OFDIT Newsletter February 2023

February 2023

Dear Faculty,

We at OFDIT are excited to share our spring faculty development calendar, along with other opportunities for professional learning and dialog in the coming weeks!

In this edition we feature the upcoming CUNY Mindset Summit, with a session led by our own Assistant Dean Angela Francis. We also share information about our CUNY SPS Open for All Workshop (registration open until Feb. 24), on using OER and Open Pedagogy to support inclusive teaching, and an update on the SPS Reflective Pedagogy Reading Group.

You can also browse OFDIT’s Spring 2023 faculty training calendar, which features some new topics such as Blackboard Ally and an OpenLab info-session, along with sessions on Panopto, OER, and ePortfolio, and more!

Last, check out the many events offered this month and next by the CUNY Innovative Teaching Academy (CITA), including a session on ChatGTP coming up Friday, Feb. 17 and the CITA Summer Institute 2023 (with registration due March 10).

Looking forward to seeing you at some of the events as you hone your professional practice!

CUNY Mindset Summit 2023

Friday, March 3, from 9:30am-12:30pm bit.ly/3HJK2WQ

Assistant Dean of General Education and First Year Experience, Angela Francis, will be leading a breakout session on Growth Mindset Beyond the Classroom.

ALL CUNY COLLEAGUES ARE WELCOME including faculty, staff, and administrators – those who are new to the area, and those who are familiar with the concept of learning mindsets!

This inaugural CUNY-wide summit will be an opportunity to review the three learning mindsets, collectively called Mindset GPS: Growth Mindset, Purpose and Relevance, and Sense of Belonging, and discuss how to translate the framework into equity-focused practices. The event will kick off with a plenary panel discussion featuring nationally renowned experts in the field of learning mindsets and equity, followed by three concurrent workshops facilitated by colleagues from across our campuses who have been serving as CUNY’s mindset leaders.

Join our growing community of open practitioners for Open Spring!

Open for All Workshop (March 2023)

Open Spring at CUNY SPS 2023 will cover the intersection of Open Educational Resources (OER), Open Pedagogy and Inclusive Pedagogy through the implementation of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility (DEIA) educational practices. The Open for All Workshop (March 3-31), built around a series of five live online discussions with a supporting Blackboard course and resource site, is a process-based workshop focusing on how to evaluate a course for inclusivity along different dimensions (ex., representation, accessibility, and student voice and choice), and how Open Pedagogy and OER can be leveraged to increase inclusivity. As a final workshop project, participants will conduct a review of an SPS course that they have developed or taught and present a proposal for increasing inclusivity in the course using specific DEIA and open practices. All SPS faculty and course developers are invited to participate in the workshop, whatever their level of experience with DEIA pedagogies, OER, or Open Pedagogy.

See our Open Spring at CUNY SPS page for more info.

Workshop Registration open now through Friday, Feb. 24.

Spring is a great time for Open! We are offering our one-hour training on OER and Open Pedagogy at the end of February, and Jesse Rice-Evans, manager of our soon-to-come Open Lab, will be introducing that platform in early March, coinciding with OE Global’s Open Education Week, March 6-10. See info and registration links for those two SPS sessions below.

Open Education Week is a celebration of the global movement of OER and Open Pedagogy educators. It’s an opportunity to share your own open projects and to see how OER and Open Ed are being implemented by colleagues all over the world. The call for submissions is open now! Also, be sure to check the OEWEEK site March 6-10 to see all of the activities and resources that are shared.

Reflective Pedagogy Reading Group

The SPS Reflective Pedagogy Reading Group kicks off its spring meetings on Tuesday, February 28, 2-3pm with a discussion of ChatGPT. For more information, email Elizabeth Alsop (elizabeth.alsop@cuny.edu).

OFDIT Spring 2023 Trainings

For more information and to register for any of the trainings below, please see Training Sessions for SPS Faculty.

Panopto for SPS Faculty

Creating video content just got a whole lot easier! Whether you need to record a welcome message, a lecture, or a recorded announcement for your class, Panopto, the SPS video platform integrated into Blackboard, can make it happen in a few clicks. Participants will learn how to access Panopto and its features through Blackboard, focusing on a workflow to create, organize, and publish your video content. Special attention will be paid to viewing permissions, sharing content between courses, and captioning. Join us to boost your video skills!

A Cut Above: Making Your Videos More Professional 

Learn simple steps to present yourself on video to enhance your connection with your students by looking more professional. Nowadays, we have multiple opportunities to be on camera for synchronous virtual meetings or recording content for our classes. Having your students see and hear you builds rapport and sparks excitement for learning. No matter if you’re trying this for the first time or have been creating media for a while, this session we’ll give you a set of guides to make your videos look more professional.

Personalizing Your Panopto Video

As many of us have learned, using Panopto to create a video is a simple process. But many of us have yet to unlock the powerful features inside Panopto that can transform video to maximize its impact. In this session, participants will look inside the Panopto video editor to discover tools for trimming or cutting video, adding additional content (ex. YouTube videos), or challenging students with in-video quizzes. Finally, we’ll review Panopto’s robust viewer analytics that tells us who has watched the video and for how long. Join us to make your next video go from good to great!

