Faculty Teaching Tips



Using VoiceThread to Break the Ice

One of the challenges with online pedagogy is students and instructors going through the entire course without knowing their classmates. In my BUS 325 Principles of MIS course, everyone has an opportunity to see, hear and learn from their peers. An effective way to accomplish this is through VoiceThread, an asynchronous video discussion tool.

In week one I ask students to make a video comment and introduce themselves via their webcam. It also allows those who may not be comfortable speaking in front of a camera to break out of their comfort zone. Since VoiceThread integrates with BlackBoard and uses a web platform, no download is required and it works on Windows and Apple platforms.

Next, students watch and listen to their classmate’s video comments. They are required to reply to one or more video comments using either audio or video. I appreciate how this creates relationships among students. I’ve seen them make connections from prior classes, working in the same company, living in the same town, and more.

Using VoiceThread for this initial assignment generates implausible enthusiasm among the students. They have a sense of belonging and are ultimately more engaged throughout the course.

As always, OFDIT is here to help with any questions you may have. We are available for one-on-one support and would be happy to schedule a Zoom call to discuss any questions you may have. You can contact us at facultysupport@sps.cuny.edu.

All the best,
Your OFDIT Team

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Color Coding your Grade Center

“The Blackboard Grade Center has several tools that help manage your course grades. In my BUS 325, Principles of MIS course, I use the Grade Center’s color coding feature to get a “birds-eye” view of my assignments and the entire class. With just a glance at the Grade Center, this feature lets me see if a student needs additional help with a topic, is struggling in the course, or if the class is struggling with a particular assignment. I’ve set up color coding to display high or low scores and the status of a grade. To get started with Color Coding in Grade C
enter, OFDIT has prepared this brief tutorial.
– Curtis Izen

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Curated and Free Resources on the Psychology of Work

“I add a link of helpful “Psychology of Work” resources to supplement my current course materials (podcasts, articles, videos, etc). The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP)’s Bridge Builders Committee has curated this extensive list of free educator and student resources. Some items you’ll find in the list include content summaries, PowerPoint slides, information on career paths, and a guest speaker directory. To see the full list visit this link: https://linktr.ee/SIOP_BB. I find students in my class utilize the resources for their own professional development (work psychology career paths, etc.). Please contact me with any questions at Clemente.Diaz@sps.cuny.edu.”

– Clemente I. Diaz, Adjunct Faculty, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, CUNY SPS, and Chair, Bridge Builders Committee,Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology (SIOP)

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Using the “Send Reminder” Feature in Blackboard

“In my BUS 325 Principles of MIS, I send email reminders through the Grade Center instead of sending emails through Blackboard or from my college email to remind students of missing work. Using the Send Reminders feature in the Grade Center automatically sends a system-generated email to all students missing work for that assignment. This feature eliminates the time spent searching the Grade Center for students that have not yet submitted. It also helps the entire class avoid notifications (or reminders) about work they already completed.”
-Curtis Izen

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