Using the Lightboard (eGlass) to Create Engaging Videos

photo of the lightboard studio 505B doorway.

What is the Lightboard Recording Studio?

Kaltura Video Tutorial: eGlass (Lightboard) Basics

UWGB instructors and students can reserve and use the Lightboard (eGlass) studio located on the 5th floor of the Cofrin Library (CL 505 B). The lightboard functions like a transparent whiteboard. You write on one side of it, and a camera records you from the other side.

Potential Use Cases

The lightboard can be a valuable tool for presenting complex materials, such as mathematical formulas or diagrams. By allowing presenters to write or draw while explaining content, it provides helpful visuals that enhance understanding, making it ideal for engaging students and simplifying complex topics.

It can also be used to facilitate ‘flipped learning.’ In this case, students receive scaffolded instruction outside of the classroom and class time is then reserved for discussion or activities in which students apply concepts to further engage with the subject matter.

Tips for Before You Record

Before you record your video using the lightboard, consider the following planning tips:

  • Keep it short. Lightboard videos should be a single topic that can fit easily on a single board. If your video requires constant erasing, it is likely too long.
  • Organize your content. Develop a structured outline or script and rehearse your video beforehand to ensure preparedness and to streamline the recording process.
  • Practice writing before you record. Spacing can be an issue on the lightboard so it is a good idea to practice laying out any complex drawings or text that you want to use in your video ahead of time. You could practice on a whiteboard or on the lightboard itself before recording.
  • Clothing choice. Dark, solid colors (grey, navy, deep reds, etc.) are best. The markers you use for the board are neon colors and tend to blend in with light shades, becoming hard to read. Avoid wearing black so you don’t blend in with the background and don’t wear clothing with large logos or lettering (the writing/logo of your shirt will be flipped and might be a potential distraction in the video).

Tips for Recording Your Video

During the recording process, keep the following tips in mind to enhance the quality and effectiveness of your video.

  • Do a quick mic-check. Consider recording a quick 10-30 second video to ensure that the microphone, camera, lightboard brightness and settings are functioning properly.
  • Stay close to the eGlass lightboard. Stepping away from the board will reduce the amount of light that hits your face and may also affect the camera focus, making you appear blurry.
  • Try to leave room for yourself as you write on the glass. Be mindful of space as you draw and write on the board. Move to the side as you write and try to not cover your face with text.
  • Point and emphasize content. When you are speaking about something specific on the board, point to it, circle it, or underline it to draw attention to that specific item.
  • Look at the camera when recording. When you are not drawing or writing, address the camera as it represents your audience.
  • Have fun with it and enjoy the process! Having fun while making these videos will make for more engaging content.

Reserving the Room

Reserve and check out the room through the UWGB library reservation system.

  • Note: Please call the UWGB IT Service Desk at 920-465-2309 or report issues to gbit@uwgb.edu if you encounter technical difficulties with the studio computer or lightboard hardware.

Related Resources & Alternative Recording Methods

Canvas Discussions Redesign Arrives May 13, 2024 

In Summer 2024, Canvas will officially roll out its “Discussions Redesign,” which will bring a visual refresh to Canvas Discussions while adding some new features. UW-Green Bay will be turning on the redesign between the Spring and Summer terms on Monday, May 13, 2024. On this date, all discussions will automatically upgrade to the redesign with no action needed from instructors. Read this post to learn about the new features coming to Discussions and where to look for familiar buttons that have changed locations within the Discussions Redesign.

New Features

The Discussions Redesign adds the following new ways for students and instructors to interact and to view discussion activity:

Anonymous Discussions

Screenshot of the Anonymous Discussion settings seen while creating or editing a Canvas discussion

With the Discussions Redesign, the options shown when creating a new discussion in a Canvas course remain largely unchanged except for the addition of a setting that allows instructors to enable full or partial anonymity while setting up an ungraded discussion. With “full” anonymity, all student replies will appear anonymously without the student’s name and profile picture. With “partial” anonymity, students can choose whether to reveal their name and profile picture while making a reply. Anonymity only applies to students; instructor posts and replies are always shown with names and profile pictures. If you allow students to create their own discussion topics, a new setting in the discussion options for your course allows you to choose whether students can create anonymous discussions.

@ Mentions

Screenshot of two discussion replies with @ mentions. The mentions each include a student's name and are highlighted in purple.

