Building the State-of-the-Art Atlas Lab

Social media is a primary channel for our civic and commercial dialogue, and a powerful communications platform in advertising, news, and public relations. To prepare students to succeed in that environment, the College of Journalism and Communications (CJC) has created the Atlas Lab to focus on better understanding this important field.

“Lon Vance and the A/V Design and Installations group brought our vision for the lab to life,” said Janet Coats, managing director of CJC’s Consortium on Trust in Media and Technology. “Lon helped us understand how the technology could be shaped to meet our needs, then helped us learn how to use it. Working with the UFIT team was a model of effective collaboration.”

The Atlas Lab is powered by sophisticated, AI-driven social media analysis tools. The technologies in the Lab provide students with real-world experience in data analytics, and researchers with a treasure trove of data to develop new insights for industry. To bring the data to life, students access dashboards with visualizations of how conversations are evolving and moving in real-time and customized to show many different views simultaneously. UFIT created a monitor wall (pictured) to surround students with a dynamic presentation of the data they are examining. The 46 monitors can be configured to show data dashboards, live television, and faculty presentations to create a fully immersive experience. Anyone with questions about the Atlas Lab is welcome to email Professor Coats.

Developing Courses for Fall 2023

Instructors: it’s that time of semester! Faculty who would like to work with UFIT’s Center for Instructional Technology & Training (CITT) to develop or revise a course for Fall 2023 should contact the CITT by Friday, April 28. The instructional design staff would love to work with you to develop or revise a traditional, flipped, hybrid, or online course, or a flipped advising site.

If you are teaching this fall but cannot commit to a full course development, you can work with an instructional designer to develop or revise some aspects of your course. The CITT will help you to create a custom plan for just the items you want to focus on. Customization will enable you to work with an instructional designer for a week or two, or a few months–whatever time you have to commit, our staff can commit to you! Let the CITT experts help you develop assessments, course content, videos, or any combination of services offered.

To start working with the CITT, just complete the assistance form and a staff member will follow up ASAP to schedule an appointment.

ChatGPT: Adapting Assessments with AI in Mind

ChatGPT is the “water cooler” technology buzz of Spring 2023. What is it? And how will ChatGPT impact teaching and learning? Learn more by attending UFIT’s Tech Byte event, Adapting Assessments with AI in Mind:

Tuesday, April 11
2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Via Zoom – Registration Link

ChatGPT and other generative AI tools have led to questions about academic integrity and how AI can transform teaching, learning, and assessment. The goal of this Tech Byte event is to lay the foundation of knowledge about ChatGPT (and its competitors) and enlarge the conversation about the technology in UF’s teaching community. Tech Byte attendees will receive a brief overview of ChatGPT’s capabilities, consider course design strategies, learn how to modify assessments to be less susceptible to AI generated content, and discuss new types of assessments made possible with AI. A conversational focus will be on continuing to weigh the value of assessments and their relationship to measuring student learning outcomes. Participants will have the opportunity to share existing assessments from courses they teach or work with to see how they could be improved considering the capabilities of AI.

Register today! Anyone with questions about this Tech Byte event is welcome to contact UFIT’s Center for Instructional Technology and Training.

New Workshop: Applying Learning Analytics

As part of the university’s ongoing efforts to enhance student success, UFIT created a new unit whose sole focus is on learning analytics and assessment. One of the first outputs of this unit is a new workshop highlighting how learning analytics tools can be utilized to enhance student outcomes.

Registration is now open for the Applying Learning Analytics workshop. The online workshop was developed with fellow Unizin member institutions as a cross-institutional effort to prepare faculty to use learning analytics data ethically, effectively, and equitably. It has been added to Canvas Commons as an open educational resource and is being piloted at several institutions, including UF. The workshop introduces instructors to course-level learning analytics data in Canvas and other educational tools. Participants will learn how analytics can inform changes in their course design and provide customized student guidance during the learning process. Over a three-week period (March 30-April 13), participants are required to attend two 90-minute synchronous sessions (Zoom available). There is an option for an additional 90-minute synchronous or asynchronous session. All synchronous sessions are held on Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Instructors with questions about the new learning analytics and assessment unit or the workshop are welcome to email Dr. Heather Maness, assistant director of the Center for Instructional Technology and Training.

Discounted Software for Purchase at UF

Did you know students, faculty, and staff can get discounted pricing on a variety of software titles? UFIT manages campus-wide software licenses and distribution for more than 40 applications. There is an an extensive selection of popular software programs for instructional use or professional development. Here’s a chart showing what is available for departmental or individual (faculty/staff and student) purchase:

Students can purchase more than 20 different software packages at substantially lower cost than from big box or online superstores. Popular options for students include Adobe, Grammarly Premium, and Endnote Basic. Students with questions about purchasing a discounted software license can talk with Help Desk staff at the 2023 Tech Fair on Wednesday, Feb. 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Faculty, students, and staff who are interested in purchasing software at UF discounted rates can visit the UFIT Help Desk, located on the first floor of the Hub between the Starbucks and the UF International Center.

