Dear TLT
Dear TLT, Productivity, Research

Dear TLT: How do I Combine Text from Two Columns into One (in Excel)?

Dear TLT,

I’m working with a rather complex data set, and I need to combine text from two separate columns into one.  Is that possible?

Sincerely,

Professor James Moriarty
Mathematics

Dear Professor Moriarty,

While it is not “elementary,” as some might say, it is definitely possible!  To get started, click on the first (empty) cell in the new column (C2 in the example below).

Screenshot_12_17_15__2_40_PM

Click on Formulas > Insert > Text > CONCATENATE.

Screenshot_12_17_15__3_09_PM

Click on cell A2 then type [, space“,].  Click on cell B2 and press enter.

Screenshot_12_17_15__3_11_PM

Cell C2 should now include text from cells A2 and B2, but not R2D2 🙂

Screenshot_12_17_15__3_13_PM

Use the fill handle to copy the formula to the rest of the cells in the new column.

Screenshot_12_17_15__3_14_PM

Please contact your instructional technologist, if you have additional questions or concerns, and check out our upcoming training sessions at http://tlt.eventbrite.com.

Best regards,

TLT

 

Have a question for Dear TLT?  

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Professor James Moriarty is from what literary series? The first faculty member to email tlt@cofc.edu, with the correct answer, will receive a TLT flash drive!

Dear TLT
3D Printing, Dear TLT

Dear TLT: How do I Print a 3D Model for Class?

Dear TLT,

I found an amazing model of the Taung Child’s skull, on Thingiverse.com, and I heard you have a 3D printer for faculty use. How do I request a print?

Sincerely,

Professor Henry Jones, Jr.
Anthropology

[hr]

Dear Professor Jones,

We would love to help you print your model for class! Please take a look at the steps below to get started. For more information on our printer, policy, and additional resources, visit our 3D Printing for Instruction page. We look forward to receiving your 3D Print Request Form!

Please contact your instructional technologist, if you have additional questions or concerns, and check out our upcoming training sessions at http://tlt.eventbrite.com.

Best regards,

TLT

 

Have a question for Dear TLT?  

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Professor Henry Jones, Jr. is from what action movie franchise? The first faculty member to email tlt@cofc.edu, with the correct answer, will receive a TLT tumbler!

Dear TLT
Dear TLT

Dear TLT: How do I Normalize the Volume of an Audio Recording?

Dear TLT,

I recently recorded an (audio) interview and noticed that my voice is much louder than my subject’s. Is there any way to amplify his voice so the volume levels are consistent?

Sincerely,

Professor J. Barnhardt
Physics

[hr]

Dear Professor Barnhardt,

Excellent question! It sounds like you need to apply Dynamic Range Compression which will increase the volume of your subject’s voice without distorting yours. To do this, you will first need to download the free audio editing program, Audacity. Audacity is a powerful tool, and may be intimating for new users, but they provide several great tutorials on their Wiki.

Audacity__Free_Audio_Editor_and_Recorder

Next, you will need to download and install Chris Capel’s dynamic compressor plug-in. If you have any trouble with installation, please contact your instructional technologist. Once you restart Audacity, open your audio file and click Effect > Compress Dynamics 1.2.6.

Effect_and_Menubar

We recommend that you enter Daniel J. Lewis’ “best” settings (see image below) as detailed in his (The Audacity to Podcast) blog post.

Compress__dynamics_1_2_6____and_702_0039

After you apply the dynamic compression, click File > Export to save the changes to a new file.

Please contact your instructional technologist, if you have additional questions or concerns, and check out our upcoming training sessions at http://tlt.eventbrite.com.

Best regards,

TLT

 

Have a question for Dear TLT?  

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Professor Jacob Barnhardt is from what 1951 sci-fi movie? The first faculty member to email tlt@cofc.edu, with the correct answer, will receive a TLT tumbler!

Dear TLT
Best Practices, Dear TLT, TLT

Dear TLT: Can I Embed a VoiceThread Lecture in OAKS Content?

Dear TLT,

Is it possible to embed a VoiceThread lecture in OAKS content? I know my students access VoiceThread via the Multimedia Resources widget, to make comments, but what if my lecture is view only?

Sincerely,

Professor C. Connors
Genetic Biology

[hr]

Dear Professor Connors,

Great question! Yes, you can. To embed view-only VoiceThread lectures in OAKS content, follow these eight steps:

1.  Log into OAKS and open your course homepage. Click Access VoiceThread for this Course under the Multimedia Resources widget (on the right).

Homepage_-_10_3_ChrisMeshanko

2.  Hover over the VoiceThread that you want to embed and click Share.

3.  Click on the Basic tab and select Embed.

4.  Uncheck the Comment box, leaving and allow anyone to: View checked. Click Copy Embed Code.

5. Go back to OAKS, open Contentand select a module to store your lecture. Click Create a File.

6.  Enter a Title to name the file and click on the Insert Stuff icon.

7.  Click Enter Embed Code. Paste the embed code from VoiceThread and click Next.

8.  Make sure your VoiceThread displays properly and click Insert. Click Publish and exit.

Please contact your instructional technologist, if you have additional questions or concerns, and check out our upcoming training sessions at http://tlt.eventbrite.com.