With the Discussions Redesign, discussion participants can mention an instructor or student in their replies by typing “@” and the beginning of a person’s name and then selecting the full name from a list of matches from the class roster that appears. Mentioned names are highlighted in the post and will trigger a notification for the mentioned person if they have the “New Mention” notification type enabled in their Canvas Notifications settings. Students and instructors can use this feature to more clearly identify who they are responding to in a discussion thread and get their attention.

Quote Reply

Screenshot of the Quote Reply option on a reply. The options menu icon and Quote Reply option are highlighted.

The Discussions Redesign has a new “Quote Reply” action which lets you include the contents of the post you are replying to within your reply. Using this feature will help add clarity to long discussion threads when replying to a post that is higher up in the thread. You can find the Quote Reply option within the options menu (the three vertical dots icon) of any discussion reply.

Multiple Viewing Options for Discussion Threads

A Canvas discussion reply. The link that can be selected to reveal threaded replies is highlighted and reads, "9 Replies, 2 Unread"

The Discussions Redesign offers a more condensed initial view where only the top-level replies to the topic are visible after opening a discussion. If a reply to the main topic has threaded replies (i.e., replies to the reply) “underneath” it, they are initially hidden, and the post will have a link under its contents which reports the number of threaded replies that are “underneath” that post. You can select that link to reveal the threaded replies in either an “Inline View,” which shows all replies underneath one another with varying indentation (like the older discussions design does), or a “Split View,” which shows threaded replies in a side panel that flies in from the right side of the screen.

A screenshot of the search bar and buttons found at the top of a Canvas discussion. The "View Split Screen" and "Expand Threads" buttons are highlighted.

You can switch between using the Inline and Split view modes with the View Inline / View Split Screen button at the top of the discussion page. When using Inline View, you can select the Expand Threads button at the top of the discussion to quickly reveal all threaded replies at once.

Edit History

A screenshot of a Canvas discussion reply that has been edited. The reply's "View History" link is highlighted.

If a student edits a reply after posting it, Canvas will now keep each version of that reply in an “edit history” that is available to instructors. Instructors will see a “view history” link on any reply that a student edited after posting and can select it to view that reply’s previous versions. Students can only view the edit history of their own replies.

Coming Soon: Discussion Checkpoints!

Canvas will soon (finally) be adding the oft-requested feature for supporting multiple due dates in a discussion. This feature may not yet be available when we enable the Discussions Redesign in May, but Canvas plans to add it during Summer 2024. With this feature, instructors will be able to easily set separate due dates for initial posts and for replies to peers’ posts within the same discussion, which will help automate reminders for students by adding calendar and to-do list items for each “checkpoint.” Watch for more information on this feature as it gets closer to release!

New Locations for Important Buttons

Don’t get lost within the Discussions Redesign by taking note of the following new locations for some often-used buttons:

Edit Button

A screenshot of the options menu for a Canvas discussion topic as seen by an instructor. The "options" icon and "Edit" menu item are highlighted.

The Edit button is moving from its prominent position at the top of the discussion page to being tucked within the options (three dots) menu found in the top-right corner of the discussion topic. Look for the Edit link in that options menu whenever you want to adjust an existing discussion’s settings.

Group Discussion Navigation

A screenshot of a Canvas group discussion with the groups icon highlighted in the top-left corner.

Group discussions will no longer show a blue box at the top of the page with the links for accessing each individual discussion. Instead, a group discussion will have a button with the “groups” icon in the top-left corner which you can select to switch between the discussions of each group.

Publishing and Subscribing

Two screenshots of the publish and subscribe icons of a discussion topic. The first screenshot shows the unpublished and unsubscribed icon states; the second screenshot shows the published and subscribed icon states.

The buttons for publishing a discussion and subscribing to it (for notifications) have shrunk into smaller icons that can be found next to the options (three dots) menu in the top-right corner of the discussion topic. You can select these smaller publish and subscribe icons to publish or unpublish a discussion and subscribe or unsubscribe to a discussion.

Ready, Set, Discuss!

Knowledge of these new features and interface changes is all you need for a smooth transition to using the Discussions Redesign in your courses. Your existing discussions will automatically upgrade on May 13 with all existing topics and replies retained. We hope that the fresh look and new features will facilitate more robust interactions within your courses! If you want to discuss ideas for using Canvas discussions in your course with a member of our team, we encourage you to request a CATL Consultation or reach out to us at catl@uwgb.edu.