Building Pedagogically Sound Courses

UFIT’s Center for Instructional Technology & Training (CITT) is offering its two-day Course Mapping Camp in person on December 8-9. This hands-on workshop is designed to help instructors build a pedagogically sound blueprint for any course.  Dr. Breann Garbas, clinical assistant professor and physician assistant in UF’s School of Physician Assistant Studies gained valuable insights by attending the Course Mapping Camp:

“I would absolutely recommend that other faculty attend Course Mapping, because you don’t realize the holes your course potentially has until you line up all of your objectives and see if you have an assessment that matches up with each of those objectives.”

Led by experienced instructional designers, the Course Mapping Camp begins with student learning outcomes, moving from course goals to the development of specific and measurable learning objectives. Next, instructors design student learning experiences and identify assessments, learning materials, and activities that support defined learning outcomes. Throughout the workshop, CITT instructors provide guidance and feedback to ensure alignment between goals, objectives, and assessments.

Visit UFIT’s Course Mapping Camp page for more details and to register.  After registering, a workshop facilitator will email you the schedule prior to the start date. Instructors with questions about this workshop or any of the CITT’s trainings may use the form.  Just click the radial “Training & Workshops” button and a member of the instructional design team will get back with you forthwith!


Showcase of Instructional Support Services

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, UFIT’s Center for Instructional Technology & Training (CITT) is showcasing its services for faculty. Faculty are invited to stop by the second floor of the Hub from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and talk to experts from the instructional design, instructional technology, learning analytics, video production, and web services staffs.

The CITT Open House will be held on the second floor of the Hub, located at 1765 Stadium Road. In addition to learning about services available, attendees can get new headshots taken or record a holiday themed message in UFIT’s multi-studio digital production facility, both offered free of charge. Faculty interested in a consultation for any of our instructional services can request one via this link on the CITT homepage. Consultations may be requested for multiple CITT services.

Stop by the CITT Open House and visit with staff dedicated to your teaching and learning success. Faculty can get a quick consultation or pick up a snack! Faculty with questions about the event or who cannot attend but would like to schedule a consultation or video studio time may complete the request form here (, or email Digital Production Services Manager Greg D’Angio.

Tech Byte: 30-Minute Recipes to Increase Instructor Presence

Ready to see a cooking show like none other? UFIT’s Center for Instructional Technology & Training is hosting a new type of Tech Byte event for faculty and staff. In this live one-hour cooking show, staff will present “30-Minute Recipes” using technology and tools to increase instructor presence in their courses.

Tech Byte: 30-Minute Recipes to Increase Instructor Presence
Virtual session on Monday, Aug. 22 │ 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Registration Link

Educational technologist Chris Sharp and instructional designer Leslie Mojeiko will explain the three dimensions of instructor presence, give demonstrations, and provide a cookbook handout at the end of the event so you can prepare these recipes on your own! Before the fall term begins, learn some quick and savory tips on using technology in your courses. This event is free for all UF faculty and staff.

This Tech Byte will provide some quick technology solutions that can help instructors increase their presence for students. After completing registration you will have access to the event’s Zoom link. Anyone with questions about the 30-minute recipes to increase instructor presence may contact Educational Technologist Chris Sharp.

Training on iClicker Cloud Offered

An iClicker Cloud training representative will be on-site to train UF’s novice and experienced users on this platform. Two training dates (three overall options) and modalities are available:

Friday, July 22: 9:00-10:30 a.m.
(via Zoom)
Wednesday, August 17: 9:00-10:30 a.m. (Face-to-face in CSE E507)
Wednesday, August 17: 12:00-1:30 p.m. (Face-to-face in CSE E507)

To register for any of the three trainings, navigate to the myTraining link. There will also be presenter-led open office hours on Wednesday, August 17, from 10:30-12:00 p.m. in CSE E507.

iClicker Cloud is a mobile-optimized engagement platform that facilitates student and instructor collaboration. The University of Florida has an institutional site license covering all costs. iClicker Cloud includes both synchronous and asynchronous options like polling, quizzing, and assignments, and integrates with Canvas. Whether you are planning to use iClicker for the first time or if you just need a refresher, this training will get you ready for the new school year. There will be time for questions in each iClicker Cloud training.

Instructors with questions about this training or other academic technology trainings available are welcome to contact the UFIT training team.

Free and Discounted Software Licenses

UFIT manages the campus-wide software licensing agreements. These contracts enable access to several software programs at a significant discount or even for free, improving academic and research life for Gators while saving them money.

Programs available at a discount include Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Grammarly, SAS, SSPS, and Amos. Software available at no charge include ArcGIS (GeoPlan) and SAS JMP. Active faculty, students, and staff automatically receive access to UF’s GatorCloud, which includes Microsoft Office 365 applications like Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel. Visit the GatorCloud homepage to download these programs for free onto your personal devices. Additionally, faculty and students are eligible for Adobe Spark/Express. More information is on the UF Adobe Spark/Express webpage.

Visit UFIT’s Software Licensing Services website for a complete list of available programs and how to access them. Students with questions about software licenses may call (352-392-HELP/4357) or visit (132 Hub) the UFIT Help Desk. Faculty and staff may also contact the Help Desk or email UFIT’s Software Licensing team with purchase inquiries.