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News from OIT‘s Instructional Support and Research Support

April Issue

ITCoP: Save the Date April 23

Learning Mathematica Online

GTA@OIT Grant Recipient

Peer Technology Assistance

Blackboard Learn Ugrade Instructional Workshops for April

New Features of SAS 9.4


ITCoP: Save the Date April 23

Bring your lunch and a colleague to the last Brown Bag Lunch meeting of the semester, where demo and discussion will focus on using iPads in the classroom!

Who: Dr. Sébastien Dubreil, French and Francophone Studies
Adopting and Applying iPad Use in the Classroom
Dr. Melanie Faizer, Journalism and Electronic MediaUsing Nearpod in the Classroom
When: Wednesday, April 23, 11:30 am-12:30 pm
Where: Hodges Library, Commons North, Practice Presentation Room, 220E.

For more information, contact Christina Goode at 974-6470 or email her at

GTA@OIT Grant Recipient Announced

Spring 2014

OIT sponsors GTA@OIT Grants to encourage UTK Graduate Teaching Associates and Assistants (GTAs) to incorporate technology into their teaching. GTAs with sole responsibility for teaching a course are paired with OIT instructional design staff to accomplish their goals for technology use.

The Spring 2014 GTA@OIT Grant recipient is:
Michael Motlz, GTA, Political Science. Cutting the Red Tape: Teaching Public Administration Online.
For more information, contact Christina Goode at 974-6470 or email her at

A Big Event is Underway

The Online@UT (Blackboard Learn) Upgrade

OIT Course Delivery Service will be upgrading Blackboard Learn software May 13-19. Online@UT will be unavailable during this time period. The new version of Online@UT will address some nagging issues dealt with over the past year, particularly the ability to capture meaningful user statistics at the course and system levels. You will also see some new features that many faculty members have been requesting.

Our last system upgrade took place in 2011 at about this time of year . You can learn more about new features and specific timeline by visiting the Blackboard Learn Upgrade Center


Course Delivery Support members will be available to demonstrate new features of Blackboard Learn in accordance with the schedule below.

Date Time Location
Tuesday, April 1 12:00 - 1:00 pm Hodges Library - Practice Presentation Room
Thursday, April 3 12:00 - 1:00 pm Greve Hall - Room 520 Training Lab
Monday, April 7 12:00 - 1:00 pm Hodges Library - Practice Presentation Room
Wednesday, April 9 12:00 - 1:00 pm Greve Hall - Room 520 Training Lab
Tuesday, April 15 12:00 - 1:00 pm Hodges Library - Practice Presentation Room
Thursday, April 17 12:00 - 1:00 pm Greve Hall - Room 520 Training Lab
Monday, April 21 12:00 - 1:00 pm Hodges Library - Practice Presentation Room
Thursday, April 24 12:00 - 1:00 pm Greve Hall - Room 520 Training Lab

Alternative Server Hosting for Mini-Term Courses

Mini-term courses will be hosted on an alternative server and will not be impacted by the upgrade outage window. Mini-term course sites are currently available to faculty on our main production servers. Please complete your work (e.g., course copy, adding new content) by midnight on May 3. We will be moving mini-term courses from our main server to our alternative server on May 4-5 in preparation for the start of the mini-term on May 7.

Friday, March 7 Mini-term and Summer 2014 course sites available to faculty
Thursday, April 24 Mini-term and Summer 2014 course sites available to students
Friday, March 7 Complete mini-term course development in preparation for move to pre-production environment
Sunday, May 4
Monday, May 5
Move Mini-term courses to pre-production environment for delivery
Wednesday, May 7 Mini-term begins
Tuesday, May 13 Spring semester grades due at 8:00 am
Tuesday, May 13
8:00 am
Upgrade of production system from 9.1.90132.0 to 9.1.140152.0 begins
Saturday, May 17
Sunday, May 18
UTK internal testing
Monday, May 19 Bb 9.1.14 production environment released for use (Best Case)
Wednesday, May 28 Mini-term ends
Friday, June 20 Fall 2014 course sites available to faculty
Wednesday, August 6 Fall 2014 course sites available to students


