CIRT Newsletter Podcast

Rusty Smith, Allen Moore, & Chuck Thigpen, Athletic Training & Physical Therapy

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shell islandBasic clinical skills, such as measuring joint range of motion and gait training, form the foundation for other interventions physical therapists employ on a routine basis. Typically, students are initially exposed to these skills in their texts and then see live demonstrations in the classroom. This is followed by practice opportunities with other students while being supervised by the instructor. A limitation of this approach is that students only see the demonstration performed 1-2 times by an instructor before they practice the skill and they do not have access to the demonstration outside of class.

To optimize student learning and use of available resources, Drs. Smith, Moore and Thigpen videotaped demonstrations of basic clinical skills, narrated a description of the skills being performed, and converted the narrated video to a file format suitable for playback on a computer or portable media device. Following conversion to the appropriate format the video is made available to students through Blackboard or iTunes as a podcast. The video podcast episodes enable students to view and practice demonstrations at a time and place of their choosing, and extends the time in class for practice of techniques and formative feedback from the instructor to each student.

The faculty members consulted with CIRT staff on several topics to plan for the project, including the equipment to be used and methods for videotaping, narration, production and distribution. The video was captured to iMovie in CIRT, where it was narrated and edited before being produced as an .m4v (MPEG-4 video). The podcast files are distributed via the Podcast LX tool available in Blackboard, which allows students to view or download episodes one at a time, or to subscribe to the podcast feed with iTunes.

Drs. Smith and Moore are now planning a study to examine physical therapy student cognitive and psychomotor performance related to basic clinical skills taught with demonstrations distributed through podcasting as compared to those taught with live demonstrations.

If you are interested in creating audio or video podcasts for your classes, please contact CIRT.

Deb Miller, Director
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blogFocused on the theme "Information Futures: Aligning Our Missions," the Educause 2007 conference was, as usual, an inspirational event with a wide variety of interesting and informative sessions and speakers. The buzz this year was all about Web 2.0 technologies and how to harness these tools instructionally to engage students in higher education.  Web 2.0 refers to 2nd generation web technologies that feature interaction between users and content, and use the web as an application platform. Examples include wikis, blogs, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube,, and Second Life.
If you haven’t heard of Second Life yet, you probably will soon; it was discussed throughout the conference, across many types of sessions. Second Life is a 3-D virtual world built and owned by its residents in which users can buy property, interact in real time via digital avatars, and even take classes. Several universities have purchased islands in Second Life, and some, such as Princeton, are even replicating their real campus buildings there to try to understand how to best combine physical and virtual learning spaces.

I also saw a wonderful presentation from Johns Hopkins faculty about class assignments and activities they call Digital Field Assignments. These projects are defined as follows:
"Digital field assignments combine active-learning strategies with digital technologies to engage today's learners in team-based assignments in which students apply classroom concepts as they research real-world problems".

The projects are designed to engage students in applying knowledge from their coursework, introduce undergraduate students to research, encourage them to work in teams, and foster a learning community. The problem-based research assignments are ill-structured, related to classroom topics, and get students out into the field to observe, gather data, and analyze it, using both traditional and digital tools. They are typically used in freshman courses and also have a mentoring component, tying groups to an upperclassman mentor.

In a large biology lecture course, students go out onto the campus to catalog the flora and fauna, and then upload their data and digital artifacts onto an interactive campus map. They are also able to compare their data to that collected by students in previous semesters and make population comparisons and predictions. In a social sciences course focusing on cities, groups are assigned an urban issue to explore and create an NPR-type news broadcast summarizing their research. Individual students also completed final papers on the topic. Topics ranged from a needle exchange program to a public works art project.

If you are interested in learning more, discussing, or putting together a project like this for your students, please let me know.


