Nov-Dec 2018 Communicator masthead

November-December 2018 Communicator  

Vol. 26, No. 4 [pdf version] becomes LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn is upgrading to LinkedIn Learning, and MTSU will be required to upgrade to it over the next few weeks.
Find more information related to the upgrade at
Most changes involve rebranding for LinkedIn, which owns There will be some terminology changes—for example playlists will be called connections.
“During the upgrade, Lynda/LinkedIn Learning will be unavailable. We are working with LinkedIn to scheduled our upgrade, preferably before classes start in the Spring Semester.” said Tom Wallace, ITD Associate VP for Information Technology.
More details will be announced soon.

Course design experiment "creative" success

Instructional Design Team photo
In this scene from Catherine Crooks' online Psychology 1410 course, Bill Burgess, ITD's instructional accessibility specialist, portrays "Dr. Bill," speaking with "Sara," protrayed by Kayla Stiles, a student worker in telecommunications. ITD's instructional design team worked with Crooks on the video project.

Longtime MTSU Psychology senior lecturer Catherine Crooks became a test subject in a new pedagogical experiment this year—and she couldn’t be happier about the results.
Crooks worked with the new instructional design team from ITD’s Learning, Teaching, and Innovative Technologies Center (LT&ITC) to completely redesign a multimedia online course.
"I found it to be so creative and fun and exciting to work with this diverse team of people, who each had their own unique skills," Crooks said.
"It was such an amazing process."
ITD’s instructional support team began piloting this approach in fall 2017, with the first projects designed to serve as the flagships for future efforts.
"They contacted us, which I was so happy about," Crooks said of the collaborative process with LT&ITC. "I was the lead designer for Psychology 1410 online, so I was ready to redesign it anyway. And I had been thinking about how to redesign it. I consider myself pretty creative when it comes to class stuff, but I don’t have the technology skills for a really incredible redesign."
The centerpiece of Crooks’ new course is a six-part video series portraying a counselor working with a student to identify the source of mental and emotional stress that is interfering with her studies.
In somewhat of a psychological whodunit, "Dr. Bill," portrayed by ITD’s Bill Burgess, works with student "Sarah" (portrayed by Kayla Stiles, a student worker in the Telecommunications Department) to identify and resolve the issues.
The video series gave Crooks a chance to try something new—writing a screenplay—and she said she really enjoyed it. Crooks created the screenplay drawing from her expertise and experience with students over her 24-year teaching career at MTSU.
Under the leadership of Barbara Draude, ITD’s assistant vice president of Academic and Instructional Technologies, the team consisting of Burgess, ITD instructional accessibility specialist; Kourtney Smith, learning multimedia developer; and Scott Haupt, instructional design specialist, worked extensively with Crooks over the summer.
Along with the acting, Burgess did some voice-overs. Smith focused on the videography and film editing. And Haupt was lead designer working with Crooks on incorporating the new and existing written, graphic, and video content into the course.
Crooks, who specializes in Health Psychology, teaches in traditional lecture-style settings, but also has developed online and hybrid courses in recent years. The work with the instructional design team took that to the next level.
Catherine Crooks

"I had it in my head very early on, but it was just a matter of executing it. I could never have executed it without that team, there’s no way. I knew it was going to be a lot of work and take some time, but I also loved (Draude) had this team put together.

Catherine Crooks

The process began with a lot of brainstorming sessions, so the team could learn Crooks’ teaching style and goals for the course. Some of the content was pulled from her existing Desire2Learn (D2L) webpages, but much of it was new material.
The course was used in the accelerated portion of the semester this fall. Crooks said while it is designed for use online, it also can be used in traditional classroom settings.
Asessments are underway to study faculty and student satisfaction with the courses created and their impact on student learning and success.
"It looks like based on comments the students made about the class, that they were overall really pleased with it," Crooks said.
The instructional support team plans to offer this service to more course developers as resources allow.
If you undertaking a course design/redesign and would like to take advantage of this team approach, or to further discuss the possibilities for your courses, please contact Draude at 615-904-8383.


2018 Faculty Fellows

Faculty Fellows 2018

The MTSU Fall Faculty Fair held on Halloween in the LT&ITC, Walker Library Room 348. The annual open house helps faculty learn about grant opportunities, innovative pedagogical strategies, student success initiatives, support for professional development, and more. The 2017-18 Faculty Fellows are (l-r), front: Lori Kissinger, Communication Studies; Ashlee Hover, Educational Leadership; Tiffany Wilson, Educational Leadership; Kimberly Page, University Studies; Laura Buckner, Marketing; and DeAnne Priddis, Communication Studies; and back row: Lando Carter, Educational Leadership; Ben Stickle, Criminal Justice Administration; Chris Combest, School of Music, Teresa Schmidt, University Studies. (Not pictured, Odie Blackmon, Recording Industry).  

