OFDIT Newsletter February 2024

Dear Faculty,

We hope you’ve had a good start to the semester, and we are excited to share several updates and opportunities coming this spring! Thank you in advance for providing your feedback on some of our Brightspace LMS menu and homepage proposals, and we’ll look forward to seeing you at some of the Brightspace demo sessions OFDIT and CUNY will be offering over the next few weeks (links below!). 

This Thursday, you can get new pedagogy perspectives by attending the SPS Student Roundtable session or a CEID workshop delivered by SPS faculty from our Business program. Other professional opportunities we want to share include application deadlines for a new CUNY faculty fellowship and an NEA publishing institute opportunity at the end of the month. Last, please find details and registration information about SPS’s Open Spring workshop in March, the upcoming SUNY Online Summit, the D2L Connection one-day event, and the 2024 CUNY-wide Teaching and Learning Conference. We hope this round-up of offerings helps you spring forward into new skills, connections, and inspiration!

Brightspace Update

We are in the exciting phase of customizing our Brightspace environment for the SPS community. As part of this project, we are sharing some mockups of the home pages and navigation menus (or navbars) for SPS and SPS courses. This first pilot attempt will be followed by iterative development as needed in the future. 

    • We welcome feedback on the Brightspace landing page for SPS students, faculty and staff (College homepage and College navbar)
    • We also welcome feedback on the home page for SPS courses (Course homepage and Course navbar)
    • The home pages and navbars we decide on will become the default for SPS.  Navigational consistency within our LMS is very important to our students. However, faculty are able to make adjustments to meet learning needs.
    • Programs may also decide to customize their own versions going forward to better match the needs of their courses.

Please view mockups of the pilot homepages and navbars on this website. If you would like to share any feedback, please follow the survey links on the webpage and complete the Brightspace Environment Feedback form by Monday, February 19.  We’ll keep the form open over the long weekend to allow for the maximum time for input. Your thoughtful consideration is much appreciated! 

Training also continues this month with the addition of Brightspace demos for SPS faculty and staff (see below).  Other options include facilitated CUNY workshops and the self-paced SPS Brightspace Essentials. Please visit our Brightspace training page for all current offerings 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at brightspace@sps.cuny.edu

SPS Spring 2024 Events

Brightspace Demos for SPS Faculty

Join us over Zoom for a live demonstration of the new Brightspace learning environment.  Led by our very own OFDIT team, this 1-hour session will demo the most common features for those new to the platform. Starting with how to access Brightspace, the session will go on to demonstrate accessibility features, basic navigation, the student experience, and the instructor experience. 

Let’s Talk AI: SPS Student Roundtable 

Join our panel discussion about SPS students’ experiences with generative AI tools in their learning. Learn about some ways students might leverage generative AI, and their motivations and concerns. Understand student perspectives on the support and resources necessary for an optimal learning experience that acknowledges the presence of generative AI. 

Open to students, faculty, and staff

CIED Workshop

The Committee on Institutional Equity and Diversity (CIED) is pleased to offer a workshop on “Pedagogy Grounded in Reality: Incorporating Chattel Slavery’s Contribution to Higher Education.” 

Presenters: Dr. Tara Barca and Dr. Linda L. Ridley

About the workshop:
Traditionally, the fundamentals of management teaching have been aligned with the belief that conventional management theories were developed separate and apart from the institution of chattel slavery and the management of race (Aufhauser, 1973; Blackmon, 2008; Cooke, 2003; Roediger & Esch, 2012). This workshop will incorporate the results of a qualitative study that examined the exclusion of chattel slavery in the teaching of the history of American business (Baptist, 2014; Katznelson, 2005). Participants will be encouraged to enhance their research knowledge and reshape their pedagogy to include the true origins of educational concepts and theories, and through workshop activities and guided discussion, gain cutting-edge tools to facilitate inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible pedagogy.

Open to all CUNY SPS students, faculty and staff

March is Open Spring at CUNY SPS!

