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August 2017

I   CER Announces 2017-2018 Lunch and Learn Series
Join faculty for conversations on teaching

II   Updates to Blackboard Mobile
Blackboard Mobile Learn support to end 8/31/17

III   2017 Teaching Assistant Training
What can the Center for Educational Resources provide for your new TAs?

IV   The Johns Hopkins Teaching Academy
What does the Teaching Academy offer JHU graduate students and post-doctoral fellows?

V   Sheridan Libraries Launches New Website
Check out the fresh new look!

VI   News from JHU Data Management Services
New online training module for collaboration in federal data rescue efforts.

VII   New Artstor Platform and Visual Resources Collection Services
Need help with the new Artstor? Need images? Contact the VRC!

VIII   Classroom Technology News and Notes - Summer 2017
Newly renovated auditorium, classrooms, and labs at Homewood

IX   Hopkins Research Network (HORNET)
Learn about using the high-speed research network


I   CER Announces 2017-2018 Lunch and Learn Series

Logo for Lunch & Learn Series

The Center for Educational Resources has set the dates for 2017-18 Lunch and Learn--Faculty Conversations on Teaching series. These events are casual, one-hour discussions over lunch that spotlight experienced faculty sharing innovative teaching practices and demonstrating how colleagues from across the Homewood divisions could implement similar strategies. While the presenters have not been confirmed, dates and topics will be as follows:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:00-1:30 PM -- Creating and Implementing Authentic Assignments
Sanchita Balachandran, Lecturer, Near Eastern Studies, and Curator/Conservator, Archaeological Museum
Sauleh Siddiqui, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering

Friday, December 15, 2017 12:00-1:30 PM -- Creating Rubrics and Calibrating Multiple Graders
Laura Foster, Academic Advisor, Public Health Studies
Reid Mumford, Instructional Resource Advisor, Physics & Astronomy

Thursday, February 15, 2018 12:00-1:30 PM -- Fostering an Inclusive Classroom
Anne-Elizabeth Brodsky, Senior Lecturer and Associate Director, Expository Writing
Karen Fleming, Professor, Biophysics

Friday, April 20, 2018 12:00-1:30 PM -- Teaching Discussion-based Classes
Stefanie Deluca, Professor, Sociology
Bill Egginton, Professor, German and Romance Languages and Literatures

All sessions will be held in the Sherwood Room, Levering Hall, with buffet lunch served starting at 11:45 am. We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming meeting.


II   Updates to Blackboard Mobile

Blackboard Mobile Learn support to end 8/31/17

Blackboard has made a few changes to its mobile app. This past summer, the app for students has changed its name from ‘Bb Student’ to simply ‘Blackboard.’ Similarly, the app for instructors has changed from ‘Bb Instructor’ to ‘Blackboard Instructor.’ In ‘Blackboard,’ key features for students include the ability to view content, participate in online discussions, submit assignments, and view grades. It also includes an activity stream in which students receive course announcements, upcoming due dates for tests and assignments, changes to due dates made by the instructor, daily and weekly calendar events, notification of new items posted in the course, and notification that grades have been posted. It is also possible for students to take and submit online tests from the app, if the instructor has used specific types of questions. Currently, the list of mobile-friendly test questions includes: multiple choice, true/false, either/or, short answer, and essay. If other types of questions are used in a test and a student tries to access it from the Blackboard mobile app, it will direct the student to JHU’s main Blackboard website.

When using ‘Blackboard Instructor,’ faculty have the ability to preview content items and assessments, create and participate in online discussions, and create and send out announcements. Instructors can also view due dates for tests and assignments that are coming up for students.  All content needs to be added to the site using the web version of Blackboard, but the app does allow instructors to preview items to make sure they display as intended. One of the most requested features for Blackboard Instructor is grading functionality, which currently does not exist. Blackboard is working on grade flows for the app and plans to have something available in the next several months.

The Blackboard app for students is available for iOS, Android, and Windows devices. The Blackboard Instructor app is available for iOS and Android devices. JHU has a license for both apps, which are free. Quick-start guides are available for both apps if students or instructors need more assistance downloading them:

Quick-start guide to Blackboard (student app)
Quick-start guide to Blackboard Instructor (instructor app)

Please note: support for Blackboard’s original mobile app, ‘Mobile Learn,’ will end on August 31, 2017.  For questions about either of Blackboard’s mobile apps, please send an email to cerweb@jhu.edu

Blackboard Instructor App Screenshot


III   2017 Teaching Assistant Training

The Center for Educational Resources will host the annual Teaching Assistant Orientation for the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. All first-time graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants should attend this event, which will be held in Bloomberg Hall from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm. A plenary session will introduce the university's teaching policies and support offices. This will be followed by a series of breakout sessions that students may select and attend based on the relevancy to their own upcoming TA assignments. We ask that faculty inform their TAs about this event as soon as possible. For more information, please visit the Teaching Assistant Orientation page: http://cer.jhu.edu/teaching-academy/tati/index.


