Tech Tip Tuesday

  • 5 Most Annoying Problems in Presentation (& How to Avoid Them)

    There's not one or two, but five major problems with most of the presentations delivered each day. What are these?

    #1 Presenters read the slides, word-by-word: *Blah* Most common and THE MOST annoying of all! *Blah* 

    #2 Full sentences on slides instead of bullet points: Bullets don't kill people. People with bad PowerPoint slides kill people. 

    #3 Text size is too small to read: Whom are those slides for? Sherlock Holmes? 

    #4 Slides hard to see due to the choice of colors: We thought the color wheel was yet another fun, human invention to play with! 

    #5 Use of complex diagrams and charts: Because life is hard. We'll make it harder. 

    Online Version

    Send a Screenshot We've all heard the saying "A picture paints a thousand words" by Arthur Brisbane. If you need help add a screenshot to your helpdesk ticket or an email. It can save a lot of time troubleshooting something. Instructors, please encourage your students to include screenshots. Below is a link to a short video on how to use the snipping tool.

    As you are preparing your syllabi and Blackboard courses for the Fall semester, please feel free to include the statement below.

    The UMES Center for Instructional Technology and Online Learning offers students and faculty assistance with the use of the Blackboard Learning Management System, ECHO360, and Respondus LockDown Browser. CITOL is located in the Engineering Aviation Sciences Complex (New building) Suite 3071. Students and faculty can get help by opening a help desk ticket at (available 24/7).  You can also contact CITOL at 410-651-6557 or 

    Did you know that all employees and students can get Microsoft Office 365 applications. More details are available on the UMES Wiki at the following link

    Want to liven up your PowerPoint Presentations. Check out these ideas.

    Are you missing important emails because you are receiving too many? You can organize your inbox to set up rules so that specific emails go to a specific folder.
    Click on the links below to get more details about organizing your inbox. Instructors, please share the Gmail information with students so they are not missing your emails.

    Setting Rules for Outlook

    Setting Rules for Gmail

    MS PowerPoint 2016 now has a screen recording feature. You can use this to record your PowerPoint Presentations for your students.
    Check out this short tutorial.

    Getting to know and use shortcut keys can save you a lot of time especially when using a laptop. Below are just a few and you can find more at this link.

    Windows Shortcut Keys

    ·         Windows Key + R: Opens the Run menu.

    ·         Windows Key + E: Opens Explorer.

    ·         Alt + Tab: Switch between open programs.

    ·         Windows Key + Up Arrow: Maximize current window.

    ·         Ctrl + Shift + Esc: Open Task Manager.

    ·         Windows Key + Break: Opens system properties.

    ·         Windows Key + F: Opens search for files and folders.

    ·         Windows Key + D: Hide/display the desktop.

    ·         Alt + Esc: Switch between programs in order they were opened.

    ·         Alt + Letter: Select menu item by underlined letter.

    ·         Ctrl + Esc: Open Start menu.

    ·         Ctrl + F4: Close active document (does not work with some applications).

    ·         Alt + F4: Quit active application or close current window.

    ·         Alt + Spacebar: Open menu for active program.

    ·         Ctrl + Left or Right Arrow: Move cursor forward or back one word.

    ·         Ctrl + Up or Down Arrow: Move cursor forward or back one paragraph.

    ·         F1: Open Help menu for active application.

    ·         Windows Key + M: Minimize all windows.

    ·         Shift + Windows Key + M: Restore windows that were minimized with previous keystroke.

    ·         Windows + F1: Open Windows Help and Support.

    ·         Windows + Tab: Open Task view.

    ·         Windows + Break: Open the System Properties dialog box.

    ·         Hold Right SHIFT key for eight seconds: Switch FilterKeys on and off.

    ·         Left Alt + Left Shift + Print Screen: Switch High Contrast on and off.

    ·         Left Alt + Left Shift + Num Lock: Switch Mouse keys on and off.

    ·         Press Shift five times: Switch Sticky keys on and off.

    ·         Hold Num Lock for five seconds: Switch Toggle keys on and off.

    Dropped Students in Blackboard Grade Center
    Is your grade book in blackboard looking messy because it still shows students who have dropped the course? In about two minutes you can hide them. Watch this short tutorial to see how.

    Formatting of Copied Text

    Do you ever have Shading over fonts when you have copied and pasted text from one location to another? Do you struggle to remove this Shading? Whether it be Word, PowerPoint, Blackboard, or other programs, most of them have a button called Clear or Remove Formatting which will remove it.

    Printing from the Web

    Do your printouts from the web print the way you want them?
    When using Google Chrome select what you want to print and in the Print dialog box click the + on More Settings then select Selection only. This way only what you have selected will print.

    Fillable PDF Forms

    Do you want to be able to create fillable PDF forms but don't have the Pro version of Adobe Acrobat to be able to do it? Here's a video which explains how to access a free program which enables you to do this.

    Hide Dropped Students

    Is your grade book in blackboard looking messy because it still shows students who have dropped the course? In about two minutes you can hide them. Watch this short tutorial to see how.

    Blackboard Test - Reset or Give additional attempt

    Need to reset a Blackboard test or to open a test for individual students? Watch these very short videos.
    How to clear a test 

    How to open a test for individual students. (Test Availability Exceptions)


    Track Number of Views

    When creating items in Blackboard always check the "Track Number of Views" checkbox. This will allow you to see which students are looking at different items. Even if you think you won't need this feature, it's best to turn it on. If it's off and you later turn it on the system can not backtrack.

    Sharing files with Students

    When sharing files in Blackboard with students it is best to upload PDF files rather than Microsoft documents. This enables the student to open the file on many different devices. 

    Everyone at UMES Has a Google Drive

    Use your Google drive to store your Exported Zip files from the old Blackboard Server for courses you need for the upcoming Summer, Fall or Winter. The Google drive is a great way to save and share files.

    Did you know that everyone with a UMES email account has a Google Drive? Simply log in with your UMES email address and password. Here's a link to a tutorial on how to use the Google Drive.

    Reordering Items in Blackboard

    If you would like to reorder items in your Course Content but your browser will not permit you to drag and drop them into place, try using the Keyboard Accessible Reordering button available towards the upper right of the page.