Rules in Microsoft Outlook

A rule is an action that is done automatically to incoming or outgoing messages, based on conditions that have been specified. It can be created from a template, from a message, or using your own conditions.

Note: these steps are for those using Microsoft Outlook 2010 (not the Web App).

Create a rule

Below are the steps needed to automatically categorize a message from your supervisor to the “From Supervisor” category. (If you haven’t created a category, see the March 20, 2014 post about this.)

1. Click on a message from your supervisor.
2. Home tab, Move group, Rules.
[Note the first option to always move messages from this person (to a designated folder). If this is the condition preferred, clicking here is a quick way to accomplish this rule. This is not what is being done here; continue to Step 3.]
3. Create Rule.
4. Click box in front of From [Supervisor’s name].
5. Since “Categorize” isn’t listed, click Advanced Options …
Rules Wizard opens, Step 1 (top part) shows the condition;
Step 2 shows the rule so far.
6. Click Next.
7. Click box in front of “assign it to the Category Category” (sets action);
Step 2 now shows the rule with this additional information.
8. Click on Category in the Step 2 area (bottom); established categories appear.
9. Click in the From Supervisor check-box and then click OK.
If this is the first time this category has been used, a dialog box opens asking if it should be renamed. If so, rename it and click OK.
The category name will now appear in the Step 2 area (below).
10. Click Next.
11. Select exceptions in Step 1, if any, then Next.
12. Rule name appears; give it a better description, if preferred.
Step 2 gives an option to run this rule for all messages already in “Inbox”. Click if preferred.
Turn on this rule (Step 2 area) should have a check mark in the box; if not, do so.
13. Finish (Runs the rule; if the option to run this for all messages appears, it may take a while as the rule is run.)
14. Make sure a check mark is in the box in front of the rule for this to run from this point forward.
15. Click OK to close the informational dialog box.

Review message list; if done correctly, all items meeting the criteria set (categorizing messages from Supervisor), should now be categorized as defined (have the color indicator with the message).

Exciting Things are Happening in ETS!

Fall 2014 ushered in some very neat changes to the Educational Technology Services department, and I’d like to share some of them with you.

New Resources

In terms of new resources, I am extremely happy to announce the launch of a new technology facility called the TWIG (Technology Workspace for Innovative Geeks) which officially opened for business on October 13, 2014.


Located on the lower level of the Library, in room L003, the TWIG is a digital media makerspace.  The purpose of the TWIG is to provide a place where students, can access and experiment with tools and resources that will help them make the shift from “passive consumers” of digital content to “producers” of messages using images, language and sound.     On campuses across the country and at Marygrove, students are being prepared for 21st century life by not just being asked to outline and revise papers, but also to storyboard videos, build websites, and repurpose existing content that can educate, persuade, motivate and inspire others, in new, innovative and meaningful ways.

Students in all disciplines will benefit from the resources in the TWIG.  For example, an Education student might use resources in the facility to create an Infographic of the changing state of education in the Unites States, or to create an educational video game for first graders.  A student in any discipline might use the space to create a digital portfolio to showcase their growth and understanding of their discipline over time, and to store artifacts as proof of their achievement of learning outcomes, a Social Work student might create a visual essay to call attention to a social problem.  A CIS student might create a website of resources that are helpful in understanding complex topics in the major. An English student might create a book trailer (think movie trailer) for reporting on the salient parts of an assigned novel. A business student might use it to create a useful phone app that can be uploaded and sold online for profit, or to print a prototype of a product they designed.    A faculty member might use it to video record a lecture or to add audio to lecture notes.   All of these things and much more can be created in the TWIG.

TWIG resources

The following is a list of equipment/resources available in the TWIG:

  1. Makerbot 3-D Printer (print 3-D objects)
  2. Recording Studio (create podcasts, voiceovers, and other audio files)
  3. High end digital video camera (digital storytelling, creating visual essays)
    1. Green Screen (built in set which can be used as a background to conduct interviews, create a video, create a talk show)
    2. Software:  A variety of commercial as well as open source software is available  for creating all of the content types mentioned above

Training and Support

Personalized walkthroughs of the TWIG are available to faculty who are interested in learning more about TWIG resources and how non-traditional content types can be incorporated into their courses.  Faculty may also request an in class presentation for their students on TWIG resources.

