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Dear Faculty Colleagues,

On Thursday, May 26, a number of faculty and staff came together to discuss teaching with Box.com, a tool that UC Davis faculty are using to share materials with students during the extended SmartSite outage. Questions were asked and answered about communication via class mailing lists, the use of Box to share course content (such as podcasts and slide presentations), and the safeguarding of student data in communications.

If you would like to listen to the conversation, please visit https://video.ucdavis.edu/media/SmartSite_update_5-26-16/0_gdfkubor — please contact IT Express at 754-HELP with any questions. Questions about the move to Canvas should be sent to movetocanvas@ucdavis.edu.

Andy Jones


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The update found below has been posted at http://status.ucdavis.edu. We at Academic Technology Services regret this downtime that affects all of us and our students.

Andy Jones


Update – The SmartSite learning management system continues to be unavailable. Scriba, which hosts the service for UC Davis, is performing emergency maintenance and is working to resume service, but has missed its target of restoring service by 11 a.m. today.

UC Davis is asking Scriba for further information on the interruption, and will post an update as soon as one is available. The campus is also pushing Scriba to pursue its established contingency procedures.

Other universities that employ Scriba to host their learning management systems report that their services are coming back online.

If you have questions or comments, please contact the IT Express Service Desk, and continue to check status.ucdavis.edu for service updates.


Dear Colleagues,

Our campus move to a new learning management system (LMS), UC Davis Canvas, will require all of us to learn some new nomenclature and new protocols for familiar LMS functions. We will discuss some of these changes at tomorrow’s Faculty Panel on UC Davis Canvas. I will also introduce you to our lead EdTech Partner, Joseph VanBuskirk, and talk to you about our plans for this group of undergraduates who will help to support UC Davis Canvas users in late summer and throughout the coming school year.

We will also discuss the SmartSite outage taking place this weekend, a topic covered in a recent post on The Wheel. I hope you can join us Friday, May 20th at noon in 1310 Surge III, The Grove.

As always, for more information on UC Davis Canvas, please visit http://movetocanvas.ucdavis.edu.


Andy Jones


Faculty Panel on UC Davis Canvas

Featuring the EdTech Partners Program

Friday, May 20th

12 Noon

1310 Surge III

The Grove

(Two buildings west of The Silo)


Emergency maintenance: SmartSite will be unavailable from 9 p.m. Friday, 5/20, through 11 a.m. Monday, 5/23



Scriba, which hosts SmartSite for UC Davis, told UC Davis Thursday afternoon that the company is taking SmartSite offline this weekend for emergency maintenance. SmartSite will be unavailable from 9 p.m. Friday, May 20, until 11 a.m. Monday, May 23 (all Pacific time).

Scriba hosts Sakai-based learning management systems like SmartSite for several universities and colleges, and the outage will affect all of them. UC Davis has contacted Scriba to protest the short notice and extended duration of the outage, but the interruption in service seems unavoidable. Faculty, students, and staff should plan accordingly.

If possible, any work you would normally do in SmartSite from Friday night through Monday morning should be done outside of SmartSite. You can move the work into SmartSite after the interruption, as needed.



Academic Technology Services’ instructional technologists also offer these ideas for faculty:

  • If you have timed any Assignments, Quizzes, Discussions, or Announcements so that they end during the outage, you might wish to edit those items so they have an end date after the outage concludes.
  • If you want to give specific instructions to your students before the outage, you can do so by using the Announcements tool. When you create a new announcement, select “High – All participants” from the “Email Notification” area at the bottom of the announcement creation page.
  • You might wish to use these non-SmartSite tools to share information with course participants:

Class Lists (http://itcatalog.ucdavis.edu/service/class-lists) can be used as a substitute for the Mailtool in SmartSite to send email to students.

Class rosters are available to print or download (as Excel) from https://classes.ucdavis.eduor from ucdavis.edu -> My Classes -> Classes I’m Teaching

Files can be shared (or worked on collaboratively) through google.comor box.com by using the email addresses in the “Email” column found in your class roster download.



In an email to SmartSite administrators Thursday from Michael Sanders, president of Scriba, the company said “over the past few weeks we have experienced a large number of failures in our primary data center. The failures are as of a result of a third party and are outside of our control. We have been using a number of backup resources to keep our systems operating. However, these systems were intended as a short-term solution, and will not continue to run much longer if the data center cannot resolve the issues.

“Therefore, as a result we are going to have to schedule emergency maintenance window … to relocate our equipment to a higher class facility. This facility will ensure continued operations.

“We apologize for any inconvenience that may be caused, and we can ensure you we have thoroughly investigated the performance and stability of our new vendor, and we are confident future problems shall not arise. We can assure you that all systems and data are secure, and there is no risk of data loss during the emergency maintenance.”



