New Procedure for the Assignment of Faculty Advisers to Incoming First-Year Students

After consultation with the Registrar’s Office, a new procedure was developed that enables departmental administrative assistants to input information about faculty adviser assignments for their respective majors directly via native Banner.  This makes our organization more efficient by removing two steps from the previous process; namely, removing the sending of spreadsheets to the Dean’s office, which then sends them to the Registrar’s office.  For the programs that have over 100 incoming first-year students, the administrative assistants can still make spreadsheets that can then be sent directly to the Registrar’s office for further processing.  The Dean’s Office will continue to handle all Undeclared Majors and students who change majors.

The step-by-step instruction guide as well as the training video can  be downloaded from the castech folder in the CAS Administrative Assistants Blackboard course.

Blackboard 9.1 Workshops

As of June 21, 2010, all Blackboard courses  — with the exception of summer courses which are still running v. 7.3 — have been migrated to Blackboard 9.1.  A series of Blackboard 9.1 workshops have been scheduled so our faculty can familiarize themselves with the new version of Bb.

Introduction to Blackboard 9.1 – Getting Started:

Blackboard 9.1 will be available on June 22, 2010.

All of your Bb courses from previous semesters have been imported into Bb9.1.

Any faculty teaching over the summer will continue using Bb7.3

In the past, the upgrades to new versions of Blackboard have gone virtually unnoticed since the interface for the faculty has been nearly identical to pervious interfaces.

This will not be true with the move to Bb 9.1. The move from Bb 7.3 to Bb 9.1 is similar to the move from Office 2003 to Office 2007, all of the functionality is there, but access to it is different.

To begin preparing faculty members for the move to Bb 9.1, ITDL is offering workshops to introduce the new platform.

This workshop will provide an overview of Bb 9.1 and will cover the “Student View”, Creating Content and Control; Panel.

Upon completing the workshop, attendees will be able to perform some of the basic operations in the new platform.

The Bb9 workshop will be repeated on the following dates and will be held in Science 129.

June 22 9:00-10:30 3:00-4:30

June 23 3:30-5:00

June 24 9:00-10:30 3:00-4:30

June 30 10:00-11:30 2:00-3:30

July 7 10:00-11:30 2:00-3:30

July 8 9:00-10:30 3:00-4:30

July 20 10:00-11:30 2:00-3:30

July 21 9:00-10:30 3:00-4:30

July 22 10:00-11:30 2:00-3:30

Please email labonis@sju.edu to register for the Bb 9.1 workshop.

Additional workshops will be scheduled.

Permission to blog received from Al Labonis on June 21, 2010.

CSA and SSP Registration Processes Made Easier with Technology

The previously tedious and painstaking processes involved in administering and registering users for events such as the Celebration of Student Achievement and programs like the Summer Scholars Program (see descriptions of CSA and SSP below) have now been made easier with the use of “machform” to collect registration data and “Marketplace” to collect payment.  If you are interested in using these technologies to streamline the administration and registration processes of your event/program, please contact Anne Szewczyk to get started.

CSA 2010
During the Spring, SJU celebrates student achievements in a variety of ways.  Each year, the CSA event continues to grow. CSA ‘Celebration of Student Achievement’ was held on 15 April 2010. The University honored 129 of its best students from both College of Arts and Sciences and Haub School of Business. The Poster Session showcased the exemplary academic work of these students in 77 projects, representing 20 departments.

Not only were the presentations available, but an  abstract of each student’s work was included in the CSA 2010 booklet, which was distributed that day.  Many of these projects began as summer research, independent study projects, honor theses, service-learning papers as well as course projects. Fr.Lannon and the University community came out and showed their support and the students were eager to converse about their projects.

