As faculty prepare and start their upcoming courses, our academic technology team wants to remind you of a resource that you can point students to before students start your class and also during the semester if you ever hear they are having technology needs. If you like to send your students communication before class starts, consider reminding them about the Tommie Tech technology orientation site.
All St. Thomas students are enrolled in either the undergraduate or graduate student version of the Tommie Tech technology orientation. This student resource includes an introduction to St. Thomas technology that includes content and activities that will assist students in taking an online class. Tommie Tech guides students to:
- find technology help available to St. Thomas students
- set up your own device(s) such as testing your browser
- use Canvas basic features
- locate St. Thomas apps and digital tools
- be aware of online etiquette, and
- learn about digital security practices
There is also an option to earn a Tommie Tech Certificate; this is required for all first-year undergraduate students, and at times professors or graduate programs are also asking students to get this certificate of completion.
Security note: All course URLs are password protected and only accessible to St. Thomas students using their username and password.
If you are teaching this fall, consider these suggestions:
- Mention the Tommie Tech Undergraduate or Tommie Tech Graduate site in an early course announcement or letter before or during the first week, and/or further call this out in your Get Started/Module 0 in your Canvas course. If you are using the Fall 2020 Course Template from STELAR (upload from the Canvas Commons), that course template includes a Module 0, mentions Tommie Tech as well. Tommie Tech complements and reinforces what you put into your courses, and is there for students throughout their time at St. Thomas for those who want to come back to this.
- Include the student Tommie Tech course link in your fall course to make it easy for students to access Tommie Tech. Select the correct link here:
- Encourage students to visit the Tommie Tech site by the end of the first week of class and spend time on what is unfamiliar. There are Tommie Tech Site Facilitators available in the discussion spaces and weekly Zoom drop in sessions for students needing to test Zoom, and lots of resources in Tommie Tech (browser check, internet speed tester, tips on Canvas, free apps in the Microsoft word suite, and much more!).
- Sample Message: If you are new to St. Thomas or wanting to review some of the technology and technology support available for students, please explore the Tommie Tech site and suggested activities. <Faculty, insert in either the Undergraduate Student Tommie Tech or the Graduate Student Tommie Tech link into your communication>. New St. Thomas students find it especially helpful to complete the entire site but it is a resource for all students to keep current with St. Thomas technologies; if you have been at St. Thomas for awhile you may simply want to skim the resource. There is also an option to request a Certificate of Completion.
Where did Tommie Tech come from?
The current Tommie Tech sites combine ideas from both the Orientation to Online Learning site (in operation since Summer 2018) and the fall 2019 Tommie Tech sites. The earlier versions of both sites had a lot of student, faculty, and staff input that guided us on what to include in this current site. We continue to learn from students (and you!) and make edits to further guide all of our students.
Faculty are welcome to enroll in the faculty version of the site.
There is also a faculty version of this site. Here are those links only for faculty/staff:
- Sample: Undergraduate Tommie Tech site (for faculty/advising staff to enroll in)
- Sample: Graduate Tommie Tech site (for faculty/advising staff to enroll in)
One St. Thomas, nobody left behind…Advancing the Common Good is about All of Us!
If there are additional resources or activities you would like to see for your students especially accessing learning in the online or digital space (whether in a fully online class or other classes that access technology), please reach out to Jo Montie email@example.com to explore some ways to creatively work together on this!
This post was written by Jo Montie, Online Learning Student Success Facilitator (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the St. Thomas E-Learning and Research (STELAR) Center at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. To learn more about this topic, please visit our website at www.stthomas.edu/stelar or email us at email@example.com.