Advanced Workshops

For CUNY SPS and Lehman College faculty only:

VoiceThread Bootcamp – November 1-10, 2017

Register 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.

There will be some activity required every day, 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 sign up. We will send out confirmation of your registration and a more detailed schedule the week before the bootcamp starts.


Advanced Online Workshops – Descriptions

Note: Advanced workshops are open to all CUNY faculty unless otherwise specified.

Apply to register here for our upcoming advanced online workshops sponsored by CUNY School of Professional Studies (SPS), focused on diverse topical areas and highlighting best practices in teaching. Workshops are conducted completely online and are facilitated by SPS faculty development staff or faculty via Blackboard. While the majority are conducted online in asynchronous mode, please read descriptions with care as some workshops may also include synchronous, online real time sessions. There are no prerequisites except for an account in Blackboard and basic familiarity with Blackboard features and functions.

Workshop cohorts are limited to 20- 25 participants in order to promote interactivity and communication. Workshops are open to all CUNY faculty (full-time or adjunct/part-time) unless otherwise noted.

These advanced workshops are designed to be purely voluntary professional development activities and unless noted otherwise, no payment is provided to faculty for participating. Faculty are welcome to participate on a casual basis — participating in some but not all activities — but to attain a certificate of completion from SPS Office of Faculty Development and Instructional Technology, faculty must fulfill all stated requirements of the workshop. Those who complete all requirements can expect to spend an average of 5-7 hours throughout an 8-day workshop, 7-10 hours for a 10 day workshop, and 10-12 hours for a 15 day workshop.


Workshops not offered this semester:

Enhancing your Course through the Use of Open Educational Resources (OER)

Workshop Description
Are you looking to replace an expensive textbook that often goes unread by students? Are you hoping to enhance or remix your course materials with fresh and stimulating text or multimedia content? Would you like to become more aware of resources available in your discipline for possible reuse by you or your students?

This asynchronous online workshop, jointly offered by CUNY School of Professional Studies and Lehman College, will provide a deep dive into Open Educational Resources (OER) and how to find, evaluate and integrate them into your courses. Appropriate for those new to the subject as well as those who have already worked with OER.

SPS and Lehman faculty participating in this workshop will select an OER textbook or other OER content and create a plan for implementation as their final deliverable.

Participants completing this workshop will:

  • Define the various types of OER.
  • Distinguish between the different OER permissions for adoption, attribution, and reuse.
  • Identify collections of resources that provide OER relevant to their own course and discipline.
  • Evaluate OER using appropriate standards and criteria.
  • Select an OER textbook or other OER content for inclusion in their course.
  • Draft a plan or outline that can be used to implement revisions or integration of the chosen OER within their course.

SafeAssign and TurnItIn:  Which Is Best For My Course?

Workshop Description
This four-day, asynchronous, instructor-facilitated workshop is designed to inform CUNY faculty on which plagiarism tool may be best for their course and the subject area they teach.  Since there is a difference in the databases queried by each product, participants will experience the submission results using both products.  In addition, both products use rubrics, the grade center, and grading tools in a different way. Participants will experience both products from the standpoint of instructor workflow as well.

Participants are expected to spend no more than 5 hours to complete the workshop.

The workshop has the following objectives, expressed in terms of outcomes for faculty participants:

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

Enhancing your Classroom with Blackboard Collaborate

— offered online for 11 days. Next t.b.a.

In this workshop, we will explore the many features of Blackboard Collaborate. Blackboard Collaborate allows instructors to enliven their courses with real-time (synchronous) sessions that can include audio and video interaction with students, an interactive whiteboard, application and desktop sharing, and breakout rooms for student groups.  Collaborate provides your online class with more immediate communication and opens up new possibilities for group work and presentations for both online and face to face courses.

The workshop will combine lessons and discussion in an asynchronous format with live, real-time Collaborate sessions, allowing you to get to know Collaborate while working together to design lesson-plans and assignments for immediate use in your courses.

Schedule and Participation

Most of the workshop activity takes place over the first 8 days; in the last two days, participants will schedule and attend one small-group presentation.  Because Collaborate is a synchronous tool, everyone will participate in a total of two hour-long live sessions to practice and gain hands-on experience.

Learning outcomes for this workshop–participants are expected to learn

  • To distinguish between the various tools and features Collaborate offers and gain familiarity with their use
  • To evaluate the appropriateness of tools and presentation modes with reference to student audience, course learning outcomes, and course activities
  • To gain confidence in moderating Collaborate sessions
  • To design Collaborate activities and assignments that promote student interaction with course content
  • To brainstorm and share activity and assignment ideas in live sessions and in discussion with other faculty

Writing is Thinking: How to Improve Student Writing in Your Course

— offered online for 8 days; next t.b.a. 

The degree to which students are able to express their ideas and frame their arguments through writing has an impact on student success in nearly every course, across all disciplines.  The importance of writing is further amplified in online courses since writing becomes the dominant form of communication.

Premised on the notion of writing as a continuous thinking/learning process, this workshop is intended to provide faculty in all disciplines with tools to incorporate writing into their courses so as to increase student engagement and learning. While many tend to treat writing as merely the outpouring of already developed ideas and reflections on a particular topic, research findings have shown that writing indeed is a tool for thinking, through which we come to develop our ideas in much more complex ways.

The workshop will address not only the different types of writing activities that can be introduced, but also proven techniques for improving student writing. Some of the areas explored are high and low stakes writing, scaffolding the writing process for students, the discussion board as a means to foster critical thinking and writing, using technology to engage and motivate students to write, and providing more effective feedback on writing. Throughout this workshop, participants will be asked to apply the lessons and principles learned to improve their current course writing activities or to introduce new approaches.