Best regards,

TLT

 

Have a question for Dear TLT?  

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Professor Curtis “Curt” Connors is from what comic book series? The first faculty member to email tlt@cofc.edu, with the correct answer, will receive a TLT tumbler!

Dear TLT
Dear TLT, TLT

Dear TLT: How Do I Remove Students from OAKS Who Drop My Course?

Dear TLT,

After looking at my classlist in Banner, I noticed that two of my students have dropped. However, they still show up in OAKS.  How do I remove them from OAKS?

Sincerely,

Professor D. Kirke
History

[hr]

Dear Professor Kirke,

Thank you for contacting TLT! If you notice an inconsistency between your Banner and OAKS classlists, click on the Request a Student to be Added or Removed from your OAKS Course form under the OAKS Requests widget on the OAKS homepage (see image below).

Please contact your instructional technologist, if you have additional questions or concerns, and check out our upcoming training sessions at http://tlt.eventbrite.com.

Best regards,

TLT

 

Have a question for Dear TLT?  

Submit the following form to see it featured on our blog: http://goo.gl/n1N2tq.

Professor Kirke is from what literary series? The first faculty member to email tlt@cofc.edu, with the correct answer, will receive a TLT umbrella!

Dear TLT, Video, Web 2.0

Dear TLT: Are There Any Note-Taking Apps That Sync With Videos?

Dear TLT,

I am currently in the process of designing my first online course. Do any apps exist that would allow my students to take notes that automatically sync with my lecture videos?

Sincerely,

Professor R. Hinkley
Physics

[hr]

Dear Professor Hinkley,

Congrats on designing your first online course! If we understand you correctly, you are looking for a note-taking app that links a note to a specific point on a video’s timeline. So when the note is clicked, the video automatically jumps to the relevant part. There is indeed an online app, called VideoNot.es, that does just that!

VideoNot.es is not only perfect for taking notes on lecture videos, it can also be used to create transcripts for students needing accommodations. Because VideoNot.es is integrated with Google Drive, students can easily create and share notes. Notes can even be exported to Evernote.

For more information, visit the VideoNot.es knowledge base at: https://videonotes.uservoice.com/knowledgebase.

VideoNot_es__The_easiest_way_to_take_notes_synchronized_with_videos_
VideoNot.es

 

Please contact your instructional technologist, if you have additional questions or concerns, and check out our upcoming training sessions at http://tlt.eventbrite.com.

Best regards,

TLT

 

Have a question for Dear TLT?  

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Professor Hinkley is from what television show? The first faculty member to email tlt@cofc.edu, with the correct answer, will receive a TLT stylus!

Dear TLT
Dear TLT

Dear TLT: What’s the Best Way to Access VoiceThread?

Dear TLT,

I just discovered VoiceThread, and I love it!  What is the best way to access VoiceThread and share my presentations (with my students)?

Sincerely,

Professor S. Snape
Chemistry 

[hr]

Dear Professor Snape,

We love VoiceThread too!  With our site license, you no longer have to log on to VoiceThread.com.  Instead, you can go through the Multimedia Resources widget on your “course” homepage (in OAKS).

Screenshot_092214_112533_AM

This will take you directly to your MyVoice page.  It will also create a course folder under College of Charleston (on the left).  Please encourage your students to access VoiceThread in the same manner.

Screenshot_092214_115240_AM

To share a VoiceThread with your students, simply left-click (and hold) on it and drag it over to the appropriate course folder.  The folder will turn yellow when selected.

share

A message will appear once the VoiceThread has been successfully copied to the folder.

Screenshot_092214_015136_PM

Don’t forget to let your students know when you post a new VoiceThread to the course folder via an OAKS News Item or email.

Please contact your instructional technologist, if you have any questions or concerns, and check out our upcoming VoiceThread training sessions at http://tlt.eventbrite.com.

Best regards,

TLT

 

Have a question for Dear TLT?  Submit the following form to see it featured on our blog:  http://goo.gl/n1N2tq.

Dear TLT
Dear TLT, Innovative Instruction, instructional technology, Pedagogy, TLT

Introducing “Dear TLT” – Submit Your Questions Today!

Have you ever told your students not to be afraid to ask questions because their classmates probably have the same question(s)?  Well, professors shouldn’t be afraid to voice their queries either!  It’s likely the questions you have about implementing instructional technologies are shared by your colleagues.  So we are starting an online community, called “Dear TLT,” to answer your questions, inspire discussion of best practices, and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration.  Much like “Dear Abby,” your instructional technologists will respond to your questions with advice, suggestions, and troubleshooting tips.

Dear TLT

To submit a question for TLT, please complete the following form:  http://goo.gl/n1N2tq.

We look forward to corresponding with you!

Please note: Questions will be answered on a first come, first-served basis and added to TLT’s blog as space permits. If you need an immediate response, please contact your instructional technologist.

Dear TLT, Portfolio, Productivity, Research

Dear TLT: How do I Merge Multiple PDFs into One File for T&P?