“Zeroing in” on Canvas Gradebook Accuracy

A major benefit of using the Canvas gradebook to keep your grades is that it gives students a live and continuously updated view of their standing in the course. For better or worse, students trust that the grade shown to them in Canvas is an accurate measure of their current achievement and a predictor of their final grade. Students use the running total grade shown to them in the Canvas gradebook to set goals for upcoming assignments which will help them achieve their desired final grade. Unfortunately, mistakes and instructor misunderstandings about how Canvas calculates total grades may lead to the total grade students see in a course being misleading or inaccurate, and that can have negative effects on a student’s ability to plan for future coursework. Making sure your Canvas gradebook is accurate and up to date throughout the term also helps prevent final grade “surprises” and grade disputes. The Canvas gradebook practice that most frequently leads to students seeing misleading total grade calculations is leaving missing assignments ungraded. This article explains the importance of regularly entering scores of zero in Canvas for missing work, which is a necessary step for making sure your Canvas gradebook is working for students and not against them.

Because of the way Canvas treats assignments with no grade when calculating a student’s total grade, students who have a missing assignment see a higher total grade in Canvas than what they have truly earned until the instructor enters a zero score for the missing assignment. Canvas does not treat ungraded missing assignments (in other words, assignments that show a dash in the gradebook cell) as zeroes when calculating student’s total grades. Instead, Canvas ignores all ungraded assignments when calculating a student’s total grade, even those that are past due. When calculating the total grade percentage for the course and each assignment group, Canvas divides the student’s total earned points by a total number of possible points that does not include possible points from ungraded assignments. To make sure students are aware of the impact that missing work will have on their final grade, instructors should regularly enter a score of zero for students who have not turned in an assignment after its due date.

Here is an example of the impact that leaving missing work ungraded in the Canvas gradebook has on total score calculations: imagine a student who has participated in 5 weekly discussions worth 10 points each, earning all 10 points for each discussion (50 points total). Now imagine that a writing project worth another 50 points is past due, and this student has not submitted that assignment. If those five discussions and the writing project are the only assignments in the course to that point, the student will see their total grade as 100% (50/50 points or an A) until the instructor enters a zero for the missing project. When the instructor enters the zero for the writing project, the student’s total grade calculation will update to 50% (50/100 points or an F). The student will not see the impact of the missing project on their total score in Canvas until the instructor enters the zero; if the instructor waits to enter a zero until the end of the term, the student could go through the rest of the course thinking they are in much better standing than they truly are.

Gradebook Zeros Example

While it is easy to do the total grade calculation of this simple example with mental math because it uses a small number of assignments, real courses have greater complexity in grading. Because total grade calculations are often complex, students will struggle to understand and may underestimate the true impact of missing assignments on their grade if those assignments remain ungraded and therefore not included in the calculation of the total grade shown in Canvas. You can help students by entering zeroes right away or as early as it makes sense for your late policy!

New Submission Icon

If your course policies allow students to submit late work, entering a zero score on a missing assignment will not prevent the student from making a late submission. A zero grade is a big attention getter, and seeing the impact the zero has on the total grade in Canvas can motivate a student to make a late submission. Better late than never! To ensure the zero score is not demotivating, make sure students understand that the zero grade you entered is not final. You can use the “Message Students Who” feature in the Canvas gradebook to efficiently send a message to all students with zeros on an assignment which encourages them to submit late and earn (at least) partial credit. Once the student submits the assignment, the Canvas gradebook will show the new submission icon in the cell and update the cell’s status (color) to “Late” (blue). You can grade the late submission and enter a new score to replace the zero.

Entering zeroes for missing work is a crucial step for keeping an accurate and up-to-date gradebook in Canvas, but many instructors learn this step the hard way after receiving a complaint from a student who saw an inflated total grade in Canvas and then got surprised by their official final grade. While entering zeroes is not the only requirement for keeping accurate grades in Canvas, it is a simple-but-not-always-intuitive step that instructors should not ignore. Make sure to do it regularly—ideally while you grade submissions for an assignment. The sooner a student realizes how a missing assignment impacts their grade, the more time they have to compensate. If you would like Canvas to help you keep up with entering zeroes, applying a Missing Submission policy to the gradebook before the start of a course can automate this task for online submission assignments, but note that you may still need to enter some zeroes manually. If reading this article makes you want to have a deeper discussion on setting up and managing your Canvas gradebook, we encourage you to request a CATL Consultation to set up a meeting with a member of our team!