SSP 2010
May 24, 2010 begins the kickoff for SJU Summer Scholars Program. This marks the sixth year in which the Summer Scholars Program has been open to students and faculty in all areas of the university, and the second year in which students from Lincoln University will also participate.  Over 100 applications were received in a process that began in late Fall 2009.  After careful review of all the proposals submitted, 92 SJU students and 3 Lincoln University students were accepted into the 10 week program, representing 25 departments, 20 CAS / 5 HSB. Students will engage in creative scholarly work and independent research projects with their faculty mentors.  This year, 62 mentors are participating in the Summer Scholars Program. Throughout the summer, activities are also planned for the students and mentors. As the program is completed in early August, each student is required to submit a one page abstract on their summer research findings.  The culmination of the Summer Scholars Program will take place in late November when the students are honored at the Summer Scholars Dinner.

Preventing Laptop Theft

Excerpts taken from:
http://www.symantec.com/connect/articles/laptop-security-part-one-preventing-laptop-theft

Laptops have become a valuable part of the computing arsenal. They allow users powerful mobile computers with the same capacity and software of many desktops. They also allow connectivity, even outside the office, thus freeing people to take their workplace with them. This is extremely valuable for employees who must travel frequently while remaining in continual communication with their offices. Unfortunately, the mobility, technology and information that make laptops so useful to employees and organizations also makes them valuable prizes for thieves.

It is very important to prevent laptop theft because while the software and hardware that makes up a laptop can be replaced at a limited cost, the information that may be lost when a laptop is stolen may be invaluable or irreplaceable.

There are many things one can do to prevent laptop theft.  Some low-tech solutions include using security tables and laptop safes.  Some high-tech solutions include motion sensors and alarms.  Even more effective than some of these low-tech and high-tech solutions is simply using common sense.

  1. Keep the Laptop Out of Sight – If thieves can’t see a laptop, they can’t steal a laptop. If you need to leave your laptop in the car, place it in the trunk so it is out of sight.
  2. Choose an Inconspicuous Carrying Case – Thieves will assume that any bag contains something valuable, so is best to keep all bags out of sight.
  3. Keep the Laptop Close at Hand – Don’t start leaving your bag “just for a minute” because it may sprout legs and disappear. If possible, remain in physical contact with it at all times.

Classroom Technology Instructional Videos

Are you unfamiliar with the technology in your assigned room and would like a demonstration, but simply can’t find the time to visit the classroom until your first day of class?

If you have been assigned a classroom in Post Hall, you’re in luck. As of right now, instructional videos demonstrating the technology in the Post Hall classrooms are now available online at http://www.sju.edu/int/academics/cas/resources/castech/posthall.html#classroomtechnologyinstructionalvideos

Technology Workshop for the Humanities

This year’s Technology Workshop, titled “Creative Explorations: Digital Technology and the Humanities” showed both faculty and students how certain websites can provide learners with the tools to become active explorers rather than passive tourists.  Dr. Ann Raia, Dr. Barbara McManus, and Dr. Aimée Knight demonstrated uniquely organized, media-rich websites that will allow the eager learner to gain an in-depth understanding of a desired topic.  These websites can be used as either a basis for a course or as merely a supplement.  The presentations were followed by round table discussions.

http://www.sju.edu/int/academics/cas/resources/techworkshop/index.html

Those who attended the workshop thought the workshop was a success as it inspired faculty to enhance the content of their teaching with technology.  Faculty who attended the workshop were also fired up with the ideas discussed at the workshop.

  • The round table discussions can be summarized as follows:
    • The workshop came at a critical time in our planning since we are at the start of planning our new GEP.
    • Dr. Knight’s Aesthetic Literacy Toolbox can be conducive to many disciplines at different levels of study.
    • Merlot- a multimedia resource, which can be used to build a site.  Merlot’s URL is:
    • http://www.merlot.org/merlot/index.htm
    • David Lees and Al Labonis invited attendees to use the support of ITDL.
    • One of the faculty suggested that a grant be set up to allow faculty to develop courses using technology presented at the workshop.

