Faculty Development Day

Faculty Development Day Banner

CUNY SPS OFDIT is hosting
Faculty Development Day 2021: Looking Back, Moving Forward
Thursday, April 22, 2021, 2pm-5pm
Friday, April 23, 2021, 12pm-3pm
The theme of Faculty Development Day this year is synthesis and renewal–moving out of crisis and into a renewed commitment to our students, our research and writing, and our school’s mission.
On Thursday, April 22, CUNY SPS faculty will share something positive that has come out of this extraordinary year; such as a teaching practice or strategy, a new tech trick, or a scholarly accomplishment. On Friday, April 23, guest speakers will lead us through an exploration of the world of gamification. Can we add an element of play into our teaching practice? How can we leverage the benefits of game-based learning in our online classrooms?

All in the SPS community are welcome!

In addition to the live sessions, and after such an extraordinary year, we invite you to share your experiences and reflections on a Vision Board in Padlet. Please post thoughts, images, or links that reflect some of your experiences from the last year, and/or what you are looking forward to in the year ahead.

Thursday’s Recording

Recording of Day 1

Time Codes for Thursday’s Sessions:

  • 03:07 – Opening Remarks and Welcome, George Otte, Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
  • 17:33 – Decolonizing Curriculum through Empathy and Representation, Niberca Polo
  • 38:57 – Inclusion of LGBTQ+ Health Disparities Across Courseworks at CUNY SPS, Jan Oosting Kaminsky
  • 1:01:47 – Ensemble Video: A novel way for faculty and students to use multimedia content within their course, Curtis Izen
  • 1:23:44 – Giving Video Feedback on Blackboard, Sarah Ruth Jacobs
  • 1:46:38 – Using Active Learning Techniques with Adult Learners in Online Courses, Vicki Caruana
  • 2:07:55 – Inheritance Problems: Considerations when Adopting a Course, Dino Sossi
  • 2:26:55 – Reimagining ‘data-driven’ through professional development: Unlocking social learning in online environments, Bradley Gardner

Friday’s Recording

Recording of Day 2

Time Codes for Friday’s Sessions:

  • 01:42 – Opening Remarks and Welcome, John Mogulescu, Dean of the CUNY School of Professional Studies
  • 14:44 – How to Create an Academic Escape Room, Vanessa Leonardo of Kean University
  • 1:16:47 – What’s Your Game Plan?, Joe Bisz of BMCC

Thursday, April 22, 2pm-5pm (Day 1)

Opening Remarks and Welcome

2:00 pm
George Otte, Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

Decolonizing Curriculum through Empathy and Representation

2:20 pm
Niberca Polo
For too long now, curricula have been designed through a euro-centric and colonialist lens where many of our student populations have no representation, which perpetuates systemic oppression in the educational system; CUNY has one of the most diverse student populations in NYC yet the curriculum is still a reflection of a colonialist mentality, and our BIPOC (black indigenous and people of color) are often marginalized. Antiracist pedagogy can serve as a framework with which we can decolonize curriculum and build a more just society. In this conversation, I will address the ways in which we can bring anti-racist pedagogy into the classroom, through authentic content and teaching strategies.

Inclusion of LGBTQ+ Health Disparities Across Courseworks at CUNY SPS

2:40 pm
Jan Oosting Kaminsky
Over the course of the past two years, I developed an interprofessional course in LGBTQ+ Health. It is presently running for the first time this spring. The inclusion of LGBTQ+ experiences and perspectives can be woven through a variety of course materials and disciplines. This particular course is run through Nursing, with an interprofessional health perspective. In this session, I share more about the course with faculty from other departments so that they might encourage their students to consider it as an elective, or so that faculty may consider inclusion of LGBTQ+ populations in existing coursework as well.

Ensemble Video: A novel way for faculty and students to use multimedia content within their course

3:05 pm
Curtis Izen
Providing multiple means of engagement, I deliver multimedia created via Screencast-O-Matic or linked to YouTube. These videos often reside in the weekly folder. Students who wish to review the supplemental videos need to recall where they are located. As an instructor, I have a similar dilemma. By creating a playlist in Ensemble, I can house all my videos in one location while having ads removed. I can also have professional captions of my videos upon request. This makes it very convenient for students to have all the videos in one place for reference. As an instructor, I can update one location, making it conducive each semester the course is delivered. I create a course link in each weekly folder and include a direct content menu item in Blackboard for easy access. I can also add quizzes to my Ensemble videos and use these videos in VoiceThread as a “Watch a VoiceThread Assignment.

