July 31, 2018

Dear Faculty,

Information Technology wants to promote these academic technology resources available for you to help students achieve objectives more successfully.

Top Hat

As a reminder, we announced last spring that we have acquired Top Hat technology to replace our previous clicker system. Research shows students are 1.5 times more likely to succeed in an active learning environment, and Top Hat is a platform to create that environment.

Instructors can create an unlimited number of courses to engage students with interactive slides, graded questions, polls, assignments, and more. Blackboard Learn integration is available for gradebook synchronization. To get started, set up a meeting with our dedicated Top Hat training specialist, Lisa Hecht, via this webpage: https://meetme.so/TopHatLisaHecht

Students can use smartphones, tablets, laptops, and ordinary cell phones to participate. Subscription codes will be available for students to purchase in the Valpo Book Store.

Faculty and students can get support directly through their account on the Top Hat website or in the device app.

If you’re interested in being inspired on incorporating this tool into your teaching, consider attending the Engage 2018 conference in Chicago. We’ve got some discount codes to reduce the cost of attending the conference; if you’re interested, contact Kevin Steele for details.

Read&Write Gold

You and your students also have access to the award-winning Read&Write literacy software from Texthelp. This application gives extra confidence to anyone who needs a little extra help with their reading and writing. Read&Write makes the web, documents, and files more accessible. It’s a friendly, intuitive toolbar that assists learners at all levels with everyday tasks like reading text out loud, understanding unfamiliar words, researching assignments, and proofing written work.

Valpo students, faculty, and staff have access to install the software on both University-provided and personally-owned machines through our licensing agreement.

Interested in incorporating this tool into your course design to help your students be more successful? Contact Jen Gregory in VITAL for assistance with developing text for your course syllabi. This item would be great to include in your syllabi to help students be more aware of this resource.