available only to the Instructor) and then manage when and who (all or individual students) have access by choosing Recordings.    For example, you could record all of your classes as private and only allow students access to all or some of the recordings the week before the exam.    You may also choose to have students automatically notified when recordings are published.  Need help using these tools?  We are just a phone call away.  Faculty hotline: 215-898-2589.


Important:  You may schedule a course recording up to one minute before the start of your class.  Recordings start and stop automatically according to block times. This is based on the computer clocks and not the battery clocks in the rooms.  Need an on-the-fly recording start?  Call the Media Hotline:  215-898-9570


8)      Add/Drop Period Recordings:  As in the past, ITS WILL automatically record all upper-level lecture courses and 1L electives (not 1L courses, seminars or clinical courses) during the add/drop period.  Instructors may opt out by changing the setting in the Media Requests tool.   Instructors teaching 1L courses, clinical courses or seminars and want their class to be recorded during Add/Drop may choose to do so by changing the setting in the Media Requests tool.


Important:   Published  recordings are available to students in the class and all LawKey users during Add/Drop.  Private recordings are NOT available to students by default.  You can choose to make a private recording available to a particular student or to all the students in the class.    


9)      Podcasts:  All course podcasts are disabled by default. If you would like to enable the podcast for your course, you may do so in the Course Portal.  Choose Manage Site, under the Course Features tab, select the option to enable the Podcasts.  We recommend enabling this only after add/drop is over since all course sites are viewable by all LawKey users.


Tip:  Enabling podcasts allows students in your class to automatically download all audio recordings posted for your course via their iPod or other device for easy playback.  If podcast is not enabled, your students will still be able to access all published audio/video recordings through your course site via the Recordings page.


10)   Retiring VCR/VHS Playback:  As announced three years ago, this semester—Spring 2013, will be the last semester VHS equipment will be available in our classrooms.    If you have VHS tapes, please let me or the itsmedia@law.upenn.edu team know so we can pick up your tapes and convert them.   We are very sorry if this causes you any inconvenience and will work to minimize the impact on you and your students.  


The complete Course Portal help document is here:  https://courses.law.upenn.edu/documentation/portalhowto.html.  I have included a short how-to for scheduling classroom technology below.   I also recommend reading the Recordings section of the help document for detailed information on podcasts, as well as public and private recordings.


How to schedule your Media Requests in the Course Portal:


1.       Login to the Course Portal  http://courses.law.upenn.edu  

2.       On the Portal Home page under the current course term, you will see [media requests] in the menu bar. 

3.       Choose and scroll down to Individual Course Meeting Requests.   You may choose various technologies and add notes. 

4.       When done, please click Save Changes. You may also return at a later time to check on your requests or make changes. 

5.       Your submitted (saved) requests are automatically added to the ITS media schedule. 


Each Friday you will receive an email confirmation of the upcoming week’s scheduled classroom technology.  If you wish to opt out of the confirmations, just let me know. 


If you have any questions or would like training in any of the instructional technologies or course portal features, email itshelp@law.upenn.edu; call the Faculty Hotline 215-898-2589 for course portal training or Media Hotline 215-898-9570 for classroom training; visit ITS Online or just let me know.    


Best wishes for a successful spring semester,  Kay


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