When should Thiel College update Moodle to 2.0? We want your input …
Like all much-used software, Moodle is constantly being revised. Changes made to browsers, productivity suites such as Microsoft Office, and websites, combined with customers’ demands, drive this forward. Thiel College now has the opportunity to upgrade to Moodle 2.0. Please help us decide when to make the change.
Thiel and Current Versions of Moodle
We are using Moodle 1.9, which we officially adopted in fall 2011 after an extended pilot in 2010-11. Version 2.0 was released in November 2010. Since then, versions 2.1 and 2.2 have appeared, but neither is currently supported by our Moodle vendor, eThink.
We had been aware that the release of Moodle 2.0 was in the works when we began using Moodle 1.9. We would have adopted 2.0 at Moodle implementation if it had been reliable. It was not; it reportedly had a number of 'bugs'. Our support company, eThink Education, will not upgrade its clients’ Moodle systems until they have eliminated all potential problems with a new version. This is important, since ours is integrated with PowerCAMPUS, our student information system. eThink programmers have resolved the bugs, and can now guarantee that Moodle 2.0 will work with PowerCAMPUS. They have began upgrading their clients to Moodle 2.0 as clients request the upgrade.
New Features of Moodle 2.0
A number of features that appear with Moodle 2.0 could be advantageous:
- File Management Repository for each user independent of his/her courses
- Conditional Activities (access to an activity only after completing another activity)
- Enhanced support for a wider variety of internet browsers
- Quiz Module overhaul including simplified quiz navigation for students
- Redesigned theme including support for mobile devices (cell phones, tablets, etc.)
- Change to Grader Report that will make mid-term and final grades submission less confusing
Support for the change to 2.0
In order to assist us with this process, eThink Education and our Moodle administrators will also be providing:
- Updated copies of the Faculty User Guide and First Time Using Moodle for students
- A self-paced eThink Training Course on Moodle, targeting all of the key areas utilized by teachers
- A series of brief instructional videos covering key procedures
- If need be, eThink Education representatives will give on-site training. There is a cost associated with this.
Is it Easy to Learn the New Moodle?
Although this is a much easier transition than the one from Blackboard to Moodle, Moodle 2.0 has a significant number of changes. The Faculty Guide has a nice section that tells you where things have gone. We will offer tutorials and will schedule training sessions.
The Upgrade Procedure
eThink Education will spend several months making the adjustments. Our campus Moodle administrators will get access one month before the official change. Moodle will be down for 5 – 10 hours before the change is implemented here.
The Upgrade and Thiel’s Schedule
Since it has such an impact on our student information system, we cannot do it in May, when the dates for grades submission and the start of May courses overlap. Making a change at that time could affect grades. We do not want to do it in the middle of a term or semester as it could be confusing and upsetting to course users. That leaves two time frames: mid-August, before the start of a new term and late December/early January.
We are seeking feedback from you, the faculty and teaching staff. After reading this and asking any questions you might have, go to: submit your feedback. If you are not already in Moodle, you will have to log in using your Thiel ID and password. NOTE: The choice is found near the top of the Faculty Lounge page, and is called “When to upgrade to Moodle 2.0”.
Honors Program Presentation Schedule
The Honors Program students invite all faculty and staff to attend the junior/senior project presentations on Tuesday, April 17 and Wednesday, April 18 in The Learning Commons classroom.
TUESDAY, APRIL 17
4:15 p.m., Emily Whipple, "The Silent Warrior: Shaping the Classic Novel"
Mentor, Dr. Hall; Second reader, Prof. B. DelMaramo
4:50 p.m., Gary Whitla, "Living History and Academic History: Complementary or Contentious? The Case of the Civil War Sesquicentennial"
Mentor, Dr. Koshan; Second reader, Professor Doddato
5:15 p.m., Moriah Poage, "What Your Doctor Wants You to Know: Educating the Population on Heart Attacks, Diabetes, Immunizations and Antibiotic Resistance"
Mentor, Dr. Cuff; Second reader, Dr. Evans
5:40 p.m., Caitlin Ferry, "Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks: Importance of Differentiating Care to Provide the Best Quality of Life for the Elderly"
Mentor, Dr. Antonino; Second reader, Dr. Hall
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18
3:30 p.m., Alison Lange, "In Search of a Lead: The Process of Playwriting"
Mentor, Dr. M. DelMaramo; Second reader, Allen Morrill
4 p.m., Ryan Pepper, "The Actions and Reactions of Writing Creatively and Teaching Chemistry"
Mentor, Dr. Hall; Second reader, Dr. Reinsel
4:30 p.m., Courtney Becker, "Starbucks Success: A Guide to Marketing Your Company"
Mentor, Prof. Giannini; Second reader, Prof. Huddleston
4:50 p.m., Alex Johnson, "The Effects of Residence Hall Environments on Academic Performance: A Statistical Study"
Mentor, Dr. Wu; Second reader, Dr. Parkinson
5:15 p.m., Kayla Ohlin, "A Study of Thiel’s First Generation Students"
Mentor, Dr. Biroschak; Second reader, Prof. Witosky
5:40 p.m., Clare Rech, "Bluebird Trail"
Mentor, Dr. Balas; Second reader, Dr. Cuff
Volunteers Still Needed for Riverside Park Playground Project
This year, Thiel’s annual "Spring Into Action Day" is actually "Spring Into Action Week"! From Wednesday, April 11 to Sunday, April 15, Thiel College and the Greenville community will combine forces to erect a new playground facility in Riverside Park.