Giving Video Feedback on Blackboard

3:25 pm
Sarah Ruth Jacobs
I have been experimenting with giving video and screencast feedback, and I want to advise faculty on tools (Ensemble Video and Screencastomatic) to use for private student video feedback that works well with Blackboard. I will also talk a little about student feedback, what kind of assignments work best for video feedback, and accessibility considerations.

Using Active Learning Techniques with Adult Learners in Online Courses

3:50 pm
Vicki Caruana
Adult learners need to be active participants in order for learning to occur. When we appeal to the unique qualities of adult learners, we can then design more effective and meaningful learning experiences in our courses. This presentation explores a variety of ways to incorporate active learning into your course or training and offers a taste of a new upcoming 3 module workshop on Adult Learners, Andragogy, and Active Learning.

Inheritance Problems: Considerations when Adopting a Course

4:10 pm
Dino Sossi
Adopting an existing online course is a reality for many faculty members. This includes SPS faculty whose courses are based on master course templates. This session will present various considerations to help improve the existing courses that you might need to adopt.

Reimagining ‘data-driven’ through professional development: Unlocking social learning in online environments

4:30 pm
Bradley Gardner

The explosion of online classes in the last year has created immense amounts of data. The insights these data provide will change the way we teach.
Professional development activities like the PTO give us opportunities to participate in the making of these data and the story that’s told about them. What is the utility of the data we create through this process?
The types of social learning I witnessed in PTO inspired me to think about the difference between teacher and facilitator in an online setting. This experience has influenced the way I teach and mentor. To conclude I would like to have a broader discussion about innovation. Where will our inspirations come from – how should our new ideas be implemented?

Day 2 preview

4:50 pm

Friday, April 23, 12pm-3pm (Day 2)

Opening Remarks and Welcome

12:00 pm
John Mogulescu, Dean, CUNY School of Professional Studies

How to Create an Academic Escape Room

12:15-1:15 pm
Vanessa Leonardo, Instructional Designer, Kean University

Academic escape rooms are a unique way to fold in course content while gamifying the student experience. The session will start with a short digital escape room in which participants can experience the benefits of gamifying course content in a virtual, self-paced way. The following questions will be covered: what is an academic escape room, how are they created, what steps are entailed in the creation and execution of an escape room, and what methods can be used to ensure its success.

Vanessa Leonardo has worked as an Instructional Designer for over 7 years and has had the pleasure of exploring various methods of gamification: virtual reality, robot programming, 3D printing, and escape rooms, to name a few. Her favorite of these methods is the escape room. She has enjoyed creating both brick and mortar and digital academic escape rooms that enhance student engagement while promoting course content and course objectives. In 2020, Vanessa presented on this topic alongside her colleague, Arben Mulaj, for Educause’s On Demand sessions. She has an M.F.A. from the New School in Creative Writing and a B.A. in English from Pace University. Currently, she works as an Instructional Designer for Kean University.

What’s Your Game Plan? Designing for a Creative Classroom

1:15-2:45 pm
Joe Bisz, Associate Professor, Borough of Manhattan Community College

Imagine you’re teaching a lesson on citations. What does this lesson, the game “Trivial Pursuit,” and the mechanic “Bluffing” all have in common?

This hands-on workshop will teach you how to incorporate mechanics from play and games into your online and in-person exercises. We’ll examine a whole spectrum of activity possibilities, from students writing trick questions, to discussion board riddles, to PowerPoint puzzles. Together with colleagues, you will then brainstorm and design a fun yet rigorous activity-game that your students will love.

Joe Bisz is a national speaker, educational games designer, creative writer, and an English professor at CUNY BMCC. He has sailed his theoretical ship into a few ports of the world, including gender & sexuality studies, Popular Culture & Sci-fi, and game-based learning. His book The Allure of Play: The Educator’s Guide to Learning Games and Activities is forthcoming. He co-founded the professional development group The CUNY Games Network, built his own gamified learning management system Levelfly, delivered over 100 presentations outside his college, and was awarded 13 grants. Joe has spoken to many educators who desire high-impact pedagogies: game-based learning is the best tool he’s found for this mission.

Closing day activity

2:45-3:00 pm


Past Faculty Development Days

March 25, 2020 – Faculty Exchange, Student Panel “Making Knowledge Visible”, and Learning Labs

April 24, 2015 – Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners: Incorporating Universal Design and Adult Learning Principles into our Teaching

March 28, 2014  –  Raising the Bar: New Approaches and Tools for Teaching and Learning