Controlling the layout of pages on the new, improved CITES Wiki

Big news! In August, CITES rolled out a new version of our campus wiki service. Some things have changed, some things are easier.

This is a quick (surprisingly simple) primer on how to take charge of the layout of your Wiki pages in the new system.

Click on the “Layout” button to expand the ruler.
The formatting ruler of a wiki page, with formating ruler expanded.

Click one of the diagrams of columns to format it. Sections and Columns work like table rows and cells the way the used to be used to lay out Web pages. You can add multiple sections this way to arrange content just the way you want it.

If you want more control, you can use three macros: Section, Column, and Panel.

Macros are little add-ons that add functionality to wiki pages. You can insert a macro by clicking on the plus-sign in the ruler and choosing Other Macros from the menu.The Plus menu, showing Other Macros is the last item.  Adding a column this way allows you to precisely control the width.

This will give you a pop-up window with a list of all the macros available. There’s a bunch of them, so generally you’ll want to use Control-F or Apple-F to search the list. Repeating this for every section and column will get old fast, but there’s an easier way.

In previous versions, you added a macro by typing its name in curly brackets. Now if you start to type a macro, the editor will auto-complete, to insert the macro for you.

So, if you type “{section. . .” that’s what you’ll get, and the same with “{column}.”

The advantage to adding them with this method is that it gives you more control of the attributes, like the width of the columns.

One macro you might find useful is “{panel}” This puts a box around text and images with a border and a background color. Here’s an example using all three:
Screenshot of a wiki page, with text and image in two columns, with a title and box drawn around the image

You can request a wiki space and get started today!

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Flipping the Classroom with Roger Freedman

Join us for a presentation on “Flipping the Classroom” with Roger Freedman!


What: “Flipping the Classroom (and what to do in the classroom once you’ve flipped)”

Who: Roger A. Freedman, Lecturer in Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Date: Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Time: 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm (Lunch included!)

Location: Digital Computer Laboratory L410

Please join us for Dr. Freedman’s interactive, 50-minute presentation on i>clickers and “Flipping the Classroom.” Dr. Freedman will describe his experience with the flipped class model and his methods for optimizing short video lectures and student response systems to help enhance class discussion. Campus i>clicker and educational technology experts will be on hand to answer your questions after the presentation.

Sponsors: CITES Academic Technology Services, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, i>clicker/Macmillan

About the Presenter: Dr. Freedman was an undergraduate at the University of California campuses in San Diego and Los Angeles, and did his doctoral research in theoretical nuclear physics at Stanford University under the direction of Professor J. Dirk Walecka. He came to UCSB in 1981 after three years teaching and doing research at the University of Washington.

At UCSB, Dr. Freedman has taught in both the Department of Physics and the College of Creative Studies, a branch of the university intended for highly gifted and motivated undergraduates. He has published research in nuclear physics, elementary particle physics, and laser physics. In recent years, he has helped to develop computer-based tools for learning introductory physics and astronomy and helped pioneer the use of classroom response systems and the “flipped” classroom model at UCSB. He is co-author of four introductory textbooks: University Physics (Pearson), College Physics (Freeman), Universe (Freeman), and Investigating Astronomy (Freeman).

Dr. Freedman holds a commercial pilot’s license. He was one of the early organizers of the San Diego Comic-Con, now the world’s largest popular culture convention. His likeness has appeared as a supervillain and mad scientist in both DC and Marvel Comics.