IV   The Johns Hopkins Teaching Academy

The Teaching Academy offers doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows from all Johns Hopkins divisions instructional training and academic career preparation opportunities through courses, workshops, teaching practicums, teaching as research fellowship appointments, and individual consultations. 

In response to the increasing demand for professional development opportunities to prepare our graduate students and postdoctoral fellows as future faculty, the Teaching Academy expanded this past year to offer its workshops and 3-day Teaching Institute on both the Homewood and East Baltimore campuses. Check out the recent HUB article that features the 3-day Teaching Institute and the expansion of the Teaching Academy.

Faculty involvement is essential to the success of the Teaching Academy. Faculty facilitators share their experience and expertise with Teaching Academy participants through monthly workshops and the Teaching Institutes. Faculty mentors guide graduate students and post-docs through their first teaching assignments and may provide co-teaching opportunities.  Their involvement helps candidates to better understand what is required to be a successful instructor. Faculty interested in becoming involved in the Teaching Academy, should fill out and submit this brief form to teaching.academy@jhu.edu.

The Certificate of Completion Program is open to all 2nd year Ph.D. students and post-docs. Faculty are encouraged to provide this information to their graduate students and post-docs. Applications will be accepted through September 2017 for the 2017-2018 cohort. For more information about this program and to apply, click here.

Eyes on Teaching workshops cover topics such as preparing a syllabus, preparing for the first day of class, lecture strategies, enhancing student motivation and learning, active learning, and testing and grading. The fall 2017 schedule is now available. For more information and to register, click here.  

Questions? Please contact Kelly Clark or Cheryl Wagner at teaching.academy@jhu.edu


V   Sheridan Libraries Launches New Website

In July, the Sheridan Libraries launched a redesigned library.jhu.edu website. The new site is the result of a year-long effort that involved extensive research and analysis regarding user behaviors and preferences related to everything from reserving group study rooms to getting research help to searching for full-text articles. Staff conducted one-on-one user testing as well as focus groups involving undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff.

The result is a site that not only has an updated appearance, but one that provides streamlined navigation and improved accessibility. In keeping with the testing that helped produce the site, library staff will be conducting additional user testing this fall. Be on the lookout for opportunities to participate. Feedback is always welcome at ask@jhu.libanswers.com.

Screenshot of the homepage of the Sheridan Libraries website launched summer 2017.


VI   News from JHU Data Management Services

Data Management Services LogoJHU Data Management Services (DMS) is expanding archiving services to include research software (scripts, models, data processing, etc.). Six online training modules (22 minutes total) have been created covering:

  • Best practices for writing, documenting, and organizing code
  • Understanding the benefits of using version control
  • How and why to make code publishable and citable
  • Learning about intellectual property issues
  • How and why to preserve software over time

These modules are intended as an overview of best practices to make software produced in the course of research more robust, understandable, reproducible, shareable, and archivable, both internally within a research group, and externally to collaborators and research communities.

As changes to the federal data infrastructure occur, the research data community has been active in mobilizing efforts to preserve collections that are at risk of being lost or rendered unavailable for access to citizens and researchers. This spring and summer the Digital Research Curation Center, along with Data Management Services, led a pilot rescue effort with Data Rescue Boulder, an organization of volunteers dedicated to preserving large amounts of data from agencies such as the EPA, NOAA, and NASA, among others.

The initial work is documented in a Data Conservancy blog post; additional documentation is available on the Open Science Framework website. In July, DMS hosted a Data Rescue Event with participants from other institutions in an effort to connect academic libraries with the necessary resources to ensure that all researchers continue to have open access to these integral resources. For more information about data rescue please contact the DMS team.

In addition to these highlights, DMS offers a list of training sessions for the Fall including topics such as De-Identifying Human Subjects Research Data, Best Practices for Data Management, and a detailed introductory workshop on reproducibility using the Open Science Framework. Specialized training sessions are available on request.

Those interested in learning more about archiving research data with the JHU Data Archive should contact the Data Management Services team at datamanagement@jhu.edu. Visit the DMS website at http://dms.data.jhu.edu for more information about services and data management resources.


VII   New Artstor Platform and Visual Resources Collection Services

The JHU Visual Resources Collection is a constantly growing collection of over 160,000 digital images dedicated to providing faculty and students with research and course support. The VRC can create or purchase high quality digital images for faculty and students. All images are cataloged and added to the JHU Visual Resources Collection space in Artstor, so that they can be accessed remotely at any time.

