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Summer 2015 Seminars

The Faculty Center for Learning Development (FCLD) offers ongoing seminars and instruction on a variety of instructional technology, including Blackboard, the University's learning management system (LMS).   FCLD will be offering the following seminars during the Spring Semester.  Unless otherwise indicated, all seminars are held in the Woods Classroom in Mortensen Library. Faculty interested in attending should please call 860-768-4661 or e-mail to register.

Getting Started with Blackboard – Every Tuesday

Tuesdays, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.
Woods Classroom (Mortensen Library)
This session is designed as a general orientation to Blackboard, the application used to put courses online. You’ll learn strategies for organizing your Blackboard course, review the many tools and features available in Blackboard, and start adding course content items like your syllabus and web links to your Blackboard course. Be sure to bring a digital version of your syllabus and/or other course materials; this is designed as a hands-on seminar.

Check Out What’s New in Blackboard – Inline Grading, SafeAssign/Assignment Integration, Retention Center, Grade Center updates, and more! Multiple Dates:
Thursday, May 14, 12:15pm – 1:15pm
Wednesday, May 20, 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Friday, May 29, 11:00am – 12:00pm
Wednesday, June 24, 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Blackboard was upgraded in May and now has some amazingly useful tools and enhancements, including inline grading, which allows instructors to annotate, comment and grade Blackboard assignments, wikis, blogs and journal attachments without downloading the assignments to their PCs. The new service pack also integrates SafeAssign into the Assignment tool in Blackboard along with some other changes to the Assignment tool set up. The Retention Center has been added, the Grade Center has been updated. There are other additional updates that have been added to Blackboard as well.

Best Practices in Accessibility Friday, May 8, 1:00pm – 1:30pm
Accessibility is a standard of best practices that allows users of all abilities and disabilities to use resources (ie: content in Blackboard). It is important to especially focus on making media (images, videos, audio) accessible to users who may be hard of hearing/deaf and/or visual impaired/blind.

Creating Video ‘Lecturettes’ with Personal Capture (PCap) Friday, May 8, 1:30pm – 2:00pm
Echo360 Personal Capture is a simple, convenient tool that can capture your voice, the action on your computer screen, and web cam video. Its versatility means that you can use it to record audio podcasts, video lectures, or narrated presentations and demonstrations. It is free for you to use as University of Hartford faculty. This session will guide you through the process of recording a narrated screen capture, editing it, and publishing it to Blackboard.

SafeAssign/Assignment Integration Monday, May 11, 11:00am – 11:30am
SafeAssign is now integrated into regular Blackboard Learn Assignments. Learn about the new ways Blackboard has integrated these to make life simpler for students and faculty, how they are graded, and other options. Also, learn about Designated and Anonymous grading options that have been added to the Blackboard Assignments tool.

Blackboard’s New Inline Grading Tool Monday, May 11, 11:30am – 12:00pm
Tired of downloading papers from Blackboard just so you can grade them? Blackboard’s new Inline Grading Tool is designed to allow instructors to grade and markup student documents in assignments, blogs, wikis and journals without the cumbersome process of downloading and using Microsoft Word’s markup tools or something equivalent. This seminar is a must for online instructors, but very helpful for anyone who uses Blackboard’s assignments, blogs, wikis, or journals tools.

Retention Center in Blackboard Monday, May 25, 3:00pm – 4:00pm
The Retention Center provides an easy-to-use data visualization and pre-configured rules for identifying at-risk students in a course. Learn how to use this helpful tool and customize reports for your courses.

Tests and Pools in Blackboard Wednesday, June 3, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
There are many different test types and ways to integrate test banks from publishers in your Blackboard courses. This session will guide you in the various test types there are, how to import and create pools, how to create tests from a random sort of questions or from specially elected question banks and the various testing options available.

Grade Center: Do It Now! Friday, June 5, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Come and learn now setting up your Blackboard Grade Center early in the semester has numerous advantages. Doing so early means you can:

  • Have course grades calculated automatically throughout the course.
  • Help students keep track of their own progress throughout the course.
  • Have information ready at your fingertips when it's time to submit mid-semester or final grades.
  • Weight grades and drop lowest scores quickly and easily.

Getting Started with Ensemble, Our “In-House YouTube” Monday, June 8, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Ensemble Video is an in-house video server like YouTube and was designed for publishing and sharing large media files, such as audio and video files. It can be used to share video lectures, instructional videos, and helps centralize campus media by providing ‘one stop media shopping’ for students and faculty. Ensemble is user-friendly and intuitive, and uploaded videos are organized into libraries that can be shared with others. Since videos are streamed rather than downloaded to a person’s computer, they are better protected. Ensemble videos can be accessed from a website, a play list or directly with Blackboard, providing an easy way to share videos with students in a class.