  • Respondus
    Tuesday, November 13, 2007
    3:30 – 4:30 pm • Building 51/Room 1201

    Respondus is a powerful tool for creating and managing exams that can be printed to paper or published directly to Blackboard. During this hands-on workshop, learn how to import exam questions from publisher test banks and Word documents, create new assessments and question pools in Respondus and publish to Blackboard from Respondus. Installation CDs will be available for interested UNF faculty.
    RSVP to

  • Finding and Using Online Audio and Video in Courses
    Wednesday, November 14, 2007
    3:00 pm – 4:00 pm • Building 15/Room 1104
    In this hands-on session participants learn how to locate and use existing material to support their course goals. Sites such as YouTube and LearnOutLoud, as well as sources for podcasts and archival audio and video are explored.
    RSVP to

  • StudyMate
    Thursday, November 15, 2007
    3:30 – 4:30 pm • Building 51/Room 1201

    With this companion to Respondus, discover how to create Flash-based activities that engage students without having to learn Flash programming in this hands-on workshop. StudyMate will import items from MS Word files making it easy to create interesting, interactive activities from existing content. Features include spell check, graphics interface, equation editor, quick copy wizard, and publication directly to Blackboard. Some StudyMate activities may also be published to Blackboard for use on mobile devices including iPods and PSPs.
    RSVP to

  • Blogs and Wikis in Blackboard
    Friday, November 16, 2007
    2:00 – 3:00 pm • Building 51/Room 1202

    Enhance the communication in your courses by using asynchronous tools now available in Blackboard. Explore sample blogs and wikis created by UNF faculty and students and discuss tips and best practices.
    RSVP to

  • Copyright and the TEACH Act Brown Bag with Rick Buck
    Friday, November 30, 2007
    12:00 pm – 1:00 pm • Building 1/Room 2600
    A discussion of UNF copyright guidelines and policies for the use of copyrighted materials in an online environment, such as Blackboard. Fair Use and the TEACH Act are covered and checklists for their use shared with participants.
    RSVP to

  • Creating and Publishing Faculty Webpages
    Tuesday, December 18, 2007
    1:00 – 4:00 pm • Building 51/Room 1202

    This hands-on session is designed to assist faculty in creating a basic website, which includes their picture, contact information, courses, research interests and favorite links. Participants use Dreamweaver during the session to build and publish their pages based on the UNF template. Advance organization/writing required.
    RSVP to

Also, check out our past events and handouts, sortable by topic:

David Wilson, Coordinator of Educational Media,
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jAlbumFor the first newsletter of the Fall semester, I want to share a program called CamStudio.

In the past I have been asked to recommend for software for easily creating image galleries for Blackboard and the web.  JAlbum is a free gallery creation software that is available for most operating systems, including Windows and Mac OS X, is  my recommendation.

JAlbum has a simple interface and workflow.  Images are added to the gallery by dragging them into the preview window.  Once an image is in the gallery, common tasks like adding a comment or changing the name can be performed by right-clicking the image (option-clicking on a Mac), and choosing the appropriate command from the drop-down menu.  The next step, after modifying the images, is to choose a skin and style for the gallery.  A skin controls the general appearance and functionality of the gallery, while the style controls specific visual elements, like the background color and fonts.  There are several skins to choose from and it is possible to create custom skins for JAlbum. On the JAlbum website there is a community section where additional skins can be downloaded. 

JAlbum can be downloaded at
For instructions on using JAlbum to create a gallery for Blackboard, please refer to CIRT’s handout at

Erin Soles, Coordinator of Instructional Design,
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Bb WorldCreate Files for iPod Quiz and iQuiz

iPod Quiz turns a series of multiple choice and/or true/false questions into a hand-held game. iPod Quiz is bundled with the current versions of the iPod Classic and iPod Nano models and 5th Generation iPod Video users can download iQuiz for $0.99 from the iTunes Music Store. More information about iQuiz and iPod Quiz

The latest versions of StudyMate (Version 2.0.3) and Respondus (Version 3.5.4a), released October 18, 2007, allow you to generate files in the iPod Quiz format. When a quiz is made available in the iPod Quiz format, it can be copied to the appropriate folder in iTunes and then synchronized with an iPod.

To create an iPod Quiz from Respondus, create a Respondus file and click File>Save as iPod Quiz.

To create an iPod Quiz from StudyMate, create a StudyMate file and on the Settings menu, select Small Screen Devices and review the settings for the iPod Quiz game. Go to the Preview and Publish menu, select the “Publish” tab, start the Publish Wizard, and then select the last box on the first page of the wizard: “iPod Quiz”.

