Technology Tutorials

Technology Tutorials
Communicating Online

Communicating Online

Communication is key in the online environment. This section reviews how to make the most of your online discussions and live video conferencing.

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Statistical Software

Statistical Software

Statistical software has become an essential partner of the applied statistician. The industry standards differ depending on the field of study. In the long run our program and courses are designed to help students to become proficient users of at least one statistical software and familiar with a range of others.

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Working with Digital Content

Working with Digital Content

As you construct assignments, assessments, reports and projects as a part of your course work in statistics, you will inevitably find it necessary to include formulas, equations, drawings, images of output or a screen shot of what you see on your computer screen. Successful students become familiar with how to use a wide range of applications or methods to enhance the descriptions of their work.

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Communicating Online

Communicating Online

Communicating with others online is a critical component of learning online. Interacting with others is essential as your ideas develop and your skills progress. Outside of email there are a number of applications that will help you leverage the expertise of faculty and the experience of your classmates.

This section will provide a number of quick introductions that you can use to help get you started.


Discussion

Discussion

Online Discussions

Asynchronous online discussions are one of the most common and convenient methods of instructor-student, student-instructor and student-student interactions.


Canvas Discussions

Canvas provides a discussion tool for whole class or group interactions. Communication can take place via text, video or audio within the tool. You can also embed media such as images or online videos. Here a few tips and links to the Canvas resources to make the most of the Canvas discussions.

  • Make a discussion post: In a Canvas discussion create new posts by selecting 'reply'.
  • Subscribe to a discussion: By subscribing to a discussion you receive updates on the activity within the forum via email or text messaging. You can set your notification preferences.
  • Upload a screen capture to a post: There are times where you may need to share something on your screen in order to ask or answer a question. This page will show you how to take a screen capture on your computer and upload it to a Canvas discussion.

Piazza

Online class discussions are improving with Piazza! Your instructor may have elected to use Piazza for holding class discussions, question and answer forums, or group work. The Piazza communication tool offers a robust interface for your coursework. Below are some tips and illustrations to help you quickly familiarize yourself with the interface and get started using Piazza!

Piazza's Features

Piazza offers many great features for students and instructors. Below are some key features that set Piazza apart from other discussion methods you may have used before:

  • Piazza has a free app available for mobile devices both for iOS and Android!
    • Keep up with discussions while you're on-the-go!
  • Folders, tags, and an easy-to-use search function help to keep the discussions organized.
    • You can find a question faster!
  • Questions can have a single answer with many student contributors using the "wiki" style "Student Answer".
    • Less scrolling through nested responses!
  • Mathematical concepts can be easily added to questions and answers using the built-in LaTeX equation editor.
    • Can't figure out where you went wrong? Type your problem out in an easy-to-read digital format!
  • Anonymous posting allows shy students to post questions for help.
    • Don't be embarrassed! Ask your question to other students anonymously!
  • Piazza is integrated with Canvas so you never have to leave your course.

 

Use the image below to get a sense of the look and feel of Piazza discussions. The images highlight some icons that will make searching through discussion posts easier and faster. If you don't see a question that you are looking for, you can search for it directly or post a new question!

Participating in an online class is easy with Piazza. The Piazza website has demo classes set up so that you can see how it works. Head over to the Piazza website and check it out!

The Piazza website also has a great support area if you are unsure how to use Piazza!


Video Conferencing

Video Conferencing

There are times in the online courses where live video conference sessions are held. Tutoring, whole class reviews, faculty virtual office hours or group meetings are just a few of the use cases for video conferencing. Penn State provides the video conferencing tool Zoom free to all Penn State students, faculty and staff.


Zoom

Zoom is an online service that will allow you to hold HD online meetings with others. You can either hold a Video Meeting, which uses your webcam as the focal point, or a Shared Screen Meeting, which allows you to select your desktop or a single application, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, as the focal point of the meeting.

Zoom also allows you to easily record and share a presentation from within a meeting. Follow the short guide below to get started!


Getting Started with Zoom

To host your meeting, your first step is to go to the Penn State Zoom site and select 'Sign-In' using your Penn State credentials. This will take you to your PSU Zoom profile page.

Login and Begin Your Meeting

To start a meeting, select an option under the Host a Meeting button.

From the Profile page, click on the Host a Meeting button at the top of the page and choose which type of meeting you'd like to hold.

  • With Video Off
  • With Video On
  • Screen Share only

The next screen will ask you to download the Zoom application. If you have not downloaded the application previously, click the big Download button and install the applicaiton when it has finished downloading.

