Spring 2016 Digest

As the spring 2016 semester comes to a close we have included in this digest a recap helpful information and events.
In this digest:

We have included some information we hope you find useful in kick-starting the coming semester.

In this digest:

About Scholarly Technology and Resources (STaR)

Our mission is to support teaching and learning in the online environment.
We provide:

  • Opportunities for training and professional development
  • Instructional design and course development services
  • Assistance with creating engaging content
  • Blackboard administration
  • Technical support for faculty and students

Our support team is ready to answer questions related to Blackboard, UALR’s learning management system, or any of the supporting tools such as Collaborate, our web-conferencing solution, and Kaltura, our streaming media server.  Our instructional design team is available to assist faculty with design and delivery best practices.

We encourage faculty to include our student support contact information in their syllabi, invite their students to contact us, visit the Blackboard Student Support website, or come see us for assistance.  All students are enrolled automatically in a Blackboard Orientation which can be accessed by logging into my.ualr.edu and clicking on “Courses”.

Blackboard Faculty Support

Help Desk

Resources and Assistance Available

  • Blackboard “How To’s” (video/print tutorials for Bb Tools)
  • One-on-One Appointments
  • Face-to-face & Online Training
  • Open Lab Wednesday, 9 AM to 4 PM

Blackboard Student Support

Help Desk

 Resources and Assistance Available

  • Blackboard “How To’s” (video/print tutorials for Bb Tools)
  • One-on-One Appointments
  • Online Blackboard Student Orientation

Additional Services for Faculty

Instructional Design Assistance

In addition to answering questions about goals, methods, materials, and assessments in the online environment, our instructional designers will provide guidance for designing and delivering a high quality course.  We can also assist your college or program with creating a customized course template designed to best practices.

Quality Matters Resources

As subscribers to Quality Matters, we have access to the QM rubric, course review management system, and discounted trainings. Our instructional designers have received specialized QM training that is incorporated into our course development process.  For more information about QM, please contact Sean Orme, our Quality Matters Coordinator, at 682.3149.

STaR Studio

The STaR Studio provides a space for faculty to produce, create, and edit multimedia content with one-on-one assistance from our STaR staff.

  • Computer lab—two computer stations with content authoring software (Adobe Creative Suite 6, Adobe Captivate, Camtasia, Articulate Storyline, Articulate Replay)
  • Studio productions—“live” in-studio shoots for interviews, demonstrations, etc.

Summer Academy for Online Teaching Excellence (SAOTE)

Summer Academy for Online Teaching Excellence (SAOTE)

The Summer Academy for Online Teaching Excellence (SAOTE) engages faculty leaders to enhance online instruction and support students through high-impact practices in eLearning environments (web-enhanced, hybrid, and online classes). Faculty who successfully complete the program will develop innovative, high quality online courses for UALR.

During the academy, attendees gain a deeper understanding of the various nuances for online teaching.  Effective course design, online pedagogy for course delivery, engaging feedback strategies, and best practices for Blackboard technologies are covered.

In the summer, participants spend a week on campus face-to-face completed exercises and listened to presentations on best practices. They work directly with instructional designers to learn various technologies and delivery methods. They spend one more week online to practice and apply what is learned. In the fall, participants communicate on progress in courses during a short session. In March, faculty participate in the Faculty Showcase, in which some make a presentation to the campus, while others completed approved projects.

Faculty Showcase

2015 Showcase Presenters:

Thomas (Greg) Barrett, M.A., School of Education

Melvin Beavers, M.A., Department of Rhetoric and Writing

Dr. Katina Leland, School of Education


The Inaugural Class of the STaR Summer Academy:

Thomas (Greg) Barrett, M.A., School of Education
Melvin Beavers, M.A., Department of Rhetoric and Writing
Dr. Ibrahim Duyar, School of Education
Dr. Gregory Graham, Department of Rhetoric and Writing
Dr. Jennifer Hune, School of Education
Dr. Katina Leland, School of Education
Dr. Kendra Lowery, School of Education
Dr. Rosalie Otters, School of Social Work
Tammy Scaife, M.A., Department of Rhetoric and Writing
Dr. Bruce Smith, School of Education
Dr. Carolyn Turturro, School of Social Work

Nomination Form for 2016 STaR Summer Academy for Online Teaching Excellence

Nominations for the 2016 Summer Academy will be accepted through May 16, 2016. Self-nominations are welcome and encouraged. Please contact Sharonda Lipscomb, srlipscomb@ualr.edu with any questions. To fill it out, visit:  SAOTE Nomination Form.

