Blackboard Vista Arrives at UH


Our Newest Team Members

J Fisher

joined the Office of Educational Technology in May, 2009 as a Web Developer with the Instructional Design team. He attended the university of Houston, majoring in Occupational Technology and Industrial s p e c i a l i z i n g in Studies, graphic Communications Technology. He immediately began creating banners and icons for courses in Blackboard Vista and providing support to faculty as well as the Instructional Design team. Please join us in welcoming J to our college, and feel free to contact him at [email protected]

or (713) 743 1344.

Brandon Moeller

joined the Instructional Design team in October 2008 as a Web Developer I, and was promoted to the Web Services team at to contact him at in March, 2009 as a Web Developer II. He attended the university of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s in Communication: Journalism. Brandon has been instrumental in creating the CLASS websites to show the new uH website branding. The latest changes by Brandon and the Web Services team can be seen news/launched.html

. Please join us in welcoming Brandon to our college, and feel free [email protected]

or (713) 743-3668.





Three groups that offer technology support for educators and departments have merged, enabling CLASS to be more efficient in handling requests for instructional design, website development and electronic testing. The three groups that are now merged under the CLASS Office of Educational Technology are Instructional Design and Technology, CLASS Web Services and the Electronic Testing Center (ETC). The new CLASS Office of Educational Technology is directed by Dr. Linda Davis and is located in the basement of the Heyne Building in room 31. The newly-combined office allows for the sharing of resources and is aimed at increasing collaboration between the three technology-minded groups.


Blackboard Vista Arrives at UH

Migration To New System Has Already Begun fALL 2009

CLASS Office of Educational Technology Combines Three Technology-savvy Groups

“Having three distinct groups with three primary functions share the same space allows for some great collaborative efforts that wouldn’t normally be possible,” Davis said. “The Instructional Design and Technology group’s main focus is to serve as a resource for professors who are developing content for their courses, and more and more that involves web technology. Having the college’s central web team in the same offices expands the resources and staffing needs of both groups. The continued support of the Electronic Testing Center, located in Agnes Arnold, makes us the one-stop shop for many of the technology needs of faculty and staff within CLASS.”

Meet Our GTAs

Abhilash Reddy Konda

is pursuing his Masters in Technology,

Vishal Juluri

is pursuing his Masters in Computer Science,

Divya Chekuri

is pursuing her Masters in Computer Science,

Malarvizhi Nachiappan

is pursuing her Masters in Engineering.

This semester begins the university’s transition to the new Blackboard Vista. The new system is more robust than our WebCT installation, allowing more courses to host content online. All courses previously hosted in WebCT will be migrated from the old system which will be turned off in late 2010.

for most users familiar with WebCT, the main difference with using Blackboard involves the login. Instead of using their Cougarnet username, users now enter their PeopleSoft ID number in the username field. Please note: the password is nOT the same password used to log into the PeopleSoft Self Service system, though users can change it to be the same once they have successfully logged into Blackboard. The other major difference is the layout of the interface. The user toolbar now runs along the left side of the screen with the designer tools for adding content now running along the top. users will find most other features are the same as they were in WebCT.

Basic tutorials on the most common tasks used in Blackboard, such as uploading files and working with the gradebooks, can be found on the CLASS IDT website at to set up an appointment.

http://www. . for additional training on using Blackboard, contact the IDT group at [email protected]

Projects for 2009 QEP Curriculum Development Grant Program

CLASS participates in the 2009 uH Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The university of Houston is bolstering student’s research skills with the Learning Through Discovery Initiative. The Initiative promotes a teaching and learning culture supportive of research in all disciplines for all undergraduate students. The CLASS projects below are among the 23 pilot projects selected for implementation in 2009. “Quantitative Social Sciences Minor (QSSM)” Scott Basinger,

Political Science

David francis,


David Papell,


“The Ancient World through Web based Technology” Casey Due Hackney,

Modem and Classical Languages

francesca D. Behr,

Classical Studies/Women’s Studies

“Art and Society” Cynthia freeland,


“Research and Writing Intensive Course Design in the English Department” Lorraine Stock,


Maria gonzalez,


“Spanish Language Variation and Transfer among generations in Houston” Manuel gutierrez,

Hispanic Studies

Marta fairclough,

Hispanic Studies

“The use of geographic Information Systems in the Economics Curriculum” Janet Kohlhase,


“Advanced Research Practicum in Sociology” Joseph Kotarba,


Alice Cepeda,


Jarron Saint-Onge,


Samantha Kwan,


“Interdepartmental Student Research with the Surviving Katrina and Rita in Houston Project” Carl Lindahl,


Susan nash,


“1771: four Cities in One year” David Mazella,


Julie grob,

Special Collections/ Library

“Capstone Courses in Phronesis: A Program in Politics and Ethics” gregory Weiher,

Political Science

Tamler Sommers,

Philosophy and Phronesis Program

“Professionalizing undergraduate Creative Writing and graphic Design” Lynn Voskuil,


Cheryl Beckett,

Graphic Communications

Aaron Reynolds,


Darin Ciccotelli,


Soon To Be A Daddy!

Please join us in congratulating Patrick and his wife Shelley who are expecting their first child, Liam, in november. Our office is thrilled at the news! We are eagerly awaiting baby’s arrival and looking forward to seeing the proud daddy on diaper duty. Congratulations Patrick!

