Open Labs held every Wednesday

The eLearning team will host virtual open labs to provide real-time assistance with eLearning and other tools. No registration is required. Please join us during lab hours (preferably using a desktop/laptop to enable screensharing). The lab schedule is below:

Every Wednesday
2pm – 4pm
Link to join

An instructional designer will also be available during the labs to answer questions on course design/development. No prior appointment is necessary for this consultation – simply join the lab and ask for instructional design assistance.

To schedule appointments outside of lab hours, please fill out the Instructional Design Consultation Request form. For other types of assistance, please email a detailed description of your issue along with your contact information to elearning@utdallas.edu.

Note: Open Labs are only available for faculty, staff, and teaching/research assistants. Students who need eLearning assistance are encouraged to contact the eLearning Help Desk.

Please visit our webpage for more support and training resources.

Known Issue: PDF Files Will Not Load in Google Chrome

There is currently an issue affecting some eLearning users when attempting to open a PDF file within their course. When the user opens a PDF file from eLearning using the Google Chrome web browser, a small pop-up window appears prompting them to sign in. However, providing their UTD credentials does not allow them to view the PDF file. In some cases, the PDF file only loads the first page and nothing else.

The issue is related to Google Chrome, and we unfortunately do not have a timetable for a fix. Two workarounds are provided below:

  1. Use another web browser (such as Mozilla Firefox) to open the file.
  2. Download the PDF file by right-clicking on the link in eLearning and selecting Save Link As. Users can then open the file on their computer to view the material.

Please contact us at eLearning@utdallas.edu with any questions.

Reminder: Ongoing Training Sessions Available

The UTD eLearning training team is offering training sessions this summer on a variety of topics, including:

  • Course building (New!)
  • Lecture delivery and recording using Microsoft Teams (New!)
  • Online tests

Visit our website for more information on available trainings, dates, and how to join.

Open Educational Resource Tool Now Available

(This post is intended for faculty and staff.)

A new tool for faculty to add open educational resources (OER) into their courses has been added into eLearning. OERTX is a collection of OER covering a variety of topics (such as engineering or art) that faculty can freely use for their courses. Students can read the book in eLearning just by clicking the OERTX link.

To add the tool in your course, please see the instructions below:

  1. Hover over the Build Content tab at the top of the page.
  2. Select OERTX Collections.
Screenshot indicating where to click
  1. Give the tool a name, then click Submit at the bottom of the page.
  2. Click on the tool you just added in your course to open the OERTX collection. You can now browse the available content.
  3. Click the Select button for the resource you’ve chosen to add to your course.
Red arrow pointing to the Select button

For more information on this tool, please visit the OERTX website.

Honorlock Training Session

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Testing Center will remain closed for the Fall 2020 semester. Faculty seeking measures to prevent academic dishonesty during their exams can use Honorlock for exam proctoring.

A pre-recorded Honorlock training session is available to view on Microsoft Stream. The Testing Center Honorlock resources page also offers instructions and information for both faculty and students on how to set up and use Honorlock.

Register for the Upcoming Bb World Conference

This year, the annual Bb (Blackboard) World conference will be held virtually and offered for free to attendees. The conference features workshops related to teaching, distance education, engagement, and more. A list of workshops and speakers can be found on the Bb World website.

The conference will be held from July 21 to July 22. Register for the conference here.

LockDown Browser and Academic Dishonesty (Summer 2020)

The eLearning team is recommending against the use of the Respondus LockDown Browser for this Summer semester for the two reasons listed below:

  • Without proctoring, it is often ineffective. LockDown Browser only prevents students from opening files and windows on the device where it is installed, but it would not be difficult for students to pull up information on their phone or separate device. Proctoring would help prevent this, but such services are not available at this time.
  • The tool is not universally available. LockDown Browser is available on Windows and Mac devices, but it is not immediately available on computers running Linux or ChromeOS. While the number of users running operating systems other than Windows or Mac is low, there may still be undue burden on students, especially without full access to places like UTD computer labs.

Please note that the tool is still available within eLearning for those who feel that it is necessary to use, but please be aware of the points listed above.

What can faculty do to prevent academic dishonesty?

Faculty can set up their exams to make it more difficult for students to be academically dishonest. Our Rapid Remote Resources page has more information on setting up online exams.

We remind faculty that cheating cannot be fully and totally prevented at this time. As mentioned above, even requiring LockDown Browser does not guarantee that academic dishonesty will not occur. For questions or consultation, please contact eLearning@utdallas.edu.

Resources, Tutorials, and Training

The eLearning website contains resources and information that can aid faculty in their online instruction. Below are three pages from our website that faculty may find useful.

Rapid Remote Resources

Our Rapid Remote Resources page was developed to aid faculty with their transition to online instruction. It offers steps on moving your course online as well as some best practices when conducting your course.

Tutorials & Handouts

Our Tutorials and Handouts page offers videos and handouts on common eLearning topics such as creating a discussion forum and grading assignments. There are also three pre-recorded training sessions available for faculty to view: Getting Started to eLearning, Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing, and Online Tests. These three sessions were recorded during the spring semester to assist with the sudden transition to online learning.

Our YouTube channel also features tutorials on many eLearning tasks.

Training & Support

If you need training for an eLearning-related topic, please visit our training page. You will find ongoing training sessions as well as a form for special training should you need it.

As always, you can email eLearning@utdallas.edu with any of your eLearning-related questions.

Adding Users to Your Course

This post will go over some important information regarding adding users into eLearning courses.

Adding Users

Faculty can request that users in specific roles (e.g. Grader, Course Builder) can be added to their courses by filling out the form found here. (The form can also be found at the bottom of your eLearning page.) To avoid delays, please ensure that the information in the form is correct.

Please note that your users will need to complete FERPA training prior to their addition in a course. If they do not have FERPA training, we will request that they complete it.

Once you submit your request (and FERPA training is confirmed), the eLearning team will ask the Registrar for review and approval. This process can take several business days.

(Please note: In the near future, this Add User process will be updated and become more streamlined. This new process will be similar to the Teaching Assistant process explained below. We will let the UTD community know when we have more information.)

Teaching Assistants

To add Teaching Assistants (TAs), faculty will need to follow the instructions for adding users through Galaxy. A link to these instructions can be found here as well as the bottom of your eLearning page.

Please note that eLearning does not add Teaching Assistants to courses. If you have any questions or run into any issues with adding your TAs, you will need to contact scheduling@utdallas.edu for assistance.

Adding Instructors

eLearning does not add instructors to courses. If you are supposed to teach a course this upcoming semester but do not see it in your schedule, please contact your department for assistance

Shells for Course Development

Some faculty are already planning and preparing for the Fall 2020 semester and have requested access to the shells for their Fall courses. While the shells for Fall 2020 courses won’t be made available until midway through the Summer 2020 semester, the eLearning team can provide faculty with development shells so that they may get started on their course development. Development shells look and function like regular eLearning courses, but only the requesting faculty have access to it.

To request a development shell, please email eLearning@utdallas.edu with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your Net ID
  • The name and number of the course in question

Once you are satisfied with your development shell, you can copy the shell into the live course when it is made available.