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Faculty Workshops - Fall 2023

Workshops from Fall 2023

A series of one-hour “how-to” workshops to get you started with some basic online activities.  This series covers everything from giving live or recorded lectures, using various discussion board tools, giving an online test, and providing a platform for asynchronous student presentations.

The following workshops were held in Fall 2023



Getting Started: Blackboard Basics

This workshop is for Blackboard beginners. Learn the basics of setting up a course in Blackboard. This session will cover how to add and move content, how to use Announcements and Email for communication, how to manage the left-hand menu, and how to add basic tools to your course and review the grade center. It will not cover settings and options for any of the various tools or options within the grade center. 

August 8, 2023 10am - 11am


Add Interactivity to your Class: Poll Everywhere

The University has an Enterprise license for PollEverywhere. Come learn how to get your own account and use the various interactive polling features. 

August 8, 2023 2pm - 3pm


Getting Started: Using the Blackboard Course Template to Organize your Course

Having a well-organized course in Blackboard provides students and faculty the opportunity to focus on the essential coursework, meet course goals and achieve student learning outcomes. Come learn more about how to use “Learning Modules” to effectively organize your course materials in an effective, efficient and relevant structure that can be used for traditional, online, or hybrid classes.

This workshop applies specifically to the template used by Arts, Sciences, and Engineering, Eastman  School of Music, Warner School of Education, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and School of Medicine and Dentistry graduate courses, but concepts can be applied to any Blackboard course.

Dates: August 9, 10am- 11am



How-to Pre-Record and Deliver Video Content to your Students

Learn how to use Zoom to record a video lecture that includes PowerPoint slides, desktop software, or just video input. Best practices for creating recording lectures will be examined. Tips for creating effective lectures, including tips for fixing mistakes. Provide streaming access for that video to the students in your course via Blackboard and Panopto access controls. Panopto edit features, captioning options, viewing statistics, and adding quiz questions to videos will also be reviewed.  Using the Lightboard, instead of Zoom, as an option for creating videos will also be discussed.

Dates: August 15, 10am -11 am


How to Facilitate a Live, Interactive Zoom Session

Learn how to use Zoom to facilitate a live session. Learn some tips for maintaining your Zoom space securely, as well as how to share your screen, annotate on your screen, use the whiteboard, create breakout rooms, and use the polling feature to create an engaging and interactive session. Learn how to use different tools to add interactivity into your Zoom sessions. We will cover breakout rooms, polling, and use of Padlet in this session.

August 15, 2023 2pm - 3pm


Getting Started: Collecting Assginments, Projects, and Presentations Online

Learn how to set up the Blackboard assignment tool to collect individual student submissions and group submissions. Learn about different options for collecting various kinds of student assessments, including video and online presentations. 

August 16, 2023 10am - 11am


Collaborative Annotation using Perusall

Perusall is a social annotation tool. Learn different use cases for Perusall in your course. See examples of ways Perusall can be used to engage students around your content. Learn more about how connect Perusall to Blackboard.

August 16, 2023 2pm - 3pm


 Getting Started: Facilitating Student Discussion and Interaction

This session starts with an overview and comparison of discussion board options (Blackboard, Harmonize, Yellowdig, VoiceThread and Piazza). Then learn how to set up a discussion board within Blackboard. See how different settings can be used to facilitate different kinds of activities. The use of the Blackboard Blog tool will also be shared in this session.

August 17, 2023 10am - 11am


Building Community in your Course using Yellowdig

Looking for a different kind of discussion board? Yellowdig is similar to Facebook in that it provides a conversation that is more like social media. Additionally, students earn points for their contributions to the conversation on Yellowdig, whether it be through original posts or comments on posts from classmates. Learn more about how Yellowdig works, how it facilitates a commnity among students, and how to set up Yellowdig in your course. 

August 17, 2023 3:30pm - 4:30pm


Getting Started: How to Facilitate an Online Exam

Learn how to create and set up a Blackboard Test. The various options available for testing will be discussed including when and how to use each option. Additional testing software will be mentioned. 

