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By CFE/TLT, January 15, 2021
In this issue...Sakai to Canvas migration, creating accessible media, updates to Library services, being heard beyond the mask, and more.

Welcome CANVAS!

We are pleased to announce that Ithaca College’s new learning management system (LMS) is Canvas! 

After an extensive selection process involving many faculty, students, and other stakeholders the feedback we received was overwhelmingly clear that Canvas is the best product to support teaching and learning at Ithaca College.          

You can read more about the selection process here

Here are some of the things that your colleagues and peers are looking forward to in Canvas; 

  • “The syllabus tool in Canvas is interactive, with links that point to tools and resources throughout the course site. The syllabus automatically updates to reflect any changes to assignments and calendar dates, providing clarity to students and saving time for faculty.” – IC Faculty Member 

  • “I am really excited about the new analytical tools which will allow us to more easily identify students that need additional support but might not know how to ask.” – IC Faculty Member  

  • “One of the things I'm looking forward to most with Canvas is Speedgrader. Instructors can view all student assignment submissions in one central place, across courses, without going into each course's separate homepage, and then navigating to that course's assignments. This seems small, but it will save so many clicks across all grading each semester.”– IC Faculty Member 

  • “Canvas, with its intuitive design, auto-save feature, and easy-to-use mobile app, will provide a new and more efficient way for students to keep track of their classes online” – IC Student 

Sakai will continue to be our LMS for the spring and summer semesters while we are preparing to implement Canvas for the fall semester. An LMS Governance Committee will begin meeting in January to oversee the migration, implementation, and champion the adoption of the new LMS.  

Anticipated Milestones: 

  • Limited pilot offering – Block II – March 2021 

  • Vendor supported migration – March-July 2021 

  • Full implementation – Fall term – August 2021 

  • Limited access to Sakai – Read only/upon request – September 2021 

Future updates and a more detailed timeline will be provided on the LMS Project webpage which you can view here.  

Thank you to everyone who participated in this process. We are grateful for the participation of our faculty, students, and stakeholders across the college in helping to select our new LMS. On behalf of the LMS Selection Advisory Committee, thank you for the support of the Provost, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Information Officer throughout the selection process. 

Updates from the IC Library

  • The Library has created a series of short videos to update users on our Spring 2021 services.
  • Librarians have been fielding many citation questions via our online chat service.
  • Check out our Citation Styles page which includes links to AMA, APA, Chicago, and MLA formatting and style guides.
  • Please contact your subject librarian to schedule asynchronous or synchronous research instruction sessions for your courses. 

Spring 2021 Welcome and Updates from Academic Affairs

On January 11th, Provost Cornish forwarded guidance for faculty as they plan their spring courses, including important updates for all faculty as well as links to various documents you may need. If you missed the email, you may find the resource here. It includes revised health and safety information for teaching this spring, and important links for faculty reference are included on the final page. Follow this link to review the Welcome and Updates Academic Affairs Spring 2021 document.

Creating Accessible Media - Tuesday, January 19, 1:00 -2:00 PM

Creating Accessible Media- Tuesday, January 19, 1:00 -2:00 PM 
Zoom link: 

An informational session about media accessibility and student accommodations. Join SAS for a conversation about how faculty can support students who require accessible audio and video as an accommodation. This session is designed specifically for faculty who have students in their class who require accessible media but all are welcome. Topics include the role faculty play in fulfilling student accommodation needs and the different resources on campus for creating accessible media. There will be time for questions about how to create captions using tools available at IC, the difference between post-production and live captioning, and how auto-captions can be used effectively in a learning environment. 

A recording of this workshop, along with slides and transcripts, will be made available on the SAS website after the session if you are unable to attend. 

SAS hosted a Creating Accessible Media workshop December 15, 2020. The link is available on the Faculty Accessible Audio and Video page on the SAS website. You can review the December 15 workshop here.

8 Strategies to Prevent Teaching Burnout

What can you do this semester to protect your well-being and support your students?

"8 Strategies to Prevent Teaching Burnout" by Flower Darby was published in the January 13, 2021 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education. Perhaps there's one or two you haven't tried yet.

Login and access the full article via this link.

Teaching in a Masked Classroom

In-person and hybrid teaching presents a unique challenge for faculty returning to the classroom and for their students especially when speaking with a mask, at a distance, and through a microphone.

Retired professor of vocal performance Carol McAmis offered a session on January 11, 2021 sponsored by the Center for Faculty Excellence called “Teaching in a Masked Classroom.” 

Carol shared strategies and skills with over 35 faculty and staff to help speak with greater clarity and less vocal fatigue. Participants learned some basic skills for warming up the voice, articulating clearly, and speaking “past” the mask.  Here are some of the strategies shared:

  • Spend a few minutes per day doing vocal exercises such as humming a single tone for several minutes.
  • Warm-up before going to class.  (Speak with teeth closed and only with lips).
  • Slow down your speaking.
  • Inhale through your nose.
  • Keep hydrated.
  • Project “past” the mask and try speaking with a more nasal tone if you have a soft voice.
  • Consider a personal ‘amplifier’.
  • Focus on articulating consonants.
  • Experiment with different mask materials or consider an “insert”. (Make sure you adhere to the CDC guidelines for face coverings.)

If you missed this opportunity, see below for some links to the session Zoom recording, transcript, and the Powerpoint presentation.

*Zoom Recording and Transcript: Being Heard in a Masked Classroom

*PDF: Teaching in a Masked Classroom (PDF)

*Access to these files is restricted to Ithaca College Faculty, staff, and students.