OAT Update for 05/17/24

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Welcome to the latest OAT Update, produced by the Office of Academic Technology at CSU Stanislaus

Issue Contents

New Announcements - End-of-Semester Edition


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New Announcements

Set Up Extra Credit in Canvas

Extra CreditExtra credit in Canvas can be confusing.  There isn't an obvious 'tool' or built-in setting in an assignment that walks you through implementing extra credit in a course. Plus, there are a few different ways instructors can offer extra credit such as extra points or extra percentages.  

Use the new Extra Credit Self-Service Resource to figure how best to configure Canvas to meet your extra credit needs.

Give it a try!

Go to resource

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Closing Canvas Courses & Incompletes

Following the end of term, OAT recommends instructors close their Canvas shells by setting an End date in the Participation area of the course Settings page.

How do I change the start and end dates for a course?

When a course is closed, it is in read-only mode and cannot be edited or changed, including adding people.  This helps protect its integrity and prevents instructors from accidentally modifying the wrong course when working on a version for a new semester.  Closed courses also move off the dashboard and into the Past Enrollments area of your Canvas account.

Activities and materials in closed courses can be imported into a new Canvas shell in a future term.

Set Up Incompletes

Instructors can close a course while still allowing access for individual students to finish an incomplete.  By creating a new section in the Canvas course and enrolling the relevant students into it, that section can continue to have access to the course according to start and end dates specified by the instructor. Warning: set up the Incomplete section before closing the course for everyone else.

Any course assignments and activities must also be assigned specifically to the special section alongside the standard assignment given to the rest of the class.

Full setup instructions

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Recording Available: Evaluating Papers Flagged by Turnitin's AI Indicator

Turnitin has made the recording available of their recent webinar on evaluating papers that have been flagged by the AI indicator.

Watch Here

About the Session

What happens after the AI indicator has flagged a paper as potentially containing generative AI content? This session is for those who may be reviewing student papers that have been flagged for AI, including student conduct administrators and instructors. If you can benefit from the example of a working model of paper evaluation designed to highlight other signals of AI as part of a contextualized review of student papers, and have experience with the ins and outs of the AI indicator, this session is for you.

Special guest, Marilyn Derby, Associate Director of Student Support and Judicial Affairs at UC Davis, California, will share with us a possible method for evaluating student papers which have been flagged for AI generative content.

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VoiceThread Interface Update Coming June 1

VoiceThread has updated the interface for creating and commenting on presentations.  Users can currently opt-in to start using the new look-and-feel by changing the Display Preferences in their VoiceThread account.

What is VoiceThread?

VoiceThread is a very popular multimedia slide creation and commenting tool at Stan State. It is often used in asynchronous online courses for lecture delivery, but it can be used any time a class requires students to present or engage with multimedia (video, image, audio, YouTube) via voice or video (or text) comments.

Learn more about VoiceThread

When is the Change?

VoiceThread will be forcing all users to the new look on June 30.

OAT will instead implement the change for all Stan State users on June 1. This is meant to prevent confusion with a change that would occur in the middle of the summer term.

What is Changing?

VoiceThread has mostly made this update around user interface look-and-feel.  However, they have introduced a few changes that should help faculty use the tool better.

  • Updated visual look of user's "My Voice" landing page.
  • Consolidate interface controls to lower-left corner of the player.
  • Easily select and reveal all moderated comments on a slide at once.
  • Navigate quickly and directly to a specific slide while recording a comment.

Example #1 - The main player interface with new locations marked.

A screenshot of the new VoiceThread interface with arrows marking location of the comment fan, the slide navigator, and the thread settings menu

Example #2 - Easily select all comments to show or hide at once

A screenshot of the new VoiceThread interface with arrows marking location of the global comment selection

Example 3 - The new My Voice home page for each user

A screenshot of the new VoiceThread interface showing the new My Voice home page for each user

What is Not Changing?

