Is Your myLesley Course Ready for Fall?

Is your myLesley course ready for the start of the semester? This handy list can help you make sure. Download a copy to review as you set up your course.

Have you posted a welcome announcement for you students? Is textbook information available? Learn how to send an Announcement with all your important information before the first day of class.

Faculty Profile and Contact Information
Is your contact information available and up-to-date? Create a faculty profile or create an Item with your contact information.

Have you uploaded your current syllabus? Upload your syllabus to myLesley so it’s always easily available.

Course Content
Have you checked all the links in each module? Learn to add or edit hyperlinks in myLesley.

Are discussion forums for each week set up? This guide will show you how to set up and manage the myLesley discussion board.

Have you set up release dates for each module? Using release dates is optional, but can help you reveal content to your students on a schedule that you set in advance.

Have any tests or surveys been deployed? Create and manage your tests and surveys in myLesley.

Have any Assignments been set up for students to submit their work? Create and manage assignments to collect and grade papers online.

Grade Center
Are the correct point values assigned to each item in the Grade Center? Are there any grading columns that need to be added or deleted? Review how to set up and use the myLesley Grade Center.

Additional Content
Depending on your course and the type of activities you have, you may or may not be using the tools listed below.

Have any wikis been set up?
Have any blogs or journals been set up?
Have any course groups been set up?

Have you created or updated any VoiceThread content?
Have you created or updated any VoiceThread groups?


If you need assistance, please contact us at or visit


Getting Ready for the Fall

It’s that time of year again. Summer is winding down and the first day of Fall classes is approaching… too fast. We’ve gathered together some past posts and links to tutorials to make your prep easier and your myLesley course awesome.

Getting Your Content into Your Fall Course
The first step is to get your content into your upcoming myLesley course site. If you’ve taught the course before using myLesley, there’s no reason to recreate all that content from scratch. Just copy it. Review the directions for copying myLesley courses or request a course copy from eLIS.  

Once your content has been copied over, you will need to make a few updates for the current semester, such as updating your syllabus and updating all those dates. You can easily update your syllabus and all the links to it throughout the course in one easy step. Review Updating Your Syllabus in myLesley to learn how.

Did you use the calendar tool, release dates, or due dates in your myLesley course? Think going through and manually updating them all is going to be a major task? Think again. Use the Date Management tool and update them all on one page.

Check out Adding Content to Your myLesley Course to update or create new content items.


Communicating with Your Students
Now that your course content is ready go, it’s time to welcome your students. If you use Announcements or the Send Email tool in myLesley, you don’t even need to know their email addresses. Communicate with everyone in the course at once.

Take the normal text announcement or email up a notch and post a video announcement to introduce yourself and the course. Kaltura Media is built right into the text editor and will allow you to quickly and easily record a video message to your students using your webcam.


A Few Tips
To help you get ready for the upcoming semester, we have a few tips from our instructional designers on what to do before your course begins, the first week of your online course, and how to manage those busy online discussions.

Don’t forget about our support site at We have a slew of tutorials and information from both eLIS and IT. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, submit a ticket and someone will follow up to help.

Have a great semester.

Updating Your Syllabus in myLesley

In this episode, Agent L helps faculty easily update their syllabus AND all the links to it their myLesley course.

BenBen Friday: Hi, Agent L. No time to talk now. We will have to grab coffee some other time. Must run.

Agent L: Ben, what happened? Why is everyone so busy?

Ben: A new semester started and faculty have uploaded their updated syllabi to their myLesley courses.

Agent L: That’s great! They are sharing their syllabi digitally instead of on paper. … Isn’t it…?

Ben: Yes, but they’ve linked to the syllabus from multiple places in their online course site. All of those links need to be updated with the new file. It’s a lot of work to go through your course to find and update them all.

Agent L: Ummmm…. Ben…. there’s a much easier way to do this.

Ben: What? How?

Agent L: We can overwrite the old syllabus file with the new one in Course Files. All the links to that file will be updated to the new file in one step. Here, let me show you.

Log into the course you need to update. Then go to the Course Management area in the left-hand menu.

CourseFiles  agent L

Click on Content Collection and then the Course ID for your course. It’s elis_training_2014 for this course. This will open up the Course Files area of your course. It contains every file (documents, images, videos) uploaded to your course.

