The Office of Instructional Resources is offering a workshop to help instructors and staff confused by Blackboard Ultra. The first workshop, titled “Please Help Me With Ultra!”, is scheduled 10 a.m.-noon Aug. 2 via Zoom.

Sara Zafar, Wichita State University Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance Human Title IX coordinator, will offer an additional online Advanced Title IX training from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 3. The training is part of the August Academic Resources Conference (ARC). The session will last approximately two hours, including an hour for questions.

President Rick Muma will lead a discussion of the book “Broke: The Racial Consequences of Underfunding Public Universities” 2-2:50 p.m. Aug. 12, at Devlin Hall. The event will also be available live on Zoom.

All university community members are welcome to attend. The discussion is part of the August Academic Resources Conference.

If you are interested in reading “Broke” before Aug.12, you can access an ebook copy of the book or a physical copy through University Libraries. If you have trouble accessing the book, contact University Libraries through the Ask a Librarian live chat feature.

Blackboard logo

Blackboard has gone through several changes lately and there are more to come. If you are confused by Ultra, you’re not alone.

To help  with the confusion, the Office of Instructional Resources has put together several web pages to answer your questions and to give you the information you need to make the necessary choices about your class materials in Blackboard:

In May, Wichita State University began the transition from the Blackboard platform to the Ultra platform. The complete transition will take more than a year and a half, but you may have noticed significant changes already.

WSU is currently in the “Ultra Base Navigation” platform, which means logging in and finding courses is different than before. However, once professors and students log in, they look almost identical because the move to Ultra is a two-step process. At this time, most WSU courses are still in the Blackboard format.

If you are unsure whether the course you are teaching is in Ultra, please visit the Am I in Ultra? webpage.

The Media Resources Center would like to congratulate Dr. Carolyn Speer on becoming a certified professional in training management (CPTM). The CPTM program is a rigorous six-month experience that prepares training managers to lead institutional training programs that align with and support institutional goals and outcomes. As a CPTM, Carolyn can work with departments and offices to help align their programs with university priorities.

Teaching Today, Your Teaching Resource

This June issue of Teaching Today explores Ultra and the Academic Resources Conference events in May. To view the highlights from each session, check out the May ARC schedule page.

To get a leg up on Ultra training, you can visit Ultra training pages and click “In This Section” to see the index.

The May issue of Teaching Today is now available, and it’s packed with information about next week’s Academic Resources Conference. This is a great opportunity to look at the conference topics before choosing which to attend. Capping off the issue is an essay by Hadley Perkins about what we can do over the summer to make our classes ready for the freshmen coming in this fall.

The Academic Resources Conference will host four panel discussions noon to 12:50 May 17-20 via Zoom.

  • May 17: “What will you keep from your COVID Remote Experience?” a faculty panel. Speakers include Jay Price, Cynorra Jackson, David MacDonald, and Jacie Green. Add to calendar or access directly.
  • May 18: “What Students Want Professors to Know,” moderated by Carolyn Shaw with student panelists. Come hear from students across the spectrum about their experiences in class and what they would like their instructors to know. Add to calendar  or access directly.
  • May 19: “Meet Your Ultra Pilots!,” a panel discussion with Ultra instructor pilots. Want to know the real story? Come ask and participate! Speakers include Rhonda Williams, Carrie Dickison, Angela Paul, and Patricia Morriss. Add to calendar or access directly.
  • May 20: “Educational Technology at Wichita State,” with Ryan Corcoran, John Jones, and Carolyn Speer. Do you have questions about how decisions are made, technologies are chosen and classrooms are designed for tech? This is the panel discussion for you. Come with questions. Links coming soon. Add to calendar or access directly.

Join the Office of Instructional Resources and campus partners for today’s Academic Resources Conference online in the Zoom Platform. Here is what you can expect:

  • LinkedIn Learning Challenge #2:  Design Your First Infographic with Nigel French. This is a short course (only 21 minutes!) but it goes over the theory of infographics and gives basic design tips. This is a great session to pair up with the sessions for today! WSU employees receive LinkedIn Learning access as a benefit. Please sign up before accessing.
  • OLC Conference Recorded Session Suggestion #2: Creative Strategies for Equitable Engagement in Online Classes with Tazin Daniels, consultant for Coach at the Pedagologist. This is an interactive session that looks at common challenges around student engagement. You must register for the conference to access this recording. Registration link is only for Wichita State employees.
  • Suggested ARC Recording from Previous Conference or Event:  PowerPoint Feature Showcase with Ali Levine. This session was live for the June, 2020 ARC and covers lots of tips and tricks you might not know about PowerPoint.

9-9:50 a.m. (Vendor Hour): Blackboard Presents: Meet Ultra!  You know it’s coming, but what is it? Why is Blackboard Ultra such an upgrade over “old Blackboard”? Come to this session to learn all about Blackboard Ultra and how it can provide instructors and faculty that streamlined experience they have been wanting.  Add to Calendar (or) access directly.

10-10:50 a.m. (Rapid Sessions): Three sessions, each 15 minutes long.  What an Ultra Class Conversion Looks Like with Carolyn Speer; Blackboard Data in Ultra with a Blackboard representative; Your Personal Ultra Timeline with Carolyn Speer.   Add to Calendar (or) access directly.

11-11:50 a.m.: Using PowerPoint to Create GREAT Infographics with John Hammer. Want an infographic for your class, website, or meeting but don’t know how to use a graphic design program? No problem, we have you covered! And if you pair this session, with Jeremy Webster’s session on infographic accessibility at 2:00pm (see below), you’ll really be set! Add to Calendar (or) access directly.

Noon-12:50 p.m. (Panel Hour): What Students Want Professors to Know, moderated by Carolyn Shaw with student panelists. This is always our most popular session at every ARC. Come hear from students across the spectrum about their experiences in class and what they would like their instructors to know. Add to Calendar (or) access directly.

1-1:50 p.m.: Life Changing Tricks with Microsoft Office with Ali Levine. This session will reveal some life-changing tricks in popular Microsoft Office Applications (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams). We will discuss new features in Office 365, how you can use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to boost performance, and also uncover some secret, hidden tools in your favorite MS Office programs. Add to Calendar (or) access directly.

2-2:50 p.m.: Ensuring Infographic Accessibility with Jeremy Webster. Using the same infographic images that John Hammer used in his 10:00am session, Jeremy Webster will show you how to ensure your infographics are accessible. Didn’t come to Hammer’s 10:00 session? No problem, this one also works as a stand-alone option. Add to Calendar (or) access directly.

3-3:30 p.m. (Free Stuff for WSU Employees and interested others): Meet the OIR Website: Your Destination for Resources for University Instructors with Carolyn Speer.   Add to Calendar (or) access directly.