Excel and PowerPoint Training for CAS Administrative Assistants

On March 17, Ben Jezierski, Training Coordinator of Information Technology, conducted a workshop for CAS administrative assistants entitled “Creating Charts with Microsoft Excel” for Mac Users. On March 24 and 25, Ben conducted a two-session workshop entitled “ Introduction to PowerPoint.” These sessions were the most recent offerings in the CAS Administrative Assistants’ Professional Enrichment Series.

In the Excel chart workshop, the four most commonly used charts were covered: pie, bar, column, and line charts. After a discussion of two important preliminary tasks–arranging data correctly in a spreadsheet and selecting the most appropriate kind of chart to display the data– participants gained hands-on experience in creating charts and graphs and formatting them to clearly present information.

In the PowerPoint workshops, users learned:

  • Getting started with PowerPoint
  • Creating a presentation
  • Formatting text on slides
  • Adding graphical objects to a presentation
  • Modifying Objects
  • Adding tables to a presentation
  • Inserting charts to a presentation
  • Preparing to deliver a presentation

Handouts from the workshop are available on the CAS Administrative Assistants’ Blackboard site on MySJU. One of the attendees commented, “Ben was informative, helpful and explained the topics in a clear, concise manner. I felt it was very beneficial and practical.”

This is the final technology workshop for administrative assistants for this academic year. Planning is now underway for next year’s series. Topic suggestions from our administrative assistants are welcome and should be directed to Lorraine Hannon.

2010 Faculty Annual Report Now Online

Now that faculty have completed the annual report process for calendar year 2009, please know that the 2010 Faculty Annual Report is now available for you to use. We hope that you will find it convenient to be able to add data to your 2010 report as your activities–presentations, publications, etc.– are completed rather than waiting until the end of the year to provide this information.

The deadline for submission for the 2010 faculty annual report is Tuesday, February 15, 2011.
You can access the faculty annual report by:

  1. Login to MySJU.
  2. Click School Services/Faculty and Advisor.
  3. Click Faculty Annual Reports (the last item on the list).
  4. Click 2010 to start filling out the 2010 faculty annual report.

We are happy to report that 156 tenured and tenure track faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences (about 84%) successfully submitted their annual report online this year. We will use the feedback received from faculty to make version 3 even better.

Resolving abnormal issues in Mac Microsoft Office applications

Like most things computer-related, pressing the “reset button” for a Microsoft Office application resolves most issues. Follow the directions below to “reset” your Microsoft Office application.

  1. Quit all Microsoft Office applications
  2. Browse to //Macintosh HD/Users//Library/Preferences/
  3. Here you will find the following files:
    • com.microsoft.Excel.plist
    • com.microsoft.PowerPoint.plist
    • com.microsoft.Word.plist
  4. Trash the respective file for the Office application for which you are having problems.
  5. Launch the problematic Office application to see if the problem has been resolved.
  6. If the problem was not resolved, quit all Office applications again, look for the same file listed in Step 3 above inside the
    //Macintosh HD/Users//Library/Preferences/Microsoft/
    folder, and trash it
  7. Launch the problematic Office application to see if the problem has been resolved.

Note: The file(s) that you Trashed will automatically be recreated and set to the default values.

Sharpening Skills on Snap-It

On January 28, Amanda Sciarra, Assistant Director of Information Systems, conducted a workshop entitled “SNAP-IT: A Web Based Report Writer.” Two program directors and seven administrative assistants in the College of Arts & Sciences participated. This workshop is part of the CAS Administrative Assistants’ Professional Enrichment Series.

Snap-It is an ad hoc, web-based report writer and easy to use tool to access and download information from Banner. It is accessible from any computer connected to the Internet. With Snap-It, one can:

  • Generate reports to the computer screen
  • Download formatted text files
  • Create personalized, targeted Email messages

Both program directors and administrative assistants will find Snap-It useful in compiling current information on departmental majors and minors, preparing customized lists using specific criteria such as grade-point average, and creating student e-mail groups.