August 22, 2023 10am - 11am


Enhancing your Discussion and Student Interaction using VoiceThread

VoiceThread is a tool that can add life to your discussions by allowing audio and video, as well as text-based comments. Learn how to build a VoiceThread, add comments, and share it with your class for discussion.

August 22, 2pm - 3pm


Learn how to Copy Materials from a Previous Course into your Upcoming Course

Learn how to make the best use of your time in copying materials from a previous course into the new template. We will cover how to copy individual items, individual tests, and full course materials.

Note: This workshop will cover how to copy from an existing course into the template used by Arts, Sciences, and Engineering, Warner School of Education, School of Medicine and Dentistry Graduate programs, Eastman School of Music, and Eastman Institute of Oral Health. The process will work for other school templates but will be demonstrated with this template.

August 23, 2023 1pm - 2pm


Getting Started: Planning to use the Blackboard Grade Center

Learn how to use the Blackboard Grade Center to grade submitted work. Learn how to set up new columns, categories, and smart views in order to make your grade book work for you.

August 24, 2023 10am - 11am


How to Use Padlet: A Digital Discussion Board

Padlet is an electronic bulletin board. Learn about different use cases for Padlet in your course. See examples of different ways Padlet can be used to engage students and support collaboration. Learn how to get a UR Account and connect Padlet to Blackboard so that students have accounts associated with their contributions.

August 24, 2023 2pm - 3pm



Qwickly Tools for Attendance and Course Management

Would you like to keep track of student attendance and have attendance auto-graded for you? Qwickly attendance can help you, regardless of the size of your class or the class modality. Attendance can be taken manually (for small classes) as well as with a swipe card (for medium classes) or through an online check in (for large courses).  Also, learn how to use Qwickly Course tools to check web links in your course, as well as how Course Tools can be used to communicate with students across multiple courses at the same time

August 29, 2023 10am - 11am


Enhancing your Discussion and Student Interaction using Harmonize

Harmonize is a new discussion board tool that can enhance to your discussions by allowing audio and video, as well as text-based comments. 

August 29, 2pm - 3pm


Planning for Collaborative Hy-Flex Classroom Experiences

Higher education institutions have an opportunity to reimagine the tools they use to support students in both physical and virtual learning environments simultaneously. Session presenters will describe what it looks like to meaningfully design and implement post-pandemic hy-flex courses by sharing their decision-making process, planning stages, and how they revisited the models, and evaluated hy-flex success. This work was supported by the University’s Educational IT Innovation Grant program.

This workshop was offered twice:

September 5th 9:00am-10:00am 

September 7th 12:00pm-1:00pm 


Repurpose, Reuse & Upcycle Video Content with PlayPosit!

Repurpose existing content for a new use in your course (e.g. broadcast it!), Reuse video content already created and Upcycle (modify and embellish) the resulting learning objects you’ve established to scale your impact and engage your learners.  New to PlayPosit?  Watch this short video. This workshop will highlight the fundamentals of PlayPosit with an emphasis on interactions that are automatically graded by the platform.

September 12 2:00pm - 3:00pm



Improve the Accessibility of your Course with Ally

This workshop will talk about the importance of accessibility related to your course materials and give you information about a tool to examine your content and make it more accessible.

September 26, 2023 3pm - 4pm


Bimodal Engagement Strategies to Support Hy-Flex Teaching and Learning Experiences

Designing and implementing hy-flex courses can be a highly complex process. It goes beyond simply incorporating video conferencing equipment; rather, it requires careful planning and consideration of technology, experience, and engagement. The presenters will share recent research on strategies for delivering bimodal high-touch points hy-flex course experiences that allow opportunities for all learners to feel engaged, connected, and present for course learning. This work was supported by the University’s Educational IT Innovation Grant program.

October 17th at 9:00am-10:00am

October 19th 12:00pm-1:00pm


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