xNew Features of SAS 9.4

Using SQL Within a Data Step

SAS is one of the most popular software packages for data management, statistical analysis and data visualization. The latest version, SAS 9.4, which was released in June 2013, offers many useful enhancements and new features. It provides new features (e.g., the DS2 procedure to allow codes to be submitted from base SAS sessions to run in-database to perform advanced data manipulation and data analysis).

PROC DS2 shares core features with the DATA step but extends far beyond the DATA step by enabling SQL within the SET statement. It combines SQL's familiar aggregation capabilities with SAS's ability to produce more than one output data set from a single pass through the input data. Unlike the traditional DATA step, PROC DS2 will not automatically replace or overwrite an existing table. Instead it returns the result to the output window, similar to PROC SQL, unless you specify the OVERWRITE=YES data set option.

The SAS licenses are for all University of Tennessee campuses and can be installed on personally-owned and UT-owned computers. A single-user license for academic use is available for free to students, faculty and staff. The program can be downloaded at A SAS license for campus administrative use costs extra and is available to staff. Additional support for learning and using SAS is available via OIT help desk: 865-974-9900.

View more information about the new features of SAS 9.4.

Learning Mathematica Online

Wolfram Mathematica is widely recognized as the definitive application for computations. The links below reveal Wolfram’s online resources available for learning Mathematica. The first two tutorials listed below are excellent for new Mathematica users. They can be assigned to students as homework to learn Mathematica outside of class time.

  • Hands-on Start to Mathematica
    Follow along in Mathematica as you watch this multi-part video series that teaches you the basics: how to create your first notebook, calculations, visualizations, utilizing data, presentations, interactive examples, etc.

  • Getting Started with Mathematica 9
    Provides examples to help you get started with new functionality in Mathematica 9, including the predictive interface.

  • Mathematica Documentation Center
    Definitive guide includes pages explaining every function and subject area covered by Mathematica, including “How-to” tutorials and more than 100,000 examples. When accessed in Mathematica, these examples are completely interactive and can be modified to suit your needs. You can also visit the Documentation Center from the Help menu within your Mathematica session.

  • How-To Topics
    Access step-by-step instructions ranging from how to create animations to basic syntax information.

  • Learning Center
    Search Wolfram’s large collection of materials for example calculations and tutorials in your field of expertise.

For more information, please contact the OIT helpdesk by calling 865-974-9900 or contact the helpdesk online at


Wednesday, March 26, 2014
12:30-1:30pm, including Q&A
Shiloh Room, Room 235 of the UTK University Center

START Team Offers Peer Technology Assistance

Do your students need technology help with class projects and assignments?

IT's Student Technology Assistants for Research and Teaching (START) Team members now provide "just in time" peer technology assistance to fellow students by appointment or walk-up consultation. Located at the START HelpDesk in Commons North of the John C. Hodges Library, START also provides training in the Practice Presentation Room on the equipment available in the OIT-sponsored Technology-Enhanced Classrooms throughout campus. Visit the START pages for a list of services, Commons hours, and to schedule an appointment.

Instructional Technology Workshops
for April

Be sure to check out the new features of Blackboard Learn, offered several times over the month of April. In addition, we are offering introductory workshops on LiveOnline@UT (Blackboard Collaborate) and SharePoint.

Check the OIT Workshop Calendar for all of our upcoming workshops.

Register now to learn about the latest and best tools and techniques for online and classroom instruction in short, 2 hour specialized sessions.






“It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life. To be able to be caught up into the world of thought—that is to be educated."

– Edith Hamilton



March 2014 Uptime:

Blackboard Learn 100%
Blackboard Collaborate

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