Otherwise, click the small Start Meeting link to begin.

At this point, you should be in your meeting! Below is a screenshot of the beginning of a Zoom meeting.

Click on Join Audio Conference by Computer to get started.


Recording a Presentation

To begin recording:

Once your meeting has started, at any time you can record your voice and what it taking place on your screen. Simply click on the Record button in the control bar on the meeting screen.

To stop recording:

When you are finished, click on one of the two Stop Recording buttons at the top of the meeting window or in the control bar.


Saving and Sharing Your Recording

When your presentation is over and you have stopped your recording, you must first end the meeting. To do this click on the Stop Share button. Then select the End Meeting For All option. This will close out the meeting.

If there was a recording, the Zoom application will process this recording and present a dialog box for a location on your local computer to save this recording.

Alternatively, Zoom may save the recording to a default folder automatically after closing the meeting. This folder, typically named Zoom will likely be located in your My Documents folder for Windows users or the Documents folder on a Mac.

Recordings are saved in a .mp4 format, which is a fairly standard video format. Right-click on the file and select properties to find out how large the recording file is.

If the recording is 10 MB or less, you may then upload this file to Canvas.

Keep your recordings short and to the point. Recording applications instead of the entire desktop is another way to keep the file size down of our finished recording.

If the recording is greater than 10MB, Penn State has external storage available to all students. The storage service, Box, allows students to store and share files with others. Students have unlimited space to upload videos, documents, and more. Sharing your files is as easy as sending someone a link to the file!

For more information about Box at Penn State, visit: Box at Penn State

That's all there is to getting set up and recording your presentation using Zoom! Do a few practice runs and you will easily get the hang of recording and sharing your presentations from Zoom!


Statistical Software

Statistical Software

Minitab

Minitab

Minitab®

A Quick Introduction to Minitab Statistical Software

This introduction to Minitab is intended to provide you with enough information to get you started using the basic functionality of Minitab. Of course, you will learn more about Minitab and its capabilities as you proceed through the course you are taking.


Obtaining a Copy of Minitab

The Minitab software is available through a number of vendors as well as at the Minitab Website. You can get a license for 6 or 12 months.

Minitab can also be accessed through Penn State's WebApps service although there are limitations to how it may be used in the web-based environment. Students are STRONGLY advised to have access to a local copy installed. Please contact your instructor to see if using Minitab remotely will present problems for what you need to learn.


Copying and Pasting Data into a Minitab Worksheet

All of the data that you analyze in this course will be posted on the course web site. You will just have to copy and paste the data into a worksheet. Let's try it out on the idealwt.txt data set. Once the data are in your browser's window, the easiest way of copying the data is to Select all and then right-click and Copy. To paste the data into the Minitab worksheet, put your cursor in the first (unnumbered) row of the first column, and then click on Edit > Paste cells (or click on the standard clipboard icon used to denote pasting).

Note: Users accessing Minitab via Penn State's RemoteApps or WebApps will not be able to use this copy and paste technique. Instead all files must be uploaded into your PASS space and open these files in Minitab from this location in PASS.

Your worksheet should look like this:

Minitab window with header in the top row

Note that the first (unnumbered) row is reserved for variable names. This is one thing about which you will have to be careful. If you accidentally place your cursor instead in the row numbered 1, Minitab will then treat the data as if they are text.

Text Columns

Columns with text as data can be added, but notice the slight differences in the window.

Minitab window with a text column

Note that Minitab has added a "-T" to the column name C3 to denote that the content of the column is text. Another indication that the content of the column is treated as text is that the textual content is left-justified whereas numbers are always right-justified. Minitab cannot summarize data, such as calculating means and standard deviations, when they are treated as text. If you accidentally make this mistake, just open a new worksheet (Select File > New... > Minitab Worksheet > OK) and paste the data properly.


Analyzing Data

The Minitab Help and How-To documentation provides step by step instructions on using Minitab to analyze data. The individual course notes will also provide details for each specific use of Minitab within that course.


Copying Minitab Output and Graphs into Word

To copy output appearing in the Session window, select the desired output using your mouse. To copy a graph window, make the graph window active by clicking anywhere in it, and the select Edit > Copy Graph.

To paste either output or a graph, select Edit > Paste (or use the standard clipboard icon used to denote pasting).

WebApps users should select the Send Graph to Microsoft Word option and a Word Document with this graph in it will be created and can be saved in your PASS space.