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Learning Spaces Collaboratory Webinar


Transforming, Sandboxing, Repurposing Learning Spaces for Nurturing Creative Learning, Creative Learners: Lessons Learned from the LSC Experience

When: Tuesday, September 16 2014, 2:30 PM – 4 PM (Central Time)
Where: 2240 Digital Computer Lab (DCL)
We plan to provide light refreshments

This webinar will be an opportunity to:

  • gain insights and practical advice about how to transform and repurpose spaces to nurture the capacity of learners to become agents of their own learning, creative thinkers and problem-solvers, striving explorers, informed trailblazers, risk-takers engaged in out-of-the-box thinking.
  • learn about a team-based approach to imagining such spaces, capturing the experience of participants in a March workshop (LSC/Epicenter/NCIIA) at the at Stanford.
  • be introduced to new vocabulary and lenses for exploring how different kinds of on-campus learning spaces can be construed as a “space for creativity,” capturing provocative ideas from the LSC project on creativity funded by the Sloan Foundation.
  • be inspired by photos and stories from the field to reimagine how planning happens when there is a shared vision about how learning happens and about the nature and affordances of spaces that serve societal and institutional goals for what students should become

Additional Details

Webinar Hosted by
Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES)
Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL)
University Library

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Teaching with Technology Brown Bag Series begins September 10

Sponsored by The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) and CITES Academic Technology Services, the “Teaching with Technology” Brown Bag Series focuses on the intersection between new and emerging technologies and best practices in teaching and learning. This free and lively forum features award-winning faculty from across the disciplines sharing teaching strategies and effective uses of technology in the classroom. The Brown Bag series runs through the Fall and Spring semesters on the second Wednesday of the month.

NEW LOCATION: All events are held in 428 Armory from 12 until 1pm. Refreshments served. (Use southwest Armory entrance then take the turquoise elevator to 4th floor.)

September 10 – Best Practices for “Back Pocket” Video

Rick Langlois and Susan Muirhead (CITES Academic Technology Services)

Video pros and experienced faculty share their tips and tricks for producing video content for course enhancement and student assignments using only their phones and other “back pocket” devices.

October 8 – Using Google Glass for Teaching

Nancy Benson (Journalism) and Mike Bohlman (College of Media)

Try it on! See how Google Glass is being used as a tool to enhance storytelling and provide first person viewpoints for coursework, research, and reporting inside and outside of the classroom.

November 12 – Immersive and Embodied Technologies

Robb Lindgren (Education)

Explore new research on the effects of immersing students in virtual environments that completely involve them in the learning process. Cutting edge work on emerging technologies.

December 10 – Digital Badges for Teaching and Learning

Panel Presentation

Are digital badges changing the face of teaching and learning? Join the conversation as panel presenters describe the ups, downs, and inside-outs of using badges for coursework and micro- credentials.

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Faculty Technology Open House on Friday September 5

On Friday, September 5 the 1st Faculty Technology Open House takes place at the Illini Union. Representatives from CITES, AITS, CITL and several departmental IT offices will explain and demonstrate their services to faculty attendees. Faculty will learn how to best use the technology for their research and instruction..

The event will be held on Friday, September 5 from 9 am to 5 pm in Illini Rooms A, B and C in the Illini Union.

More information about the event itself and the services represented at the event can be found at:

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Using Select All in Discussion Boards

One of the known issues in the upgrade to the April 2014 release of Illinois Compass 2g is the Select All checkbox not functioning in the Tree View for Discussion Boards. We are working on a solution that defaults all users to List View, but for the time being users will need to toggle the list view if they find they want to perform bulk actions on threads. For example, a typical use case while reading discussion threads would be to select all the threads of a discussion and click Collect to read all of the threads posted to a discussion forum. See the screen capture below for an example of the Select All button not functioning in Tree View.


In order to Select All the threads, you need to toggle the List View tab in the upper right corner of the screen. Also be aware that some users may have difficulty finding the List View and Tree View tabs depending on the theme that was selected by the instructor.


From this screen you can click the Select All checkbox and Collect the threads in the discussion board so you can read all the threads in a discussion.

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Adding Images to Discussion Boards in Illinois Compass 2g

Our installation of April 2014 Release has a known issue with embedding images in Discussion Boards. We are working with the vendor to receive a technical solution, but we want to provide the following two workarounds to help you use images in your Discussions.