The OER Initiative is sponsoring the Open for All Workshop & Discussion Series (March 1-28), a hybrid online (sync/async) workshop on best practices at the intersection of Open Education and Inclusive Pedagogy. Synchronous online discussions on the themes of representation, accessibility and inclusion, and student agency will take place Fridays at lunchtime and are open to the whole SPS community!

    • We are seeking proposals for participation in the discussion from students, faculty, and staff by Feb. 21. Please share this invitation with your students!
    • Registration for the workshop is open to faculty and staff through Feb. 26.

For more information about the workshop or the discussions, please see bit.ly/OpAll or come to our info session Friday, February 16, 12-1 pm, in which we will discuss the DEIA Annotations to the SPS Course Review Rubric that we created as a tool for reflecting on how to build inclusivity and belonging into online courses.

Engagement Events for SPS Faculty

Call for Applications: CUNY Strategic Innovation Faculty Fellowship

New Faculty Fellowship Opportunity! From Summer 2024 – Fall 2024, CUNY Strategic Innovation Fellows help to advance the development, delivery, and governance of university-wide solutions in a number of areas that will strengthen the academic enterprise and outcomes for CUNY students.  Strategic Innovation Fellows work in a variety of Offices within the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) at CUNY Central, informing policies and initiative while earning valuable professional development and exposure. 

Depending on the Fellows’ host office, sample responsibilities include: creating a fellowship focused on supporting high school students enrolled in College Now courses; integrating career connections into degree pathways; informing educational technology deployments; developing experiential learning opportunities in healthcare sectors; and participating in other projects as determined by Office leadership. 

Application deadline: February 29, 2024 at 5pm ESTClick here for more information about the Strategic Innovation Fellowship and a link to the application portal

SUNY Online Summit

Attend for a fee in-person at the SUNY Global Center (116 East 55th Street), or for free online with live-streamed sessions about online program administration, instructional design, pedagogy and student support. Links to recordings will also be provided to registrants. Open to all!

February 28 and 29, 2024 – Click here to register

D2L Conference 

D2L, parent company of our new LMS, Brightspace, is having a free one-day, in-person event at the SUNY Global Center on March 1. Held in conjunction with the SUNY Online Summit, this event is an opportunity to learn more about accessibility, inclusive learning, student engagement, ways to establish instructor presence, and other tips and tricks. 

March 1, 2024 from 8:45am- 2:20pm –  Click here to submit a proposal or to register to attend  

National Endowment for the Arts Open Education Publishing Institute:
Collaborative Knowledge and Social Justice

Interested in giving your students transferable skills in writing, research, and publishing while disrupting the canon and centering diverse voices? The Institute for Advanced Topics in Digital Humanities will support faculty in creating Open Educational Resources, designing classroom assignments, or developing publications from June 2024 – May 2025. 

Proposals due March 1, 2024  –  Apply here

CUNY Innovative Teaching Academy – Generative AI Series

This series is a monthly, free, one-hour summit of CUNY faculty and staff devoted to sharing innovative teaching strategies and student-centered learning methods.  Save the dates below, more details to come:

    • Session 1: Teaching and Learning ABOUT and WITH AI: Discipline-Specific Ideas | Friday,  February 16, 2024, 11 AM – 12 PM ET – event registration full, but keep an eye out on the  CUNY Innovation Teaching Academy website for session recording.
    • Session 2: Using AI Collaboratively with Students: UDL, Open Pedagogy, and Student Motivation | Friday, March 8, 2024, 11 AM – 12 PM ET – Register here
    • Session 3: What AI Cannot Do: Equipping Students with Humanistic Skills in the Age of AI | Friday, April 12, 2024, 11 AM – 12 PM ET – Registration will open March 14th on the CUNY Innovation Teaching Academy website 

Save the Date: March 22 is the CUNY-wide 2024
Teaching and Learning Conference 

Want to share or learn more about outstanding teaching practices, exchange innovative ideas, strategies, and research findings? The CUNY Teaching and Learning conference is a great chance to present your research, facilitate connections, and network across the system. Event is free, open to all, and will be held in–person at the CUNY Graduate Center. 

Sign up to attend by March 14, 2024Click here to register

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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