Monthly Archives

January 2023

Let’s Talk: Online Discussion Tools

In this session we discuss tools, best practices, and strategies for online course discussions. We will give an overview of Canvas, Packback, Piazza, and Yellowdig discussion tools. Come with your questions and input for our discussion discussion!

Session Resources:

Springing Into the Spring Semester – Spring 2023 Newsletter 1

Smeal Academy Spring 2023 Connections Newsletter 1 – Springing into a New Semester

The goal of the Smeal Academy is to equip the Smeal Community with best practices and strategies for teaching and learning with technology to support Smeal’s business education and research needs. This newsletter provides resources, tips, and pointers as we move through the semester.

eLDIG’s 5 Things

5 Things from the eLDIG Team:

As we get started with a new semester, we wanted to share the following five things with the Smeal community:

  1. eLDIG has welcomed three new team members:
    1. Chris Coyne, Instructional Designer, joined the team on October 3 and came to us from Penn State’s Ag Extension.
      Fun fact about Chris: He’s related to Grace Kelly (his great-grandmother was a Kelly) and has been to Greenland.
    2. Francesca Joyce, Multimedia Specialist, joined the team on December 5 and came to us from Geisinger’s Commonwealth School of Medicine.
      Fun fact about Francesca: When she was younger, she wanted to be a horse veterinarian but after spending a summer at horse camp decided to choose a different (less smelly) career path!
    3. Whitney Chirdon, Instructional Designer focusing on executive programs, joined the team on December 12 and came to us from Penn State’s School of Public Policy.
      Fun fact about Whitney: She produced and hosted a TV show about Downtown Abbey called After Abbey. Whitney has also only attended Penn State sports games while producing talent as a stage manager or in the production truck for ESPN, BTN, ABC, and FOX sports. She did run on the field with the Blue Band during a game while producing a documentary.
  2. Check out eLDIG’s new video assessment series. Topics include:
    1. Assessment basics
    2. Formative and summative assessments
    3. Assessment best practices
    4. Writing quality exam questions
    5. Canvas quizzing
    6. Exam security
    7. Alternatives to exams
    8. Rubrics
  3. Top Hat’s new “Presentation Tool” that mimics the “quick polling” iClicker functionality is now available in General Purpose Classrooms at Penn State. Quick polling allows a PowerPoint slide to be the basis of a poll – if you want to learn more, reach out to us and we’re happy to help get you started.
  4. Just a quick note that Canvas courses will be archived on January 24th. All LionPATH courses taught prior to, and including, Fall 2021 and ALL non-LionPATH courses, regardless of creation date, including Master, Manually Created, Sandbox courses, and Prides will be archived unless you opt-out.
  5. Do you struggle to keep up with syllabus policies? eLDIG keeps a Smeal Residential Syllabus, Part 2 up to date based on the semester instructions from Undergraduate Programs. You are welcome to use this for your syllabi now or in the future.

The eLDIG team is here for the Smeal community. If you want to discuss an idea or need for your course(s), please don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a consultation at

Upcoming Live Sessions

  • Smeal Academy Session: Let’s Talk – Course Discussion Tools and Strategies
    Come learn about tools, best practices, and strategies for online course discussions. We will give an overview of Canvas, Packback, Piazza, and Yellowdig discussion tools. Come with your questions and input for our discussion! Join us Friday, January 27, 2023, 9 to10 a.m. EST via Zoom.
    NOTE: Recordings and resources from previous sessions can be found on our eLDIG Website.
  • Register Now for the 2023 TLT Symposium on March 18, 2023
    The Penn State Symposium for Teaching and Learning with Technology is an annual event to showcase ways that technology can be used to enhance teaching, learning, and research. Our intent is to give faculty, staff, and students the opportunity to share how they are using technology in unique ways, network with other colleagues, and generate new project ideas.The TLT Symposium is a free event that welcomes all Penn State faculty, staff, and students. Please be sure to use your Penn State email when registering.

eLDIG Teaching and Learning Tips

Contact Us

Email us at or fill out the eLDIG Contact form and we will be in touch.