If you do not need an image to appear directly within a thread, you can attach the image file to the thread, and it will open in a new window when clicked.

  1. To attach a file to a thread, click on the title of the Forum into which you want to post an image.
  2. Click on the Create Thread button.
  3. Give the thread a Subject.
  4. Enter any Message you wish to include.
  5. Under the Message box, go to the Attachments area. Choose to Attach File either by clicking “Browse my Computer” or “Browse Content Collection.”AttachFileDiscussions
  6. Select the file, and then click “Submit.” The image will now appear as a link in the Discussion Thread. When readers of the thread click on the link, the image will open in a new window.

If you would like to have the image embedded within the Discussion Thread, we recommend that you upload the image file to (

  1. Once you have uploaded the file to Box, click on the More Options arrow and select “Share.”
  2. Choose “Get Link.”
  3. In the pop-up window, click the “Open Access” link to ensure that it is set to Open.
  4. Click on the pop-up window to return to it and click on “Direct link.”BoxDirectLink
  5. Copy the Direct link URL.
  6. Return to your Discussion Board in Illinois Compass 2g.
  7. Create a new thread or reply to an existing thread.
  8. Enter a Subject.
  9. In the Message text box, click on the Insert/Edit Image icon (Bottom row, second from the left).
  10. In the “Image URL” field, paste the Direct link URL from
  11. Provide an Image Description and Title.
  12. Click Insert.
  13. Click Submit. The image will now be embedded in the Discussion thread.

If you have any questions about the suggested workarounds above, please contact CITES Academic Technology Services at 244-7000 or

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Learning Spaces Collaboratory (LSC) Webinar V

We invite you to join your colleagues for the Learning Spaces Collaboratory Webinar V:

What Works: Important Questions for Technologies and Pedagogies in 21st Century Learning Commons.
When: Monday, June 23, 2014, 2:15 PM – 4 PM
Location: 428 Armory**
Don’t forget to RSVP to Mitzi O. Greene at


The designers of our active learning spaces are often not the people who teach or learn in them. Well-intended technology and design choices pay off in some cases and sit dusty in others. An intentional approach to design is needed that takes into account both specialized uses of the space and generic uses, especially for informal learning spaces. After an analysis of some learning spaces planning issues, we will look at a series of concrete examples at the University of Pennsylvania of gadgets, software-based and furniture-based technologies. For each, we will ask – why did we choose to implement them? How did we use them? Did they work as expected? How did our usage choices inform the next moment of decision-making? In the spirit of appreciative inquiry and building on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) literature, we will abstract out some ideas for extrapolation.


  • Joan K. Lippincott, Associate Executive Director – Coalition for Networked Information
  • Anu Vedantham, Director, Weigle Information Commons – University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Sponsored by

  • Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES)
  • Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL)
  • University Library

*This webinar will be hosted in the newly redesigned 428 Armory, a flexible classroom that features reconfigurable furnishings and enhanced audio-visual capabilities. Designed to enhance collaborative and active learning 428 Armory comfortably seats 30-40, has 5 wall-mounted monitors plus a projection system, lots of mounted and portable whiteboards for small group and breakout sessions, Apple TV, Blu-ray, personal laptop inputs, and instructor-controlled screen sharing.

Room 428 Armory is best reached by entering the south west door of the Armory and using the turquoise elevator.

Refreshments will be served

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New Illinois Compass 2g Login Page

Illinois Compass 2g will have a new login page on June 11, 2014. You will still log in at using your NetID and Active Directory password as you did on the previous version of the login page.

The new page presents important information like the weekly Compass maintenance period and helpful campus bookmarks as well as shares the same visual appearance as the rest of Illinois Compass 2g.

Below you will find a screenshot of the new login page. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the CITES Help Desk at or 244-7000.