UC Davis will post updates about the status of SmartSite at status.ucdavis.edu. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact the IT Express Service Desk (itexpress.ucdavis.edu) at 530-754-HELP (4357) or ithelp@ucdavis.edu.

As previously announced, UC Davis is moving to a new learning management system, UC Davis Canvas, starting in 2016-17. The next faculty panel to discuss UC Davis Canvas will take place on Friday, May 20th, at noon in 1310 Surge III, The Grove.


David Levin

Director, Academic Technology Services


May 6th DOLCE Meeting — You are Invited!

The UC Davis Arboretum -- Photo by Bev Sykes

The UC Davis Arboretum — Photo by Bev Sykes

Dear Colleagues,

Another first Friday of the month is upon us. I hope you can join us for the May 6th DOLCE: Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education. We will meet in 1310 Surge III at noon on Friday, May 6th.

Kate Meley of the UC Davis Bookstore will speak about Inclusive Access: Affordable Digital Content Delivery.

UC Davis Stores has implemented an award-winning, innovative program to deliver digital content at low prices. Inclusive Access helps the bookstore prioritize affordability, access, and student success. In addition, the bookstore will be piloting two adoption software programs that offer faculty low-cost adoption choices, including when available, preferred digital options.

Kato Meley is the UC Davis Stores Assistant Director for Course Materials. The former chair of the California Association of College Stores (CACS) Course Materials Committee, Meley will assume the presidency of CACS in 2018-2019.

In addition, at DOLCE this month Instructional Designer Cheryl Diermyer will preview a new and enormously helpful resource that will be launched later this spring: The EdTech Commons. This project is a joint endeavor between the Center for Educational Effectiveness and Academic Technology Services.

Finally, Instructional Technologist Steve Faith will tell the story of how he and others have helped one particular college at UC Davis inform faculty about our move to Canvas. Find out more at http://movetocanvas.ucdavis.edu.

I hope you can join on May 6th!

Andy Jones


Textbooks, EdTech Resources, and Moving to Canvas at DOLCE

Friday, May 6th at noon

1310 Surge III / The Grove



Palm Trees Make Up a Small Grove

Palm Trees Make Up a Small Grove

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This coming Friday, April 15th, a number of our UC Davis faculty colleagues and I will gather to discuss UC Davis Canvas, the new learning management system that we will get to use in our classes beginning this coming fall quarter. At Friday’s faculty panel, we will discuss content migration from SmartSite to Canvas (if you end up finding migrating content from SmartSite to be necessary), and the Canvas SpeedGrader, a tool that I have been testing out in a writing class that I’m teaching this quarter. I hope you can join us.

Please bring your concerns, questions, and curiosity. We start a bit after noon in 1310 Surge III, now also known as The Grove.

Andy Jones


Education for a Global World – Monday, April 11, 2016

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the Center for Educational Effectiveness, and Academic Technology Services are pleased to invite you to a series of workshops, sessions and talks:

Education for a Global World

Monday, April 11th

The Grove (Surge III), 1310

Workshops and Sessions Led by Dr. Teri Balser, Dean of Teaching and Learning at Curtin University, Perth Western Australia

About Teri Balser

Professor Teri Balser is Dean of Teaching and Learning for the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Curtin University, where she came after having been a Professor of Soil and Water Science and Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida.

Dr. Balser is co-founder of the Society for Advancement of Biology Education Re-search (SABER) and a National Vision and Change Fellow with the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education. She is currently in India under the aegis of the Fulbright-Nehru program as Distinguished Chair to help build capacity for pedagogi-cally advanced STEM education.

She has also received numerous accolades for her educational accomplishments includ-ing the USDA/APLU National Excellence in College and University Teaching Award in 2009 and recognition as the 2010 U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Re-search Universities by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Last year she was announced as one of three finalists for the 2016 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, the largest teaching prize in the English-speaking world.


8:00 A.M. – 11:45 A.M.: Motivation in the Postmodern Classroom.

This event is a hands-on, half-day workshop where participants explore the role of student and instruc-tor attitudes for creating a dynamic learning environment. Space is limited. Please register at: https://form.jotform.com/60895392934166

1:00 P.M. – 2:30 P.M.:  Engaging Large Classes. No Registration Required

This session explores elements of quality learning, and challenge assumptions we may have about large classes. Through examining the impact of class size on the learning environment, participants consider ways to implement and scale best practices in pedagogy/delivery to optimize learning.

4:15 – 5:00: Transforming Life Sciences. No Registration Required

Participants will learn about the findings of a study conducted for improving learning experiences in life sciences courses. Participants will try out a set of rubrics for considering curricular transformation and will discuss potential application for use in their own institutions.