Staff Profile: Chad Mullis

Mullis finds "great reward" in IT work at MTSU

Chad Mullis started a new career path when he changed his academic focus at MTSU from the recording industry to IT, but he has never left behind his love of music.
Mullis, ITD’s assistant vice president for technical services, earned a bachelor’s degree in Recording Industry and a master’s degree in Accounting and Information Systems from MTSU. Right after graduation he began working as a systems support specialist in the University’s Business and Finance Department.
Mullis began working in ITD in 2014 as a Systems Administrator 2 and director of Enterprise Server Services beforeChad Mullis being promoted to his current position in January 2017.
Growing up in the Nashville area, computers were one of his interests along with baseball, basketball, soccer, and cars. Later as a teen and young adult it was music that moved toward the forefront.
IT and instruments continue to vie for his affection.
“I’m passionate about technology, cars, and music. Classic rock heavily influenced me early on, then grunge and alternative rock, and eventually classical music in college. I play guitar and constantly research and read about all things tech in my spare time. I also participate in a few local IT user groups in the surrounding Nashville area,” Mullis said.
Although he has played guitar in various bands, the new ITD responsibilities have taken over his time and attention in the past few years.
“I’m responsible for IT infrastructure, including networking, information security, servers, storage, virtualization, unified communications, and authentication,” he said. “Until I started working in ITD I didn’t really fully appreciate the scope of what ITD has to manage here on campus, not to mention just how many people there are here on campus. This place is like a small city.”
During his career in ITD, Mullis has been involved in several major projects including revamping virtual desktop infrastructure, refreshing Banner hardware and more recently implementing Multi-factor Authentication sign-in, which is continuing this fall with faculty and staff and will include students in 2019.
In addition, Mullis has continued to teach a night course in Computer Forensics.
“I find helping people attain an education to be very rewarding, very fulfilling,” he said. “I’m a big believer in higher education. I think education is a great means for people to advance themselves.”
“I find great reward in helping people earn a degree versus working in corporate (environment).”i
Secure Send workshops scheduled
MTSU employees must never send sensitive or confidential information via email as it should never be considered secure. The University’s email policy prohibits the transmission or disclosure of any data considered confidential or sensitive via email for this reason.
We recognize users need to exchange such information electronically, so we implemented our Secure Send system as a means to do so. Come to one of our workshops to learn how to use Secure Send to exchange confidential or sensitive information securely with users both internal and external to MTSU.
We will demonstrate how to use a plugin for Outlook for Windows and how to use a secure Web interface to send and receive files electronically. Workshops are:
  • Dec. 4, 1:30-3 p.m.
  • Dec. 5, 10:30 a.m. to noon
  • Dec. 11, 1:30-3 p.m.
  • Dec. 12, 9-10:30 a.m.
  • Dec. 18, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Dec. 19, 1:30-3 p.m.

Register at Evaltions Continuing With Simplified Form

Best Multi-factor Authentication advice

As you began using Multi-factor Authentication log-in this fall, you almost certainly have encountered—or will soon—some questions or an apparent technical issue.

And when nearly 24,000 students begin using it in February, faculty and staff may have to help some of them learn the process as well.
So ITD staff compiled the following list of our best advice for working through any problems that may arise, or better yet avoiding them in the first place. All of these steps and more can be found at
What is the best way to receive authentication requests? Authenticator
The best way to receive Multi-factor Authentication requests is to use the Microsoft Authenticator mobile app. This allows you to not only receive a notification directly to your phone, but it also allows you to enter in a six-digit code, which is automatically generated every 30 seconds.
The six-digit code is especially useful, because if your phone has no data connection, you can still use the six-digit code to authenticate.
What do I do if I change my phone number or get a new phone?
If you change either your phone number, or your phone, you will need to re-enroll in Multi-factor Authentication. The best solution will be to contact the Help Desk to begin the re-enrollment process.
What is my login name and password to sign in and set up Multi-factor Authentication?
To sign in to the MFA portal, you will sign in using your FSA/Pipeline username So if I sign in to my computer with the username jsmith, my login would be, and I would use my Pipeline/Email password to complete the sign in.
Can ITD disable Multi-Factor Authentication for me?
Once MFA is enabled for your account, we cannot disable it. MFA is part of a University-wide IT Security initiative, and is designed to help protect your information from hackers that may try to steal your information, such as your personal information, or possibly your paycheck.
How often will I have to use MFA throughout the day?
Currently you can set MFA to not prompt you for one day, however this will only work on a per computer, per browser basis. This means if you have a primary work computer, and you choose this option at sign-in in Firefox, you will not be prompted by MFA for any other MFA enabled sources (e.g. Pipeline, D2L, MT$ource, Webmail).
However, if you use another web browser, other than the one you chose the “Don't ask again for 1 day” option, you will be prompted by MFA there. This is also true if you have a secondary computer, like a laptop or a tablet.
What do I do if I do not have a smart phone, or any mobile phone that can receive text messages? ITD tree
Users without access to a basic cellular phone can enroll a landline phone like an office or home phone to receive a phone call to approve or deny requests.
Or you can request a security token card from IT Security. Simply contact the Help Desk, and submit a work order to IT Security requesting one of these cards. This card will generate a six-digit code, which you can use to sign in to any of our MFA enabled resources.
Make changes through your MFA account at
For more help, contact the ITD Help Desk at 615-898-5345 or or come by in-person at KUC 320.