Volunteers are needed—please sign up today! Three shifts ( 8 a.m.-noon; noon-4 p.m.; 4-8 p.m.) will run each day. Help is needed in many areas giving everyone a chance to pitch in!
Contact Kateri Linn at ext. 2349 or e-mail email@example.com to sign up.
Hawaii Raffle Tickets on Sale Now!
Tickets are $20 each. Enter for a chance to win a seven-night stay at a five-diamond resort on Waikiki Beach and round-trip airfare for two! Tickets can be purchased from Jack Leipheimer or Patti Leipheimer in the Student Life Office.
Kappa Delata Pi Hosts Principal Workshop
Kappa Delta Pi education honorary hosted a principal workshop on Wednesday, March 28. The workshop was open to all students in the Education Department and was held to help Thiel students gain a unique perspective from principals in the area. During the workshop, Principal Connie Timashenka from Hempfield Elementary and Principal Amy Wanchisn from Artman Elementary, answered student generated questions on various topics. The principals brought a unique perspective to the Thiel students and answered questions on topics such as classroom management, disciplining students and what qualities principals generally look for when hiring teachers for their school. Principal Timashenka and Principal Wanchisn were also kind enough to offer advice to the future teachers, both when looking for jobs, and also tips on doing well in their field experiences. This workshop proved to be very beneficial for the students in attendance and will be another tool to help them get ahead in the education field.—article submitted by Erica Riola
Order of Omega Inducts New Members
On Sunday, April 1, 16 members of Greek Life were inducted into the Greek Honor Society, Order of Omega at a ceremony held in the Sawhill-Georgian Room. The purpose of Order of Omega is to recognize those fraternity men and women who have attained a high standard of leadership in inter-Greek activities, to encourage them to continue along this line and to inspire others to strive for similar conspicuous attainment. Members inducted include: Brittany Anderson, Megg Andrews, Brittany Dell, Brittany Hill, Cassidy Kravec, Alex McClurg, Chelsea Meister, Mariah Poage, Amanda Pye, Conner Radgowski, Kelly Sanzari, Matt Schneider, Keisha Shaw, Diana Slomainy, Bree Sweet and Gary Whitla.
Student Athletes of the Week
Becky Betterridge, a senior softball player and elementary education major from Conneaut, Ohio, hit .579 (11-19) with nine runs scored, five RBI and three triples from the leadoff spot last week. She helped the Tomcats post a 4-2 mark, which included a doubleheader sweep over Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) rival Grove City College on Saturday. Betterridge has hit safely in six of the Tomcats’ last seven contests and currently ranks second on the squad with a .412 batting average. She has been named to the Dean’s List six times and has earned a spot on the PAC Academic Honor Roll twice.
Eric Steininger, a junior baseball player and psychology major from West Leechburg, Pa., hit .421 (8-19) with a pair of doubles, four RBI and two runs scored to help the Tomcat baseball squad finish the week 3-2. He posted his sixth three-plus hit day of the season in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the University of Mount Union, finishing 3-for-4 at the plate. Steininger was named an all-Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Second Team selection following the 2011 season.
community news & events
Easter Walk for Kids and Families
Friday, April 6, 7 - 9 p.m.
New Beginnings Christian Church
Free admission and free refreshments.
Community Conversations at the Greenville Are Public Library presents
Author/Columnist Sean Barron
Thursday, April 12, 6:30 p.m.
Greenville Area Public Library, 330 Main Street
Free and open to the public.
Sean Barron is the co-author of two books about autism and a columnist for the Youngstown Vindicator. He and his mother, Judy Barron collaborated on "There’s a Boy in Here: Emerging from the Bonds of Autism" and "Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism" was written with Temple Grandin. Although diagnosed autistic in 1965, he considers himself "healed" from autism, because it no longer adversely affects his day-to-day life. In 1992 he began to speak publicly at autism conferences about his experiences.