LITE 120 Course: Canvas Accessibility Training

Are you interested in enhancing your understanding of accessible learning materials within Canvas? Creating courses with accessibility in mind provides our students with a better shot at success while also eliminating potential digital learning barriers. Perhaps you’ve previously engaged with Canvas accessibility tools, such as the Course UDOIT checker, and found deciphering accessibility reports to be overwhelming. Well, now is the time to learn more about leveraging such Canvas accessibility tools in your course. In addition to the other courses in the Teaching with Technology Certificate (previously the Distance Education Certificate), CATL is offering an additional supplemental professional development course. This course explores how to effectively utilize specific tools within the UWGB instance of Canvas, enabling you to proficiently scan for and address common accessibility challenges that may arise when creating learning materials within Canvas.

Learning and Integrating Technology for Education (LITE) 120: Canvas Accessibility Training will equip you with the guidance you need to create more inclusive and accessible digital teaching materials in Canvas. This course will provide you with information regarding key features in the Canvas Rich Content Editor (RCE) and how to use and interpret the results of the Rich Content Editor Accessibility Checker and the Course accessibility checker (UDOIT).

LITE 120 is an uncompensated, self-paced course that requires a small time commitment for instructors (about 4 hours) interested in learning the necessary skills to make their courses accessible and earn a Canvas Accessibility Training Badge.

Prerequisites: None (though completion of LITE 101 is recommended)

When: The course is open now. There is no deadline to register, so register at your earliest convenience!

Register

Badges

Canvas Accessibility Training Badge

The owner of this badge demonstrated knowledge of how to use Canvas accessibility features to proficiently identify and address common accessibility issues, ensuring baseline accessibility for learning materials created and disseminated through the Canvas platform by completing the LITE 120: Canvas Accessibility Training course.

Badge Earning Criteria:

  • Reviewed the accessibility features specific to the UWGB Canvas platform such as the Canvas Accessibility Checker and Course accessibility checker (UDOIT) as well as reviewed common accessibility issues found in learning materials created using the Canvas Rich Content Editor (RCE).
  • Demonstrated how to use UWGB Canvas accessibility features like the Canvas Accessibility Checker and UDOIT to effectively create learning materials with baseline accessibility standards.

Questions?

If you have questions regarding LITE 120 or Canvas accessibility in general, please contact CATL (CATL@uwgb.edu).

LITE 115 Course: Enhancing Course Videos with PlayPosit

Is there a teaching technology that you’ve heard CATL talk about but haven’t gotten the chance to try out yet? Want to learn a new tool alongside fellow instructors so you can swap ideas and tips? In addition to the three courses in the Teaching with Technology Certificate, CATL is offering supplemental professional development training courses that explore certain teaching tools and techniques in more depth!

Learning and Integrating Technology for Education (LITE) 115: Enhancing Course Videos with PlayPosit will equip you with the guidance you need to start building interactive videos, called “bulbs,” for your own courses. Work through each module at your own pace as you discover the basics of PlayPosit, build your first bulb, and finally implement PlayPosit bulbs in one of your courses. Participants will also learn how to monitor bulbs and use PlayPosit’s analytics to reveal data on student engagement and achievement that may be informative for planning future iterations of a course.

Prerequisites: None (though completion of LITE 101 is recommended)

When: The Spring 2024 cohort of LITE 115 will begin on Monday, Feb. 5, and run until the end of the spring semester. Registration for the Spring 2024 cohort of LITE 115 is now open and will remain open through Friday, Feb. 2nd.

Register

Badges

Participants will earn a digital badge for completing each of the three modules in LITE 115 that you can include in your email signature or embed in online portfolios or resumes as evidence of your commitment to professional development! Participants will not be obligated to complete all three modules and may participate at whichever level fits their interest and capacity.

Questions?

If you have any questions about LITE 115 or PlayPosit in general, please contact CATL (CATL@uwgb.edu). You can also check out our blog resources on PlayPosit as well as a selection of step-by-step guides in the UWGB IT Knowledgebase.