The University of San Francisco: Information Technology Services
Information Technology
Center for Instruction and Technology

CIT Quarterly Newsletter - Fall 2013

Training for Canvas… October - December

CanvasAs a reminder, Blackboard will retire August 31st, 2014. Don’t delay; now is time to attend training and prepare for your Spring 2014 courses.

Visit the Training Calendar and register online.  

Canvas is Mobile!

Canvas allows both instructors and students access to the USF Canvas site via their mobile devices. All Canvas mobile users can access the site directly through a web browser browser by typing the URL - Most features are supported.

Canvas also offers native applications for Android phones and Mac iOS phones. The viewing and navigation experience is optimized for smaller screens. On mobile phones, students can submit assignments, check grades and participate in their courses. Instructors can create announcements and discussions, message students and navigate to content in their courses.

While all iPad Canvas users have access to the Canvas app for the iPad, instructors will also have the option to download the SpeedGrader app to facilitate grading on the iPad. For full descriptions of how to leverage Canvas on Mobile devices, please see:

Welcome our New Team Member

Angie PortacioAngie Portacio is working closely with faculty on the migration of courses from Blackboard to Canvas. Angie comes from San Francisco State University with many years of experience as an instructional and graphic designer. She has a broad spectrum of experience that will assist faculty with the integration of  technology in their courses emphasizing course design, student engagement, and assessment. Angie can be reached at

Tech Intensive Program Fall Meeting Update / Slideshow

Tech Intensive UpdateThe August Tech Intensive meet-up provided faculty with an opportunity to share their experiences preparing to implement technology in their Fall courses. [ View Slideshow ]

The CIT Tech Intensive Program supported 21 faculty over the summer. Tech mentors were assigned to follow-up and support in the design and planning of technology use in at least one course. The program has offered opportunities for conversations on pedagogy, new teaching methods including MOOCs and Flipped Classrooms, and learning how to use the iPad and web-based applications in the classroom.  Participants will meet again in December to share their results using technology in their courses this Fall.

Electronic Portfolios (ePortfolios) for Authentic Assessment

ePortfolioAn ePortfolio is a collection of students’ work that reflects and meets course, department, and university competencies. The use of ePortfolios to showcase and meaningfully assess student, instructor, and university achievement is the embodiment of new learner-centered teaching methodologies that put the student, and the educational products they produce, at the center of instruction and assessment. 

ePortfolios provide users with the digital tools to demonstrate their life-long learning, skills, and development over time to selected audiences. When creating an ePortfolio, the student, rather than the instructor, is the producer of the educational content, which is represented in various forms of digital media, including webpages, photos, video, sound, and graphics.

ePortfolios can serve multiple purposes within the University of San Francisco academic setting. Students can use them to showcase achievements and/or receive feedback and assessment from faculty, peers, potential employers or graduate programs. Departments and the University can use ePortfolios to collect student work and assessment data for accreditation purposes or recruitment of future students.

This year we will begin the review of several ePortfolio solutions for USF. This is a call for volunteers to participate in the pilot this coming Spring. For more information please contact 

The Learning Technologies Team Visits the New John Lo Schiavo, S.J. Center for Science and Innovation

CSI Visit
Qualitative Research Software NVivo

USF has acquired a site license for NVivo. Learn more about accessing NVivo by clickinghere. Onsite training is being planned for January 2014.

- John Bansavich 

Lecture Capture Tips

Part 1: Prep Work
Trying out a lecture capture solution for recording content for flipping your class? There are various solutions available but here are a few tips to keep in mind before even launching the software. In this segment, we’ll be covering lecture capture that involves just the screen capture and your voice.

1. Check out your recording environment. There can many sources of ambient sound that can create distraction or detract from your voice; a telephone ringing, people talking in the background, fan noise. Find a quiet place to record your voice cleanly.

2. Script it out. One of the keys to an effective recording is a defined objective that flows from beginning to end. Write out that objective and the “path” you want to take. This will keep you on task and help visualize each step of the recording.

3. Keep it short. As much as possible, keep the recordings short, perhaps 8-10 minutes per segment. Breaking up a lecture into segments will maintain student attention and compartmentalize the content.

4. Practice! Going through the content with your script will allow you to refine the flow of your presentation and to practice your recording voice. Having a script doesn't mean reading the script; use it as a guideline and try to make it as natural as possible, as if you were speaking to the class in person.

5. Prep your desktop! It may not just be about Powerpoint slides on the screen; web sites, documents and applications could also be a part of the presentation. Preload each item and have them ready to show on the screen. Then you can use ALT+TAB on the PC or CMD+TAB on the Mac to switch from element to element during the recording, maintaining a nice flow.

Of course feel free to contact the CIT for assistance in developing your own lecture captures! For additional reading, check out these articles from ProfHacker and Educause on lecture capture tips:  


Get trained

Whether you are faculty or staff, we surely have the right class for you! Visit our Training Calendar and register online. Our training calendar is updated quarterly. Group and individual training opportunities are available.
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