Learning outcomes for this workshop–participants are expected to learn

  • To identify the pedagogical principles behind scaffolding and sequencing of writing
  • To distinguish between low and high stakes writing assignments in the context of your own course
  • To apply some concrete strategies for fostering critical thinking through writing on the discussion board
  • To identify technology tools that have the potential to motivate and engage your students in writing
  • To identify the different  approaches to providing feedback to students on writing
  • To apply the workshop lessons to improve a current course writing activity or to formulate a new writing activity.

Multimedia Tools for Teaching and Learning, Part I: Enhancing Your Course Using Audio and Video

offered online for 8 days; next t.b.a.

Online or hybrid teaching provides a vital opportunity to make the course experience more engaging, and to put students in a position from which they are actively creating and not just passively receiving course content. In this workshop series, we will introduce various multimedia and interactive tools that will help make your courses more dynamic and collaborative.

Part I of the Multimedia Workshop series will explore the ways that multimedia tools such as VoiceThread and Screencast-O-Matic, as well as audio tools such as Audacity can be used in conjunction with other Blackboard tools to enhance your course content and increase interaction.

The workshop will combine lessons and discussion in an asynchronous format with live, hands-on experience with various multimedia tools. Participants will also work together to develop assignments and activities they can use immediately in their courses.

Learning outcomes for this workshop–participants are expected to learn

  • To distinguish between the different categories of multimedia and interactive tools
  • To identify aspects of your own course that could be enriched or enhanced by greater interactivity
  • To explore the features and functions afforded by various multimedia tools
  • To create one or more multimedia objects or assignments to be implemented in your own course.

Note: Workshops in this series can be taken individually and non-sequentially.


Multimedia Tools for Teaching and Learning, Part II: Collaborative Tools

offered online for 8 days. Next t.b.a.

Online or hybrid teaching provides a vital opportunity to make the course experience more engaging, and to put students in a position from which they are actively creating and not just passively receiving course content. This workshop series will introduce faculty to various multimedia and interactive tools that help make online and hybrid courses more dynamic and collaborative.

Part II of the Multimedia Workshop series will introduce several collaborative tools designed to facilitate group efforts for generating or processing course material. These tools take advantage of the opportunities online and hybrid courses provide to engage students in actively creating instead of just passively receiving educational content. We will explore VoiceThread, TimelineJS, Mindomo and diigo in conjunction with the Group tool provided in Blackboard to help you design activities  in which you work with students and students work with each other in new ways.

The workshop will combine lessons and discussion in an asynchronous format with live, hands-on experience with various multimedia tools. Participants will also work together to develop assignments and activities they can use immediately in their courses.

Learning outcomes for this workshop–participants are expected to learn

  • To distinguish between the different categories of multimedia and interactive tools
  • To identify aspects of your own course that could be enriched or enhanced by greater interactivity
  • To explore the features and functions afforded by various multimedia tools
  • To create one or more multimedia objects or assignments to be implemented in your own course.

Note: Workshops in this series can be taken individually and non-sequentially.


Mobile Learn:  Designing a Mobile Friendly Course

— offered online for 8 days; next t.b.a..  

More and more faculty and students at CUNY are using Blackboard Mobile Learn, and it’s no wonder! Blackboard Mobile Learn allows you and your students to access courses on the go, to post announcements and participate in discussions on your mobile device, to link your Dropbox account and upload files to your discussion board and content areas, and to use the camera and video features of your mobile phone or Ipad/tablet to post pictures or videos for experiential learning. But in order to have a seamless experience on Blackboard Mobile, your course must be designed with Mobile in mind.

Learning outcomes for this workshop – participants are expected to learn:

  • Set up the course structure for Mobile Learn
  • Identify best practices for naming files and folders for Mobile Learn
  • Integrate rich content for Mobile Learn (videos, audio files, images, etc.)
  • Identify incompatible formats to be avoided
  • Create a Mobile Compatible quiz/test.

The Art of Feedback

offered online for 11 days; next t.b.a.

This workshop is designed to engage CUNY faculty in critical discussions and activities that will strengthen instructors’ approaches to providing students with high quality feedback. It provides participants with a better understanding of the basis for effective feedback, sharing evidence-based resources and addresses the issue of assignment design and its impact on the feedback process. It also introduces streamlined and efficacious processes that can help instructors manage their workload and more clearly communicate their feedback to students. Participants will reflect on their own practice and should emerge with some strategies that they can immediately apply to their own teaching.

There are no prerequisites for this workshop other than a basic familiarity with Blackboard. However, faculty should not take this workshop if they are enrolled concurrently with the Preparation for Teaching Online workshop.

Learning outcomes for this workshop — participants are expected to learn

  • To identify and select instructional methods and approaches that make the process of providing students with feedback that is better quality, more efficient and frequent, consistent, reliable, objective and fair
  • To experiment with approaches to improving the design of assignments
  • To review the various means for providing students with written, automated, audio and video feedback in Blackboard
  • To explore why, when and how to create and use rubrics
  • To reflect on feedback practices with an eye to improving student learning

Essential Instructional Design for Faculty

offered online for 8 days; next t.b.a.

This workshop is intended to foster more effective course and assignment design by CUNY faculty.  It provides participants with a better understanding of the essential principles of instructional design and explores alternative approaches to presenting content and fulfilling learning outcomes.

It also provides an overview of the different ways courses can be organized in Blackboard with an eye to selecting the formats that might be most appropriate for a particular course. Participants will reflect on their current design and organization practices and should emerge with some strategies that they can immediately apply to their own teaching.

There are no prerequisites for this workshop other than a basic familiarity with Blackboard. This workshop is particularly recommended for those who teach online or hybrid courses.

Note: Faculty should not take this workshop if they are enrolled concurrently in the Preparation for Teaching Online workshop.


Have questions? Send us an email.