For more information on creating iPod Quizzes, including a list of tips for developing iPod Quizzes, visit the Respondus website:

Instructions for downloading StudyMate iPod Quiz files:

Instructions for downloading Respondus iPod Quiz files:

Safe AssignSafe Assign
SafeAssign is a plagiarism prevention service by Blackboard, Inc. which helps prevent plagiarism by revealing unoriginal content in student work. Investigation of SafeAssign is underway at UNF to determine if and when SafeAssign can be installed on UNF's Blackboard Server.

Instructors may use SafeAssign in two ways: 

  1. Set up SafeAssignments in a Blackboard course. Students submit their work in a manner similar to the Assignment feature currently utilized in Blackboard.  As students submit their work, it is checked against SafeAssign's databases (Internet, ProQuest ABI/Inform, Institutional Document Archives, and the Global Reference Database).  The assignments are then delivered to instructors through the Safe Assign link in the Control Panel or the Blackboard Grade Center along with originality reports and the results of the matching process.
  2. Upload papers directly with the Direct Submit feature, without student participation.  Access Direct Submit through the Control Panel of a course: Control Panel>Safe Assign>Direct Submit.

For more information, visit SafeAssign by Blackboard:


Vista logoUNF is moving to Windows Vista and Office 2007. Information Technology Services has developed a Vista client for faculty and staff that includes Microsoft Office 2007. This client will be installed on new computers as they are purchased and will be available by request for other computers that meet the minimum hardware requirements. Faculty members who wish to have the new client installed on their office computer can contact their C-Tech or make an online request.  The Vista classroom client, featuring Office 2007, will be installed in the General Purpose Computer Lab, technology-equipped classrooms, and lab Classrooms (15/1104 & 15/1105) for the summer 2008 semester. Both Vista and Office 2007 are significantly different than their predecessors. You may visit this link for an overview of the differences.

The Center for Professional Development and Training will provide demo sessions covering the new features in Vista/Office 2007” beginning the spring 2008 term. Check their Course Schedule for dates, times and locations. To view demos of Vista or Office 2007 applications online, please visit Microsoft's site.

PaulPlease join us in welcoming Paul Gambon as Executive Secretary for the Office of Faculty Enhancement and for CIRT. Paul graduated from Loyola University, New Orleans with a B.S. in biology.  He taught high school AP and Honors biology for five years before moving to Japan for a year-long position as a private English instructor.  After returning to Jacksonville in August of 2007, he began working at UNF in September, 2007, and hopes eventually to earn a M.S. in biology.  Paul enjoys reading, writing, life sciences (esp. biotechnology), outdoor sporting, movies, and gaming.

We are also delighted to have two new student assistants in CIRT, both of whom are Graphic Design majors.

Sarah Coghlan is a senior working towards a BFA in Graphic Design who also runs cross-country and track for UNF. She is from Christchurch, New Zealand and in her spare time enjoys hanging out with friends, watching movies, spending time outdoors and cooking.

Meghan Dornbrock (not pictured) is in her first senior year at UNF and is pursuing a BA in English and a BFA in graphic design.  She also works with the Spinnaker.  She enjoys drawing and reading (currently graphic novels), web design and television.


We always find the informal sharing that occurs during workshops and seminars to be as valuable as the events themselves. To provide a more extended time for that sharing, we are planning an event for the spring semester for faculty to come and share their successes or challenges with technology in their instruction. We envision this as a brief, fairly informal presentation from a variety of faculty members sharing their stories, with plenty of time for discussion. Please contact Deb Miller if you are interested in sharing your story.



Poster GalleryThe CIRT website is full of great resources designed to support faculty. In this newsletter, we feature two resources that support the creation of research posters.

The first is the Professional Poster Construction site created by LouAnne Hawkins which provides an excellent overview of the process of creating a research poster, solid advice along the way, and valuable tips and tricks.

A related resource is the new poster gallery available on CIRT's site which offers more than twenty poster templates in PowerPoint format, ready for your use. These have been designed by graphic design majors here at UNF and offer a variety of sizes and professional looks.

This newsletter is a publication of the
Center for Instruction & Research Technology
at the University of North Florida.
Deb Miller, Editor

Please direct any comments or questions to

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