Saving Your Work

While you can save your work in bits and pieces — the graphs separately from the worksheet —more often than not, it is best to save your entire Minitab "project." A Minitab project includes all of the work created in one session, including multiple worksheets, the Session window, and multiple graph windows. Basically, if you save your work as a Minitab project, you can resume your work right where you left off.

To save your work as a Minitab project, select File > Save Project As..., and provide an appropriate filename in the dialog box. Minitab projects are given a ".MPJ" extension. For the purpose of this course, you may consider creating one project for each lesson, and thereby naming the projects lesson1.MPJ, lesson2.MPJ, and so on.

WebApps users work will be saved in the user's PASS space. It can be download to the user's local computer from there.


Printing Your Work

Of course, you can print your Minitab work as well. To do so, activate the window that you want to print by clicking your mouse anywhere on the window. Then, select File > Print Worksheet or File > Print Session Window or File > Print Graph depending on what it is that you want to print.


Minitab Help

There are various ways that you can get Minitab help.

  1. You can look for help in the Minitab Help on-line manual also listed in the pull-down menu.
  2. You can use the various sets of Minitab instructions provided to you throughout the course. You will probably find links to these from the Homework Problems and Lab Activities in each lesson.
  3. Finally, you can post a question to a discussion in Canvas. Other students or your instructor can provide ideas and feedback.

Support From Minitab

Minitab offers several resources that are helpful for you. Minitab 19 Support - Getting Started is a concise guide designed to quickly get you familiar with using Minitab Statistical Software.

In addition to Minitab 19 - Getting Started, the following tools are available:

Help

A complete Help file is incorporated in Minitab, which provides you with instructions, examples with interpretations, overviews and detailed explanations, troubleshooting tips, formulas, references, and a glossary. Open Help by choosing Help > Help or by clicking on the Help button on every dialog box in the software.

StatGuide

The StatGuide provides statistical guidance after you run a procedure in Minitab. Open the StatGuide by right-clicking on your output in the Session window, then choosing StatGuide.

Tutorials

Step-by-step tutorials help new users learn how to use Minitab. You can open these by choosing Help > Tutorials while using Minitab.

Last, but not least, remember that Minitab provides a support team staffed by professionals with expertise in the software, statistics, quality improvement, and computer systems. Visit the Minitab support web site or call +1-814-231-2682 to speak with Minitab's technical support specialists.


Minitab Express

Minitab Express

MinitabExpress

Minitab Express is a statistical software application that was written specfically for introductory STAT courses.  It is required software for STAT 200 online. It would not be appropriate for use with graduate level statistics courses.


A Quick Introduction to Minitab Express Statistical Software

This introduction to Minitab Express is intended to provide you with enough information to get you started using the basic functionality of Minitab Express. Of course, you will learn more about Minitab Express and its capabilities as you proceed through the course you are taking. 


Obtaining a Copy of Minitab Express

The Minitab Express software is available through a number of vendors as well as at the Minitab Express Website. You can get a license for 6 or 12 months. Minitab Express is available for both the Mac and PC computing environments. Check the Department of Statistics Statistical Software web page for the latest information.


Getting Started with Minitab Express

Here are a couple of videos from Minitab that will familiarize you with the basic components of the application and how they are used in analysis or homework situation.

On a Mac:

On a PC:


Use the 'Help' icons!

As you are using Minitab Express a very helpful feature are the different 'just-in time' access points to Help. For instance, if you have opened a dialog box for a procedure and are not sure which options to choose, select the Help icon in the lower left.

Or, if there is output in the Output window that you don't understand, 'right-click' on the output and select the Help option.

Both of these options will open up windows with information that will help you understand the step that you are involved in.

Support for Minitab Express

For more information and support from Minitab visit: Minitab Express Support


R

R

R

What is R?

According to their site The R - Project for Statistical Computing:

"R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics."

"R provides a wide variety of statistical (linear and nonlinear modelling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, clustering, ...) and graphical techniques, and is highly extensible."

"One of R's strengths is the ease with which well-designed publication-quality plots can be produced, including mathematical symbols and formulae where needed."


Obtaining a copy of the R applications

R is free software - see the R site above for the terms of use. It runs on a wide variety of platforms including UNIX, Windows and MacOS.

Download a copy of the most recent version of this application from their site: The R - Project for Statistical Computing

The website will require you to choose a 'CRAN Mirror'. The idea is to find the location geographically closest to you.


Launching R Programs

In R you can enter each line of code at the prompt in a step-by-step approach. You may also save R programs as simple text files to open in a separate window so that you can enter multiple lines of code at once and save your commands. 