ETC Gets A Facelift

Exams are on the rise, time slots are still available

Since its introduction in fall 2006, the E.T.C. has gained momentous popularity with CLASS faculty. Although the fall 2009 semester is filling up quickly there are still time slots available. Please contact Lauren Hardesty at [email protected]

or 713-743-5619 to discuss scheduling your assessments.

for those who have not had the opportunity to utilize the E.T.C., now is the perfect time! We recently acquired 45 brand new Dell desktop computers to complete our 96-station testing center. The E.T.C. allows faculty to administer exams in a secure, monitored environment thus ensuring the integrity of course assessments. The center is equipped to handle a variety of testing software including Blackboard Vista, QuestionMark Perception, and Respondus Lockdown Browser.

for additional information, please visit the E.T.C. website at

New Assistant Dean for Technology & Communication

Dr. Jerome Crowder is the Assistant Dean for Technology and Communication. In this role he works with faculty and staff to develop and enhance the use of technology in teaching and research throughout the college. He is also responsible for communicating information about faculty, research and department highlights with the university and beyond. While working for the dean’s office, he continues to teach courses in Anthropology and pursue his ongoing research projects.

Jerome comes to the Dean’s office after being an Assistant Research Professor in Anthropology, a Principal Investigator with the Abramson Center for the future of Health and Associate Director of Visual Studies. Since 2002 he has been affiliated with the Texas Learning and Computation Center (TLC strategies. [email protected]

2 ), holding the position of Research Scientist, supporting the production of scientific materials for annual reports, public relations. He is trained as a medical anthropologist (PhD Anthropology, Pitt ’98) and has ongoing research projects in east Houston, studying the use of technology in underserved communities, as well as in La Paz, Bolivia, investigating the processes of migration and urbanization on health decision making 713-743-3742

FDIP Grants Announced

faculty Development and Initiative Program rewards CLASS

Each spring, the Office of Educational Technology and university Outreach invites proposals for the faculty Development and Initiative Program (f.D.I.P) grants. The major goal of the grants is to create richer teaching environments by utilizing innovative technology. As part of the grant, individuals interested in developing electronic materials for a single course can apply for Program A with a maximum award of $4,000. Teams of faculty interested in developing electronic course materials for a group of courses may submit proposals for Program B grants with a maximum award of $25,000. The following faculty received a grant of up to $25,000 for course development: 1. gregory Weiher, Political Science; Colonel Phillip Bossert, Department of Air force Science; Robert Buzzanco, History, and Ryan Kennedy, Political Science;

National Security Affairs

2. Hildegard glass, Modern and Classical Languages with Marc Zimmerman, Marie Theresa Hernandez, Robert Zaretsky, Alessandro Carrera, and others;

Urban Research Initiative.

3. Andrew Davis , Music with Joseph Evans, Kyung-Sun Lee, and Robert Bates;

Distance Education Using INTERNET2 in the Moores School of Music

4. Richard H. Armstrong, Honors with Stacey Peebles, gabriela Maya, Alison Romano, Blair Ault;

Human Situation Web Portal

The following faculty received a grant of up to $4,000 for course development: 1. Lydia Tiede, Political Science;

Judicial Process Live: Using Technology to Enhance Students’ Learning

2. Monica McHenry, Communication Sciences and Disorders;

Preventing Voice Disorders in Developing Classical Singers

3. Jennifer Clark, Political Science;

Bringing Congress into the Classroom: A Hybrid

4. Jennifer Wingard, English;

Discovering Houston: Reading and Writing the City

5. Joe Kotarba, Sociology;

Exploring Ethnic Music Scenes in Houston

6. Helen Rose Ebaugh, Sociology;

Enhancing the Sociology Internship via Web based Support

7. Rachel Aghara, Communication Sciences and Disorders;

Experiences Computerized Language Analysis Activities: A Hybrid Laboratory Course and Individualized Learning

8. Anadeli Bencomo, Hispanic Studies;

Spanish Graduate Class: Critical Theory in an lnteractive Format

Congratulations to everyone for their successful grant awards.

Laptops Available for CLASS Instructors

We have a limited number of Dell laptops available for instructors who are in classrooms not equipped with a computer, but would like to be able to use technology as part of their classroom instruction. These laptops have the standard Microsoft Office suite and Internet browsing applications preinstalled. The laptops are equipped with a CD burner, DVD drive and a wireless network card to connect to the uH Wireless network (Cougarnet accounts required for access to wireless network).

If you would be interested in checking out a laptop for the semester, please contact Lauren Hardesty at [email protected]


Technology Corner

Internet Explorer

Blackboard Vista users who are still running Internet Explorer 6 are highly encouraged to update their browser to Internet Explorer 7, the browser of choice for the version of Blackboard we use.

Safari 4

Blackboard Vista users who are using Macs should download the latest version of Safari (4.0.3) or the latest version of firefox. While Blackboard does not currently have a browser of choice for the Mac, both browsers are currently in use by IDT and have been shown to work even if they don’t pass the Blackboard Browser Check.

Respondus License Renewed

The campus license for Respondus, the Windows software for uploading assessments to Blackboard has a new license key. Email to [email protected]

for the updated information.

Heyne Bldg., Room 31 Mail Code: 3000 [email protected]


Dr. Linda Davis

Instructional Design & Technology

Instructional Designers:

Anjana Singhal Jennifer Lazzaro Patrick McCormick

Web Developer:

J fisher

CLASS Web Services

Web Developers:

flor Velasquez Brandon Moeller

Web Writer and Editor:

Jennifer Palton

Electronic Testing Lab

Lauren Hardesty