Academic Technology Updates for Spring 2024
Find out what Academic Technology has been up to over the Winter, and what we have been planning for Spring.
Spring 2024 Support Hours
Academic Technology is resuming extended hours beginning January 29, 2024 to support evening classes. The new hours are Monday through Thursday, from 8:00AM to 8:00PM. Friday will remain 8:00AM to 5:00PM.
Visit us in LIB 80 or book an appointment in Outlook.
Contact us by phone at (415) 405-5555 or by email (email@example.com).
AT has compiled technology guides to help new and returning faculty and students review our resources and recommendations for a wide range of critical technology needs.
View technology resource guides by role: Student | Faculty
Get help with Academic Technology services. Select a topic to view how-to guides or participate in the Community Forum to ask questions and share ideas. Find all of this and more at athelp.sfsu.edu.
And, did you know AT makes video content? Find out more on our YouTube channel.
"One Little Thing" video series (New for Spring 2024!)
AT's Teaching and Learning with Technology team is launching a series of on-going, short-format videos called “One Little Thing”, focused on small things you can do to make your courses more engaging, ease your grading workload, use in-classroom technology, and other topics. These will be posted to our AT YouTube channel and the AT website on a regular cadence throughout the semester.
Support and Training Opportunities for Spring
Faculty looking for Canvas support materials can visit the Academic Technology help center at https://athelp.sfsu.edu. AT has published several recordings of workshops from the past year, available via our YouTube channel.
More workshops and training opportunities for Canvas are coming soon. Keep an eye on the calendar on https://canvas.sfsu.edu for upcoming workshops.
Want to suggest a workshop topic? Check out the community forum and suggest or vote on workshop topics.
Canvas Publisher Integration Requests
AT receives requests from faculty to integrate publisher tools and websites into the LMS. Since the campus move to Canvas, the integration process is more challenging. Additionally, publisher tools were being furnished to students without benefit of CSU-mandated accessibility and security reviews. Beginning Fall 2023, AT will begin soft launching a requirement that all integrated publisher tools pass a Technology Acquisition Review (TAR). The soft launch means that we will continue to integrate tools to support class needs but will require the review before the end-of-the-semester. Some publisher tools are already approved; this, and more, information is available on our website.
Renovate and Elevate Your Canvas Course module
In this asynchronous course, instructors will scaffold, reinforce and reimagine Canvas courses to streamline and organize content in dynamic ways. Academic Technology’s Teaching and Learning with Technologies and Services Teams constructed this course as a blueprint for elevating instructor's Canvas courses from a starter homes to a dream homes by providing insights, resources, and peer discussion opportunities on course redesign.
In this course, participants will:
- understand the benefit of removing unnecessary items.
- distinguish the difference between removing and deleting items from Canvas.
- identify areas in Canvas courses that could eliminate clutter.
- choose which items they want to delete or remove to clean up their courses for both the instructor-facing side and the student-facing side.
- assess course components to determine areas requiring improvement, considering both functionality and impact on students.
- apply troubleshooting strategies to address common errors in Canvas Assignments and Gradebook, enhancing student user experience.
- locate resources for technical and instructional design support, reducing obstacles associated with course repair.
- utilize up-to-date and relevant subject matter information, ensuring that the course content reflects the latest research findings in their field of study.
- seek to ensure that the course materials represent a wide range of perspectives, cultural contexts, and voices, allowing students to engage with a diverse array of ideas and experiences.
To access the course, visit https://sfsu.instructure.com/enroll/76TEAJ. An optional digital badge will be awarded to those that complete the course requirements.
iLearn Video Transition to Canvas Studio
Canvas Studio is a video tool built-in to Canvas that allows instructors and students to upload and record video directly into Canvas in a variety of ways. Instructors can record webcam and capture screencasts directly in Canvas, post the videos in Pages, Discussions, and Quiz questions, and organize and share video content with other instructors. Students can upload and record video content into Canvas Discussions and assignment submissions without the need for any fancy video hardware or software, including recording and uploading from mobile devices.
Playback speed in Canvas studio hosted videos can be adjusted to play slower (up to 0.5x) or faster (up to 2.0x) to allow students to adjust to their needs. Video quality automatically adjusts based on internet connection speed, with video quality up to 1080p. Academic Technology (AT) has prepared an introduction video and guide, with more guides on the way!
iLearn Video Retirement
Beginning Monday, January 29th, 2024, iLearn video will no longer be available for new uploads. Existing video content will continue to work through the end of the semester to allow instructors enough time to download the videos and migrate to Canvas Studio.
More information on how to download video from iLearn video can be found in the downloading iLearn video guide.
Canvas Studio is the new video platform built-in to Canvas. Similar to iLearn video, it allows instructors and students to upload video content to share with Canvas courses either as learning materials, embedded videos in quiz questions, or as assignment and discussion post submissions.
More information on Canvas Studio can be found in the Canvas Studio overview guide.