Access Success By Bill Burgess

Purchasing accessible technology is an essential part of MTSU’s commitment to providing access for students, employees, and visitors with disabilities to campus offerings and to meeting associated legal requirements.

On purchases of electronic and Information Technology products:

  1. Request the information included in the required portions of the Vendor Product Accessibility Agreement (Version 2.2 508 preferred). If the vendor does not provide the documents in a timely fashion, it could be a sign that accessibility has not been adequately addressed, and another vendor should be considered.
    Review the information. If the information returned displays a number of concerns, consider another vendor. Email the Director of ADA Compliance to request assistance reviewing the information.
    If the vendor’s entire product or parts of the product are not accessible and there is no other or better option, complete an Alternate Access Arrangement form and submit to the Director of ADA Compliance for approval. Email the Director of ADA Compliance to request assistance in completing the form.

Procurement Logistic Services Procurement Logistic Services

          4. Purchase the product.

  • Receive approval of the Alternate Access Arrangement (if applicable).
    Maintain records documenting the effort to ensure accessibility. If a vendor provides misleading information or does not fulfill promised accessibility updates, proper documentation can help with canceling a contract or if an accessibility complaint is lodged.
    When applicable, maintain communication with the vendor to assure that stated conformance timelines are met.

    Working with University Procurement Services

In general, purchases at or above $10,000 must go out to bid and will go through MTSU Procurement Services.
In the procurement process, you will be asked if the purchase is an Electronic Information Technology. Procurement Services will provide assistance in following the process outlined above when a purchase is identified as an Electronic Information Technology. Accessibility will be used as a differentiating factor when determining the winning bid.

Additional Points of Emphasis

Choosing not to comply or failing to properly document compliance with these procedures may make the University vulnerable to potential complaint and litigation.
When renewing a license, purchasing an update, or buying a newer version of a product that has met accessibility standards, do not assume that the new or updated features are accessible. Check with the vendor in a similar manner as a new purchase to ensure that any additional features have been appropriately tested for accessibility.
Since current contracts and licenses have not been vetted with accessibility standards in mind, confirm accessibility in the same manner as new purchases when those come up for renewal.  
For more information, Contact me at ext. 8445 or
ITD Staff News

Beltz retires, Webb and Smith join Division

Gary Beltz
Gary Beltz
left ITD in September after 18 years at MTSU for what he describes as a “semi-retirement.”
Beltz was a technical support specialist at MTSU maintaining computers and software in certain classrooms and offices. His first 16 years were in Classroom and the last few working in the Bragg Media and Entertainment Building.
Before coming to MTSU he worked at TV and computer repair shops and owned a TV shop and advertising business in Smithville.
“I also rebuilt CRTs (picture tubes) in Nashville a long time ago,” said Beltz.
A Kentucky native, Beltz earned a degree in electronics from Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana.
“The best part about being a support specialist other than the people was being able to test virtual reality and augmented reality headsets,” he said.
Beltz and his wife, Cathy, have a grown stepson, David Griffith.
“I like learning about DIY CNC routers and laser cutters. CNC is where you use a computer to control a tool like a router, laser cutter or a plasma cutter to accurately cut or make designs in anything from leather to plastics, to wood to metal,” he said. "Once the pattern is in the system it is easy to mass produce.”
Asked about his plans, Beltz said “we like to go on short trips like the Smokies and zoos."
“We might start our own part time business,” Beltz said.  

Dustin Smith started with ITD in September as a Desktop and Classroom Support Specialist.Dustin Smith
Smith, originally from Bell Buckle, earned a bachelor’s degree in Recording Production & Technology from MTSU, with a minor in Entertainment Technology.
“I began my career in audio-video right out of college working for the Tennessee General Assembly as a seasonal technical operator. There I operated robotic cameras and ran graphics for Senate and House committee meetings broadcast on PBS,” he said.
Smith worked for Encore Event Technologies in the Omni Nashville Hotel as a shift supervisor planning and operating large-scale audiovisual productions for corporate clients.
After Encore he began working for MTSU in the Student Union as a Technical Specialist where he maintained the audiovisual equipment and operated live events.
“I service classroom and lab technology to ensure its continued operation as well as consult on new equipment upgrades and installation,” Smith said.
Smith lives in LaVergne, Tennessee, with his wife, Kourtney Smith, who works for ITD as a Learning Multimedia Developer. The couple met on campus while they were freshmen in University 1010.
“As for hobbies I enjoy spending time with my wife and dog (Lyla), woodworking, playing guitar, and DIY projects. I like to build and create,” he said.

