You may have heard of an LMS or learning management system. An LMS is an online service that hosts your course syllabus, other documents, class discussions, and more.
If you are new to Caruso Law, you may not have head of TWEN, an LMS that has been used here at Caruso Law for over two decades. In the Fall of 2020 we started moving toward using a new LMS that Pepperdine calls “Courses by Sakai” or simply “Courses.”
It may be interesting to note that Pepperdine University has been using Courses for over a decade so it isn’t new to the university, it’s just new to Caruso Law where the recent integrations with Zoom and other services have become must-haves for Caruso faculty and students. There are other advantages that Courses brings over TWEN but that’s a topic for another post.
Courses is the “go to” place for all things associated with your classes including Zoom links for your online classes, syllabi, recordings of classes and more.
Courses by Sakai is Pepperdine’s open-source, learning management system that offers faculty and students a collaborative online environment to support teaching and learning. As we begin to utilize Courses as our main learning management system, here are the top 5 tools that may be used to the benefit and convenience of faculty and their students.
For instructions on how to add tools to your Courses left-side tool bar, please scroll down to the bottom of this article for the step procedure.
Here is an all-encompassing video that goes through the top 5 Courses tools and how to best utilize them.
For a quick tool summary, read the text briefings below. For an in-depth dive on the tool, visit the hyperlink below the coinciding tool summary to be redirected to a specialized post.
Top 5 Courses Tools:
Zoom Pro Tool
Zoom is an online meeting platform that will be used for holding classes online. The University’s web conferencing software is Zoom, and you can use it to host online class sessions, record your classes, and host office hours. Zoom can be used on laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
For more information and a video tutorial on integrating Zoom with Courses, such as scheduling or important class sessions, please click here.
The Syllabus tool provides a place in the course site for the instructor to post a syllabus and for students to access the syllabus. Faculty can input their syllabus as a file attachment, a Courses webpage document, a multi-part, or a point-to-webpage.
For more information and a video tutorial on how to utilize Courses’ Syllabus, such as which syllabus type is right for you and/or instructions on how to input a syllabus, please click here.
The Roster tool displays the names and pictures of site participants, in this case, your class section students. The Roster tool is a helpful way to learn students names, take attendance, and verify identities during class assignments and assessments.
For more information and a video tutorial on how to utilize Courses’ Roster, such as managing participants and viewing student pictures, please click here.
The Resources tool allows faculty to compile and categorize important information to share with your students in an organized and central manner. Through the Resources tool, you can: share files or website links; post lecture notes, PDF documents, or presentations; release resources based on Gradebook conditions or to specific groups.
For more information and a video tutorialon how to utilize Courses’ Resources, such as how to attach files, links and create folders, please click here.
The Messages tool allows you to send and receive messages to students in your course or project site. On this tab, you may view your received, sent, deleted and drafted messages.
For more information and a video tutorialon how to utilize Courses’ Messages, such as how to send messages and select specific message recipients, please click here.
ExamSoft produces the Examplify examination software used by many law schools and state bar examiners. This software is a secure essay exam word processor. Pepperdine School of Law allows students to use this software to take their midterm and final law exams. If you plan to use your laptop computer to take your exams, Examplify is required.
For a list of relevant Examplify articles, please view the links presented in this article below.
IMPORTANT: RETURNING STUDENTS – If you have not used Examplify during the current term, you may need to re-register your software for the current academic school year. To do this, simply follow the same steps for installing the program for the first time. Login to the Examsoft website listed above, and click on “download” to accept the new academic year’s user agreement and download Examplify. Follow the prompts for the installation and when prompted, accept the new academic year’s student agreement again within the program and then follow the remaining prompts to install the latest version of Examplify.
Before attempting any exam, we highly recommend downloading and running a ‘Mock Exam’ within Examplify. This will help ensure that the software is functioning properly on your computer prior to exam day.
When cleaning your electronic screens, it is very important to use the correct solutions to avoid damaging the screen.
No ammonia based cleaners should be used on electronics. This includes general purpose cleaners, glass/window cleaners, multipurpose cleaners, etc. These sprays are too abrasive and will wear down the protective coating on your screen.
Turn off your monitor completely.
Wipe down your screen with a microfiber cloth.
If needed, spray your cloth with screen-cleaner fluid (there is cleaner made specifically for this purpose) or a gentle solution of distilled water and distilled white vinegar, then wipe down the screen.
Never spray the electronics/screen directly. Always apply cleaning agent to soft/microfiber cloth and then wipe the surface with the cloth.
See this article on ways to clean your electronics using household items.
Cleaning the *LCD* Panel: CAUTION: Isopropyl *alcohol* is a flammable liquid. Never spray or pour any liquid directly on the *LCD* panel.
