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Blackboard Learn to Replace Blackboard Vista in Fall 2012

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Assistant Professor of Accounting Wendy Tietz, Ph.D.,
assists a student during one of her classes. Tietz describes
the  new Wimba Classroom tool -- a feature of the Blackboard
Learn software -- as a robust tool that enhances classroom

Kent State University faculty members are reminded that all online courses must be moved to Blackboard Learn by the end of summer 2012.

Faculty members who have migrated their online courses from Blackboard Vista (no longer available starting fall 2012) to Blackboard Learn are finding many benefits to the upgrade.

Blackboard Learn provides options to integrate rich media content using Web resources from YouTube, SlideShare and Flickr, and allows faculty to deliver more engaging course content in a convenient and powerful way. The Mobile Learn feature gives students and faculty access to many features of their courses on mobile devices, allowing students to stay connected to the educational experience 24/7.

Blackboard Learn also features improved course navigation and enhanced capabilities for interactive blogs, wikis and “mash-ups” of videos, photos and other media to add to class dynamics.

Wimba Classroom is one of the newest tools to be included with Learn. Instructors can provide synchronous classroom instruction in an online environment. With Wimba, instructors can share documents and presentations and quickly communicate via online chat with students.

“Wimba is a robust tool that greatly expands the options for classroom delivery methods,” says Wendy Tietz, Ph.D., assistant professor of accounting in the College of Business Administration. “Wimba has allowed me to offer the same class live in person, live online and recorded for later viewing — all with the push of one button.”

Seeking Blackboard training and migrating courses now also will ensure a smooth transition for faculty, so they will be comfortable in making all Learn features available to students. Information Services will offer training and open lab sessions for faculty who need hands-on help with Blackboard Learn and Wimba.  The schedule for these sessions and other resources can be found at

To get help in making the upgrade to Learn, faculty can refer to the knowledge base article at

In addition to Blackboard questions, general technology support is available 24/7 by visiting or by calling 330-672-HELP. Faculty and staff may also call their department tech support person. The departmental support list can be found at

Posted Feb. 27, 2012

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Important Information About Final Grading of H1 and W1 Courses

Online final grading for courses meeting in H1 (1/9-2/29) and W1 (1/9-2/26) parts of the term begins Wednesday, Feb. 29, via FlashFAST. Grading is also now available for any spring 2012 course section that was flexibly scheduled and has already ended. The deadline for grading submission is midnight on Tuesday, March 6.

FlashFAST is accessible from any Internet-capable computer that has the cookies function enabled. To access FlashFAST, log in to FlashLine at and click the Faculty & Advisor Tools tab. The link to your grade roster(s) is located in the Faculty & Advisor Toolbox, under the Submit Grades heading.

Grades Processing Tips and FAQ may be found on the Office of the Registrar's website at Faculty members needing personalized instruction on submitting their grades via FlashFAST should contact their campus registrar's office during normal business hours for assistance.

Also, as a helpful tip, it is recommended that you clean out your cookie and cache files regularly to help your computer run faster, and to potentially restore and/or improve your access to FlashFAST and/or FlashLine by improving your connection to the server. Our Helpdesk is prepared to offer assistance with these issues. Please contact them at 330-672-HELP (4357) for one-on-one assistance and technical issues.

Posted Feb. 27, 2012

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The Kent State Downtown Gallery Presents Opportunity for Artists to Sell Work

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A visitor views an exhibit at the Kent State School of Art
Downtown Gallery.

The School of Art’s Downtown Gallery at Kent State University will host the Spring Sale from March 7-24. The Spring Sale is free and open to regional and local artists and Kent State students, faculty and staff.  Artists are asked to enter ceramics, jewelry, glass, textiles, prints, photos, wood and works on paper.

Artists should drop off their work at the Downtown Gallery between noon and 5 p.m. on Friday, March 2 or between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Saturday, March 3. Professor Sean Mercer of the glass department will choose the winners.

The pieces will be available for purchase in the retail space of the Downtown Gallery. This sale allows admirers the opportunity to purchase unique artwork, as well as support the local art community. The School of Art Galleries will benefit from a portion of all sales.

The mission of the School of Art’s Downtown Gallery is to provide a public venue for the diverse forms of visual art produced by the students, faculty and alumni of the School of Art, to provide a place where the School of Art and the community may interact and to highlight excellent regional and national artists whose work educates and stimulates our students and our community at large.

The Downtown Gallery is also the home of The Artist Network of Kent (TANK), a local arts group. 

For more information about the School of Art’s Downtown Gallery, call 330-676-1549.

Posted Feb. 27, 2012

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Academic Support Center: Your Students’ Success Is Our Mission

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The Academic Success Center at Kent State offers
students a range of free services to help them succeed.

The Center for Student Involvement occasionally provides information to the university community on issues of broad interest in student affairs through the Student Involvement Brief. This feature will appear in e-Inside twice a month during the regular academic year.

The Academic Success Center provides free assistance to students with a variety of services, such as tutoring, computer skill sessions, exam preparation discussions and study-skill information. The center provides four different tutoring services: scheduled tutoring, drop-in tutoring, supplemental instruction and online tutoring.

Scheduled tutoring is free to students who sign up at the Academic Success Center in Room 207 of the Schwartz Center. Additional services, including grant aid scholarships, are provided to students who meet the following criteria: first-generation college students, recipients of a Federal Pell Grant, or those who are registered with Kent State's Student Accessibility Services. Those services are made possible by the federal Student Support Services (SSS) TRIO Grant. The Academic Success Center is finding new ways to use social media by providing a Tutor Matching Service for students through Facebook. Interested students can search the Tutor Matching Service site for tutors’ pictures, ratings and availability. They can even watch a video about them. This service also links the student to tutors’ Facebook account to find out more information about their interests and expertise.

The Academic Success Center also has drop-in tutoring for almost every subject. Students are able to search the website for the available times to stop in and see a tutor for a particular subject. For example, students can search by math class, and the website will let them know where and when the tutoring takes place. Supplemental instruction is another program offered to students. Supplemental instruction is an international program that provides peer-facilitated group study sessions for students enrolled in large, high-risk courses. One difference between supplemental instruction and other tutoring services is that leaders of the program attend class along with the students they are tutoring. Each leader would have already taken the course and earned an A or A-. Sessions are offered multiple times each week. Supplemental instruction is voluntary, free and available to students on a drop-in basis.

For students who feel more comfortable at home or for commuter students who travel from far distances to come to Kent State, the Academic Success Center provides online tutoring in subjects such as accounting, anatomy and physiology and mathematics. There is an online writing lab that allows students to submit a draft of a paper to a tutor and ask for specific feedback. The paper, with a tutor's comments, will be returned to them within 24 to 48 hours. They also have live math/science/accounting tutoring via eChat, which allows students to meet with a tutor in one-on-one tutoring sessions via a fully interactive, virtual online environment.

The center also provides a study group program, which is designed to provide students with academic support in Kent Core coursework. Certified peer tutors assist students in clarifying and reinforcing concepts taught in class. Weekly individual or small-group sessions are scheduled according to student and tutor schedules. The Academic Success Center's peer mentoring program is funded by a Federal TRIO Student Support Services grant. Peer mentoring provides students with course-related support, combined with a personal, one-on-one mentoring relationship. Peer mentors help to make students aware of the many resources (academic and social) that Kent State provides.   

To take advantage of any of these services, your students can contact the Academic Success Center at, 330-672-3190, or stop by Room 207 in the Schwartz Center.

Posted Feb. 27, 2012 | Alexandra Ulbricht

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