From Open Educational Resources (OER) to Open Pedagogy

Whether you’re looking to lower course costs for your students, update or customize instructional materials to make them more relevant and engaging, or empower your students to become active contributors to your field, Open Educational Resources (OER) and open pedagogy may be just what you’re looking for!

ePortfolio for SPS Faculty: An Introduction

If this is the first time you are using Digication’s ePortfolio in your course or you need a quick refresher, this workshop will help both new and existing faculty get acquainted with ePortfolio. We will discuss the current practice of using ePortfolio at CUNY SPS, navigate through the tool in a course site, review the responsibilities of instructors when using ePortfolio, and showcase the various support resources available for both students and instructors. There will also be time to answer any questions you might have about ePortfolios at CUNY SPS.

OpenLab Info Session

Planning your future collaborative projects? Curious about what digital tools will be available at CUNY SPS in the near future? Thinking about what open digital pedagogy tools are best to collaborate, create, and explore? In this one-hour informational session, we’ll introduce the CUNY OpenLab. We’ll explore projects on other CUNY-based OpenLabs and take an informational tour of other OpenLab sites to explore the possibilities of a new, open-source platform coming soon to CUNY SPS. At the end of this interactive info session, we’ll share upcoming opportunities to participate in other workshops geared toward open digital pedagogy.

Introduction to Blackboard Ally

Learn how our new tool, Blackboard Ally, can increase access and improve the overall learning experience in your course by providing choice and flexibility for how students consume content and access media. We will cover both alternative file formats and the accessibility gauge features that are now available to all in your courses and the support Ally provides in addressing any areas where accessibility can be improved, often very quickly!

Making Your Course Content Accessible with Ally

Want to make your documents and Blackboard course content accessible but don’t know where to start? Join us for a training session to learn how! We will cover accessibility principles and provide practical tips on how to use Blackboard Ally to make your course files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Blackboard content (such as font, headers, images, charts, graphs, hyperlinks) more accessible to all your students.

Getting Started with Blackboard Mobile

In this session, we will explore the Blackboard Mobile application and gain an understanding of how students experience learning on the go. We will also discuss the major interface differences between Blackboard Mobile and Blackboard for Desktop and best practices for online course design for mobile devices.

Screencast-O-Matic: Effective Editing Techniques

Screencast-O-Matic (SCOM), a powerful video creating and editing tool, is available to SPS Faculty. In this session, participants will learn effective editing techniques that will direct your audience’s attention to what’s important. Used in conjunction with Panopto, the SPS video hosting platform, SCOM makes advanced editing features simple. The result, you can produce a polished video with a few simple steps.

VoiceThread for SPS Faculty

This training will introduce VoiceThread, an asynchronous video discussion board. VoiceThread allows faculty and students to create multimedia presentations that creates a classroom community through threaded audio and video discussions. You and your students can add commentary to a presentation by means of microphone, webcam, keyboard, or phone. The ensuing conversation feels like a live classroom, but in an online environment. In this session, SPS faculty will learn how to create a VoiceThread and integrate it into their Blackboard course.

Upcoming CITA Events

CUNY’s Innovative Teaching Academy will be offering the following opportunities:

Friday, February 17, 2-3pm (Virtual Event)

Introduction to ChatGPT

Laura Baecher, School of Education, Hunter College and Jack Kenigsberg, Acting Coordinator Rockowitz Writing Center, Hunter College will be leading an overview of ChatGPT’s implications and possibilities for higher education.

To find out more about what ChatGPT is capable of and to consider ways you might create assignments keeping ChatGPT in mind, check out the event page on Eventbrite for more information and to register.

Friday, March 10, 2:00-3:00 PM (Virtual Event)

The New College Classroom

Cathy Davidson and Christina Katopodis, CUNY Central Office

March 14, 1:59 PM (3.14159) (Virtual Event)

Sharing a Slice of Pi: Pi Day Celebration

Mathematics and pastry chef faculty will join efforts in this interdisciplinary presentation to celebrate Pi Day. The presenters will share fun facts about pi and pie with the goals of generating interest and motivating learning. The participants will have the opportunity to try a hands-on activity and to share their favorite pi/pie activity or story. All are welcome!

Friday, April 28, 10:00-11:00 AM (Virtual Event)

Environmental Justice Across Spaces

Rebio Diaz Cardona, Nathan Hosannah, Tomo Imamichi, Ryan Mann-Hamilton, and Ingrid Veras, LaGuardia Community College

Friday, May 12, 2:00-3:00 PM (Virtual Event)

Teaching and Learning with Transformative Texts

Karin Beck, Mila Burns, Alyshia Gálvez, and Julie Maybee, Lehman College

CITA Summer Institute 2023

Interested in promoting equitable and inclusive STEM teaching and learning? The CITA Summer Institute will be held from May 30 – June 5th, 2023 (2 days in-person, 3 via Zoom) in support of projects which implement high impact practices at the classroom, department, or school/college level that promote equitable and inclusive teaching and learning in undergraduate STEM.

Project proposals could include curriculum development, new course proposal, course redesign, student learning activities, or student support activities. Collaborative projects are encouraged! Selected participants who complete the program will receive a $1000 stipend and the opportunity to present their developed projects.

Click here to learn more and apply. Applications are due March 10th, and applicants will be notified of acceptance by March 31st.

Call for Faculty Corner Submissions

If you have a useful or interesting pedagogical or technicalFaculty corner imagel tip (in 200 words or less!) that you are excited about, we would love to hear from you and add your submission to our next Faculty Newsletter. Please use our Faculty Corner Submission Form to submit your pitch. Your submission can be in text or video format – whatever you prefer!



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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