Author: Aaron Bannasch

Why and When to Use PowerPoint in Online Courses

While PowerPoint is a very effective tool for creating visual aids when used properly (or artistically, or satirically), it can be harmful when misused. Suggestions for appropriate use of PowerPoint have been documented in various blog posts on the Distance Learning website. For the Summer 2019 course development period, extra emphasis is being placed on on using PowerPoint in ways that go beyond its most convenient form: bulleted lists. Structured, bulleted lists may work well for quickly organizing your own thoughts, but there are other (trendier?) ways of doing that without using PowerPoint. PowerPoint can continue to be a useful


Using Panopto for Student Video Assignments

Some online courses use video not only for instructor created content but also for student assignment deliverables. Arc had been a video platform that made it easy for students to add a video to Canvas, either by posting it as a discussion reply or uploading it as an assignment. Since the pilot for Arc is coming to an end, Panopto is now being recommended as a video hosting platform for both instructor and student videos. If students are going to be creating videos in your course, this guide can be used in addition to your assignment instructions to help students


2018-2019 Web Conferencing Text for Syllabus

Choose one of the groups of text below to copy and paste into your syllabus. Blue Jeans We will use BlueJeans for optional synchronous meetings. The Northwestern IT YouTube channel on Blue Jeans Video conferencing and the Canvas Learning Center BlueJeans page provide additional guidance for using BlueJeans. The Blue Jeans Privacy Policy and the Accessibility Features on BlueJeans are also available. WebEx We will use WebEx for optional synchronous meetings. The Cisco WebEx Support Page provides additional guidance for using WebEx. The WebEx Privacy Policy and the Accessibility Features on WebEx are also available. Big Blue Button We will


Web Conferencing Options for the 2018-19 Academic Year

With the Fall 2018 quarter approaching you should begin checking if your web conferencing software is up to date and familiarizing yourself with any changes that may have occurred since you last taught an online course. If you regularly rely on BlueJeans you can continue to do so, although it always helps to do a quick check to make sure you have your technology configured to your liking. Launch the BlueJeans app to check for updates and test your audio and video. If BlueJeans hasn’t been your preferred web conferencing solution, or you would like to explore other options, use


New Equipment Arrives at the Distance Learning Studio

The Distance Learning Studio has received some equipment upgrades in time for Summer course development. If you have yet to record a video in the studio or would like to see how the studio can enhance your course contact distanteeducation@northwestern.edu and find out! The most significant upgrade has been to install a Sennheiser MKH 50 microphone (a popular broadcast TV microphone) in the studio. This microphone makes audio quality clearer and allows for flexibility in recording styles since its pickup pattern is more capable of capturing a moving subject or more than one subject, such as in a two-person interview