Category Archives: Tutorials

All About Plagiarism

TIS, along with our Instruction staff, created a new All About Plagiarism tutorial that teaches students to:

  • Define plagiarism
  • Determine what sources need to be cited in your writing
  • Paraphrase the words of others
  • Effectively incorporate quotations in your own writing
  • Describe other methods that can be used to avoid plagiarism

The tutorial also includes some helpful tools for instructors, including the ability to embed portions of the tutorial into their own courses and a test that can be imported into Blackboard.

Feel free to point your students, faculty, or coworkers to our tutorial.

Integrating the Library in Blackboard

For the past several weeks we’ve been hard at work on a new project that will dynamically insert course-specific library information into each UT Blackboard course.

Students will access this new feature by clicking a “Research Tools” link in the menu bar, which is automatically added to all Blackboard courses at UT (see screenshot below). This new section will provide contact information for the subject bibliographer responsible for the course, a link to the subject guide for the course, search tools, and more research assistance.

The secret to doing this was to use Blackboard’s template variables. They enable you to create a URL that can pass information such as username, course prefix, course number, etc. In our case, we created a link that looked like this: http://www.ourlink.com/file.php?course=@X@course.course_id@X@ … which passed the course ID as a variable to our PHP script. We were then able to look up the course-specific information from our XML file. Click the thumbnail below to view a diagram that details the process:

The end result is a course-specific tool that students can use while conducting research in their courses. It also enables the library to make more students and faculty aware of the services that are available to them. Click here to view screenshots of the final product.

Stop Form Spam with ReCaptcha

 We recently added a new tutorial to the Web Authors site showing how to add a Captcha to a form. A Captcha program is used with forms to reduce spam by insuring the form is submitted by a human. We decided to use ReCaptcha to support the digitizing of books from the Internet Archive. Please visit the ReCaptcha web site for more information on their project.

If you are interested in adding ReCaptcha to your form:

  1. Visit our tutorial and follow the code example.
  2. Review the section on customizing background color and setting the tab order.
  3. Visit the ReCaptcha web site for additional information about their project and for customization options.