Thank you,
CITES Academic Technology Services




New Illinois Compass 2g Login Page

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Chris Masterjohn on i>clicker and Transformational Learning

Earlier this week I received an inspirational email from Chris Masterjohn, an instructor in the College of Veterinary Medicine. His email is included, below. It outlines a transformative process in student learning involving the innovative use of i>clicker, the centrally supported student response system on campus. This change was primarily due to Chris’ commitment to teaching and an eagerness to try new and innovative practices to enhance student learning. I would like to point out (and Chris makes mention of this) that there were also a series of inspirations, influences, and exposures to technology and positive pedagogical implications that contributed to the process. As a part of a team effort between the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) and Campus Information Technology and Educational Services (CITES), plus some inspiring ideas from faculty using student response systems on campus (in a co-sponsored brown bag) Chris was able to see up front the value of the technology and how it could be implemented to increase student learning. -JN

Chris MasterjohnDear i>clicker Enthusiasts,

I want to thank you all for your efforts in encouraging the use of i>clickers and share my experience.

I am a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Comparative Biosciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine. I teach the vitamins and minerals section of a team-taught class, “Structure and Function III,” which has about 15 other instructors, almost all of whom are faculty members, and which is the exclusive course taken in the last quarter of the first academic year for the veterinary students. This year there were 122 students in the class. I teach eight 50-minute lectures in lecture hall format with no discussion sections or TAs. Each instructor contributes material to the quiz and exams that is proportional to the amount of teaching done. The exams take place over two days. The first day consists of pooled questions from each instructor while the second day consists of questions developed in a collaborative manner that integrate various instructors’ material.

I first learned of i>clickers about a month before I started teaching, earlier in this semester when I took Cheelan’s [Cheelan Bo-Linn, CITL] workshop, Getting Students Active & Engaged. In the workshop we discussed evidence showing that student retention of material drops dramatically after ten to fifteen minutes of continuous lecture. We used i>clickers in the workshop and I had never seen them before but was immediately impressed.

I thought that it would be great if I could use i>clickers for five minutes of interactive material in between each 12 minutes of lecture to allow the students to stay engaged and recharge their brains. Sample questions are in high demand in my past experience, so I figured a good i>clicker activity would be answering sample questions and then discussing them.

Not too long after, I took Lucas’s [Lucas Anderson, CITL] workshops on making learning objectives and syllabi for the second time, where he made the point that exams should test what the students get practice doing in class. This reinforced my desire to spend time going over sample questions with the i>clickers.

I wound up following this format and cutting out at least half of my material to do it. My exam questions tend to focus on higher-order thinking, so we essentially spent a third of the class time learning how to think through the material we learned in the other two thirds. I made the exams significantly more challenging than last year, and the students performed significantly better on them. I do not think it is exaggerating to say that I taught half as much material as last year and yet the students learned twice as much.

The biggest difference I noticed, though, is the change in the kinds of questions I received from students. Last year I got a lot of questions about how to grapple with the material. I felt like they were climbing on the surface of a rock and trying to figure out where to put their hands to grab hold. This year I didn’t get any questions like that, instead got a lot of questions about understanding the actual content, but most importantly, got a LOT of questions based in mere curiosity about the material, students asking things about it not because they felt they had to know the answers for the exam but because they were interested in thinking about the implications of the material beyond what we were thinking about in class. I believe that they were much more deeply engaged with the material and were therefore thinking about it and conversing with it more fluently and confidently.

At the end of my last lecture, we stopped at the minute class ended, and one of the students raised her hand. I called on her and she said that she wanted to thank me for spending the time going through sample questions the way we did because no one else does this and it is extremely helpful to them. I told them a two-minute version of the above story, and then received a whole room full of applause. By that time it was five minutes into their ten minute break before the next lecture and no one had left. I felt very appreciated.

Anyway I’m sorry this is quite long but I really feel grateful to all of you for helping me do a much better job teaching this time around. To see the difference in student behavior, performance, and curiosity between last year and this year strongly reinforces my confidence that the way I teach really matters and this makes me love teaching even more.

Thank you,
Chris Masterjohn

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