The basic idea and functionality of VoiceThread remains the same - intuitive and powerful.  Things that are staying the same include:

  • Assignment creation, assignment types, and assignment grading via the Canvas integration
  • Commenting types and overall Thread settings


For questions about the new VoiceThread or anything related to using VoiceThread in your classes, contact OAT!

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AI Tools for Teaching & Learning Course

OCS home page screenshotThe Online Course Services department at the Chancellor's Office is offering three instances of their popular "AI Tools for Teaching & Learning" course this summer.

  • Summer Session 1:  May 27 - June 16, 2024
  • Summer Session 2:  June 24 - July 28, 2024
  • Summer Session 3:  July 29 - August 18, 2024

Course Commitment: 3 weeks, 20-25 hours, online, asynchronous.

Cost: Free!

Register now to save your seat.

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Summer 2024 OCS Professional Development

The CSU Online Course Services department is offering several free courses this summer for tenure-track and lecture faculty.  All courses are 3 weeks in length, online, asynchronous, and require 15-20 hours.

Registration opens April 1.


  • QLT Introduction to Teaching Online Using QLT
  • QLT Advanced QLT Course in Teaching Online
  • QLT Reviewing Courses Using the QLT Instrument
  • AI Tools for Teaching & Learning

Course information and registration

Questions? Contact ocs@calstate.edu.

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Generative AI Syllabus Statement

The discussion of AI in education has taken two paths.  In one, instructors are exploring how they can actively incorporate some aspect of AI into their teaching and their course design.  In the other, instructors are concerned about how students should be allowed (or not) to use AI in their course work.

Providing a statement about AI usage in the course syllabus is important in both cases.  The following tool developed by Chris Heard at Pepperdine University aims to help you craft a draft of a statement that works for you.

Generative AI Syllabus Statement Tool

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Moodle End-of-Life Time Line

At the conclusion of the spring 2024 term, OAT will begin winding down the Moodle server currently being hosted by OIT.  The following time line was approved by the Academic Technology and Learning Committee on 02/19/24.

  • No active courses will be allowed on the platform following spring 2024.
  • Moodle will remain available for users to login for document retrieval, grade book retrieval, course backup, etc. through May 31, 2025.
  • Moodle will be shut down and unavailable on June 1, 2025.

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Informal QLT Course Assessments for Summer Courses

All instructors who are teaching asynchronous online courses this Summer are invited to have their course informally assessed using the QLT rubric.  QLT consists of 52 'objectives' spread across 9 categories of best practices in online course design. It was assembled by a collection of CSU instructional designers and faculty members and was most recently updated in 2022.

After requesting an assessment, OAT will review the course with the QLT rubric and send the feedback to the instructor only.  A follow-up consultation to discuss the assessment can be scheduled if desired.  This is a great way to get a second pair of eyes on your course for constructive feedback!

Email oatsupport@csustan.edu and specify which course you're interested in.  Content should be in a regular Canvas shell.

Additional links:

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Ally Accessibility Gauges

Ally is the automated accessibility checking tool that is installed within Stan State's Canvas system. This tool makes it easy to spot accessibility issues with your course materials and ensure access for all students.  There are two main purposes of the Ally tool:

  1. Scan every piece of content/document/image in a course and gauge its accessibility. Instructors are then guided through steps to address the accessibility issues. The severity of issues (and the lack of issues at all!) are indicated by a color-coded system of gauges.
  2. Provide students with alternate formats for most content, and even language translations in some cases. Alternate formats may be PDF versions of documents, spoken audio versions of documents, etc.

Gauge Colors & Access

Ally uses a small gauge icon next to each piece of content or image to represent its accessibility status.  The colors correspond to those on a traffic stop light:

Ally gauge spectrum

The gauges are only visible to instructors.  Students never see the accessibility status of an item.  Instead, they only see a small "download" icon next to each item that allows them to access alternative formats for the item.

More Information

Learn more about Ally and accessibility.

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Article ID: 162114
Tue 5/14/24 9:52 AM
Thu 5/16/24 1:51 PM