Here is an example data set you may save on your computer:

example1.dat

Here is an example program:

#Read data file into R as a vector
example1 = scan("/Users/Shared/WD/Rdirectory/example1.dat")
#Change pathname to wherever you saved example1.dat
#Print data 
> example1 
#Calculate the sample mean 
> mean(example1) 

The # symbol indicates a programmer's comment. This text is not read by the R application. This program can either be copied and pasted into the R command line, line by line or as an entire program. You may also source this program from where it is saved on your computer as shown below.

It is often useful to set a working directory so that file names without a pathname will refer to files in that directory on your system. The command getwd() will print your working directory to your screen. The command setwd("/pathname") sets the R working directory.

  • On a Mac, your pathname is shown at the bottom of your Finder window, (/Users/Username/Documents/... for example) .
  • In Windows, the pathname is C:/Users/Username/Documents/... .

One nice feature of the step-by-step command lines in R is that you may scroll through previous commands using the Up and Down arrow keys. Here are a couple of other handy commands that you can use in R:

### to read the commands from a source file directly and to output it in the R console instead of doing it line by line or copying the source file, in the command line envoke: 
> source("intro.R", echo=TRUE) 
#### to read the commands from a source file directly and to save the output named "example1.txt" as a text file 
> source("intro_file.R", echo=TRUE) 
#### Within the intro_file.R program the following commands redirect all subsequent R
output to a file 'example1.txt' in addition to showing it in the R console.
sink("example1.txt", append=FALSE, split=TRUE) 
sink() #### Restores normal R output behavior.

Here are the data files and programs to practice the above commands:

example1.dat, example2.txt, intro.R, intro_file.R


Data

Depending on the course, datasets are either presented within the context of the lesson or within a datasets folder. Common file extensions for data files include .dat, .csv, and .txt. You must download the data from your course website. Canvas provides instructions on how to save a file for Windows users or Mac users. A Save dialog box will be displayed and allow you to save the data file to the location you choose on your computer.

There are a number of ways to read data into your R session. Two popular commands used in the examples presented here are read.table and scan .


Install a Development Environment

The development environment is the application that you will use to open, edit, and execute R programs. If you already have a favorite development environment, you can see if it’s compatible with R (many of them are). If you don’t, we recommend one called RStudio.

Installing RStudio

  • You need to have R installed first (see above)
  • Download RStudio from the RStudio Website.
  • Select the installer link that corresponds to your operating system (e.g. Windows, Mac OSX).

Help

If you need help understanding a command or its syntax type either ?command , or help(command) and R will display the help available on this topic. For instance, here is the help page for read.table from the command ?read.table :


Helpful Resources

The Department of Statistics offers two 1 credit online courses, STAT 484: Topics in R: Statistical Language and STAT 485 - Intermediate Topics in R Statistical Language. This would be a good step towards building a solid foundation in using R. In addition, you may also find the following references handy:

  • The R Project Homepage
  • R Tutorial - web site at Clarkson University Department of Mathematics
  • R Seek helps you find the R function you require
  • DataCamp offers a free Introduction to R course and many additional courses with subscription.
  • Lynda.psu.edu includes two courses involving R, Up and Running with R and R Statistics Essential Training

 


SAS

SAS

SAS®

What Is SAS?

According to their site, SAS,

"SAS is the leader in business intelligence and predictive analytics software."

This application is used directly or referred to in many of the online STAT courses at Penn State.


Obtaining A Copy Of SAS

See the Statistical Software page for information regarding obtaining a copy. Please note that the SAS Student License and Media expires annually in June.

SAS can also be accessed through Penn State's WebApps service although there are limitations to how it may be used in the web-based environment. Students are STRONGLY advised to have access to a local copy of SAS. Please contact your instructor to see if using SAS remotely will present problems for what you need to learn.


Launching SAS Programs in Our STAT Courses...

For efficiency purposes, you may sometimes find a 'Launch SAS' button to download the relevant SAS program and open it automatically using the SAS application installed on your local computer. Or, you might be simply be presented with a link to the SAS program file.


Datasets

Datasets are presented within the context of the lesson, usually found within the narrative of an example as regular links. The links are the text or data files where the data is stored. Data files typically include the file extension .txt and will open in a new window when clicked.

If you want to download and save this file to a specific location on your computer, right-click the link and select the Save Link As option (see right). A Save dialog box will be displayed and allow you to save the text file to the location you choose on your computer. Try doing it with this data set: dogs.txt.


