Screen Times 1.1

By CFE/TLT, November 3, 2020
In this issue...spring classroom planning, accessibility through text-to-speech, Mentimeter, and more.

CFE/TLT Virtual Workshops

Encouraging Integrity in Online Assessments
Thursday, November 5th 12:10-1:05 ET

Lockdown browsers and online proctoring solutions are expensive, have technical challenges, and could comprise equity. Are you looking for ways to alter your assessment strategy or take advantage of features in Sakai or Zoom? Led by Marilyn Dispensa, the format of this will be an open dialog where people can share their questions and ideas with each other and identify areas for follow-up. Register for Encouraging Integrity in Online Assessments.

Getting Ready for Final Exams
Wednesday, November 18th 12:00-1:00 ET

Faculty members who normally administer proctored, timed exams may want to consider alternative culminating assessments to collect/discuss/debrief during the exam period. Led by Marilyn Dispensa, this session will allow participants to brainstorm, ask questions, and flag concerns about final exams. Register for Getting Ready for Final Exams.

Prepare to Teach Hybrid

The CFE and TLT will support faculty with opportunities for guided practice in hybrid teaching: engaging students attending in the classroom and students attending remotely, at the same time.

  • TLT will place a "how-to" in each classroom to explain operation of that classroom’s technology.
  • Faculty will be given access to their classrooms in advance to practice using the technology.
  • Faculty will have the chance to form small groups to practice teaching, taking turns while others act as students in the classroom and online.
  • Faculty will have access to the experiences of others teaching in the same classrooms as the semester proceeds.
  • TLT and CFE staff will be available for consultation.

Optional individual and group practice sessions will be scheduled through the CFE between Thanksgiving and December 18.

We're Excited About: Mentimeter!

Formative assessment is a great way to monitor student learning, give students the chance to provide safe and easy feedback about your class, and can build community. offers engaging tools for formative assessment with easy-to-use slides you can drop into any presentation. Use an open-ended speech bubble at the end of class to ask students to share one thing they learned. Use a multiple choice pre-/post-test to quiz students. Use the real time word cloud slide to collaboratively brainstorm ideas. Finally, use scales to have students individually rate statements, and see the average of their combined answers display in real time. Discover other tools and see more examples on the Library's E-Learning Tools guide. Questions about formative assessment or Mentimeter? Contact IC's Social Science's Librarian Kelly Hallisy.

A word cloud generated from the World of Business class with large and small words. Professor Vongas' name is included which means he's one of the students' favorite things about class.

Students shared what was working for them about their fall 2020 World of Business class with a real-time word cloud. (Way to go, Professor Vongas!)

Student Accessibility Service: Text-to-Speech (TTS)

Text-to-speech (TTS) is an assistive technology that is becoming a common feature in digital applications and devices. TTS is used as an accommodation for students with print disabilities (low vision, dyslexia, processing disorders, etc.).

TTS can also be used to mitigate screen fatigue by providing a way to access material without looking at a computer screen.

TTS can only be used if the original text is digitally accessible. For example, scans of book pages converted to PDF documents, cannot be read by most TTS readers.

Natural Reader is a TTS reader that offers desktop, online, and mobile applications to listen to digital text from a number of formats (DOC, PDF, TXT, RTF, EPUB). Free versions are available for the online and desktop options. Users can purchase the mobile app, premium voices, and options such as exporting audio to an mp3 file. A free Google Chrome extension allows users to listen to both web pages and Google docs.

Have questions? IC faculty and staff, reach out to Valerie Ober or Ian Moore in Student Accessibility Services. Send students right to

LMS Update: Saying Goodbye to Sakai

Based on survey results, market share, and feedback from town halls, D2L and Canvas have received requests for proposals from IC with a deadline of November 13th. Six total demos will be scheduled November 9th-13th. Each vendor will present three demos each from: the student perspective, the faculty perspective, and a technical perspective. Questions? Connect with LMS Advisory Team co-chairs: IT Executive Director Casey Kendall ( or Professor Matt Clauhs ( View updates at

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In the next issue...

Tune in next time for Padlet, the "whiteboard" feature in Zoom, tips for grading papers quickly online, using videos and clips, and more accessibility services.