Achievements and Badges in Blackboard Friday, June 12, 11:00am – 12:00pm
The achievements tool allows instructors and course designers to designate criteria for issuing rewards to students in the form of both Badges and Certificates. Students can see which rewards they’ve earned and what is required of them to receive additional rewards, providing insight into learning progression toward defined competencies. Students are able to publish badges to the Mozilla open Backpack, transporting evidence of their learning outside of Blackboard Learn. Instructors can easily see which students have reached learning milestones.

Keeping your Computer Safe Tuesday, June 16, 1:00pm – 2:00pm
This seminar will show you how to keep your computer safe and running smoothly. We will show you how to prevent viruses, malware and ransomware and what to do if you get it. We will also show you other ploys that the bad guys use, such as phishing and phone calls and how to avoid them.

PowerPoint Tips and Tricks from a Graphic Designer Friday, June 19, 10:00am – 11:00am
Learn how to spice up your PowerPoints in this seminar. Create visually stimulating PowerPoint slides that are appealing to the reader and incorporate media in its various forms. Learn how to embed images and manipulate them and how to embed videos and audio. Add graphics, transitions, animations and other tools to create interactivity within your lectures.

Preparing to Teach Online Series

This summer, in partnership with University Programs, FCLD again will be offering a seminar series designed to prepare instructors for online teaching and learning. The sessions are all on Mondays and Wednesdays in June based on the following schedule:

  • Planning and Designing an Online Course
    Monday, June 1, 2015 3:00pm – 4:30pm (Woods Classroom, Mortensen Library)

    “What do I need to know to be an effective online instructor?”  In this first seminar we will answer this question, as well as demonstrate best practices for transforming face-to-face courses into online courses, show examples of exemplary online courses and syllabi, build a Blackboard Learning Module, and share useful resources that will help you as you design your online course. 
  • Creating Organized & Effective Instruction
    Wednesday, June 3, 2015 3:00pm – 4:30pm (Woods Classroom, Mortensen Library)

    In this hands-on seminar, we will use Blackboard to apply what was discussed in week one. Participants will learn different ways to structure and organize course content, as well use Blackboard Learning Modules to create easy-to-follow online lessons.  Finally, we’ll explore the many diverse sources of ready-made course content readily available on the Internet.
  • Basic Tools for Online Instruction
    Monday, June 8, 2015 3:00pm – 4:30pm (Woods Classroom, Mortensen Library)

    Just like any instruction, we need to be able to communicate with students, collect assignments, and facilitate group work like case studies and projects.  This seminar covers basic Blackboard tools that are essential for online instruction including Email, Announcements and Alerts, the Assignment Tool, and Blackboard Groups.  We’ll also discuss synchronous communication tools such as WebEx.
  • Fostering Interaction and Collaboration
    Wednesday, June 10, 2015 3:00pm – 4:30pm (Woods Classroom, Mortensen Library)

    Distance education means there is “a distance between learner and teacher which is not merely geographic, but educational and psychological as well” (Moore, 1983). One hallmark of a well-designed online course is that it uses interaction to close up this distance, building in lots of different ways for students to work together and form their own online community.  During this seminar, participants will learn how to foster and encourage interactivity using tools such as the Discussion Board, Blogs, Wikis, Journals, and other non-Blackboard tools.
  • Grading, Feedback and Support
    Monday, June 15, 2015 3:00pm – 4:30pm (Woods Classroom, Mortensen Library)

    One of the best ways to learn about teaching online is hearing about the experiences of instructors who have taught online in the past.  University of Hartford instructors will share their online courses and experiences, as well as field questions from audience participants in this informal Q & A session. Come hear from your colleagues!
  • Tips and Tricks from Experienced Online Instructors
    Wednesday, June 17, 2015 3:00pm – 4:30pm (KF Room, Mortensen Library)

    Your course is designed, your content prepared and loaded, your instruction and assignments align with your objectives, there’s a good mix of media presented, and opportunities for collaboration and interaction -- but how will you inform your students about their progress? Grade Center! Learn basic and necessary house-keeping of Grade Center and ways to set up Grade Center to reflect your grading scenario. We’ll also demonstrate and discuss ways you can offer feedback and build in support for students into your course.

Faculty interested in attending should register by emailing or calling (860) 768-4661.