Free SAS eLearning Modules!

Penn State University has access to free eLearning. This free eLearning is associated with your EAS (Education Analytical Suite), Enterprise Miner and JMP licenses. Each of these components, allows you access to different eLearning courses. These courses may be accessed by faculty, staff and students associated with Penn State University using a psu.edu email address AND who have purchased a current license for SAS or JMP from Software at Penn State.

What you are entitled to:

EAS eLearning

  • SAS(R) Enterprise Guide(R) 1: Querying and Reporting (EG 4.3)
  • SAS(R) Macro Language 1: Essentials
  • SAS(R) Enterprise Guide(R): ANOVA, Regression, and Logistic Regression (4.3 and 5.1)
  • SAS(R) Programming 3: Advanced Techniques and Efficiencies
  • SAS(R) Enterprise Guide(R) 1: Querying and Reporting (EG 5.1)
  • Statistics 1: Introduction to ANOVA, Regression, and Logistic Regression
  • SAS(R) SQL 1: Essentials
  • SAS(R) Programming 1: Essentials
  • SAS(R) Programming 2: Data Manipulation Techniques
  • SAS(R) Enterprise Guide(R): ANOVA, Regression, and Logistic Regression
  • Introduction to Statistical Concepts
  • SAS(R) Programming 1: Essentials
  • Predictive Modeling Using Logistic Regression
  • SAS(R) Programming Introduction: Basic Concepts
  • Statistics 1: Introduction to ANOVA, Regression, and Logistic Regression
  • SAS(R) Enterprise Guide(R) 1: Querying and Reporting (EG 4.2)
  • SAS(R) Enterprise Guide(R) 2: Advanced Tasks and Querying (EG 5.1)
  • Querying, Reporting, and Analyzing Data Using SAS(R) Enterprise Guide(R)

Enterprise Miner eLearning

  • Rapid Predictive Modeling for Business Analysts (EM 7.1)
  • Rapid Predictive Modeling for Business Analysts (EM 6.2)
  • Applied Analytics Using SAS(R) Enterprise Miner(TM)

JMP eLearning

  • JMP(R) Software: Data Exploration - Academic Version (JMP 9)
  • JMP(R) Software: Data Exploration - Academic Version (V11)
  • JMP(R) Software: ANOVA and Regression (JMP 11)
  • JMP(R) Software: ANOVA and Regression (JMP 10)
  • JMP(R) Software: Data Exploration - Academic Version (V10)

If you do not currently have a license for SAS or JMP, you will need to purchase it online via Software at Penn State. Upon order processing and installation of your product, your activation codes to the free eLearning opportunities are:

[email John Haubrick for these codes if you are a student in the Department of Statistics]

To activate your e-Learning once you have purchased and installed your SAS/JMP license from Software at Penn State:

Go to SAS Login page and log in to your profile. If you do not currently have a profile, please create one using Create Profile button.

Once you've logged in to your My Training page, locate the To Activate a New Product box on the right side of the screen.

  • Enter your activation code and click Submit.
  • Review and accept the license agreement.
  • You should now see the training in your list of active courses and the date on which your access expires.
  • Click on the course title to start your learning.

To Access your e-Learning Once It Has Been Activated

Once your e-Learning has been activated, visit SAS Login page or select My Training from any page on the SAS training Web site and log in to your profile to access your training.

For Help

See troubleshooting tips via the SAS Customer Support site or send E-mail to elearn@sas.com with questions.


SPSS

SPSS

IBM SPSS®

What is SPSS?

According to the SPSS

"The IBM SPSS® software platform offers advanced statistical analysis, a vast library of machine-learning algorithms, text analysis, open-source extensibility, integration with big data and seamless deployment into applications. Its ease of use, flexibility and scalability make IBM SPSS accessible to users with all skill levels and outfits projects of all sizes and complexity to help you and your organization to find new opportunities, improve efficiency and minimize risk."


Obtaining a copy of the SPSS applications

See the Statistical Software page for information regarding obtaining a copy of SPSS. Please note that the SPSS Student License and Media expires annually in August.


WebApps

WebApps

WebApps WebApps

WebApps is a service provided by Penn State that allows students to access software remotely via the Web. This service is great if you need to use a software application and don't have access to your personal copy on your computer. You can use these applications through the web on your computer, tablet, or smartphone!

How Do I Access These Applications?

Accessing these applications is easy! Simply open a web browser and go to the WebApps web site.

Screenshot of the PSU WebApps application list.