There will be a Tea & Technology event that will provide an overview of TWIG resources and showcase projects and assignments that have been created by students at other institutions using similar resources.  Be on the lookout for the announcement for this event

One on one training will be available on an appointment basis for anyone interested in learning to use the equipment/software available in the TWIG.  Beginning in winter 2015 full workshops will be available on using many of the programs available in the TWIG.

New Programming

After a successful pilot during the winter 2014 semester, we have included the following workshops to our lineup:

Fall 2014

Game Development Basics

In this workshop participants will gain an exposure to game creation concepts, and will use the popular GameMaker software program to create a basic action game.

Work Smarter not Harder

Geared toward staff, but open to all members of the community, this four workshop series covers advanced Microsoft Word topics including creating forms, mail merge, templates and styles and integrating documents.

2014 Fall Semester ETS/STICC Workshops

Call 313-927-1582 or visit the STICC (L011) to register for these workshops.

Word 2010 – 1
Tues., Sept. 16 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Sept. 17 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Word 2010 – 2
Tues., Sept. 23 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Sept. 24 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Word 2010 – 3
Tues., Sept. 30 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 1 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
PowerPoint 2010 – 1
Tues., Oct. 14 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 15 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

PowerPoint 2010 – 2
Tues., Oct. 21 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 22 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

PowerPoint 2010 – 3
Tues., Oct. 28 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 29 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Excel 2010 – 1
Tues., Nov. 11 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 12 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Excel 2010 – 2
Tues., Nov. 18 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 19 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Excel 2010 – 3
Tues., Nov. 25 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 26 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Prezi – Create an on-line presentation
Thurs., Oct. 2 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Weebly – Create a website
Mon., Oct. 6 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 7 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Gaming – 1
Thurs., Nov. 13 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Categories in Outlook

Color adds visibility to your desktop Outlook items. Color categories can be assigned to email messages in Microsoft Outlook, which enables you to quickly identify them and associate them with related items. This is especially helpful for those who do not use folders to sort email. Categories can be renamed and additional ones can be created.

The directions below give steps to create a category to then place all emails, meetings/appointments and tasks from your supervisor in that category.  The follow-up to this will create a rule to then automatically categorize these items as they arrive in the Inbox.

Notes:    These steps are for those using Microsoft Outlook 2010 (not the Web App).
For calendar items, the Tags group appears on the Appointment or Meeting tab.
For an open contact or task, the Tags group appears on the Contact or Task tab.

Create a category

  1. On the Home tab, in the Tags group, click Categorize, and then click All Categories.
  2. Click New.    
  3. In the Name box, type a name for the new color category.  (“From Supervisor”)
  4. Click the arrow next to Color, click the color that you want (if a different color then the default is preferred).
  5. Click OK on the Add New Category and Color Categories dialog boxes.

Categorize an email, meeting /appointment or task

  1. Selected the item.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Tags group, click Categorize.
  3. Use the drop down arrow to select the category/color from the list.

Sort by category

  1. Select the folder to search from the left panel.
  2. On the Search tab in the Ribbon, click on More in Refine group.
  3. Click Categories.
  4. Use the drop down arrow to select the category.
  5. Use any other needed filters.
  6. Click the magnifying glass to begin the search; the results will be displayed in the area below the search criteria.

Rename a category

  1. Click the arrow next to Categorize (Home tab/Tags group).
  2. Click All Categories.
  3. Check the category name to be changed (entire name is highlighted).
  4. Click Rename.
  5. Type the preferred name.
  6. Click OK.


Student Tech Talk

Online Collaborative Study  and Support

It is widely understood that students benefit from the collaborative wisdom of their instructors and classmates. A number of free online resources have expanded this notion into different ways to crowdsource – that is, to pull together from the general public of internet users – knowledge and materials, allowing students to work with and learn from members of a worldwide community.

Advertising itself as something like a massively multiplayer online study group, OpenStudy is a social network based on collaborative learning. The free service was created by colleagues from Georgia Tech and Emory University and opened to the public in the summer of 2010. OpenStudy invites users to build study networks by joining groups and following other students. Participants post questions on nearly any academic subject and the site matches them up with others who, based on their profiles and availability, help guide the asker to a source or a solution.

Aware of the potential hazard of students using the site as an “answer machine” (i.e., as a means to cheat), the framers of OpenStudy emphasize a code of conduct for its users, with the possibility that violators may be banned. All members of the OpenStudy community are encouraged to be polite and supportive and, above all, to both seek and provide guidance, explanations, and understanding – not just the correct answer.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
OpenStudy in the News

Available free of charge to anyone with a college or university email address, this web based service contains an extensive library of practice tests and study materials. With a focus on information sharing, Koofers – a play on the word “coffer” (a strongbox for valuables) – was started as a means to share past exams and rate professors, but has grown into a resource that includes virtual flashcards, comparisons of textbook prices from multiple vendors, a digital mapping tool for course scheduling, and a Q&A forum to allow students to discuss specific courses and programs at their respective institutions.

Another interesting aspect of Koofers is its focus on pairing employers and recruiting firms with college students interested in jobs and internships. Those looking for qualified student interns or soon-to-be graduates have access to a searchable database of over one million candidates.

Koofers: About Us
Virginia Tech Collegiate Times

A relatively new tool on the block – the startup was launched in 2012 – ThinkBinder was recently acquired by lecture capture leader Echo360. ThinkBinder is a social learning platform that provides students and faculty with tools for video chat and a collaborative whiteboard.

This free application allows students to invite their peers to join a study group via Facebook and email and then share and exchange notes, bookmarks, and multi-media files. The company’s philosophy is built around the idea that group study, extended beyond the classroom to a digital environment, should be convenient, easy to use, and free of the clutter often associated with online services.


What’s new in Blackboard? Service Pack 13!

The new year ushered in a new semester and a new look to the Blackboard learning management system. Marygrove’s Information Technology Services Department launched Service Pack 13 just before the start of the winter 2014 term. A new service pack can include a patch to fix a known problem, security upgrades, visual enhancements, and other changes to improve the users’ teaching and learning experience. Here are some of the new Blackboard features that come with Service Pack 13. (The following information was adapted from the Blackboard On Demand Learning Center.)

New Crisp, Uncluttered Interface

The first thing you will notice is a much cleaner, crisp, uncluttered, yet familiar look to the interface design.  This new design makes it easier to navigate the platform and complete tasks.


Course-to-Course Navigation

While you are in one course you can click the Action Link next to the Home button to jump from course to course.


Course Themes

Themes and Structures can be used to make changes to the formatting of a course. Themes are purely a cosmetic change, while Structures fundamentally change the design of a course. Themes are pre-set color schemes that an instructor can apply to a course. Once a theme is selected, all students will see the course with the theme applied. A theme can be changed as often as desired, and the Default theme will return the course back to the original color scheme.


Global Navigation and My Blackboard

Everything you need for your Blackboard experience is in one convenient location. My Blackboard provides you with quick and easy access to critical and timely information regarding your school, courses, and fellow classmates. From My Blackboard you can view how you are doing in each of the courses you are enrolled in, see grades, be reminded of assignments that are due, and much more.


Discussion Board

The discussion board has been thoroughly redesigned.  Changes include:  All posts on one page.  The entire discussion thread appears on a single page, thereby maintaining the context of posts and replies to one another. 


User Profile — A profile is a reflection of how you want to present yourself to your peers, classmates, and instructors. In your Blackboard profile, you decide what you want to be called, what your academic interests are, and anything else you want to share with other users.

Conditional highlighting of instructor’s postsConditional highlighting makes it easier for students to find posts from instructors in a sea of other posts.


Respond to posts inline – When clicking “Reply” the text editor appears in the context of the discussion so as not to interrupt the flow of the conversation.


Post first – In addition to the above, there is also a new setting that permits instructors to specify that students must enter their own thread before viewing other threads in a forum.


The calendar has been completely rebuilt, providing a much more modern tool both in terms of looks and functionality.  Calendar events can be color coded to differentiate courses and personal items.  Items that have assigned due dates automatically appear on the calendar.  It is also now possible to create recurring events. 


The Retention Center

This is a new feature.  The Center highlights retention factors and student engagement, alerting faculty to potential risk and allowing them to take action.  The easy to understand views and pre-configured rules make it easy to identify at-risk students within a course.  NO SETUP is required on the part of the instructor.  However, instructors can modify the rules to suit their own individual teaching methods.


Inline Assignment Grading

Inline Assignment Grading is an improvement when it comes to grading assignments.  Instead of requiring instructors to download student submitted files, instructors can now view student submitted files “inline.”


Also new in this service pack is the ability to fix problematic questions by simply editing them directly and having all updates sent automatically to the Grade Center. Negative Marking allows instructors to apply negative point values for wrong answers.

Content Editor

The newly designed content editor vastly improves the user experience for adding text and other forms of digital content to Blackboard.