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Information Technology

Instructional Technology Tools & Topics

IT employs a group of passionate, incredibly patient instructional technologists, designers, and consultants to help instructors on campus use technology to meet their instructional goals. The following is a partial list of the topics and tools that we can address. If you don’t see what you need here, or don’t get enough information from these pages, contact the Instructional Media Lab at for help.

Grading for Instructors
At the end of the semester, final grades must be entered into SPIRE. Faculty and instructors have a number of options for managing grades throughout the semester and entering into SPIRE at the end of the semester. For more, see Grading for Instructors.

IT Accounts for Instructors
Instructors can request additional IT Accounts for a number of purposes. These accounts can be associated with a specific course, research project, or program, and can be used to share course materials online. For more, see Accounts for Instructors.

Moodle Learning Management System
Moodle allows instructors to post materials, host online activities (such as discussions, quizzes, and assignment collection), and manage student data and grades. For more, see Moodle for Instructors.

Blogs can be used by instructors for any number of applications, including course sites and publishing individual academic activities. Faculty and other instructors receive an individual blog, and can request additional accounts for creating other blogs. For more, see Blogs for Instructors.

Collaborative Tools for Instructors and Students
Online tools such as the Google Apps suite make it possible for groups of students and instructors to more easily collaborate on the creation of documents, resources, and Web sites. For more, see Collaborative Tools for Instructors and Students.

Classroom Audience Response System (ARS or "Clickers")
Instructors use audience response systems (clickers) to engage students and promote interaction in large classes. For more, see Classroom Audience Response Systems for Instructors.

Copyright & Fair Use
Instructors who wish to use other people's work in their course materials have special rights and responsibilities under US copyright law. Figuring out what you can and can't do depends on the nature of the work and how you intend to use it. For more, see Copyright & Fair Use for Instructors.

Presentation Design
Lecturing, explaining, and storytelling are tried and true ways to educate. Does adding PowerPoint (or other presentation design programs) make the learning experience better? For more, see Presentation Design for Instructors.

Video & Audio
Creating video or audio can be a great way to create instructional or research materials. For more, see Video and Audio for Instructors.

PDF Creation
No matter what software you use to create your handouts and presentations, saving them as PDF files ensures that your students and colleagues will be able to see them on any platform. For more, see PDF Creation for Instructors.

Scanning & Digital Images
If you are capturing images on a scanner or with a digital camera, there are simple things you need to know to be sure that you get the quality you need without creating files that are too large to be shared or printed. For more, see Scanning & Digital Images for Instructors.

Lecture Capture & Screencasting
Capturing yourself giving a lecture in your classroom, in a recording room, or on your own computer is an effective way to help students review material. It can also be used to shift lectures outside of class time so that the classroom can become a more effective space for discussion, projects and other face-to-face activities. For more, see Lecture Capture & Screencasting for Instructors.

Sharing Files

If all you need to do is share files with students or colleagues, UMass Amherst IT provides a few options for online file storage and sharing, including Google Apps for Education (Apps at UMass Amherst). For more, see File Sharing for Instructors.