Once you are at the WebApps site:

  • Click on the application you would like to use.
  • Authenticate using your Penn State Access Account userid and password.
    • The application will open in your browser window.

For many reasons it is always better to have access to your own copy of SAS, SPSS or Minitab on your local computer. Students committed to Statistical Consulting will want to install SAS and/or Minitab locally whenever possible. For students in classes where SAS or Minitab is used only infrequently this may be a viable alternative. Check with your course instructor to be certain.

For more information on using PASS visit the PSU IT Knowledge Base PASS article.


How is Using WebApps Different Than Having a Local Copy?

WebApps Does NOT Connect to Your Desktop! - only PASS space and WebFiles

WebApps does not 'see' your desktop but it will connect with your PASS space, so you MUST be familiar with uploading and managing files within your PASS space to open program files to use this version of the application successfully!

NOTE: The icon to access the clipboard and to upload and download files from PASS (shown right) has been updated can now be dragged to any part of the screen!

You Can NOT Copy and Paste Directly

You can't copy and past directly to or from the application being used in your web browser to a Word document you have open locally, or from your local computer to the application. You MUST use alternative methods to copy output, log notes, graphs and tables into other documents or paste any data or commands into these applications. Take steps to learn how to use these alternative methods! Look for the icon (show right) that provides access to these methods.

The follow video will step you through how to upload data to the Minitab WebApp using the 'toolbox' icon.

Video: Uploading Data to the PSU Minitab WebApp


General Notes

Because you are accessing these applications remotely through your web browser, it does not make a difference which operating system you use. For instance, you can access Minitab or SAS using a Mac computer.

Please report all problems or bugs to ITServiceDesk.

A friendly piece of advice: do not leave homework or project assignments to the last minute as this does not assure access!!


Working with Digital Content

Working with Digital Content

This section contains a number of quick introductions that you can use to help create and manage your digital content.


Cloud Storage

Cloud Storage

Box at Penn State

Box icon

Box at Penn State is free cloud based storage for anyone at Penn State. Box allows users to save, create, edit, and manage many different file types in a secure, online environment.

We encourage our students to make use of Box at Penn State to store your course work files.


How do I access Box at Penn State?

Login with your PSU credentials after choosing 'login' on the Box at Penn State site.


Training on Box

View the Box Learning Path designed and maintained by Penn State IT Learning and Development.


One Drive through Penn State's Office 365

One Drive Icon
More Coming Soon! For now check out Office 365 at Penn State.

Creating Videos

Creating Videos

Creating Videos with Zoom

Recording a Presentation

Zoom icon

To begin recording:

Once your meeting has started, at any time you can record your voice and what it taking place on your screen. Simply click on the Record button in the control bar on the meeting screen.

To stop recording:

When you are finished, click on one of the two Stop Recording buttons at the top of the meeting window or in the control bar.


Saving and Sharing Your Recording

When your presentation is over and you have stopped your recording, you must first end the meeting. To do this click on the Stop Share button. Then select the End Meeting For All option. This will close out the meeting.

If there was a recording, the Zoom application will process this recording and present a dialog box for a location on your local computer to save this recording.

Alternatively, Zoom may save the recording to a default folder automatically after closing the meeting. This folder, typically named Zoom will likely be located in your My Documents folder for Windows users or the Documents folder on a Mac.

Recordings are saved in a .mp4 format, which is a fairly standard video format. Right-click on the file and select properties to find out how large the recording file is.

If the recording is 10 MB or less, you may then upload this file to Canvas.

Keep your recordings short and to the point. Recording applications instead of the entire desktop is another way to keep the file size down of our finished recording.

If the recording is greater than 10MB, Penn State has external storage available to all students. The storage service, Box, allows students to store and share files with others. Students have unlimited space to upload videos, documents, and more. Sharing your files is as easy as sending someone a link to the file!

For more information about Box at Penn State, visit the Cloud Storage page.

Creating Videos with Kaltura

Kaltura Logo

Penn State uses Kaltura for it's online video management. Both faculty and staff will have video creating, editing and storage capability with Kaltura.

Kaltura within Canvas

With the Kaltura integration in Canvas you can create video anywhere you see the Canvas Rich Content Editor.

Click on the Kaltura icon in the editor to add your media.

 Rich content editor in Canvas with the Kaltura icon highlighted

Resources

Access the Penn State Media Space to login to access and start using Kaltura.

View the Penn State Video Tutorials to learn more about using Kaltura.