Friends of Music at Holy Trinity presents The Youngstown Fine Arts Brass
Sunday, April 15, 3:30 p.m.
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
Corner of Penn Avenue and Clinton St.
The concert is free and open to the public. An opportunity will be provided for a free-will offering to support the series.
Fairwell Festival Volunteers Needed
This year’s Fairwell Festival will be held on Thursday, April 26 from 4 - 7 p.m. in the quad (note location change). Shifts will be: 3:30-5 p.m., 5 - 6 p.m., and 6 - 7:30 p.m. E-mail Barbara Blue with your available times or a specific station you would like to work.
Thiel says farewell to:
April Harvey, library
Vivian Richards, housekeeping
Scott Sigworth, athletics
Ben Beachy, public safety
Jeffrey Hollidge, public safety
Payroll Notice to Bi-Weekly Employees
Good Friday, April 6 is a paid holiday for full-time Thiel College employees. It is also a pay date for those on the bi-weekly pay schedule. We have confirmed with the First National Bank that April 6 is a regular banking day, so direct deposits will occur as scheduled. However, you are encouraged to contact your bank or credit union regarding Good Friday banking service hours. Paychecks and advices will be delivered to the campus post office on Thursday, April 5. Please contact the payroll office at ext. 2004 if you have any questions.
April Healthy Highlights
Click to download the following Cancer Risk information from Highmark
Cancer Risks: Am I at Risk?
Local Wellness Programs sponsored by Highmark
National Library Week Events
April 8 - 14
All events will take place in the library.
Activity for the week: Count the M & Ms. Fill out a raffle ticket at the circulation desk for a chance to guess how many M & Ms are in the jar. The person who comes closest without going over wins! Each losing entry will then be entered into the Grand Prize raffle.
Tuesday, April 10 "Easter Egg Hunt"
Each egg found will have a superduper surprise inside!
Wednesday, April 11, "Best Cookie Contest"
Drop off your entries by 10 a.m. For each dozen cookies you'll get one entry into the Grand Prize raffle.
Wednesday, April 11, 8 p.m., "5th Annual Night of Poetry and the Creative Arts"
Join us as students, faculty and staff read the selections that have submitted to the most recent issue of The Phoenix.
Thursday, April 12, 9 p.m. "Library Hunger Games"
Test your archery skills by collecting arrows as you find the answers to library questions. Winners receive a Hunger Games poster and an entry into the Grand Prize raffle.
Friday, April 13, Relax and enjoy a piece of cake!
Winners of the M & M contest and the Grand Prize raffle will be announced.
The Grand Prize will be a private study room for one evening during finals week—filled with snacks!
Earth Week Events
Tuesday, April 10, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
"Children’s Workshop," Rissell-Beeghly Gymnasium
Tuesday, April 10, 7 p.m.
"Journey of the Universe: The Epic Story of Cosmic, Earth and Human Transformation" Screening with Panel Discussion
Wednesday, April 11, 7 p.m.
"The Covenantal Triangle: Prophetic Perspectives on the Created Order" with Dr. Ellen Davis, Duke Divinity School
Thursday, April 12, 7 p.m.
"Illusion and Denial: Reflections on Climate Change" with Dr. Wendy Farley, Emory University
Brown Bag Lunch
Tuesday, April 10, noon - 12:55 p.m., AC-236
"Giving Quizzes and Tests in Moodle"
A panel presentation with Victor Evans, Laurie Moroco and Gary Witosky.
Join other Moodle enthusiasts for a group presentation of quiz-making, quiz administration and quiz-taking, giving insights into both the instructor’s and the student’s perspectives. Laurie Moroco, Victor Evans and Gary Witosky will demonstrate some of the procedures and share some of their experiences. Please RSVP to Jenni Griffin if you'd like to attend.
Kids Night with the Tomcats
Saturday, April 21, 6-9 p.m.
Enjoy a night off while your kids play soccer, football, relay races and obstacle courses; bounce on fun inflatables; or participate in coloring and crafts with Thiel student-athletes and coaches in the Rissell-Schreyer Dome. This event is open to children 3 to 12 years old and secure drop-off and pick-up for children will be provided. Cost is $5 per child if registering before April 15; $7 per child after April 15 or at the door. Contact Angie Zeuch, head women’s basketball coach with questions or to register.
If you’re interested in submitting a story or event to T-Notes, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Our next issue will be Wednesday, April 11.
Deadline for submissions: 5 p.m., Monday, April 9.