Locate the syllabus file in the list. Now click on the gray arrow at the end of the file name. Select Overwrite File from the menu that opens.

overwrite file

Click Choose File and locate the updated syllabus document on your computer.

choose file

The new syllabus MUST have the same file name as the old syllabus. The contents of the document can change, but you will need to save the new syllabus with the same name as the old one.

old file name Syllabus_English101.docx Syllabus_Fall2015.docx
new file name Syllabus_English101.docx Syllabus_Spring2016.docx

Once you have selected your updated syllabus file, click Submit.

That’s it. All the links to the syllabus will now download the new one.

Ben: You mean we don’t need to tediously go through the entire course and change all the links. We only need to replace the file.

Agent L: Yep. As long as the new syllabus has the same file name, it will work perfectly. It also works with reading lists, study guides, rubrics, images… any file really.

Ben: Wow! That’s great! Maybe I have time for coffee after all.


agent LTo learn more about how to best take advantage of your Course Files, see Blackboard’s Best Practices on Attaching Files. For more myLesley tutorials, visit the Agent Support Site.

OneNote: Note Taking Made Easy

Are you looking for an easy way to take notes on the go? Do you want to access your notes across all of your devices? Do you want to share and collaborate on notes? Yes? Let me introduce you to OneNote.

Microsoft OneNote product logo

What is OneNote?
OneNote is Microsoft’s digital notebook, allowing you to create and access your notes across all of your devices: PC, Mac, phone, tablet, and web.

Welcome to OneNote

Image from Microsoft

OneNote allows you to:

  • Create notes, to do lists, manage projects, and more.
  • Organize your notes with six levels of organization: notebooks, sections, subsections pages, and two levels of subpages.
  • Share and collaborate in real time.
  • Add multimedia items (audio, video, images, etc.) anywhere within a note.
  • Insert new or existing Microsoft Office content into your notes.
  • Clip any web page to OneNote and view it later, whether you are online or offline.
  • Set up Email to OneNote to allow you to send an email directly to OneNote, automatically creating a new note.
  • Create or edit notes offline and sync your notebook when you’re back online.

Wait, didn’t you already post about a note taking app?
Yes, Evernote is another useful tool for taking notes. You can find out more about Evernote in our previous post: Taking Notes Across your Devices

Should I use OneNote or Evernote?
As with most things, it comes down to personal preference. A few good breakdowns of the tools and side-by-side comparisons can be found here:

I’d like to try OneNote. How do I get started?
To get started with OneNote Online, log into your Office 365 account (, click the Apps button, and select OneNote Online.

access OneNote

To get started with OneNote on your computer, phone, or tablet, download the software for your device(s):

You will need to log in with your Office 365 Account using your Lesley email address and password.

For more information on using OneNote, see:

New Online Training: Art Portfolio Reviews

Alumni Admissions Ambassadors from across the country can now learn to review the arts portfolios of prospective students who may be interested in applying to Lesley University. Alumni Ambassadors with a background in the arts will use online, self-paced training to learn how to assess arts portfolios and to communicate with students during portfolio review events.

This new training system is being piloted this fall semester and will be used will be used by BFA and MFA alumni admissions ambassadors. This effort to extend and streamline the training process is important to the goal of enlisting more ambassadors with training and experience in the arts to assist prospective Lesley students in applying to our university.

Central to the training was the development of a set of guidelines by which to assess portfolios. These guidelines were tested by a group including recent Lesley alums and members of the Marketing Design team and updated based on their input. Trainees will learn to assess portfolios primarily by reviewing many sample portfolios and receiving automated feedback on their choices.

Arts Portfolio Guidelines Pilot Testing Event: Lunder Arts Center

Arts Portfolio Guidelines Pilot Testing Event: Lunder Arts Center

The development of this training has been a collective effort involving staff from the Alumni Recruitment, Undergraduate Admissions, and eLearning and Instructional Support departments.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about this project, please contact Liana Caffrey (Director) or Shirley Chin (Sr. Assistant Director) of the Alumni Admissions Ambassador Program: (x8201); (x8806).

Project Staff

Alumni Admissions Ambassador Program: Liana Caffrey, Director; Shirley Chin, Sr. Assistant Director.

Undergraduate Admissions: Erik Gullard, Assistant Director / BFA Specialist; Mike McCarthy, Assistant Director; Lauren O’Neill, Assistant Director / BFA Specialist / International Student Coordinator.

eLearning and Instructional Support: Robyn Belair, Instructional Technologist/Interface Designer; John McCormick, Director of eLearning Design; Bill Porter, Learning Technology Designer