Math Type Online

Math Type Online

Math in Microsoft Word

The following guide will help you add symbols, subscript and superscript text, and equations to documents created in Microsoft Word. The steps for creating theses text elements are listed for both Office 2016 for Mac users and Office 2016 (including Office 365) for Windows users.

Office 2016 for Windows

  1. Click in the document where you would like to add a symbol.
  2. Click on the Insert tab on the ribbon.
  3. Click on Symbols. If you do not see the symbol you want click on More Symbols.
  4. Find the symbol you want and choose Insert.

Office 2016 for Mac or Office 365

  1. Click in the document where you would like to add a symbol.
  2. Click on the Insert tab on the ribbon.
  3. Click on Advanced Symbols.
  4. Find the symbol you want and choose Insert.

Office 2016 for Windows, Mac or Office 365

  • On the Home tab, click on Superscript or Subscript

Office 2016 for Windows, Mac or Office 365

  1. Click on the Insert tab on the ribbon.
  2. Click on Equation.
  3. General Notes (depending on the type of equation)
    • Use the Math Symbols section to browse common mathematical characters and operators.
    • Click on a symbol to insert it into your equation.
    • Use the Structures section to browse the available equation objects.
    • Click on a category (i.e. Accent) to view the drop down menu of objects in that group.
    • Click on an object to insert it into your equation.
    • Click inside the square(s) and type any values or text you want to be in the object.

      Summation equation with empty boxes in Word's Equation Editor

    • You can also click in the squares(s) and insert symbols as above.

Dr. Zimmerman steps through the process in the following video.

Math in Canvas

Equations and math symbols are available in the rich content editor in Canvas. Equations can be added to discussion posts, quizzes and assignments.

The following video by Dr. Zimmerman will demonstrate how to use the Canvas equation editor.

For additional resources, view How do I use the Math Editor in the Rich Content Editor in the Canvas guides.


Scanning and Uploading

Scanning and Uploading

Getting your work from paper and pencil into a digital format may seem challenging. Fear not! This guide will help you determine what method will work best for your needs. Whether you need to turn in an assignment online, create a study guide, or send an example you've written via e-mail, the information below will help you get what you've written or drawn on paper onto your computer and ready to go!

Remember: You should always check your instructor's requirements before submitting your work!

Using a scanner is an easy way to get your written or drawn work into a digital format. If you are planning to digitize documents often, having a personal scanner will serve you well. You can find All-in-One printers (devices that include the print, copy, scan, and sometimes fax capabilities) at many retailers, both online and brick-and-mortar. These printer/scanner combos are relatively affordable at around \$100-\$150. Some tips for purchasing a scanner of your very own:

  • If you are scanning multiple pages, look for a scanner that has a auto document feeder feature.
  • Most All-in-One printers will allow you to scan directly to a USB memory device. If you want to save a step, look for a Scan-to-E-mail feature. If the device includes this type of feature, you can have the scanner send your document directly to your e-mail address.
  • If you are going to do a lot of printing, getting an All-in-One laser printer may save you money in the long run. Black and white All-in-One laser printers typically start at around \$200 but the savings comes from not having to replace toner cartridges as often as ink cartridges.

Don't want to purchase a scanner?

Scanners are available at many public places, such as libraries, shipping stores (e.g., FedEx Kinkos, UPS Store), post offices, campus affiliated computer labs, etc. These locations may require you to pay for the use of their equipment, but it will get the job done! There will typically be a sales associate or attendant available to assist you in using the scanner. You may want to call ahead and ask what type of payment is required (it may be coin operated). It is also a good idea to ask if you should bring a USB memory device with you or if their scanners can e-mail you the file(s).


I've got my file(s). Now what?

If you don't know what the next steps are to getting your work to your instructor or another person, check out the helpful information at the bottom of this guide.

An easy way to digitize hand drawn work such as formulas, equations, or illustrations is to draw or write on a graphics tablet, like a Wacom Intuos tablet. Graphics tablets typically come with a tablet surface and pen. The pen becomes your mouse and you can use it to draw on the tablet. Wacom brand tablets are reliable and fairly affordable.

How does a graphics tablet work?

Graphics tablets often come with software that can be installed on your computer. Many times, this software will include an application that will capture your drawings and allow you save the file as an image or other file format (i.e. Adobe PDF).

Other options for using the tablet include working directly in applications that allow you to turn your mouse pointer into a "pen". Many graphic editing applications like Adobe Photoshop or "painting" applications, like Microsoft Paint, allow you to "paint" or "draw" with your mouse.

