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This Week in the LEC...

This Week in the LEC: Encouraging a Trusting Environment Online, BlendFlex Classroom Technology Workshop, New Canvas Features, and more

Issue Date: 12-14-2020

Encouraging a Trusting Environment Online

Teacher in front of classroom

You may have heard it once or many times over: the way to help to students succeed is to forge a trusting environment and relationship with them. Although research has proven this to be true; however, teaching online is quite different from delivering lessons in face-to-face classrooms. Instructing remotely can sometimes leave both instructors and students feeling a little disconnected. No judgment here, but it can be easy to forget that percipient students do exist in the cyber classroom. So how can instructors help students stay connected in a remote classroom?



Culturally Responsive Teaching

According to Inside Higher Ed, the student demographic is shifting towards becoming more ethnically diverse and attracting more non-traditional adult learners. The good news here is that these are growing demographics, so it is important to foster an inclusive environment

(St Amore, 2020).  Incorporating cultural diversity in online courses can take a little more time to prepare however, “constructing a shared belief through course design may help lessen some of the adverse effects that may be experienced in the online classroom” (Hampton, 2018, p.27). Some ways to improve the method or development of online teaching programs are to:

  • Know your students (nationality, gender, age, language, disability)
  • Prepare more learner-centered assignments where students can learn how to effect change in the real world.
  • Allow students to communicate with each other.
  • Encourage students to share material and ideas in a way that encourage cross-cultural understanding (Istrate, 2015, p.125).

Academic isolation plays a part in online student struggles

Many students who choose the online option as their mode of instruction, may not ever meet their instructors or classmates in person. However, seeing and hearing one another’s faces and voices reminds us that we are all still here working together. Here are a couple of ideas to encourage students to stay tuned, keep their cameras on in Zoom, and participate. Try encouraging a social presence by asking students a question of the week or day on current event interests, plans, playlists, and talents. This can be done face-to-face, Zoom sessions, and online using the discussion board-online students could also be given the choice of responding with audio or video recordings. By the end of the semester, students should have a sense of familiarity with their course participants. Another idea is to host small breakout for a quick chat about assignments or other activities this helps students to feel that they are receiving feedback and personal attention. These are a few strategies to encourage connection in online classrooms.



Hampton, M. M. (2018). Designing for Immediacy and Culture. In K. Milheim (Ed.), Cultivating Diverse Online Classrooms Through Effective Instructional Design (pp. 17-44). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Istrate, A. M. (2015). Intercultural dimensions and their implications in the development of online courses targeted at teacher-centered cultures. E-Learning & Software for Education, 3, 122-126.

St Amour, Madeline. Faculty Face Uphill Battle Adapting to Needs of Today's Students, 17 Nov. 2020,

BlendFlex Technology Workshop Flyer

Hands-on Training with BlendFlex Classroom Technology- ONLY 2 SEATS LEFT

Steven Kramer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Decisions Sciences, Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship


In this 1 ½-hour hands-on workshop, you will learn about the various classroom technologies that are used when facilitating a BlendFlex class including the podium computer, Extron control panel, webcams, microphones, touch screen monitor, and stylus. This session will be held in a classroom in DeSantis. While classroom set-ups may vary across campus, this session should give you basic proficiency so you can practice in your own classroom setting.  

Pre-registration is required. There is an 8-participant limit. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing pre-instructional materials and information about joining the meeting. 

Date and Time:

Wednesday, December 17th, 2020 1:00pm 2:30pm Eastern Time

Carl DeSantis Building, Room 3028

To Register for this course visit - select Traincaster, log in, and then click on Classroom Schedule. 

To browse other course offerings visit

Canvas Corner: Upcoming Feature Changes and a New Rich Content Editor

Canvas Logo

There are several upcoming Feature Changes coming December 19th, and two of them in particular you will want to take note of. The first feature is the ability to use the Test Student View much more readily. The other update now saves your video content that is recoded using the Rich Content Editor to the Course Files. For a full listing of updates to the Canvas LMS platform, check out the release notes.

