Vol. 1, Issue 2, May 2006

What's New


NAU has adopted eInstruction Response Systems as the University classroom response system (a.k.a. clickers). Clickers are used to track attendance, facilitate participation in large classes, administer in-class quizzes and exams, and more. A clicker, which can be used in multiple classes, is available to students at the bookstore for $20. Faculty members who plan to use clickers must notify the bookstore in advance. Training is available to faculty at the e-Learning Center.

What's Happening

Faculty Mentor Grants

Facilitate the effective use of instructional technology in your department or school while receiving stipend support at the same time. Faculty mentors spend 15-20 hours per week mentoring colleagues who are integrating technology in their classes.

Tablet PC Grants

You can imitate actual pen strokes to mark student papers and save marked papers digitally using a Tablet PC with a stylus. Faculty members who can demonstrate a distinct need for sending handwritten feedback to students in digital form are encouraged to apply.

Mini Grants

Do you have a large enrollment freshman class? Are you in the process of redesigning a degree or certificate program? Would you like to provide technology enhanced activities in your face-to-face course? Apply for a mini grant today. RFPs are currently available on our website under "Innovation Grants." Proposals will be reviewed in September.

Library e-Reserves in your Bb Vista Course

Cline Library Course Reserves delivers roughly 20,000 e-Reserves files to over 1,200 University courses each year. Beginning in Fall 2006 and onward, Course Reserves will deliver all Electronic Reserves (e-Reserves) readings, such as articles and book chapters, through the Blackboard VISTA class shells.Cline Library

Students benefit from having a more cohesive content environment with all materials, including e-Reserves, in one location. Faculty enjoy more control over and flexibility in the management and use of library reserves within their courses. Faculty can decide where in the VISTA class shell they want e-Reserves to appear and can rename and organize files as they wish. They can also integrate files into assignments or apply a selective release feature so students only see what files are relevant at a given point in the course.

Adding Course Reserves Materials to Your Bb Vista Course

If the PDF file is already available on the web, you can link to that file. You can also save the file to your computer and upload it to your Bb Vista course File Manager.

If you need to get the file through Cline Library, contact Course Reserves for help locating PDF files or for creation of new PDF files: 523-9142 or Course.Reserves@nau.edu or http://library.nau.edu/services/request/coursereserve.html

  1. Cline Library Course Reserves will create a Reserves Files folder in your Bb Vista File Manager and will place the requested items into the folder.
  2. In your Bb Vista course:
    1. Navigate to the section or module of the course where you want the file(s) to appear.
    2. Select 'Add File.'
    3. 'Browse for Files.'
    4. Open the 'Reserves Files' folder.
    5. Select the file(s) you want to add. Click 'Ok.'

Once e-Reserves have been placed into a VISTA class shell, the materials "roll forward" with the course. When the class shell is copied for the next semester, the e-Reserves materials will be included with no further effort needed by the faculty.

Contact Course Reserves at 523-9142 or Course.Reserves@nau.edu if you have any questions.

For more details on incorporating e-Reserves into your course, see the ELC web site under "Training."

Director Don Carter

Director's Note

Welcome to a new academic year! In this issue of e-Notes, learn about new technology tools and opportunities for faculty to interact with and engage students. Primary in our efforts is a Bb Vista shell for every course offered by NAU beginning Fall 2006. Bb Vista is intended as the principal venue for students to access web technology tools for learning. Cline Library e-Reserves will be available only through Bb Vista. Other tools include Elluminate web-conferencing, academic integrity and plagiarism deterrence via TurnItIn, Studymate interactive learning modules, and online course evaluations linked through Bb Vista. Further developments will soon be available for podcasting, wikis, blogs, and other social software options. All faculty are invited to join the e-Learning Commons, available in Bb Vista, to learn more about these opportunities and assist in their refinement and growth.

The e-Learning Center offers a variety of training to meet your instructional needs, including training in Bb Vista, technical tools, and instructional planning and design. The full training schedule is located on our web site.
Open Bb Vista Lab - An open lab designed for people who have attended training, or for faculty who have just found out that they are teaching a Bb Vista course. Aug. 28, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Aug. 29, 9:00am - 11:00am
Aug. 30, 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Bb Vista Basics - Learn the basics that you need to know to start building courses in Bb Vista. This workshop is a prerequisite for the other Bb Vista workshops. Aug. 29, 2006 1:00pm - 4:30pm
Bb Vista for TAs and Non-Designers - You may be teaching a course that someone else has built or you may be a TA in a course. Aug. 30, 9:00am - 11:00am
Aug. 31, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
TurnItIn - Learn how to use TurnItIn to foster academic integrity and discourage plagiarism on writing assignments. Aug. 30, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Sept. 7, 10:00am - 11:00am
Sept. 11, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
A New Bb Vista Shell: Use it Effectively - You now have a Bb Vista shell for your campus course. What are the best ways to use it? 05/10/2006 10:30am - 11:30am
Managing Your Course - Explore grade book, group manager, selective release, settings, and tracking and reports in Bb Vista. Sept. 12, 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Faculty Research Fellows

The goal of the 2006 Faculty Research Fellows Program is to investigate four key areas of teaching and learning at NAU, researched by teams of faculty from a range of academic departments and colleges for a duration of 18 to 24 months.

Pedagogies and Practice: Susana Rivera Mills, Modern Languages, and Laura Umphrey, Communication, focus on understanding instructional design and teaching practices in undergraduate courses.

Implementing Technology: JeanAnn Foley, Education, and Cecilia Ojeda, Modern Languages, investigate faculty time investment in implementing technology and possible barriers to the integration of technology in courses.

Addressing the Needs of All Learners: Bill Huffman, Education, Ann Huffman, Business and Psychology, Cruz Begay, Health Sciences, and Catherine Marshall, Education, identify the match or mismatch between the technological backgrounds and resources of students and the level of technological ability and access needed to succeed in courses.

Collaborative Learning and Emerging Tools: Alan Lew, Geography, Mary Reid and Jim Sample, Geology, and Kimberly Kail, Distance Learning, explore the value of cutting edge social software and collaborative technologies in facilitating the building of learning communities.


The Arizona Board of Regents awarded the College of Education, with Patty J. Horn, Principal Investigator, and Jeff Shamatha, Co-Principal Investigator, an Improving Teacher Quality Grant entitled Mentoring Quality Math Instruction.

This project involves the NAU College of Education, NAU College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, and five K-12 school districts impacting 31 schools, 420 beginning teachers, 28 full-time mentors and 12,600 students. Integrating a research-based teacher induction program (Horn & Sterling, 2002) with a research-based mathematics instructional program (Shamatha, Wiburg & Jorgenson, 2003), the project builds the capacity of highly trained mentors to improve mathematics teaching and learning in the classrooms of beginning teachers thus increasing mathematics student achievement. During this three year program, emphasis will be on mentoring quality mathematics instruction.