OFDIT Newsletter September 2023

Dear Faculty,

In this month’s newsletter we are introducing SPS’s new Faculty Advisory Board cohort, providing the latest updates about the LMS Transition, and inviting you to a compensated OER workshop opportunity. We’re also sharing our schedule of faculty trainings for Fall 2023 and a call for submissions from the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. Please fill out our survey link to let us know what you’d like to learn about AI in the classroom, and consider checking out the upcoming series about AI hosted by CUNY Innovative Teaching Academy.

We hope your semester is off to a great start and look forward to supporting your work in the classroom!

New 2023-2024
Faculty Advisory Board

Welcome to new OFDIT Faculty Advisory Board (FAB) members Elizabeth Alsop (Communication and Media), Lilly Matthew (Nursing), and Faime Moussavi (Business) and to returning members Bradley Gardner (IS/DS), Jeanneth Sangurima Quiles (General Education), Richard Schumaker (General Education) and Chris Kchao (Office of Accessibility, ex officio).

The new FAB kicked off last week and is looking forward to working on projects including the LMS transition, faculty development offerings, and the Teaching Excellence Awards.

LMS Transition News

OFDIT has been planning major milestones for the school to smoothly accomplish the transition from Blackboard to Brightspace. This Fall 2023 semester is earmarked for planning, awareness, and training of key staff. In the Spring of 2024, training will be available to all faculty and students and we will start to migrate course sites into the new platform. Our courses will be offered in Brightspace for the first time in Summer 2024.

Your input is important to help ensure a successful transition! We have created four implementation committees to guide and inform decisions, and we invite you to join one or more of these committees. Visit the CUNY SPS Brightspace Transition site to learn more and sign up. All CUNY SPS faculty, staff and students are welcome to join!

Open UDL Workshop:
Making Your Courses Accessible to All

OFDIT and the SPS OER Initiative are pleased to invite all faculty to participate in the Open UDL Workshop (October 23 to November 6, 2023).

This fifteen-day, asynchronous online workshop provides an in-depth introduction to Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and to the intersection of UDL and Open Educational Practices (OEP), which include OER and Open Pedagogy. Participants will review the principles of UDL and explore how OEP can help reduce accessibility barriers for all learners, including those with disabilities. Participants will also learn about best accessibility practices in online courses, including identifying and fixing common accessibility issues. For their workshop project, participants will complete an inventory of one of their courses from a UDL perspective and create a plan for implementing UDL principles and open practices.

Eligible faculty participants will be compensated with 7 NTA hours upon successful completion of the workshop. Registration is open through Friday, October 13. For more details, please see our Advanced Workshops page on the SPS Faculty Community Site.

Generative AI

OFDIT would like to hear from you! Please take a few minutes to give us your input on how we can support shared knowledge and practices around AI in the SPS classroom.

All CUNY faculty are invited to a special series on generative AI hosted by the CUNY Innovative Teaching Academy. SPS’ Ruru Rusmin will be co-facilitating the first session with colleagues from Hostos and Hunter:

Friday, September 29, 2023, 11AM – 12PM
What is AI and What Can it Do?
Led by: Andrea Fabrizio (Hostos), Jack Kenigsberg (Hunter), Ruru Rusmin (SPS)

    • What is Generative AI and what can it do?
    • Prevalent concerns about AI in educational settings
    • Possible positive impacts of AI

Friday, October 27, 2023, 11AM – 12PM
AI in the Classroom
Led by: Mohammad Azhar (BMCC), Jeremy Caplan (J-School), Roderick Snipes (BMCC)

    • Using AI to increase student engagement (and reduce plagiarism)
    • Improving productivity to develop instructional content
    • Integrating AI into assessment

Friday, November 17, 2023, 11AM – 12PM
Bias, Accuracy, and Ethical Issues of AI 
Led by: Matt Gold (GC), Carlos Guevara (Hostos), Olena Zhadko (Lehman)

    • AI’s limitations and flaws
    • AI policies in your syllabi
    • Improving our and students’ AI literacy in an ever-changing landscape

JITP  – Call for Submissions

The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy (JITP) is an open scholarly journal that covers the intersection of technology with teaching, learning, and research. Sections include scholarly articles, assignments, “blueprints” of digital tools or techniques used in teaching or research, reviews, “teaching fails”, and tool tips. The JITP accepts submissions in a variety of digital media, in addition to text-based papers.

If you have adopted or developed innovative teaching practices in your online courses and are seeking a venue for sharing these with colleagues, consider submitting to the JITP for publication. Further questions can be directed to Elizabeth Alsop (elizabeth.alsop@cuny.edu), our SPS colleague and co-editor of the upcoming issue of the JITP. Submissions are due December 21, 2023.

OFDIT Fall 2023 Trainings

The Pedagogy of Social Annotations

Social annotations can radically change the way your students engage with your course materials, each other, and you, combining the benefits of annotation, dialogue, accessibility, and digital accountability. In this one-hour workshop, we’ll look at social annotations across a range of disciplines, platforms, and assignment types, and discuss how this practice can build students’ skills, foster community, and promote intellectual growth.

Introducing CUNY Pressbooks

Have you been meaning to adopt, adapt, or create OER for your courses? Do you wish that an OER you use were more inclusive, accessible, or customized for your students? Do you dream of having self-check questions or social annotation built into course readings? CUNY’s Pressbooks Network might be the right tool for you.

The CUNY Pressbooks Network is an elegant publishing platform that offers the opportunity to find, adapt, or create openly licensed course materials. With pedagogical features ranging from glossaries and built-in social annotations to interactive questions and LMS grading functionality, CUNY Pressbooks is a great option for presenting customized course readings. In this hands-on, one-hour training, we’ll preview some of these features, see them in action in resources just waiting to be adopted, and then dive in to get familiar with the platform and its robust tools.

Anthology Ally: An Introduction

Learn how Anthology 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 Anthology Ally provides in addressing any areas where accessibility can be improved, often very quickly!

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 by discussing current practices of ePortfolio at CUNY SPS, navigating through the tool in your course site, and showcasing the various support resources available for both students and instructors.

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.

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!

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!

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.

As always, OFDIT is here to help! We are available for one-on-one support and are also happy to schedule a Zoom call to discuss any questions you may have. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at facultysupport@sps.cuny.edu.

All the Best,
Your OFDIT Team

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