Canvas Individual Student View
Individual Page Student View

  • The Student View button displays in supported individual Canvas pages.
  • This change allows instructors to view individual pages using the Test Student more quickly.



New Rich Content EditorNew Rich Content Editor

  • Newly recorded media and uploaded media via the Upload/Record Media link is stored in the Course, Groups, or User Files folder, respectively.
  • This change ensures users can reuse media uploaded or recorded as media content. Previously, newly recorded and uploaded media could not be repurposed without being exported as part of course content.


Mastery Scale Management

  • Mastery scales and calculation methods have been separated for outcomes, replacing per-outcome criterion ratings and calculation methods.

New Rich Content Editor deployed for all courses beginning Winter 2021

On October 17th, Canvas released a feature updates to the New Canvas Rich Content Editor.  There are considerable differences between the two editors. Beginning with the Winter 2021 term, the New Canvas Rich Content Editor will be turned on at the institution level.

The most notable difference in the Rich Content Editor (RCE) is the look and feel. Here, you can see the current RCE and what the new RCE looks like. The New RCE will be available in Announcements, Pages, Quizzes, Discussions, Syllabus, and Assignments.

Current Rich Content Editor

Canvas General Announcement

In the Current Rich Content Editor, the menu on the right allows you to create links to content in your course, add files, and insert images. In the New Rich Content Editor, the menu on the right disappears and these options are included as drop-down items in the toolbar. The toolbar items are described and illustrated below.




New Rich Content Editor



To learn more about the New Rich Text Editor visit one of the links below:

To learn about the Canvas Feature Updates, visit the link below:

Canvas Release Notes (2020-12-19) - Canvas Community (

December BlendFlex Training Opportunity

Student Using LaptopBlendFlex training opportunity available for the month of December! 

Register for a BlendFlex interactive training session and learn how to deliver face-to-face and online learning experiences simultaneously.  After this mandatory online faculty training, you will be able to do the following:   

  • Discuss the BlendFlex Model for teaching and learning at NSU.  
  • Identify technology and software components of BlendFlex classrooms.  
  • Implement the BlendFlex Model to deliver content, engage, and assess students.  
  • Identify best practices of teaching in the BlendFlex Model.  

We look forward to seeing you online! 

Date and Time:

December 16th, 2020 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm 

To Register for this course visit –, select TrainCaster, login, and then click on Classroom Schedule. 

For Instructions about registration through TrainCaster check out this document or the video linked below. 


BF Self Paced Banner
The Learning and Educational Center (LEC) is pleased to announce the release of the new Self-Paced “Teaching in the BlendFlex Model” online training.  The asynchronous course consists of four modules and should take approximately 90 minutes to complete.  Take a look at our site for more information on the BlendFlex Self-Paced Course.

Zoom News Banner


Heading into the holidays the Zoom updates are a little lighter, but we wanted to be sure that you were aware of a recent update that allows co-hosts to assist with Breakout Rooms. Now, co-hosts have the same privileges when it comes to starting and ending Breakouts and assigning participants.

This feature is particularly helpful for Breakout Room management, where that responsibility has always been kept with the host. Now instructors with large classes would be able to have others who could navigate breakouts with them to assist during their class.

The full details of all updates are available on the Zoom Website. As always, be sure to keep your Zoom software up to date.

To update your Zoom Application, check out these directions-

Faculty Development Channel on SharkMedia

Through our partnerships with various colleges and departments, there have been several valuable workshops that were held which you may not have been able to attend. Check out our SharkMedia Channel to see recordings of past workshops such as:

 Best Practices in Online Teaching and Learning

Best Practices in Online Teaching and Learning


This workshop and additional video assets are all available in the LEC Faculty Development Channel.

Faculty Development Channel
To be notified whenever new content gets added please Subscribe to the Channel.

Remote Technical Help

Faculty and Staff who need assistance, please feel free to contact NSU Support:

Email to

Faculty & Staff Support Hotline at 954-262-0070 

Submit a ticket for assistance through Service Manager

Tags: Training, LEC, Workshop, Canvas

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