Apply the cleaning solution to the microfiber cloth (DO NOT spray the cleaning solution directly on the*LCD* panel).
Wipe the *LCD screen* gently with a soft, dry cloth.
iClicker is a polling software (similar to TurningPoint). The IT department has a pilot version available for all professors to try! If you are interested, please contact Hong Kha: firstname.lastname@example.org
iClicker is a responsive teaching and learning tool that incorporates clickers, mobile phone clicker usage, GPS attendance, polling/quizzing, and study guides.
To create an account, visit the iClicker website and select “create an account” in the upper right of the page.
iClicker vs. Turningpoint
Like Turningpoint, iClicker allows for real-time feedback from students, and promotes active learning. Rather than Turningpoint’s PowerPoint integration, iClicker works similarly to the “anywhere polling” option in Turningpoint.
With iClicker, a toolbar floats above instructor content and allows them to ask multiple choice, short answer, numeric and target questions on the fly. Instructors do not input the text of questions into the clicker system ahead of time. If you have existing TurningPoint questions, you can continue to use the PowerPoint slides, although you may want to remove the bar graph.
For more information on iClicker for students, please click here.
For more information on iClicker for faculty, please click here.
Both TWEN and Courses are utilized by both students and faculty for effective classroom communication. Read on to learn more about TWEN.
TWEN, The West Education Network (http://lawschool.westlaw.com): This is an online system where students can access course materials, submit assignments via Drop Box, sign-up for office hours (if available), take polls and quizzes, participate in class discussions, and exchange e-mail messages with instructors and peers. The extent of your TWEN use will depend on your professors’ course objectives and goals.
Register on TWEN: In order to use TWEN you must first register your username and password. If you have already done this in order to use Westlaw, then you do not need to re-register for TWEN . Westlaw, Westlaw Next and TWEN are all included in the same web site and registration is only required once. You should have received your activation code at Orientation or via email (your Pepperdine account).If you feel that you have not received an activation code, email email@example.com with the subject line: WESTLAW ACTIVATION CODE.
Watch the video below for step-by-step instruction on how to register your password on Westlaw.
View/Access Courses on TWEN: In order to view and access all of your courses, you must first ADD the course manually. Watch the video below for step-by-step instructions on how to add courses in TWEN.
There are two places to get technology support here at Pepperdine. The University Help Desk and the Information Services Tech Support Desk located at the Public Services Desk in the School of Law Library.
University Help Desk (HELP)
The Pepperdine University Information Technology (University IT) department provides direct technical support for students via the University’s ‘Anytime’ Help Desk. In addition to providing technical assistance, the University Help Desk also acts as the central coordination point for School of Law technical services during the weekend. The University Help Desk is open 24/7 via phone and email at: 310-506-HELP (4357) or firstname.lastname@example.org for the following issues:
School of Law Information Services Department (IS)
The Information Services Department is here to assist you with a variety of issues including, but not limited to, configuring laptops, multimedia reservations and training, School of Law web site, ExamSoft, and Email account training/usage. The IS team has offices in the School of Law Library to assist with technical support and is available between the hours of 8am-5pm (Monday-Friday). To contact the IS team, use the following contact methods:
Turnitin is a plagiarism detection service that Pepperdine School of Law faculty may use when you submit a paper for grading. This service provides a detailed assessment of originality on any submitted work by performing a search for textual similarities to other works in academic journals, on the Internet, and within its own database of submitted work. For more information visit the University’s Turnitin Community page.
If you are required to use Turnitin you will need to complete the following steps: (1) enroll in the course and (2) submit your work. If you have never used Turnitin before, you will also need to create a free account. This can be done through the home page on their web site. Watch the video below for step-by-step instructions on how to enroll in a course and submit your work.
Viruses, worms, ad-ware and spyware, and theft, are examples of SEVERE risks to your computer in a public, networked environment. You MUST PERFORM THE STEPS LISTED BELOW if you wish to use your computer at Pepperdine or you could face repercussions including loss of network access, data loss, and system failure.
Maintain up-to-date virus protection software on your computer. The University’s IT department supports Sophos for faculty and staff. For students, University IT recommends Microsoft Defender (no cost) for Windows and Sophos AntiVirus for Macs (home version, no cost).
Do not install peer-to-peer file-sharing software or other high-risk programs. Attempt to eliminate any programs that might already be installed by running a spyware/adware removal product such as Spybot Search & Destroy or Ad-aware.
Buy and use a computer security cable for your computer to lock it down when it is not attended. (Alarm-equipped cables are NOT recommended.) We highly recommend that you never leave your belongings alone, especially in quiet areas like the Law Library, as the School of Law is open to the public.