Artstor, a digital image database of over two million images, received a major facelift this summer. New features include Artstor publicity image showing interior arcade at Alhambra, Granada, Spain. a full screen IIIF image viewer with side-by-side comparison mode, simplified image group sharing, enhanced advanced search, increased web accessibility for users with disabilities, and improved mobile friendliness. IIIF, pronounced Triple-I-F, stands for International Image Interoperability Framework. Visit the IIIF FAQ page  for more information.

The VRC offers individual and group training and assistance in finding images, using Artstor, creating, editing, and cataloging digital images, and using different types of presentation software. It also assists faculty who want to convert personal slide and print collections to digital format.

Although historically heavily focused on the history of art, the collection continues to expand to meet the needs of courses throughout the arts and sciences. The VRC supports courses in the areas of Africana Studies; Archaeology; Classics; East Asian Studies; German and Romance Languages and Literatures; History; History of Science and Technology; Islamic Studies; Latin American Studies; Medicine, Science, and the Humanities; Museums and Society; Near Eastern Studies; and the Visual Arts. 

 Visit the VRC’s libguide or email vrc@jhu.edu for help using the new Artstor, or for more information about the VRC’s services. Visitors are welcome to drop by the VRC in Gilman Hall 181 Monday through Friday 9-5.


VIII   Classroom Technology News and Notes - Summer 2017

View of renovated Krieger 304 classroom.Summer is always a busy time for classroom technology deployments, and this one has been no exception. At the start of the Krieger Water Infiltration project last summer, there were four lecture-style classrooms on the third floor of Krieger Hall. As the project concludes, five new classrooms have taken their place. These rooms have new projectors and control systems, and have been designed for instructors to bring their own devices for presentation. HDMI connections are available, along with Crestron AirMedia wireless presentation technology.

In addition to the new classrooms, the GIS computer classroom has been moved back to Krieger 108. Those teaching GIS curriculum requiring applications such as ArcGIS, Erdas Imagine, or ENVI should remember to request Krieger 108. After-hour access to this room for students is available by request of their instructor. Erdas student licenses are also available (email thomsen@jhu.edu).

The Department of Physics and Astronomy’s Schafler Auditorium (Bloomberg 272) is undergoing a transformation. With new laser projectors, an updated sound system, and new wiring, this renovated space will see a vast improvement in quality and reliability with improved ease of use. The room will be Panopto-ready, with an integrated camera for lecture capture.

The Computer Science classroom in Maryland 310 was another major summer renovation project. New quad-core all-in-ones, with upgraded RAM, video and SSD drives, should greatly improve the functionality in this space.

The transition to Windows 10 has been completed in the classrooms. All instructor stations, as well as all computer classrooms, are now running the latest Windows version. All software has been tested for compatibility.

Crestron AirMedia wireless presentation is being introduced to some classrooms, starting with the new rooms in Krieger. Any WiFi connected device, including laptops and iOS and Android tablets and phones, can be used to present. Instructions appear on-screen when the projector is turned on. For mobile devices, a free app can be downloaded and installed from either the Apple or Android app stores. While Clickshare remains available in many classrooms, its use with mobile devices and with USB-C, particularly on newer Mac laptops, presents problems. Training for AirMedia is available from KITCATS on request.

As a reminder, faculty should check out their classrooms before the start of the semester. KITCATS is happy to provide assistance with any classroom technology. Be aware that computer classroom software requests made now will be fulfilled at fall break. 


IX   Hopkins Research Network (HORNET)

HORNET Hopkins Research Network LogoHORNET, Johns Hopkins’ dedicated high-speed research network, continues to provide optimal throughput for transferring large scientific data sets to internal research labs, the Maryland Advanced Research Computing Center’s (MARCC) high performance computing facility, and to Internet 2.  Over the past year, the HORNET network received additional upgrades with improved 40 and 100 gigabit interfaces on the client side of the network at the MARCC facility and in the Bloomberg Physics and Astronomy building.

There have been several recent additions to the Hornet Network on the Homewood Campus including networking gear in Mergenthaler Hall to support Dr. Taekjip Ha (Department of Biophysics), several switches in the Undergraduate Teaching Lab, and one switch in Mudd Hall to support Dr. James Taylor and Dr. Carl Wu (both with the Department of Biology). All areas have been connected to the Hornet network at 40 gigabit, and 10 gigabit ports have been provided to the clients.

In early 2017, a new web site was launched to provide information on who’s connected to HORNET, how to connect new users, a current topology map, and visual charts on HORNET performance.  Please visit http://www.it.johnshopkins.edu/services/network/HORNET