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Archive for the ‘Educational Technology Tools’ Category

Making Screen Recordings

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SRU MediaSpace, the dedicated video system available to all faculty and students, also features a screen recording tool. The screen recorder will make a video out of your screen movements, while recording your narrations though your webcam or microphone. This is ideal for showing students how to use software. You can also use it to capture narrated PowerPoint (although using PowerPoint’s built-in narration tool in conjunction with iSpring free works best).

The attached handout will give you step-by-step instructions on how to use the screen recording tool, as well as troubleshooting tips:

Creating Screen Recording with SRU MediaSpace (PDF)


Written by SRU Ed Tech

January 30, 2015 at 9:06 pm

VoiceThread – Getting Started

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This handout will walk you through the steps of creating a VoiceThread presentation. These instructions are applicable for both faculty and students wishing to create, share, and have viewers/classmates comment on their presentations.

What is VoiceThread? VoiceThread allows you to take a plain, text-and-images PowerPoint show, then add narration to each slide using voice and video. VoiceThread presentations can be shared with your students, allowing them to leave voice or video comments on individual slides. It is a more interactive way to present a narrated PowerPoint lesson.

VoiceThread Basics – for Faculty (PDF – Updated 10/6/2015)

Written by SRU Ed Tech

January 8, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Posting YouTube Videos

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Due to changes in how both D2L and YouTube link and displays video, the following is the new proper procedure for linking to YouTube video in your course:

1) First, locate the video that you would like to share with your students on While it is playing, highlight and copy the URL out of the address bar of your browser.

2) Next, log in to D2L, navigate to your course, and click on the Content button.

3) Choose a module, then click on the Add Topic button across from it

4) In the next screen, click on the Create New File link (NOT the Quicklink button as before)

5) In the next screen, fill out the Title box with a short description of your video.

6) The bottom half of the screen will have a large textbox. The toolbar will have a button labeled Insert Stuff (circled below). Click it.

7) Click on Enter a URL in the window that pops-up, then paste in the YouTube address.

8) Click Next. D2L will show a preview of the video. Click Insert.

9) You will be taken back to the New Topic screen. Press Save to post the video to your course.

Written by SRU Ed Tech

September 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Notes Regarding Turnitin

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Slippery Rock University subscribes to the plagiarism detection service. Student papers submitted to Turnitin are scanned for matching content from a variety of sources, including many web sites and journals, as well as every paper that has ever been scanned by the Turnitin service in the past. Although it is not meant to provide an instant judgment of academic honesty, it is a valuable tool that can guide you to papers that might contain plagiarized content.

How Do I Use Turnitin?

Turnitin operates as an extension of Desire2Learn. To check papers with Turnitin, you must create a Dropbox folder in your course shell, and have your students upload their papers.

1) Log  in to D2L and navigate to the course in which the student papers will be checked for plagiarism.

2) Click on the Dropbox button in the course navbar.

3) Click on the New Folder button.

4) In the following screen, fill in a name for your assignment. If it will be graded, use the Grade Item drop-down box to match the folder to a gradebook item, then type the point value in the Out of box.

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When you have done this, click the Turnitin tab.

5) In the next screen, check Enable Turnitin for this folder.

Optionally, you may allow students to view their originality results from Turnitin. To do this, check Allow learners to see Turnitin similarity scores in their dropbox folder

When you are done, click Save and Close.

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6) From here, you must instruct your students to log in to Desire2Learn, click in to your course, navigate to the Dropbox, then upload their paper (Note: be sure that you have made your course available!).

Viewing the Papers

1) Once the submission deadline for the paper has  passed, log back in to your course and click on the Dropbox tool.

2) In the list of Dropbox folders, click on the link for the assignment that you are checking.

3) The next screen will show a list of all of your students. Beneath each student will be a link to download their paper. Across from the paper will be a small icon:

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The percentage showing next to the colored box is the percentage of the text in the paper that Turnitin suspects might be lifted from another source. This means that the higher the percentage, the higher the probability of plagiarism.

To view the complete Originality Report for a suspicious paper, click on the colored square next to the percentage.

The Originality Reports

After clicking on the colored square, a new window will open and display the Originality Report for the paper:

The left column will display the text of the student paper. The colored highlighted sections are possible matches found by Turnitin. The color-coded links in the right column will take you to the Internet site or student paper where Turnitin believes the text originiated.

Important Reminder: Turnitin often automatically includes quoted material and bibliographical citations, which often leads to an inflated percentage.  Click on the “exclude quoted” and “exclude bibliography”  buttons to eliminate these matches.

Important Notes and Reminders

1) If you plan on using the service, we strongly encourage you to include a notice of this in your syllabus. This in itself will serve as a deterrent to academic dishonesty.

2) As stated above, the percentages displayed by Turnitin are NOT meant to be interpreted as “23% plagiarized” or “7% plagiarized.” This simply reflects the percentage of the paper in which matches were found from  other sources. These matches often include quotes, citations, and small coincidental strings of words. In fact, most papers will have a small percentage of matches. We strongly suggest that you closely review the full originality report before moving forward in a case of possible plagiarism.

Written by SRU Ed Tech

April 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Build Tests and Quizzes with Respondus

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Manually typing up test questions in the Desire2Learn Quizzes tool can be tedious work, even if you have a pre-made test in Word and are copying and pasting into D2L. Respondus is a program that can scan your pre-made test or quiz and upload the questions into a Desire2Learn quiz. There is a bit of a learning curve, since the test in Word must be formatted in a special way for Respondus to recognize the correct answers, but if you are creating a test of more than ten questions, or simply do a lot of quizzing in Desire2Learn, it can be worthwhile to learn how to use.

Respondus is free for faculty in the PA State System of Higher Education. If you would like a copy of the software, please email with your request.
Below is a handout on how to get started:
Respondus Quick Start-D2L

Written by SRU Ed Tech

December 13, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Recording Narration in PowerPoint using iSpring Free

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Narrated PowerPoint shows saved as-is tend to be very large files. This makes them cumbersome and difficult to upload and share with your students or fellow classmates. The iSpring plug-in for PowerPoint takes narrated presentations and exports them as Flash movies. This means that they upload very quickly and play almost instantly.

This handout assumes that you are comfortable downloading and installing software, and that you have already prepared a PowerPoint presentation to narrate. It also assumes that you have an internal or external microphone or webcam installed on your PC.

iSpring 7 Guide for Faculty (PDF)

(Updated 12/2014 for PowerPoint 2013 and D2L 10.3)

Written by SRU Ed Tech

December 2, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Creating Videos with Windows Movie Maker

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If your computer comes with a webcam (either built-in, or USB), it is possible to use Windows Movie Maker to create short instructional video clips and post them to Desire2Learn. If you are using a Windows XP or Vista machine, chances are you already have Movie Maker installed. This handout explains how to use it to create a short video and post it to Desire2Learn.

Keep in mind that video files tend to be rather large, so this handout is intended for instructors interested in recording short 4-5 minute mini-lectures.

Written by SRU Ed Tech

December 1, 2010 at 8:15 pm