eLearning Technology Blog

Getting a Grip on Technology

by Mike 10. November 2011 15:45

Supporting technology often brings me in contact with users that either dislike or fear using technology. Many have encountered major issues like viruses, identity theft, and hours of lost work and information. For others, technology seems too complex, with too much to remember. So, in today’s fast paced workforce, how does a reserved user overcome the challenges of technology and use it to save time and resources, rather than lose them? I’d suggest the answer is to harness the power of technology instead of being tossed to and fro on the current.  

To illustrate this, I used Google, one of the most common and helpful technologies available, to locate all the resources listed here with only basic terminology that most users would know. You could say I “harnessed” the power of Google.


Search term: Computing Tips and Tricks

Top 20 Windows 7 Tips


Search term: Basic Computing Tasks

Basic Computer Concepts


Computer Tutorial: How To: Perform Basic Windows Tasks


Search term: Office Tips and Tricks

100 Essential Tips for Microsoft Office 2010


15 Essential Microsoft Word 2010 Tips for Beginners


Word 2010 - New Features (This video came from YouTube, another great resource for learning technology.) I particularly liked this one because I learned how to remove the background from a picture, something that I’ve needed to do a couple of times.


My hope is that these resources will help users of all levels feel more in control of their computing experience. With a new sense of empowerment, I encourage users to explore the technologies and technology information available on the Internet. If you find something valuable, post it as a reply to this post. In closing I leave you with a lighthearted video - Tech Support and the Book. Enjoy!



Academic Integrity and Plagarism concerns

by Rebecca 27. October 2011 09:33

 I received a call this morning regarding a student who has been, allegedly, plagiarizing his way through his courses. Coincidentally, this is Academic Integrity Week! So it seemed an appropriate time to blog about Academic Integrity, or lack thereof, most specifically about plagiarism.

Academic integrity is critical to the integrity of the University, and Academy as a whole. And yet, all indicators suggest that plagiarism, and other forms of cheating, are on the rise in colleges and universities across the country, on campus as well as online. It is important to note here, there is no evidence suggesting that plagiarism is a greater problem online than in the traditional classroom, but that the problem is growing in both environments. It is critical, then, that we look to ways to stem this tide. Decreasing the incidence of cheating requires changing the culture so that it is not overlooked or accepted as the new normal. 

We can start by changing the culture in our classrooms (on campus and online). Ask your students to sign, or commit to, an Academic Honesty policy. Research suggests this really does make a difference. 

There are free plagiarism checkers, but as with all things online, you’ll need to be a critical consumer. I tried "Grammarly"

http://www.grammarly.com/ with a slice of text directly copied and pasted from a Website, but Grammarly found the text to be original. On the other hand, "The Plagiarism Checker" http://www.dustball.com/cs/plagiarism.checker/ found the original source immediately. There are several others you can try. I have heard that some departments have purchased tools for their instructors to use.

There are also a number of ideas for instructors to build assignments which are difficult to plagiarize, that build on personal experience and individual perceptions. A recent edition of Faculty Focus, a free online resource we find extremely helpful, provides a number of tips for preventing, or reducing the opportunity for plagiarism and cheating in the classroom (both online and face to face).

http://www.facultyfocus.com/free-reports/promoting-academic-integrity-in-online-education/ .

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