distance learning


RefWorks LogoThe good folks at RefWorks have notified us that :  “As of December 9th, 2013 RefWorks users will no longer be required to enter a group code when logging in to their RefWorks account(s) off-campus or outside of their institutional IP range.”

Current users should not really encounter any difference regarding this change…except that when you click on ourRefworks  access link from home (http://libraries.stjohns.edu/refworks/) you will encounter one-less-screen before getting to your beloved citations, Hooray!

NOTE: If, in your enthusing about RefWorks, you encourage a friend or colleague to get an account, please note the  those patrons who do not yet have a RefWorks account must be on-campus or using VPN  to create the account …that’s the only big change in the game.   If your biblio-colleagues are not due back on campus for a while, just have them email refworks@stjohns.edu and we will create their accounts for them.  Once an account is created, anyone can access his/her account from the far corners of the internet-connected planet.

Of course, there are still cases where all users will still need to use the group code:  (1)Using GoogleScholar from off-campus and (2)Using WNC III or earlier versions of WNC.  RefWorks has indicated that when WNC4 comes out, it will not require Group Code either.

For any other questions or updates about RefWorks, please consult our RefWorks Guide: http://stjohns.campusguides.com/RefWorks

 

 

Open Source Media Software

I recently received an education in global DVD compatibility, and was encouraged to share my findings with the STJ community.  A professor recently asked me to facilitate the purchase of a DVD for a class.  As I researched its availability I found that it was not available domestically and was out of stock from Amazon UK.  I did locate it from another UK vendor and began to process this order.

The professor then told me that the DVD was made in a PAL format and not NTSC. Without getting into technical details, it means that this DVD is encoded for use in many countries, but not in the USA, which uses the NTSC format. Windows Media Player which we tend to use by default is not PAL compatible. I then found out that DVD players sold in PAL countries play both kinds of discs, but NTSC players can’t play PAL discs.

With the assistance of the IT Department, I was alerted to an open source media software program entitled VLC Media Player available free via CNET that addresses this issue.  Due to the global reach of the St. John’s community, the links listed below might be particularly helpful.

For PC

http://download.cnet.com/VLC-Media-Player/3000-13632_4-10267151.html?tag=main;pop

For MAC

http://download.cnet.com/VLC-Media-Player/3000-2139_4-10210434.html?tag=main;pop

A new report from Sloan-C takes up authentication and academic integrity in the online learning environment.  While most schools are doing well with compliance on authentication, Sloan-C offers some pointers on Academic integrity for online learning (to combat the ‘perception’ of greater cheating in online course).  Note that the principles offer some sound advice for hybrid and face-to-face pedagogy as well.   The blog entry offers summary points and a link to the ” “Best Practice Strategies to Promote Academic Integrity in Online Education”. …[which] reflects exemplary principles and practices from online instructors and administrators from 170 higher education institutions in the United States in five core areas: Institutional Context and Commitment, Curriculum and Instruction, Faculty Support, Student Support, and Assessment and Evaluation.”  Both are worth a peek!