OFDIT Newsletter October 2023

Dear Faculty,

We hope the fall semester is going well for you and your students! Thanks to those who have volunteered to serve on school LMS transition committees to support all aspects of the move to Brightspace for our campus. In this edition of the newsletter, you’ll find registration information about a funded opportunity to attend a UDL workshop, information about CUNY’s fall professional learning opportunities for faculty and our upcoming OFDIT technical and pedagogical training sessions, along with a tip and OLC membership benefits to support your teaching practice.

Open UDL Workshop starts
Monday, Oct. 23

Registration is extended through Wednesday, October 18, for this 15-day asynchronous workshop that covers best accessibility practices and the intersection of Open Pedagogy and Universal Design for Learning.

Eligible faculty participants will be compensated with 7 NTA hours upon successful completion of the workshop. For more details, please see our Advanced Workshops page. All faculty are welcome!

OLC Membership Benefits for all
SPS Faculty

CUNY SPS faculty can take advantage of our school’s membership in the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), one of the leading organizations for online educators.

OLC’s Quick Start for New Members:

  1. Create your own OLC User Account/Profile – ensures member benefits are available to you
  2. Sign up to receive OLC Today (weekly newsletter) – this is our best means of communicating what’s new in the world of online learning and education.
  3. Explore our Home Page and check out free resources available to you (download from our Tools Faculty Playbook or Communities of Practice in Higher Education playbook, sign up to watch OLC Webinars (live or recordings), explore the OLC Research Center.
  4. Rejuvenate: Take time to refuel – commit to a higher level of learning and involvement. Explore OLC Online Teaching Certificate Programs to advance your career.

For Active OLC Members:
OLC is here to support you with resources to help with your online teaching and learning goals and objectives.

LMS Transition News

Progress is underway in our transition to Brightspace: core staff training began and the implementation committees have started to organize their work. In September, OFDIT staff attended train-the-trainer and LMS admin workshops. More advanced training continues, along with development of resources for faculty and student training. We are looking forward to getting access to our own SPS “node” within the CUNY system, so that we can explore course and user management.

We’re also pleased to share that the four implementation committees – Communications, Technical, Training & Support, and Pedagogy & Practice– have kicked off and started to organize their work. It’s not too late to get involved and join a committee.

Please visit the Brightspace Transition site or reach out to us at brightspace@sps.cuny.edu for more information.

Engagement Opportunities for
SPS Faculty

CUNY’s Innovative Teaching Academy will be offering the Learning Disruption and Recovery series to provide an opportunity for all CUNY community members to deepen our understanding of learning disruption, and explore ways to proactively support students in and out of the classroom.

Topics include:

  • How learning disruption is manifested
  • Academic support: Best practices from campuses
  • Mental health and other non-academic support for students

Registration is available through the link above.

Special Series for CUNY Faculty: Disability & Accessibility

In Spring 2023, CUNY entered into a Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) with the U.S. Department of Justice. As part of its commitment to the VCA, the CUNY Office of Student Inclusion Initiatives and Disability Programs is sponsoring a 3-part series of virtual events this fall, open to all faculty and staff. December’s workshop on best practices might be of particular interest for teaching faculty!

Offered on Fridays from 2-3 PM on Zoom.

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.

The CUNY Teaching Matters Generative AI Series workshops are at capacity, but recordings and slides for the first and subsequent events can be found on the Teaching Matters events page.

  • Friday, September 29: What is AI and What Can it Do? (recording available)
  • Friday, October 27 (11-12pm): AI in the Classroom
  • Friday November 17 (11-12pm): Bias, Accuracy and Ethical Issues of AI

This year’s CUNY IT Conference theme is “Us and It. CUNY in the Age of Generative AI.” Registration is open for this event, which takes place November 30 – December 1, 2023.



Or “How Many Passwords Can One Brain Remember?”

This month’s tip comes from the CUNY Graduate Center Digital Fellows. Discover useful ways to create secure and memorable passwords here.


OFDIT Fall 2023 Trainings

If you haven’t gotten the opportunity already to attend any of OFDIT’s trainings so far this semester, check out our upcoming series of offerings below.

You can consult our Faculty Commons Site for a full description of our trainings.

The Pedagogy of Social Annotations

Introducing CUNY Pressbooks

Anthology Ally: An Introduction

ePortfolio for SPS Faculty: An Introduction

A Cut Above: Making Your Videos More Professional

Panopto for SPS Faculty

Personalizing Your Panopto Video

VoiceThread for SPS Faculty

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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