Josh WebbJosh Webb joined ITD in October as Senior Systems Analyst.
Webb, of Tullahoma, earned a degee in Information Systems from MTSU in 2007.
After graduation he worked in the IT department at Arnold Air Force Base for almost 10 years.
“In early 2017, I started working for a company called 8th Day Software that did consulting work for many companies in the health care industry,” Webb said.
“We were acquired by a specialty pharmacy called Diplomat Pharmacy in late 2017 and merged with their existing IT department.”
Webb will be primarily working with Banner, which is MTSU’s primary information system for student records, admissions, financial aid, finance, human resources, and course scheduling.
“I enjoy getting outdoors to hike and play disc golf. I also like watching shows on Netflix and Hulu,” Webb said.
He has two dogs named Maya and Buddy.

ITD staff members make presentations at fall conferences

ITD staff members participated in the TN Summit held Oct. 14-16 on the campus of MTSU, including several who made presentations.

The conference is designed to update Banner customers in Tennessee higher education on Ellucian programs. Ellucian is focusing on their Ethos platform, while Course Program of Study (CPoS) and cybersecurity were big topics this year.
Chad Mullis, ITD’s assistant vice president for technical services, made a presentation on Multi-factor Authentication with support from Michael Barton, director of Data Center Services.

“We went through our timeline and lessons learned,” Mullis said.

David Stevenson, ITD Web Developer, made a presentation on the division’s in-house adaptation of the new Pipeline. Most other schools in Tennessee use Ellucian’s “Luminis” portal, and schools have been transitioning to version 5.0 over the last several years.

“I talked about the problems we had in implementing version 5.0 . . . and the architecture and implementation of what we internally call SEAL (Simple Elegant Alternative to Luminis),” Stevenson said.
Kitzler mug
Phyllis Kitzler, ITD systems analyst 2, was one of three MTSU staff members who made a presentation at the 2018 CoHEsion Fall Summit conference in San Antonio.

Kathy Musselman, assistant vice president for Human Resources, and Lisa Batey, director of benefits also took part in the conference. The three presented “How to Use EPAFS and Workflow to Hire Employees.”

The CoHEsion Fall conference held Oct. 29-31 hosted several Banner users and experts from higher education institutions from around the nation for presentations and networking with Ellucian and complementary partner vendors. 

 Tech Briefs:

MS Imagine Academy Revisions, Banner 9 Switchover

Tech graphic Some important changes in the Microsoft Imagine Academy’s (MSIA) online learning became effective in October.
“This change will enable an improved, more cohesive learning experience for educators and students, with access to some new online learning resources, and a modification to how and where educators and students will access these resources,” the company announced.

MSIA’s learner portal has been discontinued and replaced with a master directory, in OneNote format, that includes links to direct students to specific online learning resources that support courses in the Academy’s four learning paths—Computer Science, Data Science, IT Infrastructure, and Productivity.
In addition, some of MSIA’s most popular courses have been refreshed including the Office 2016 suite and Data Science courses.

MTSU faculty, staff and student can access the MSIA master directory through PipelineMT’s Resources Area. Visit

Faculty wishing to use MSIA Official Curriculum material will still request permission at to access MTSU’s Member Site
There you will find new Course OneNotes in the MSIA’s Curriculum Download Center.
The online learning tab within these course containers opens up to display all the prescribed online learning resources for that course including curriculum materials, direct links, a list of the topics covered, and mapping to certification exam objectives.

For more information about the change in MSIA’s online learning, visit

Or contact the Faculty Instructional Technology Center (FITC) at 615-604-8189.

Banner 9 has been set up and turned on in the production environment for most of the University’s administrative offices to use. Other campus offices started using Banner 9 this month. 
The underlying Banner 8 technology is being phased out, eliminating the need to run Java in the browser.
On Banner 9, what used to be referred to as INB instead will be referred to as the Admin Pages, which are web-based pages that have the same info on them as the old Oracle INB forms.

With Banner 9 you can use other browsers besides Internet Explorer, such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and MS Edge, and you will have a “Google-like” experience for navigating the Banner Admin Pages with multiple ways to search.
PipelineMT and its menu options (which is really Self-Service Banner) will have no change this fall.  ITD’s work to develop new Banner 9 replacement menu options in PipelineMT will begin in 2019.
A new webpage is available with some training resources: