css.php

Welcome to the Fall Semester! – September 2020 Faculty Newsletter

September 2020

We hope everyone is having a smooth transition into Fall semester! The Office of Faculty Development and Instructional Design (OFDIT) will be sending out a newsletter a few times each semester with updates on tools and resources from individual teams within OFDIT, and professional development events to assist with your online teaching needs.

We are pleased to present our first newsletter here!

Ensemble Video
Have you heard of Ensemble Video? If you’re using video in your SPS course, then Ensemble is something to consider. It’s features match, and in some cases, exceed those found in video hosting platforms like YouTube or Vimeo. Think of Ensemble like you own SPS YouTube channel but with significant advantages for educators, like no social media interruptions, no advertisements, no suggested videos. Furthermore, it’s integrated into Blackboard and tied to the SPS captioning service. More details on our Ensemble Video SPS Faculty page.

If you’d like to learn more, please consider registering for one our information sessions coming up. In the session, we will introduce the tool’s more salient features, including student viewing data, the Blackboard integration, and streamlined professional captioning. Auto-publishing, in-video quizzes, and student video submissions will also be discussed.

Annotate Tool in Blackboard
We would like to introduce everyone to Annotate, a new integrated grading tool in Blackboard, replacing Box View. Annotate allows instructors to provide customizable feedback to students’ assignments when they are submitted as any of the supported file types (not when entered as text directly). Annotate is integrated directly in the Grade Center; i.e. submitted files will open right in your browser so you can readily use available grading tools, such as free-hand drawing and erasing, or highlighting and underlining. Another option is to use images from your computer as well as ready-made or customized stamps (e.g. “approved” stamp or “draft” stamp). Annotate also features options for both in-line commenting and written comments, which appear in a side panel. Finally, Annotate allows you to download a student’s submission with your annotations, and to search for specific text within a submission.

To learn more about Annotate, please watch this video and review the Annotate support site by Blackboard (which includes a list of accepted file types when using Annotate). Reach out to our team at facultysupport@sps.cuny.edu for any questions you might have.

Important Note on Grading: CUNY Blackboard times out after 60 minutes. Be sure to save any grading comments before the 60-minute time limit or else you might lose your work.

Before you go, please remember our fall trainings and events! We are continuing our regular informal meetups on Oct. 21 and November 18. We also hope to see you at our upcoming faculty discussion on Trauma-Informed Pedagogy on October 2 from 12.45-2 EST. Please register using this link. Our fall trainings include sessions on Zoom Meeting for Student Hours, A Cut Above: Making Your Videos More Professional, VoiceThread: Humanize Your Online Course, Student Engagement in Online Learning, and more. Find more information and registration links on our SPS Faculty Community Site.

Thank you for reading! As always, please contact us at facultysupport@sps.cuny.edu with any questions or support requests. See you at one of our upcoming events, or for our next newsletter in October!

Your OFDIT Team

 

Faculty Exchange, Learning Labs, and Making Knowledge Visible (ePortfolios)

Faculty Development Day 2020 will take place virtually on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 12-3:30. We are looking forward to seeing new and familiar faces!

This event will be held via Zoom (please click on the link or check the call-in details section of this page). Here are some tips on attending a zoom event, as well as a test meeting you can join to check your connection and equipment.

Schedule

  • Sip ‘n Chat: 12:00pm
  • Welcome: 12:30pm
  • Faculty exchange: 12:45-1:30pm
  • Student panel: 1:30-2:00pm
  • Faculty exchange: 2:00-2:45pm 
  • Learning labs: 2:50-3:20pm
  • Closing: 3:20pm

Sip ‘n Chat (12-12:30)

Grab your coffee, tea, or drink of choice and join us for an informal gathering in the half hour before scheduled events begin. Let’s check in and see how you’re doing, how your students are doing, how things are going.

Faculty Exchange (12:45-1:30)

Faculty share activities, course features, and other projects related to teaching or research at SPS. 

  • Joseph Foy – An Experiential Learning Field Study in Accounting: Using Nonprofit and For-profit Businesses as Experiential Learning Venues
  • Melanie Lorek – Helping Students to Avoid Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty
  • Kate Moss – Late Work Policies:  Now and during “normal” teaching times

Student Panel: Making Knowledge Visible (1:30-2)

Join us as CUNY SPS students share their stories of transformation through ePortfolios.  In this session, panelists will show how their learning became visible through the high-impact practice of learning portfolios.  They will discuss highlights, lessons learned, and challenges in the production of their curricular (and extra-curricular) websites. Faculty, administrators, and students are welcome to attend to see how ePortfolios impact learning.

Student Panelists

  • Ms. Enriqueta Au Muñoz, Bachelor of Arts in Disability Studies ePortfolio
  • Ms. Jade Powell, Master of Science in Disability Services in Higher Education

Faculty Exchange (2-2:45)

Faculty share activities, course features, and other projects related to teaching or research at SPS. 

  • Curtis Izen – VoiceThread: Transforming from Text to VoiceThreads and Not Looking Back
  • Euny Lee – Video and Communication Tools for Student Engagement & Instruction
  • Elizabeth Alsop – Teaching with Slack: Ideas for Online Instructors

Learning Labs (2:50-3:20)

Join a breakout room to learn more about and/or ask specific questions on the following applications:

  • VoiceThread – Matt Lewis
  • Digication – Karen Gonzalez
  • Screencastomatic – Sharon Jorrin
  • Blackboard / Grade Center – Sylvie Richards
  • Blackboard Mobile – Michelle Gastulo
  • Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning – Antonia Levy

Zoom Meeting Information

https://zoom.us/j/272610433

Meeting ID: 272 610 433

One tap mobile
+16465588656,,272610433# US (New York)
+13126266799,,272610433# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US
+1 301 715 8592 US
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
Meeting ID: 272 610 433
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abUyQUgaXB

Presentation Materials

Copies of presentations are available in the Blackboard course SPS Faculty Development Day 2020, in which participants are invited to self enroll.

Join Us for VoiceThread Bootcamp with Lehman College Faculty!

We are excited to announce our next VoiceThread Bootcamp, offered from November 1-10, 2017 collaboratively to faculty from CUNY SPS and Lehman College teaching online and hybrid classes. Join us by registering here.

VoiceThread is a web-based tool that allows faculty and students to have conversations using any mix of text, audio or webcam comments. VoiceThread can be used to record a course topic introduction, create interactive online lectures, extend classroom conversations, enable students to create digital portfolios, or support language practice. Find out more about the tool on Lehman’s edtech page.

This bootcamp is learner-centered: whether you are an experienced multimedia user or new to VoiceThread, this will plant the essentials of cultivating dynamic discussions and creating vibrant content.

Here is what previous participants have said about their experience:

I had heard of Voice Thread (VT) but did not know how to take it and “work it” into my course. Guided by experienced facilitators, the group quickly formed a bond, sharing strategies and barriers with implementing VT in a wide variety of disciplines. Awesome experience!

This experience provided me with the tools that I needed to work with VoiceThread without being intimidated by it. It was a challenging experience but there was a great amount of support and guidance.

The 10-day bootcamp will run online from November 1 – 10, 2017.

There will be some activity required on most days, and during the workshop you will:

  • Acquire the skills to create VoiceThread presentations for your course.
  • Design a learner-centered VoiceThread assignment ready to be used in your course.
  • Develop a technical skill set to create engaging and interactive online learning experiences for your students.

If you’d like to join us for the bootcamp, please use this form to register.

We are looking forward to going on this adventure with you!

Antonia, Krystyna, Anick, and Olena (Lehman College)

Faculty Trainings in September & October 2017

Welcome to a new academic year!

We hope you’ve had a good start to the semester and would like to invite you to register for our fall trainings.

Our trainings this semester are designed to help you make your course student-centered and efficient. For example, Facilitating Group Work Online and Introduction to Collaborate Ultra will showcase tools helping you to design interactive activities that will increase student engagement with course material.

We’ll also offer sessions on Blackboard assessments—Making Sense of Blackboard Test Options and TurnItIn vs SafeAssign – which allow you to tailor graded activities to your needs, and will help you choose the best options for assessing plagiarism.

Finally, the Monitoring Student Progress and Mastering Blackboard’s Discussion Board trainings will showcase how to streamline your Blackboard teaching experience.

See a complete list of trainings we’re offering below and use this form to sign up!

One-on-One Training Sessions. If our trainings don’t fit your calendar, you can request one at your convenience. Sign up using this form by sharing your availability (Monday- Friday, 9am-7pm) and selecting any of our training topics. Sessions can be conducted online or in-person at our office at 119 W 31st Street.

Finally, our Sunday coverage is back up and running! Send your questions to facultysupport@sps.cuny.edu, or join us for a live GoToMeeting session at the same time. Find more details and the link to the session on our website.

We are looking forward to working with you,

Antonia, Krystyna, and Anick

 

Teaching Tip: Using the Re-ordering Button in Blackboard

The re-ordering button in Blackboard is a neat way to re-arrange items on a page, such as discussion forums, weekly folders, etc., without having to scroll and then drag things all the way up and down with your mouse. This feature can be helpful when having to re-arranging items on a long content page, or if you’ve ever re-ordered items on your course site and had them mysteriously return to their previous order. The re-order button also helps users who cannot use the drag and drop feature in Blackboard because of mobility or other issues.

On your Blackboard course page, select the Keyboard Accessible Reordering icon in the upper right-hand corner.

In the Reorder box, select the item you’d like to move from the list. Use the Move Up and Move Down icons to adjust the order and click Submit.

Join Us for Faculty Trainings in July

We hope you’re already enjoying your summer! The first set of our summer training sessions is already in full swing so check out our offerings below and sign up before they’re full!

Image Source: https://static.pexels.com/photos/

This July we’re focusing on how multimedia approaches enhance teaching and learning which we hope will inspire your teaching with online trainings featuring VoiceThreadScreencastomatic Pro, and Collaborate Ultra. We’ll show you how these tools allow you to use a range of audio and media options to address different learning styles as well as proposing new approaches to critical thinking.

For the first time we’ll be offering sessions comparing SafeAssign and Turnitin, the anti-plagiarism tools available to you in Blackboard at CUNY. Learn about enhanced feedback options and new approaches to teaching academic integrity as well as proper citation.

And we’ll also hold sessions on Using Blackboard Efficiently. We’ll cover best practices for managing discussions, due dates, grading, and saving yourself some time with Blackboard’s many tools and features you might not yet know about.

See the whole schedule of trainings for July here and sign up using this form!

We’ll also be offering additional trainings in August so keep an eye out for our next announcement and the schedule for August!

We are looking forward to working with you,
Anick, Antonia & Krystyna

Finishing Up the Semester and Preparing for Summer

The semester is winding down and soon, final grades will need to be submitted through CUNYFirst. If you’re new to this process, or just need a reminder, see our video tutorial on entering grades in CUNYFirst:

YouTube player

While we’re on the subject, maybe you’d like a some help calculating final grades? You don’t even have to ask your friend who’s good at Excel. The Grade Center in Blackboard makes this easy and accurate. If you use “weighted total” (ie. if your grading scheme is set up so exams are 20% of the overall grade, discussions are worth 30%, etc.) then check out our quick guide on using weighted total to calculate final grades. If your course is set up to simply add points for an overall final grade, check out our quick guide for using total points. Whichever your preference, we’ve got you covered!

If you’ll be teaching this summer, or would like an early start with your fall course site, consider attending one of our remaining “Preparing Your Dev Site for Course Copy” trainings. See our website for dates and times and sing up here using our registration form.

In these trainings we’ll also introduce Date Management, a useful Blackboard tool which allows you to easily adjust due dates and availability dates in your course site when moving from one semester to the next. Find out more about this tool on our Date Management resource site.

Don’t forget that we’re here for you on the weekend as well! Faculty support is available from 2pm-4pm every Sunday for any questions you have. You can meet us online through GoToMeeting during that time, or email us at facultysupport@sps.cuny.edu.

Write us at facultysupport@sps.cuny.edu with any questions you have and to get in touch about one-on-one training sessions. We always look forward to working with you!

Antonia, Krystyna, and Anick

Join Us for Faculty Trainings in April & May

Happy Spring! Warmer weather is on its way and so is our spring training series.

For April and May, we will continue to offer sessions on Turnitin and making engaging videos for your course. But wait, there’s more…

As the semester’s end begins to sneak up on you, we’re here to help! Before you know it, it will be time to enter grades into CUNYFirst for your spring courses. Get your Grade Center ready to go; calculating final grades will be easier and faster, without compromising accuracy, when you format the Grade Center to do the calculating for you. Attend a session of our upcoming trainings on “Optimizing Your Grade Center to Calculate Final Grades” to learn how to make Grade Center work for you, whether you use weighted totals or total points. 

We’ve also got summer faculty covered. Dev sites will soon need to be updated for course copy and we’ll have sessions devoted to how it’s done. Fall faculty who’d like to get started on this can also attend one of our sessions to get a sense of what this will entail. “Preparing Your Dev Site for Course Copy” training sessions will begin in May and you can sign up here to secure your spot.

See the whole schedule of trainings for April/May here and sign up using this form!

We are looking forward to working with you,
Anick & Antonia

Navigating Discussion Threads on Blackboard

After the latest Blackboard upgrade in December 2016, a new (old) feature has been re-introduced to your course sites: arrow buttons for navigating threads on the Discussion Board.

You’ll find these buttons in the top right corner of each thread page. If you use individual threads for each student in your weekly discussions, you might find these buttons particularly helpful for navigating from thread to thread, or to jump to the first / last thread with one easy click.

Happy navigating!

A few spots left: SafeAssign & Turnitin Workshop

Don’t miss out on our brand-new workshop “SafeAssign and TurnItIn: Which Is Best For My Course?” from March 27-30, 2017.

We only have a few spots remaining, so if you are interested sign up today! Registration closes tomorrow, March 21 at 5pm.

This asynchronous workshop is designed to inform faculty on which plagiarism tool offered in CUNY Blackboard may be best suited for their course and the subject area they teach.  

In the workshop, participants will:

  • Gain first-hand experience in designing and grading assignments using both SafeAssign and TurnItIn.
  • Become familiar with the databases queried and the plagiarism reports for both SafeAssign and TurnItIn.
  • Reflect on past teaching approaches and begin to devise likely strategies for effective assignments and assessments using both SafeAssign and TurnItIn.
  • Share ideas concerning how best to use the capacities of both SafeAssign and TurnItIn to enhance student learning.

Please use this form to sign up for the workshop. We will send out confirmation of your registration and a more detailed schedule by Thursday this week.

Looking forward to working with you!
Antonia & Sylvie