You can watch the live video stream from your preferred location by going to:


Questions? Contact Cheryl Diermyer (cdiermyer@ucdavis.edu), Academic Technology Services.

caes logo.png CEElogo_web.jpg ATS logo.png

Archives by Marino González

Archives by Marino González

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you can join us for the April 1 DOLCE: Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education. We will meet in 1310 Surge III at noon on Friday, April 1.

Dr. Kevin C. Miller will speak first on “The Archives & Institutional Assets Program: Enhancing the Impact of UC Davis Scholarship (and Scholars).”

All of us are consumers and producers of knowledge and research, and while we are primarily concerned with the impact of our research on the world, someday we or our heirs may also be concerned with the impact of our research on our garages and spare bedrooms. Among other opportunities and concerns, Dr. Miller will help us consider how best approach and share our personal academic archives.

Kevin C. Miller is an expert in confronting academic archives in the digital age. He holds a PhD in ethnomusicology and a master’s degree in library and information studies, both from the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests (as an ethnomusicologist) include the music-cultures of the Pacific and the South Asian diaspora. As an archivist, he is primarily interested in digital preservation and the evolving scholarly record. Formerly Librarian for Digital Curation and Publication at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA from 2010 to 2015, Miller is currently leading the new Archives & Institutional Assets Program as University Archivist at UC Davis.

In the second half of the hour, we will discuss instructional design, and why you should want to consult with one before taking on a new or re-visioned teaching project. We will also hear from an expert on Canvas, the new learning management system and SmartSite replacement that we will all get to start using this fall, 2016. To find out more about Canvas, please visit http://movetocanvas.ucdavis.edu.

Please join us at noon on April 1 in 1310 Surge III, also known as The Grove.


Andy Jones


Kevin C. Miller and Friends at DOLCE

Friday, April 1 at noon

1310 Surge III / The Grove


Arboretum in Springtime

Dear Colleagues,

If you are still on campus and need some SmartSite or final grade submission help from our Instructional Technologists (Steve Faith and Fernando Socorro), please drop by their current offices at 50 Hutchison, found downstairs in the southeast corner of the building in the center of campus. While you are there, Steve and Fernando could also show you our mini-studio, perfect for filming short lectures or demonstrations to share with students.

Our faculty panels will return on April 1st DOLCE meeting that will feature a presentation by Dr. Kevin Miller. Miller was Librarian for Digital Curation and Publication at Pepperdine University from 2010 to 2015, and is currently leading the Archives & Institutional Assets Program as the UC Davis University Archivist.

Curious about the new learning management system that we will adopt this fall? If you have any free time over our spring break, you are encouraged to visit the spring update at the UC Davis “Move to Canvas” page: http://movetocanvas.ucdavis.edu. If you would like to start browsing the guides, trainings, and documentation provided by Instructure, the company behind Canvas, please find them at https://community.canvaslms.com/welcome.

Enjoy the break, and I look forward to seeing you at one of our events in the spring (held on the first and third Friday of every month during the school year).


Andy Jones

Dr. Andy Jones

Continuing Lecturer, The University Writing Program

Academic Associate Director, Academic Technology Services

Editor of  The Wheel, The Instructional Technology Blog for UC Davis

University of California, Davis

The Poet Laureate of Davis



March 4th DOLCE at 1310 Surge III at Noon



Dear Faculty Colleagues,

The March DOLCE is upon us, and I hope you can join us as we enjoy brief presentations from our speakers.

Brian Pitts, an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, and the Director of Online Learning at the UC Davis School of Medicine, will be on campus to talk to us about different approaches to deliver video instruction, with a focus on a tool called Panopto. The Panopto for education website promises that Panopto “offers educators the most cost-effective, easy-to-use solution for flipping the classroom, lecture capture, video management, and more.” I look forward to seeing what we can learn from the experiments and discoveries of Professor Pitts and his colleagues in the School of Medicine.

I recently interviewed Chris Kuczewski at Panopto about his company’s offerings. He says, “We hear on a regular basis that faculty members love the ease of use of our software, students love the ability to search within videos, and admins love the ability to control so many different aspects of the system.”

Cheryl Diermyer, Instructional Designer with Academic Technology Services, will provide us a sample of the work that she has been doing with esteemed Brewing and Malting Professor Charlie Bamforth. Diermyer has been helping Bamforth and others transform his Brewing and Beer (FST 3) course into an online offering. She will have slides and video to share.

If we have time, we will also enjoy a clickers / PRS update from Instructional Technologist Fernando Socorro.

Please join us on March 4th at noon at 1310 Surge III, now known as The Grove.

Andy Jones



DOLCE: Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education

Friday, March 4th

12 Noon

1310 Surge III / The Grove


P.S. Curious about UC Davis Canvas, our new learning management system? Please visit http://movetocanvas.ucdavis.edu. You can also meet with the Move to Canvas team this coming Tuesday, March 8th at the UC Davis AV Showcase.