New Features in Kaltura

The Kaltura Media tool in myLesley has recently been updated to a new and improved version. The basic features of Kaltura remain unchanged. However, there are some nice new features and options available to you.


Kaltura Media Mashup – No Changes

There have been no changes to the Kaltura Media Mashup tool and it still functions the same as the previous version.  Kaltura Media is available under Mashups in the myLesley text editor or from the Build Content menu.

buildcontentmenu mashuptexteditor


Upload Directly From Your Mobile Device

Kaltura Media has been redesigned to allow you to upload videos directly to myLesley from your mobile device. Simply record a video on your iOS or Android device, use the device’s browser to navigate to your myLesley course, and upload as you would if using a laptop or desktop computer. Check out our support site for complete instructions.

iOS Android
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Record Your Computer Screen

You can now use Kaltura Media for screencasting. Record a demo of an application process or give a tour of your myLesley course site. Anything you can show on your computer screen you can record using Kaltura and share with your students. Your students can use it, too. Check out our support site for complete instructions.

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Learn More….

The IT and eLearning Support site has step-by-step instructions for using Kaltura. Be sure to visit us to learn how to use the new features or to get started with Kaltura for the first time. Have questions? Email us at


Learning Online: It’s a Process

Nancy Beardallprofile image teaches dance therapy courses for the Expressive Therapies program. This September, she taught her Body/Movement Observation and Assessment course online for the first time. To prepare for this new experience, Nancy worked with an eLIS instructional designer over several months to reimagine what her face-to-face content would look like online.

During the design process and while teaching online, Nancy had several realizations. As a dance therapist there’s an intuitive sense that informs her teaching. When teaching online, there’s also an intuitive sense to using and smoothly integrating the technology, but she didn’t have that technology vocabulary to guide her. This created a feeling of discombobulation of how the two would fit together. To overcome her obstacles, Nancy continued working through her content with an instructional designer and attended eLIS’ Summer Technology Institute, The Institute allowed her to use an inquiry model to re-examine her content with other faculty while at the same time exploring technologies and how they might ‘fit’ her content.

One of Nancy successful blendings of content and technology was the students’ final presentations. Students recorded and analyzed their application of specific movement theories. Their videos were uploaded to a course media gallery using Kaltura Video in myLesley. Nancy then scheduled synchronous online meetings in Lync. Each student had ten minutes to present their work and five minutes for follow up. Students reviewed each other’s videos in advance of the online meetings and posted feedback to the students within a few days after the meeting. Nancy found that the wait time between the presentation and the responses was an unexpected benefit. Students could review presentations at their own speed as often as they needed and they had time to think and process what they had experienced. She found their responses to be much more thoughtful as they balanced their initial reactions against longer reflections when they wrote their comments. They were simply “terrific.”

Nancy’s second realization was that she probably talked too much in her face-to-face classes. She wasn’t able to do that online. As a result was that the students did more of the talking and presenting while she listened and guided. Nancy liked the result of hearing her students as they worked through the content so much that she is now trying to shift the balance in her on-campus classes and talk less allowing her experience teaching online to inform her face-to-face teaching practice.

If Nancy had one piece of advice for faculty new to teaching online, it would be to realize that “it takes a village” to learn. You won’t be doing this by yourself. Work with the eLIS designers, other faculty and even your students to learn the design, teaching and technology skills you will need. It will be an iterative process. There will be frustrations, but there will also be successes and unexpected benefits. The final result probably won’t be what you originally envisioned. With time, patience and a willingness to adapt, it can be much better!


Track Student Performance for Early Outreach

Once upon a time, Blackboard had an Early Warning System to alert you about students who might need outreach or additional assistance. It was a good idea, but it was clunky, awkward to navigate and hidden away. Therefore, no one used it.

The Early Warning System has now grown up and evolved into the much easier to use Retention Center.

Retention Center alert

The Retention Center allows you get an at-a-glance view of how your students are doing. Alerts tell you if students haven’t logged in to the course recently, aren’t participating in course activities, have missed due dates or have grades below a certain threshold. You can easily navigate through multiple courses to get an overview or click for more details on a specific course.