If you are using Windows you can use the Ink feature in Microsoft Office products or use the method below to draw and save your work:

Using PowerPoint

  1. Open up a new Microsoft PowerPoint presentation and create a presentation with the number of blank slides you think you will need to complete the assignment.
  2. Insert > Slide Number will allow you to add a date and pages numbers to your slides.
  3. Select Slide Show tab and view from the beginning.
  4. Right click mouse and select ball point pen in the Pointer Options.
  5. The pen writing on the tablet surface will appear on the screen. Hit space bar to go to next sheet and right-click End Show and the Save your Ink Annotations option.
  6. When your assignment is finished click on Save As > Save as PDF (pdf being the preferred file format for submission). Upload your file into the appropriate Canvas Assignment or Quiz.
  7. Be sure to check your instructor's requirements for submission!

What Do You Do With The Drawings?

Now you have a nice digital drawing or illustration of your work and you need to include it in your assignment. How do you do that? A simple method for integrating your new illustration with your assignments is to take the drawing file (as an image) and insert it into a Word document.

Regardless of how you create your assignments, it is always a good idea to make sure that ALL of the pages that you submit include your name.


I've got my drawing in a Word file. Now what?

If you don't know what the next steps are to getting your work to your instructor or another person, check out the helpful information at the bottom of this guide.

Another way you can draw equations and formulas or annotate documents is to use a mobile tablet device, like an iPad, Surface, or Galaxy Tab. These tablets have a wide variety of drawing of annotation apps, both free and paid, that you can find. Purchasing a tablet can be relatively expensive, but if you already own an iPad or other tablet, this might be the way for you to go!

Using one of the drawing or annotation apps on your tablet, you can draw pretty much anything you can think of. Once you have your drawings complete, most of the apps have the option to save your drawing as an image on your device.

Some apps will allow you to save your work as a PDF file too!

Once you have your image on your device you can e-mail it to yourself or directly to your instructor. As always, be sure to check your instructor's requirements for submission!


I've got my file(s) from my tablet. Now what?

If you don't know what the next steps are to getting your work to your instructor or another person, check out the helpful information at the bottom of this guide.

If you have written out your homework or quiz on a piece of paper, there are several apps that are available for your tablet or phone that will allow you to scan your hand written document. The 'scans' using these hand-held types of devices typically involve taking a picture of the document.While this might be convenient, not all of this software produces results that can be sent to an instructor.

Two Items to Monitor

  1. FILE SIZE: 'Scans' of documents that are simply photos will tend to be very large file sizes.
  2. CLARITY: Some cameras are better than others, and light conditions matter. If it can't be read, it can't be graded!

See below for Guidelines.

Whenever possible look for the option to scan and save your document as a PDF file!

Once you have your image on your device you can e-mail it to yourself or directly to your instructor. As always, be sure to check your instructor's requirements for submission!


I've got my file(s) from my tablet. Now what?

If you don't know what the next steps are to getting your work to your instructor or another person, check out the helpful information at the bottom of this guide.

Inserting an image in a Word document is very simple. Make sure you know where your image is being stored on your computer or external device (e.g., a USB memory drive). Once you know where your image is located, open up your Word document or create a new one. Move your cursor to where you'd like the image to be and follow one of the methods below.

To insert an image using the Ribbon:

  • Click on the Picture icon
  • Select Picture from File
    • This will bring up the file browser.
  • Locate your image using the file browser.
  • Click once on your image file to select it.
  • Click Insert.

To insert an image using the Menu:

  • Click on the Insert menu at the top of the Word window.
  • Select Photo > Picture from File
    • This will bring up the file browser.
  • Locate your image using the file browser.
  • Click once on your image file to select it.
  • Click Insert.

At this point you should have your image in your Word document! You can continue adding more images or text to your document and save your work when you are ready. That's all you need to do to add images to your document!

Guidelines for Submissions

The first thing you should do:

Check your instructor's submission requirements!

Once you have the file, it is good practice to ensure that the file is:

  • within reasonable file size limits
  • clearly readable, and
  • complete and contained in one file.


Compressing and/or Merging PDF Files

If the file that you have scanned is still too large you can try compressing it.

Try the Compress PDF tool hosted at Smallpdf.

If you scanned multiple pages of work and ended up with more than one PDF file, there is a free online tool available to merge these files together. The tool is easy to use and has simple instructions available on its site.

Try the Merge PDF tool hosted at Smallpdf.

Once you have your new file you can follow the information above for submitting to Canvas or instructions that were provided by your instructor!


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