Providing Online Students with Written Feedback

Dr. Beth HewettDeepen Student Learning

Dr. Beth Hewett, Founding Chair of the Committee for Best Practices in Online Writing Instruction for the Conference of College Composition and Communication, presented a workshop to assist online faculty with insightful details for effective, research-based writing practices to provide quality feedback to online students.

The workshop was sponsored by the UALR Department of Rhetoric and Writing and eLearning.

Working with Groups Online

Dr. Amar KanekarCreate Effective Group Collaborations

STaR Performer, Dr. Amar Kanekar, Department of Health, Human Performance, and Sport Management, presented a workshop about best practices and ideas for effective online group collaboration. The session focused on how to accomplish enriching student group activities in the online environment.

Spring Archive Reminder

file cabinet graphic

What’s Available?

As the spring semester comes to a close, please remember that we will be removing all courses taught in the spring 2014 semester from the system on Friday, May 13.

Once this date has passed, these courses will no longer be accessible from the Blackboard interface.

Why are these courses being removed?

This removal is part of our semesterly archival process, which allows us to manage the amount of space used by inactive courses on the server. The current process keeps courses dating back six semesters, or two academic years, available through the myBlackboard interface.

Can I make my own archive of a course?

If you want to retain a copy of a course for your own records, you can easily do so by archiving them yourself before the removal date and saving them to your computer. These archives are saved as a zip file that can later be imported into a blank course shell.

Learn more: How to Export and Archive CoursesHow to Import Course Packages

Can courses be accessed once they’ve been removed from the server?

If you need access to a course that is no longer available in your list of courses, you can request a copy of the course from our archives by filling out the archive request form on our website. If you need access to a course in which you were not the instructor of record, please email star@ualr.edu for assistance.

Flash Media's Decommission - May 16

bbvideo player

Flash Media Sunset

An extended grace period to transfer Flash Media to Kaltura will end on Monday, May 16.

As you may recall, Flash Media files ending with the bbvideo/watch/… tag or viewed in the player, shown here, were transferred during the fall and spring semesters at the request of faculty.



On behalf of STaR, a special thanks to the faculty who worked diligently to provide students with a seamless media experience. We also greatly appreciate the expertise of Brad Sims, College of Educational and Health Professions, Betsy Fribert, Disability Resource Center, John Adam, Information Technology Services and the STaR team for their extraordinary assistance in this undertaking.

Learn more: Kaltura Media Mashups
Please see the link above for more information about using Kaltura Media

The STaR Studio

STaR Studio graphicInstructor Presence

Are you thinking about adding or updating video content for your online courses?

If so, please contact us for assistance, training, or to schedule the studio. We will be glad to guide you through the process. As you know, Kaltura provides limited video options for short course communications among participants, however, for lecture media we recommend Camtasia.

A robust consumer editing software, Camtasia allows you to import or screen capture most non-narrated slideshows, videos, screenshots, and graphics to a timeline where you may add voice-over, annotations or edit content to create and save lectures as mp4s. With Kaltura you can easily upload and manage your courses media files.

Learn more: STaR Studio

Blackboard Student Support - What's New?

Studnets Using Blackboard

What’s New?

We’ve updated the Blackboard Student Support site with new content for a host of Blackboard tools, including a new link, Course Media, featuring Kaltura media tutorials.


Please encourage your online students to visit us throughout the semester for the latest updates about Getting Started, How-To, Help, and Student Resources. Feel free to add Blackboard Help links to your syllabi.

Learn more:  Blackboard Student Support

Posted in: Blackboard News, Digest, Featured

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