You can choose to monitor at-risk students and contact them directly from the Retention Center. The Retention Center will keep track of your notification emails and any private notes about the student such as special accommodations for disabilities, additional assistance provided or extenuating circumstances. You can also set up custom alerts or edit the existing default alerts for a course. Only instructors and teaching assistants can see Retention Center information in myLesley.

Retention Center main page

Start using the Retention Center now! There is no setup required.

You can access the Retention Center in two ways: the My Blackboard menu in the top right corner of your window or from the Evaluation area of your course’s Control Panel.

Access Retention Center

To learn more about how to use the Retention Center and its robust features, check out the Using the Retention Center tutorial.


Apply to the 2015 Summer Tech Institute!

image from summer tech instituteJoin your Lesley faculty colleagues for an exciting professional development opportunity!

The Summer Technology Institute is an opportunity for faculty to participate in a learning community across disciplines and schools engaged in an exploration of the effective uses of technology in teaching, learning, collaboration, and scholarship.  This event is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship, and organized by the eLearning and Instructional Support Division. To apply for the Summer Tech Institute, please complete the brief application form here.

The Summer Technology Institute, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship, is an opportunity for faculty to participate in a learning community of colleagues across disciplines and schools engaged in an exploration of the effective uses of technology in teaching, learning, collaboration, and scholarship.

Faculty who consider themselves basic users or do not currently use technology in their courses are especially encouraged to apply. All faculty — core or adjunct — are welcome!

A $500 stipend accompanies participation in the summer institute.

The program features a 4-day institute in June, held on the Brattle Campus. Here, faculty will engage in a rich mix of dialogue, hands-on practice, project-based learning, reflection, and application to explore innovative ways technology can be integrated into their teaching. Regular gatherings over the course of the academic year will extend conversations and deepen learning begun at the Summer Institute.

Examples of the types of workshops you will encounter at the Summer Tech Institute include:

  • Navigating the Technology Wilderness
  • Designing for Engagement
  • Google Tools: Collaboration Made Easy
  • Blackboard Beautification Project
  • Designing and Facilitating Online Discourse
  • Enhancing your Blackboard Course Site with Voice Tools

Expectations for Summer Technology Institute Participants

Faculty are expected to:

  • Participate in a 4-day training seminar: June 8-11, 2015
  • Develop a technology-enhanced learning activity for a 2015-2016 course
  • Attend at least 1 “brown bag” discussion workshops during the 2015-16 school year
  • Present a workshop or poster session at the January, 2016 eLearning Institute

Important Dates

March 13, 2015 Applications Due
March 31, 2015 Participants Announced
June 8-11, 2015 Summer Institute
January, 2016 eLearning Institute


To apply for the Summer Technology Institute, please fill out the application form.

Lync Web for Online Meetings


Lync Web App is an instant messaging and audio/video chat tool. It’s a great option for online meetings, ad hoc conversations, advising and tutoring. Lync Web includes text-based instant messages, audio and video chat, the ability to share Powerpoint presentations or even your desktop to demo applications or processes. There’s also a whiteboard for quick collaboration and a polling tool for rapid feedback in larger groups.

It’s easy to get started with Lync Web. It runs entirely in your web browser and you only need to install a quick plugin to start your first session. Lync can be accessed using the same login and password as your Lesley email.

Having trouble finding time to meet with your colleagues? Why not schedule your meetings virtually? You can do this directly in Outlook or the Outlook Web App, just as you would any other type of meeting. Select the “Online Meeting” options and a link to the Lync meeting will be included in your invitation. Need to meet with someone who isn’t part of the Lesley community or want to invite a guest to your class discussion? No problem. Include their email address in the meeting invite and they will receive guest access to the online meeting. Note: Guests have slightly fewer privileges for presenting, but will be able to fully participate in the discussion and access the whiteboard.

Lync allows you to participate in online meetings in a variety of ways. There is a desktop client for both Windows and Mac and mobile clients for Windows, Android and iOS so you can even stay connected when you aren’t at your desk.

You can find more information on how to get started with Lync at

Not sure if Lync is right for you and want to consider other options? Check out the Comparison of Online Meeting Tools for a quick overview.