Monthly Archives

August 2023

5 Semester Start-Up Tips – Fall 2023 Newsletter 1

Smeal Academy Fall 2023 Connections Newsletter 1: 5 Beginning of Semester Tips

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 begin the semester.

Happy First Day of Classes

Welcome back! The eLDIG team hopes you’re all recharged and excited for the Fall semester at Smeal. WE ARE… thrilled to work together with the Smeal Community as we gear up for another semester of collaborations in teaching and learning. Remember, eLDIG isn’t just a team – we’re a resource to support the college. From course design to tech tips to engaging learning strategies, we’re here to support the entire Smeal community.

We know this is a “crazy-busy” week, so we will keep this message short, focusing on a few short tips for the start of the semester. Let’s make the Fall 2023 semester one for the books!

5 Semester Start-up Tips from the eLDIG Team

  • ‘Message Students Who’ – Many courses use orientation tasks to increase student accountability and awareness of key course information. Taking a moment to message students who have not completed these tasks communicates to students that you are actively monitoring the course and encourages their engagement, early on.
  • ChatGPT – Consider mentioning your policy about Artificial Intelligence tools like ChatGPT to your students. Here’s a sample statement from the new DBA program. Please feel free to adapt this for your course(s):

    Artificial Intelligence and Online Homework Sites

    Unless your instructor tells you otherwise, you must complete all coursework entirely on your own, using only sources that have been permitted by your instructor, and you may not assist other students with papers, quizzes, exams, or other assessments. If your instructor allows you to use ideas, images, or word phrases created by another person (e.g., from Course Hero or Chegg) or by generative technology, such as ChatGPT, you must identify their source. You may not submit false or fabricated information, use the same academic work for credit in multiple courses, or share instructional content. Students with questions about academic integrity should ask their instructor before submitting work.

  • Syllabus Tab – Check your Canvas course syllabus tab (even if, for some reason, you don’t use it) to see assignments and event dates. You may find some items that need to be updated or deleted that you didn’t notice before.
  • Anthology Ally – Check out our Smeal Academy Session Recording: Anthology Ally Basics where we explored the university’s new Canvas accessibility tool, Ally. During the session, we reviewed Ally’s on-demand, student alternative-format download options as well as faculty and course accessibility tools. You can also check out previous Smeal Academy sessions and newsletters on the eLDIG site. Throughout the year, we will offer regular Smeal Academy sessions and resources targeted to address your teaching and learning needs. More about this next week!
  • Syllabus, Part 2 – 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.

We will be in touch next week with more Smeal Academy News. Have a great week!

Contact Us

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

Anthology Ally

The University has enabled a Canvas feature called Ally in all Fall courses. The tool helps support our goals of equity and inclusion, improving course accessibility and usability. With Ally, students are able to download alternative accessible file formats such as HTML, Audio, and Electronic Braille. Providing students with more accessible content allows students to choose the format that works best for them, improving student success. Ally also provides faculty with detailed feedback and resources. Through Ally, instructors can learn more about accessibility issues, why accessibility matters, and how to manage issues as they arise. In addition, Ally provides guidance and tips for continual improvements to course accessibility.

This session provides an overview of the features available with Anthology Ally, exploring:

  • on-demand student alternative format download options,
  • faculty accessibility tools, and
  • course accessibility scores.

As you begin to review your courses, the eLDIG team is available for consultations to help remediate existing course content and improve accessibility. This session is designed for instructors and staff who support Canvas courses.



Session slides:


Reports and Alternative Formats

Remediate Content