Conference Mania


We all get swept up in the excitement of attending and possibly presenting at conferences. I recently applied to present at a conference in beautiful Keystone, Colorado

laptop and red mug on wood table with snow mountain in Pakistan

Pre-conference Coffee in the mountains

and, unfortunately, just found out my abstract was not chosen.

My disappointment was quickly replaced by the possibility of another conference and location for which I could write another proposal abstract.

I found a blog post from a very successful abstract writer, Catherine Baker,  who gives her 5 steps for successfully pitching your research for almost any conference you choose. The 5 steps and explanations are linked below. Hopefully her advice can help us all write better abstracts and get accepted to present at the conferences we really want to attend.

Catherine Baker’s 5 steps to writing a successful conference abstract.

Quality Matters recognizes Dr. AnnMarie Gunn

AnnMarie GunnOnline Learning and Instructional Technology Services at the Nelson Poynter Library is excited to announce that on March 10, 2017, Dr. AnnMarie Gunn received Quality Matters recognition for her Children’s Literature course, LAE 4414.

Please join us in congratulating her on this significant achievement!

Dr. Gunn’s course is now listed on the QM database of award-winning courses from colleges and universities across the nation. Additionally, the QM Seal of Recognition will now be displayed on the front page of her online course.

The QM Certification process consists of a peer review guided by a research based rubric for high quality online course design. The eight general standards of the rubric include: Course Overview & Introduction, Learning Objectives, Instructional Materials, Learner Support, Accessibility & Usability, Course Activities, Learner Interaction & Engagement, and Assessment & Measurement.

When asked about her experience, Dr. Gunn stated:

I enjoyed the process of designing an interactive online course. The USFSP DL team provided the support needed to make this a seamless process and the USFSP and QM teams provided valuable feedback that will strengthen and enhance the quality of this course.

Contact Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services for more information about Quality Matters.

Dr. Han Reichgelt recognized by Quality Matters for two courses

Han Reichgelt

Dr. Han Reichgelt

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Dr. Han Reichgelt, of USF St. Petersburg’s Kate Tiedemman College of Business, has just received Quality Matters certification for two of his online courses. His undergraduate course, Business Process Analysis (ISM 4930), received certification on March 6, 2017 and his graduate course, ERP Systems Analysis (ISM 6930), received certification on March 9, 2017.

Quality Matters certification involves a rigorous peer review focusing on the quality of course design and alignment  of materials using a rubric of best practices in online and blended learning.

His course is now listed on the QM directory of certified courses from colleges and universities across the nation. The QM Seal of Recognition and information regarding the course quality certification will now be displayed on the home page of both courses.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Reichgelt on this achievement!

If you are interested in preparing your course for Quality Matters review, consider registering for the Improving Your Online Course Quality Matters Workshop beginning on March 20, 2017. This two week, online course will cover essential rubric standards and help you apply them to your course.  Contact Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services for more information about Quality Matters.

Preparing and Teaching an Online Course: The Podcast Episode 3

Podcast auf dem Smartphone

If you’re an instructor, instructional designer, or interested in education, then you should definitely check out a new podcast that the OLITS crew is debuting. If you’d like to be a fly on the wall as an instructor goes through preparing and teaching an online course, then give this podcast a listen. We will be updating with new episodes throughout the semester and mixing some strategies you may want to incorporate into your courses.

Episode 3

Episode 2

Episode 1

Canvas Webinars

From PowerPoint tips to engaging today’s digitally distracted learners, Instructure sponsors webinars on a variety of teaching and learning topics presented by leading experts to offer free professional development to those using Canvas.

Other popular topics include sessions on flipping the classroom, supporting at-risk students, integrating third party tools such as MyLab and McGraw Hill Connect, and using Canvas analytics.

To browse the archive of recorded webinars, or view upcoming topics, visit the Canvas Webinars webpage.

Need Help Learning to Use Canvas Features?



Canvas Guides are here to help!

Canvas has some pretty awesome features, but sometimes we all need a little help learning how to use them. Canvas training sessions are great (we offer them here at OLITS) but it can be hard to remember all of the fine details on using everything after a session. This is where the Canvas Guides come in. Even as someone who uses Canvas everyday, I find them very helpful and use them all the time.


Canvas guides consist of step by step illustrated instructions on everything from assignments to notification preferences. Some features also include video explanations. There are also guides from the instructor perspective as well as the student perspective, so if your students are having trouble, you can refer them to the specific page in the guides that can help them out. The video below shows you how to locate and search the guides.