November OIT News: 2014 Faculty First Grant, MATLAB Day 2013 Workshops, ITCoP Focus, Online Collaboration Options, and more!

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News from OIT‘s Instructional Support and Research Support

November Issue

2014 Faculty First Grant

Practice Presentation Room

Fall 2013 Clicker Roundtable Scheduled

IT Academy

MATLAB Day 2013 Workshops

Enjoy Faster Computing

ITCoP Focus

Fall 2013 GTA@OIT Recipients

Online Collaboration Options

November OIT Workshops


2014 Faculty First Grant

The UTK Office of Information Technology Support Organization invites applications for the 2014 Faculty First Grant from individual UTK faculty members.  The Faculty First Program supports the UTK faculty’s effective uses of technology in teaching. This is accomplished by forming a long-term partnership between a faculty member and OIT to reshape an existing course or course component. A faculty member will provide the content and serve as a subject matter expert, and OIT staff will implement the instructional development, incorporating the appropriate technology into the course. OIT assistance may include instructional design, web and multimedia development, video production, and technical assistance.

Proposals are due Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:00 pm. Learn more about the Program at the Faculty First website. Please contact Iryna Loboda with questions at 974-9670 or [log in to unmask].


Fall 2013 Clicker Technology Roundtable Luncheon

Our end-of-semester Clicker Technology Roundtable Luncheon with Turning Technologies will be held on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, from 11:45 am-12:45 pm in the Carolyn P. Brown University Center, Room 226. Turning Technologies will also conduct on-campus training sessions from 9:00-11:30 am and 1:00-3:30 pm. For more information and to reserve lunch, contact Dr. Christina Goode at 974-6470 or [log in to unmask] by Friday, November 15, 2013.  


MATLAB Day 2013:
Workshops November 5

University Center Crest Room (211)

This annual event features two free technical sessions presented by Rick Rosson, Senior MathWorks Application Engineer. UT educators, academic researchers, and students are encouraged to attend either or both sessions.

Session 1:
MATLAB and Simulink for Digital Signal Processing
10:00 am – Noon
Learn, from specific examples, how to acquire, analyze and visualize time-based signals and spectra in both MATLAB and Simulink. 

Session 2:
Top 10 Productivity Tools in MATLAB
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
MATLAB users with a basic working knowledge of the MATLAB Environment will learn ways to increase productivity and effectiveness by using MATLAB’s “Top 10 Productivity Tools.”

Register for a Workshop
After following the link to the registration page, log in with NetID/password on the left, then scroll down and click the Register button for the workshop(s) you wish to attend. 
Register for a MATLAB Day workshop

For more information about the workshops, email Sue Smith at [log in to unmask]. For information about MATLAB products, go to, email Scott Benway of MathWorks, Inc. at [log in to unmask], or call (508) 647-7741.


ITCoP Focus:

The Three Cs of Working Together Online

Communication, Collaboration and Community Building

Learn how three instructors are incorporating online communication, collaboration and community-building at the final Fall 2013 IT Community of Practice Brown Bag Lunch meeting. Bring your lunch and join us on Wednesday, November 27, 11:30am - 12:30 pm, in the Practice Presentation Room, located in the Hodges Library Commons (Room 220E). Presenters will be:

Dr. Melanie Faizer


Inter-institutional Collaboration with Web Journalism Class & High Schools

Dr. Robin Gray Nicks


Community-building Online with English 102

Dr. Brandon Horvath

Plant Sciences

Use YouTube to Communicate Lecture Material & Facilitate Classroom Discussion



Online Collaboration Options

If you are a member of UTK’s faculty or staff and you want a site for non-course related communication/collaboration, OIT provides two solutions.

  1. Within Online@UT (powered by Blackboard Learn), a Community Organization site allows members to communicate and collaborate online using features similar to those found in online courses.

  2. OIT offers SharePoint sites to facilitate non-course related collaboration. SharePoint sites provide a rich environment for collaboration, including features for document sharing, task management, and a variety of communication tools. Click here for more about SharePoint at UTK.

To request an Online@UT Community Organization site, call OIT or complete the OIT HelpDesk Contact Form. To request a SharePoint site, visit, then click the “Request A SharePoint Site” button. Complete the form, then fax it to the OIT HelpDesk at 865-974-0227.


Want Your Students to Practice
Their Presentations?

OIT provides equipment for students to practice presentations in a realistic environment. The Practice Presentation Room (220E) and the Martha L. King Small Group Study Room (220C), located in Commons North of the John C. Hodges Library, include equipment also found in OIT-sponsored Technology-Enhanced Classrooms throughout the UTK campus. OIT's Student Technology Assistants for Research and Teaching (START) Program provides training and support for the use of equipment in these rooms. To schedule training or practice, complete the Commons Reservation Form.

For more information on the equipment and purpose for each room, visit the Commons Presentation Rooms.


IT Academy Helps
Prepare Students for Class

Are your students at the proficiency level you need them to be in the use of Microsoft Products? You can have them enroll in IT Academy for online self-paced training on any Microsoft product. This can be done individually, and students can print a certificate of completion for you. However, if you would like your entire class to complete a course, you can request a Class Code from the OIT HelpDesk, which will enable you to see a report on the progress of your students. To learn more, visit the IT Academy resource page or contact Lois Idol at [log in to unmask].


Enjoy Faster Computing

High Performance Computing (HPC)

You may know that OIT manages an HPC (High Performance Computing) cluster known as “Newton”, but you may not know exactly what you can do with a cluster. Although an HPC cluster will not help you run the latest video games any faster, it may help if you want to speed up your computing.

Many software packages can benefit from HPC capability. Newton supports parallel execution of both Matlab and Mathematica, as well as more domain-specific applications and a host of open-source offerings. If your application is multi-threaded (using multiple CPU cores on a single machine), Newton can run it with up to 48 CPU cores. If your application needs a lot of RAM, Newton can provide up to 96GB to a single process. For MPI applications (i.e., applications that run in parallel over the network) those numbers increase to 1,728 CPU cores and 3.4TB of RAM per application. See more about the Newton HPC Program for details.


Congratulations to the Fall 2013 GTA@OIT Recipients!

OIT’s Fall 2013 GTA@OIT grants have been awarded!  Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) receiving this award have sole responsibility for teaching a course, and must be interested in expanding their teaching experience by redesigning a course or course component for Web-based delivery in Online@UT (Blackboard Learn). Personnel in OIT's Instructional Development and Training group will assist the GTAs in these efforts.

OIT’s Fall 2013 GTA Recipients are:

Ashlee Anderson, Educational Psychology and Counseling, International Education: The Development of a Hybrid Course.  The GTA@OIT grant will provide Ashlee assistance with hybrid course design, especially in developing activities that facilitate student engagement.

Anne Skutnik, Educational Psychology and Counseling, Creating an Online Community of Learners: Reimaging Educational Psychology 401 as an Online Class.  The GTA@OIT grant will provide Anne a way to assist the department in circumventing the time constraints of full-time teacher participants by converting the current traditional course to an online course that maximizes the resources provided by Online@UT and [log in to unmask]

Learn more about the GTA@OIT Grant and its Fall 2013 recipients


November OIT Workshops

Instructor-Focused Workshops

Student-Focused Workshops

For more information about upcoming Face-to-Face Workshops, browse our new online registration system.

October 2013 Uptime:
Blackboard 100%

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