AI Support and Resources
AT, CEETL, and campus faculty have partnered to help build a campus response to Generative Artificial Intelligence based technologies and products, including ChatGPT and a growing proliferation of others. Check out the existing CEETL ChatGPT Resources and look for this to expand along with engagements and other opportunities for faculty to share their experiences.
Visit the campus response to AI website to learn more.
Now available to all SF State students, faculty, and staff — Microsoft Copilot is a generative AI-powered chatbot designed to help with a variety of tasks, including writing, research, problem solving, and creative work. This product was recently rebranded (formerly, it was called Bing Chat) and we expect continued changes throughout Spring.
Academic Technology has developed a set of support documents to help get you started and will be partnering with CEETL and faculty on a range of programming to help the campus co-discover effective uses of the product.
Go to https://copilot.microsoft.com and log in with your SF State credentials to gain access to enhanced privacy protection and extended chat sessions beyond the limits of the free version.
To learn more about Copilot and how to use it, check out our help articles and tutorials at https://athelp.sfsu.edu.
Generative AI Prompt-a-thon | Thursday, February 22nd, 2024 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in LIB 280 (new location!)
What can AI do for you? Join us on for Academic Technology’s first Generative AI Prompt-a-thon — a dynamic, hands-on workshop designed to empower SF State faculty and staff with the skills to effectively utilize generative AI (GenAI) tools. In this hour-long session, you’ll explore the art of crafting prompts that maximize this technology’s potential. Whether you’re new to GenAI or seeking more advanced techniques, this event is a great opportunity to enhance your skills in a supportive and collaborative setting.
Zoom AI Companion | Otter.ai now blocked
Zoom’s AI Companion and AI Summary features are available to all San Francisco State University Zoom accounts on Wednesday, January 17, 2024. Simultaneously, Otter.ai will no longer be able to connect to SF State hosted Zoom sessions.
Otter.ai is an automated transcription product that can be used within Zoom meetings to capture audio, automatically transcribe it, and generate meeting summaries, very similar to the Zoom AI Companion product. It is not licensed at SF State aside from a few individual or personal purchases. Unfortunately, the use of an Otter.ai agent in a Zoom meeting provides no method to alert other users to its transcription (recording and translation of audio). To protect the privacy of campus users, we will begin blocking Otter.ai access to Zoom on the same date (January 17th, 2024). This step is also being taken at other CSU campuses.
AI Companion and AI Summary behave much like cloud recordings. At a meeting host’s discretion, Zoom will transcribe the meeting and present a searchable report and summary to the meeting participants.
Zoom’s new AI features will automatically be available to all faculty and staff who log in to Zoom with their SF State accounts. Students will not have it enabled by default, but can do so from the Zoom website, https://sfsu.zoom.us. Only meeting hosts can enable AI functionality in Zoom meetings; participants can only request that a host activate AI functionality. When AI features are activated in a meeting, all participants are shown a disclaimer, similar to when a host records a session.
More information can be found on Zoom’s AI feature page.
AR/VR LIB 222 Space
AT will be soft-launching the opening of a new Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) classroom space which will be available for instructors to bring their students in groups to experience AR/VR content. More information will follow in early Spring 2024, but please contact Andrew Roderick (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions or interest in this exciting new resource.
Learning Glass is a technology for recording lectures allowing instructors to write lecture notes on a lighted, transparent whiteboard while maintaining face-to-face contact with students. This Spring, AT is bringing back Learning Glass, a dynamic and visually appealing way to record video lectures with visuals.
For more information, or to book a consultation, email Academic Technology Services.
Academic Technology administers the Faculty Computer Refresh which provides an up-to-date primary computer to Tenure/Tenure Track faculty, subject to available funding. The program has been paused or funded with one-time monies for the most of the past five years because of budget instabilities. Academic Technology and Academic Resources are working on a developing a more predictable and sustainable refresh program for faculty to launch. More information will be shared by mid-February.
Check your Faculty Refresh eligibility via the AT Class Data website.
Learn more about the Faculty Refresh process via the AT Help guide on Faculty Refresh.
Other Projects and Initiatives
Qualtrics Training Opportunities
Attend a training session hosted by Qualtrics rep. to learn how you can make the best use of Qualtrics!
This hour-long training session will cover the basics of Qualtrics survey tool use, with time for Q&A. Rescheduled from Fall 2023. To learn more, visit https://at.sfsu.edu/news/qualtrics-trainings-faculty.
Unable to attend, or need more flexible learning time? Tune in to a previously recorded session of this training: https://youtu.be/7-770CqZGpQ?si=DU5w2Zc6Au6PITeC.
TAR and IT Purchasing
As part of the campus Technology Governance Committee, a working group of AT and ITS membership has taken on a project aimed to streamline and improve IT purchasing. Over the summer, the project team met with staff and faculty across departments and university cabinet areas to take in feedback. Looking towards the Fall semester, this group will be working to make the process smoother and more tightly integrated with campus Procurement. More to come, so stay tuned!
Did you know AT operates the longest operating webcam in the world?