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Academic Update

Volume 1, Issue 5          December 3, 2010

Moodle Maintenance (Dec 20 - Dec 24)

Moodle will be down for maintenance from Dec. 22 to Dec. 24. During that period of time, you will have no access to Moodle. Please plan accordingly. Thank you for your cooperation and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.



Time for Course Evaluations  

Your input counts! If you are taking courses this fall semester, please take a few minutes to fill out the course and instructor evaluation form(s) in Moodle. The form(s) can be found in your course's home section. The questionnaire is anonymous and instructors will get results only after grades are submitted. We appreciate your feedback.



Ready for the Fall Poster Prensentation

Please join us for the Fall Poster Session and Reception.

Date: December 13, 2010
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 6: 00 p.m.
Location: 14th Floor, UCT Building

Don’t miss the good opportunity to share your research interest with your instructors and fellow students and discuss topics of interest with them.

If you plan to present your work please contact the Office of Academic Affairs

7000 Fannin, Suite 800
Houston, TX 77030
Tel: (713) 500 3627

You can stop by UCT 800 to pick up your poster board before the Poster Session day.

Get Started with Turnitin

Turnitin is a company providing solutions to discourage plagiarism and facilitate rich, meaningful feedback that improves student writing skills, promotes critical thinking, and streamlines grading. To promote integrity in education, the School of Biomedical Informatics will integrate Turnitin with Moodle courses beginning Spring 2011 semester.

As a student, you can check the originality reports for the submission made to assignments and view papers marked with Turnitin paperless grading tool.

As an instructor, you can create a Turnitin assignment in Moodle, check the originality of submitted student paper, use rubrics for grading, and create paper assignments with peer review.

Training video and manuals are available for students and instructors.



Recording and Podcasting Your Course Next Semester

Several instructors (i.e., Dr. Amy Franklin, Dr. Ananth Annapragada, Dr. Parsa Mirhaji, Dr. Vimla Patel) used Panopto, a recording platform provided by the School of Biomedical Informatics, to record their live class sessions this semester. The recorded class sessions are posted to their Moodle courses automatically as audio or video podcasts. Students who were not able to attend classes and wanted to review the archived class sessions showed interest in this alternative way of distance learning delivery method and gave positive feedback.

We will continue to provide this service in the coming Spring 2011 semester. If you are interested please send an e-mail to Upon your request, we will set up an account for you and set up a folder for your class. We will provide training and assistance, if needed.

Please note that if you plan to use Panopto for recording or use Adobe Connect Pro for teaching you will need to reserve the mic system in advance. Please contact our A/V technician Marcos Hernandez ( for reservation requests.

What Second Life Can Do for You

You might have attended Dr. Ananth Annapragada’s Second Life class every Monday morning; sat in Dr. Jiajie Zhang’s virtual classroom for group discussion and virtual presentation; shared your thoughts with Dr. Jorge Herskovic in the virtual amphitheater; or attended our first virtual dissertation defense by Dr. Min Zhu in Second Life. Enter a world with infinite possibilities and live a life without boundaries, guided only by your imagination. We look forward to seeing you using Second Life for teaching, learning, and research.

Please send an e-mail to for your Second Life request. To use Second Life you will need an avatar. If you do not have an avatar yet we can send you the instructions; if you already have an avatar please include your avatar’s name in the e-mail. Our island manager will grant you island access through a group invitation in Second Life.

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7000 Fannin, Ste. 800