USF Canvas Listserv for Faculty

email iconUSF has created a faculty-to-faculty listserv so that you can email each other with ideas, news, announcements, tricks, tips and workarounds about using Canvas. You can also use it to ask questions of other subscribers. Several support staff, include Information Technology and Instructional Designers, will also be part of the list.

To subscribe, visit the listserv index page and locate “Canvas” in the alphabetical list, then click it to find the link to “Join or Leave CANVAS.” Use that link to enter your preferred email address and select whether you would like receive emails as they are sent, as a daily digest, or as a weekly digest.

Literature & The Occult, Dr. Francis Tobienne Receives Quality Matters Certification

Dr. Francis Tobienne, JrInstructional Media Services at Nelson Poynter Library is very pleased to announce that Dr. Francis Tobienne’s course, Literature & The Occult (LIT 3451), received Quality Matters Certification yesterday, May 7, 2013. Not only did Dr. Tobienne’s course meet QM standards, he received a perfect score of 95 points.

Dr. Tobienne’s course is the third course to receive QM Certification at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and the first course from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Quality Matters LogoThis QM Certification process consists of a peer review guided by a research based rubric for high quality distance learning course design. The eight elements of the rubric include: Course Overview & Introduction, Learning Objectives, Instructional Materials, Learner Support, Accessibility, Learner Interaction and Engagement, and Assessment & Measurement.

Dr. Tobienne worked with staff at Instructional Media Services to support his online course design. Of his experiences with the review process and the IMS team members, he states:

“As with any rigorous activity, the telos of that experience yields a far better fruit than its beginning. Such was my experience with designing a Lit. course and undergoing the QM certification process. I applaud and look forward to more opportunities to work with the IMS group as they provided the sagacious-glue to my otherwise, frenetic mens mentis.”

~Dr. Francis Tobienne, Jr.

Congratulations to Dr. Tobienne! To learn more about Quality Matters, visit our Professional Development page or contact Instructional Media Services.


Plagiarism, whether you agree with it or not, is a hot button issue in both the professional and academic world. Someone is always looking for the easy way out when writing a paper. Unfortunately, people will turn to plagiarism in order to make it easy for them.

According to Merriam-Webster, plagiarism is defined as “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own.” In other words, you are stealing someone’s work and stamping your name on it. Plagiarism is a terrible thing that a lot of people do. Whether it is out of laziness or lack of creativity I’m not sure. One thing I do know is that there is many ways people plagiarize.

Before I get into that though, I’d like to share my own personal experiences. I have never plagiarized in a major assignment that I had to turn into school. Granted, I may have barely paraphrased a sentence or two in my day, but never on such an obscene level. At USF, if I were to plagiarize and get caught, I could have a ‘FF’ added to my records. A ‘FF’ is the worst thing possible. Not only would people see that I failed a course, but that I failed it due to cheating.

It was beat into my head. “Don’t plagiarize or you’ll ruin your academic career” they would yell at me. Every paper, essay, or short answer I ever wrote was painstakingly looked over to make sure that I didn’t accidentally copy anything. I appreciated what they were doing for me, but I began to think to myself if it was too much. I get it; plagiarism is bad, really bad. However, sometimes it crippled me to the point that I wrote terrible papers.

I share this because I want to share my story with faculty members. If you have classes where you have your students write a lot of papers, then explain to them what it means to plagiarize. Give them some resources that they can study so they can learn without the panic. You don’t know how much of a difference it can make when you tell someone “hey, it’s okay. Do this and you’ll be fine.”

Now that that’s out of the way, here are the top 10 types of Unoriginal Work!

  1. Cloning
  2. CTRL – C
  3. Find – Replace
  4. Remix
  5. Recycle
  6. Hybrid
  7. Mashup
  8. 404 Error
  9. Aggregator
  10. Re-Tweet

The full list provided by Turn it in provides some great reporting on these types. They do a far better job of explaining it then I ever could. Follow the link below to check out the full report!

Turn it in 10 Types of Unoriginal Work

Teaching & Learning – Reciprocal Feedback in the Online Classroom – Magna Publications

Teaching & Learning – Reciprocal Feedback in the Online Classroom – Magna Publications.

Understanding learners’ experiences in the online classroom can help you improve your courses for current and future students and help build a strong learning community. Jill Schiefelbein, owner and guru of Impromptu Guru, a company focused on helping individuals and groups improve communication in both face-to-face and online environments, recommends using a reciprocal feedback process to elicit this valuable information from students.

Giving feedback about the learning experience might be new to some students. In order to get students on board with this process, Schiefelbein includes two videos in her courses: one that introduces the instructor and one that explains course expectations. “I make these two separate videos because they are for two very different purposes. I don’t want to put them together. I want them to be short and to the point,” Schiefelbein says.

Read more of Rob Kelly’s article at Magna Publications website.

This article originally appeared in the newsletter Online Classroom 12.5 (2012): 4, 5. The Online Classroomnewsletter helps you stay current with the latest trends in online learning by offering ideas and advice for the new trailblazers in higher education.

Faculty push back against online course vendors

There have been several recent articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education reporting on faculty concerns with the direction they fear their campuses are taking with online education. In an article entitled Faculty Backlash Grows Against Online Partnerships, Steve Kolowich reported that: “Philosophy professors at San Jose State University last week wrote an open letter saying they refused to use material from an edX course, taught by a famous Harvard University professor, for fear that California State University administrators were angling for a way to eventually gut their department.”

“At Duke University a week earlier, an undergraduate-faculty council voted down a push by the provost’s office to offer small online courses for credit through 2U, a company that sells an online platform and support services to colleges.”

“Those rebuttals followed closely the decision by the Amherst College faculty to reject an invitation to produce massive open online courses through edX.”

Faculty express concerns about the quality of the educational process, which includes student engagement with faculty who know them. They express concern about “how MOOCs might deepen the divide between the wealthy universities that produce them and the less-wealthy institutions that would buy licenses to use those MOOCs from providers like edX.” Faculty also “worry that the widespread use of online courses will damage departments in public universities facing budgetary pressures.”

Read the full article and share your thoughts here.

New this week in Canvas

As many of you may already know, Canvas is a living and breathing LMS. Canvas schedules updates and new features every three weeks! This week canvas released several new items that I thing faculty will like.


  • The Attendance is a new tool that Canvas just enabled.  It links to a service called Roll Call, and is used to take daily classroom attendance.  This attendance tool is supposed to be integrated with the Gradebook as well.  It’s a brand new tool, so there’s not yet any documentation, so use it as you will.

Calendar 2

  • Also enabled for us this week was the option of using Calendar 2.  This is a revamped version of the Calendar.  The new calendar is faster, supports weekly and daily views, along with Scheduler.  The scheduler tool lets you set up time slots that students (or student groups) can sign up for.  For more information on Scheduler visit the Canvas help guides.

Education research and the pace of innovation

Education research and the pace of innovation | Inside Higher Ed.

SAN FRANCISCO – To keep up with the breakneck pace of developments in online education, higher education researchers must be nimble and sometimes make do with “dirty” and quickly gathered data. Otherwise weighty discussions about student learning might get lost in all the hype around massive open online courses and other digital innovations. by Paul Fain

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed