June 2016 Faculty Resources Update

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June 2016

The CFC is all about Faculty

Blackboard News

Upcoming Outage - June 17-18, 2016

Plan ahead! The Blackboard learning management system (LMS) will be unavailable from 5:00 p.m. on June 17, 2016 until 5:00 p.m. on June 18, 2016. During the outage, an upgrade will be made to the Blackboard Learn application. While the work is being done, there will be no access to the LMS system or the courses stored in it. The LMS team will work to restore the system as quickly as possible so that faculty can continue to work on their courses for the fall 2016 semester. If you have any questions, please contact the IT Help Desk at 828-227-7487 or IThelp@wcu.edu.

Improving Blackboard Support

Starting July 1st: Improved Blackboard Support

In an effort to improve the Blackboard experience for WCU faculty and students with Blackboard, we are modifying how assistance is delivered to provide more responsive and caring Blackboard support. This new model will be put into place starting on July 1, 2016 and will include the following support features:

·        A Knowledge Base to provide self-help resources for our faculty and students.

·        A system in which users are able to submit their own support requests to which attention will be given before or on the next business day.

·        Help from the WCU IT Help Desk via phone or chat and walk-up support at the Technology Commons

·        A triage system that will ensure that system-wide issues are dealt with in a timely manner

·        The LMS Team in the Coulter Faculty Commons will be available to assist with issues or complex requests.

We are excited about being able to assist our Blackboard users with our IT and CFC staff that truly care about the success of our faculty and students. We will be providing detailed information over the month of June about how Blackboard users will be able to receive support.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the LMS Team at lmssupport@wcu.edu or call us at 828-227-2930 or the IT Help Desk at 828-227-7487



The CFC is pleased to welcome Yanju Li and the Faculty Research Support Services that she provides. Yanju comes to the CFC with a strong background in research and data analysis. She will continue to provide services that support, facilitate, and enhance internal and external research. Working with CFC teams, Yanju will continue to provide training for qualitative and quantitative research projects and use of research software such as SPSS, SAS, Qualtrics, ArcGIS, Atlas.ti, R, NVivo, ad others. Faculty will be able to consult with Yanju in the CFC. When you get the opportunity, please stop by to welcome Yanju.

A sign that says "Read Syllabus"

Fall 2016 Syllabus Template

The syllabus and schedule templates are now available on the Coulter Faculty Commons website. 

Enjoy preparing for the Fall semester.  Please contact us if we can be of any assistance.


Come and Write With Us

WCU faculty can take advantage of intensive writing weeks offered by the Coulter Faculty Commons.  This is time for you to write in an environment with few distractions and supportive colleagues? 

Bring your writing projects and ideas for a week where you can focus on writing productivity. We will work to establish reasonable writing goals and rewarding ourselves for meeting them.

Please share this message with others that might be interested.  The more the merrier.

Early Bird Writing Camp
June 6th to June 10th
9 a.m  to 2:45 p.m.

Coulter Faculty Commons
Hunter Library

Rocket Faculty Writing Camp
June 20th to June 24th
10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Coulter Faculty Commons
Hunter Library

To reserve your space email Steve @   salebeau@wcu.edu


A New Launch Page at mywcu.wcu.edu

myWCU is Western Carolina University's new secure, web-based resource portal for Applicants, Students, Faculty and Staff.  myWCU will make accomplishing tasks and finding information such as dates and deadlines, financial aid information, registration, housing, academic resources and student records, CatCard balances, timesheets/ leave reports easier. A key feature of myWCU will be single sign-on access to many resources.  myWCU replaces the existing online tool, My Cat. 

myWCU launched successfully on May 28, 2016.  We are always open for feedback for improving the site and the interface.

Another Thought About Open Educational Resources

In a recent Faculty Forum, WCU faculty explored the ideas related to Open Educational Resources.

A recent series of conversations online are exploring how the use of OER in a coordinated manner, might serve as a way of differentiating a university.

If this is an area of interest for you, you can get started by going here, and if you would like to keep this conversation going, the CFC would be glad to be one of your partners in collaboration.  Feel free to reach out to us.

Why are my video links in Blackboard not working?

Did you make the switch to Panopto?

If not, we will work together to help you get your course functionality restored.

Over the last eight months, the CFC Educational Technology Team has made multiple efforts to contact instructors who have video streaming assets hosted on the FPA media server.  Many faculty have worked with us through the process of migrating assets to the new Panopto media streaming solution.

Unfortunately no communication system is foolproof and some faculty have not made the transition.

The FPA Media Server has been retired. If you are currently using video resources in your online courses, and your links are no longer working,  it is likely that you need to migrate your video content to Panopto.

For more information, contact Jonathan Wade.  For details about how to upload your videos, you can download this step sheet.

McKee Table Layout
McKee Desk Layout

New Furniture in McKee -- Creative Uses for Existing Spaces

An investment in new furniture in McKee will be greatly appreciated by students and faculty.  Some rooms have new chair desks with swiveling arms.  Other rooms have moveable (and collapsible) tables and chairs.  The new furniture provides a degree of flexibility that previous furniture could not. 

Options include: increase use of group work, POGIL, project-based learning or sharing circles among others.

Faculty interested in exploring different teaching methods can always contact the Educational Development Team at the Coulter Faculty Commons.


Universal Design For Instruction
2016 Summer Institute

Offered by WCU’s University Participant (UP) Program

2016 Summer Institute for WCU Faculty on Reaching and Connecting ALL Diverse Learners through Universal Design for Instruction

Facilitator:      Dr. Seb M. Prohn

When:             June 23, 2016 from 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

                         June 24, 2016 from 9:00 am -3:00 pm

(Lunch will be provided. Registration required by 6/15/16)

Where: University Center, Multipurpose Room A

Register online at


or call Susan at 828-227-3297

to complete registration by phone

Information about WCU’s UP program can be found at:  http://up.wcu.edu