OFDIT Newsletter August 2022

August 2022

Dear CUNY SPS Faculty,

The Office of Faculty Development and Instructional Technology (OFDIT) is excited to welcome you to our Fall 2022 semester! In this newsletter, we share news about our completed transition to Panopto’s video platform.

Speaking of videos, our Open & Active Video Workshop will also be offered again, starting up on Monday, Sept 19th, and we would love for you to take part. Please find details below.

As always, please feel free to reach out to us for any assistance you may need as we begin this new semester and throughout the term. Below, you will see information about our Faculty Support Drop-In Hours which we hold every Tuesday afternoon via Zoom. We welcome any and all questions you may have!

Last but not least, we kick off our Fall Faculty Corner with a useful idea shared by Curtis Izen about using an Outlook distribution list to stay in touch with your students.

Stay tuned for more information about our Fall training sessions in our next newsletter!

Panopto is Here! Updated Video Tools in Blackboard Null

The Panopto video platform has been fully integrated within Blackboard. In previous newsletters, we announced that our original video system, Ensemble Video, was purchased by Panopto. Over the summer OFDIT and Panopto migrated all SPS content to our new service. Faculty that were using Ensemble Video will now find their content located in their Panopto account. All links and embeds created with Ensemble Video will be maintained.

Moving forward, to ensure the best experience when using Panopto with Blackboard, all users must allow their web browsers to open pop up windows from Blackboard. When accessing Panopto from Blackboard a pop up window is needed to log in users (instructors and students). The pop up opens, logs in the user, and closes in a couple seconds. This needs to happen once per Blackboard session. We’ve documented steps you can share with your students if video playback is interrupted by a user’s browser blocking the pop up. Please visit our support site Panopto for SPS Faculty for these resources.

Please feel free to explore Panopto and its myriad of features including in-video quizzing, deep viewer analytics, and interactive transcripts, just to name a few! Access Panopto in Blackboard by clicking on the “Tools” link in the left-hand navigation menu, and then clicking on “Panopto Content.” You can also log in to the Panopto portal directly here: CUNY SPS Panopto (use your CUNYFirst login). Be on the lookout for upcoming trainings on using Panopto with your courses. In the meantime, please contact facultysupport@sps.cuny.edu for any questions related to Panopto.


Open & Active Video Workshop

Looking to increase student engagement and lesson effectiveness? Don’t miss the hands-on Open & Active Video Workshop, Monday, September 19 to Monday, October 3, 2022.

This workshop combines the pedagogical why and the practical how to help you generate an interactive video to use in your courses. We start by identifying a course need that can be addressed by the addition of multimedia content presented in an active learning context. Then we’ll train you on how to script, record, and edit your video, adding interactive elements. In the second week, you’ll work independently (with our support) to create the video and accompanying activity. You’ll wrap up the workshop by sharing your video and activity in an open format for other instructors within CUNY and beyond on OpenEd.CUNY.

What’s more, thanks to the OER Initiative, participants can be compensated for their work. Upon successful completion of the workshop, eligible participants will be paid for 7 Non-Teaching Adjunct hours. To be eligible, faculty must be first-time participants in the workshop, be within their workload restrictions with an additional 7 NTA hours in the Fall 2022 semester, and have approval from their Academic Director. See the full workshop description including learning objectives and workshop requirements on our Advanced Workshops page.

Registration is open through Friday, September 9: https://forms.gle/nBWwT62HLYge3doB8

Faculty Support Virtual Drop-In Hours

Need live faculty support? Stop by during our Faculty Support Office Hours every Tuesday 3-4pm via the Zoom link. An OFDIT team member will be on hand to assist with any Blackboard questions


Faculty Corner: Notifying Your Students Outside of BlackboardNull

“The archetypal method to send announcements or email to your entire class is through Blackboard. How would you contact your students if Blackboard was down or you are traveling and don’t want to use the Blackboard app to inform your class of important information?

I create an Outlook distribution list of my student’s SPS emails each semester by downloading the roster from CUNY First.  Follow this link to learn how to Notify your Students Outside of Blackboard.“ – Curtis Izen, SPS Adjunct Faculty, Business 


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

Wishing you a very successful Fall semester!

All the best,

Your OFDIT Team

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