Dear TLT,

I do not have Adobe Acrobat XI Pro, and I need to merge multiple PDFs into one file for my Tenure and Promotion (T&P) packet.  Are there any FREE solutions that will produce the same results?

Sincerely,

Professor C.F. Xavier

[hr]

Dear Professor Xavier,

Thank you for this very timely question!  There are FREE solutions available.  Since you did not mention if you are a Mac or Windows user, we will provide applications for both (see table below).

[table id=1 /]

Please contact your instructional technologist, if you have any questions or concerns, and do not forget to check out our upcoming training sessions at http://tlt.eventbrite.com.

Best regards,

TLT

1-1-1, Collaboration, Faculty Technology Institute, Google, Google Apps, TLT

Faculty Guest Post: Using Google Apps for Collaboration

Our guest blogger is Jessica Smith, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication.  Jessica attended the Summer 2013 FTI.

Think of any movie that features scenes of the college classroom.  Hollywood portrayals typically include the archetypal professor, wearing glasses and chalk on the sleeve, standing before a theatre-style hall, lecturing from a podium.  When I first began teaching, I had visions of Robin Williams, in Dead Poets Society, serenading his students with lessons about love and life.

These Hollywood fantasies were quickly crushed my first semester teaching.  Students slept, read newspapers, worked on homework, and gazed out the window.  Now, they text their friends and surf the Web on their laptops.  Despite my frustration over their lack of engagement, I was determined to craft lectures that would rouse my students to declare “Captain, my captain” while standing on their desks.

I didn’t realize until after that first semester that my steadfast commitment to becoming a “sage on the stage” was actually preventing me from inspiring and motivating my students.  I have since dedicated myself to learning about innovative methods for engaging students, including the latest education technology tools.  One such tool is Google Apps for Education, a suite of web-based applications.

Since the College has a site license, many students and faculty use this free resource for individual academic pursuits.  But I believe Google Apps was especially designed for use in the classroom, allowing students and faculty to collaborate on projects, activities, and assignments.  This semester, I have made a concerted effort to use Google Apps more frequently and creatively in my classes.

In this post, I’ll address how I use Google Apps for various forms of collaboration, including:

  1. Workshopping and peer editing
  2. Collaborative writing and peer instruction
  3. Brainstorming and crowdsourcing

I teach in the Communication Department, so my students complete numerous writing assignments throughout the semester.  One of the most important phases in the writing process is revising and Google Docs is ideal for workshopping and peer editing.  Students compose their writing assignments in Google Docs (or upload their document to their Drive) and share it with their classmates and me.  I ask students to focus on two or three specific tasks (such as reviewing APA format or critiquing thesis statements).  To teach students how to effectively edit, hold them accountable, and assign participation points, I track my students’ comments on their classmates’ documents.  Kaitlin Woodlief, one of our TLT gurus, taught me how to comment in Google Docs: Students select the text they’d like to comment on then go to Insert > Comment > type their feedback.  The comment will be saved with the student’s name and date/time.  This allows me to keep track of students’ comments so I can ensure they are truly doing their best to help each other improve their writing. 

After workshopping with their classmates, I then have students edit and revise their papers independently.  I have them follow the same commenting procedure and ask them to make notes about their revisions (e.g., explaining why they did or did not accept a classmates’ suggestion).  This not only helps students think more critically about the evolution of their writing, but also helps me evaluate their revision skills.

Google Docs is also fantastic for collaborating during class on low-stakes writing assignments, which prepare them for their larger papers.  For example, I have pairs of students compose “summarize and respond” paragraphs together.  I ask them to bring laptops or tablets to class so they can work simultaneously on the same document (TLT Tutorial: http://youtu.be/xLN7hTlzrtc).  For students who don’t have access to a laptop or forget theirs, I bring my own devices for them to use.  This type of collaboration presents students with a useful challenge—learning to write together.  I’ve also witnessed many instances of “peer instruction” as one student teaches another about a concept or technique.   To read more about collaborative writing, visit: http://wac.colostate.edu/intro/pop2l.cfm.

Finally, Google Moderator provides yet another opportunity for collaborating (TLT Tutorial: http://blogs.cofc.edu/tlttutorials/2013/04/24/google-moderator). This is a crowdsourcing app that allows users to submit questions or ideas, vote on those submissions, and rank them by order of popularity.  When I teach argumentation, students submit resolutions they would like to debate, vote on their favorites, and watch the most popular resolutions rise to the top.  We then choose the resolution that received the most votes as the one we debate in class.  This allows students to brainstorm topics then pick the ones they actually are interested in researching and debating.

Since quashing my delusions of grandeur during my first semester teaching, I realized professors are no longer the center of the higher education universe.  Google allows students to fact-check lectures with just a few keystrokes.  They can crowdsource notes and help each other with projects using social media.  Massive open online courses like Kahn Academy and Coursera allow students to learn from some of the brightest minds in the world.  Therefore, professors must adapt their teaching styles from “sage on the stage” to “guide on the side.”  One way to accomplish this is to incorporate more collaboration into the classroom and Google Apps provide tools that make it simple and meaningful.