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FCLD's Fall 2017 Seminars

Posted 10/12/2017
Submitted by Bevin Rainwater
Category: Campus Announcements

The Faculty Center for Learning Development (FCLD) offers ongoing seminars and instruction on a variety of instructional technology, including Blackboard, the University's learning management system (LMS). FCLD will be offering the following seminars during the fall semester.  Unless otherwise indicated, all seminars are held in the Woods Classroom in Mortensen Library.   Faculty interested in attending should register by emailing or calling (860) 768-4661. 

Getting Started with Blackboard/Blackboard Drop-in

Tuesdays, 12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. - Woods Classroom or FCLD Lab

Every Tuesday, we offer an orientation and drop-in clinic for Blackboard, the application used to put courses online. If you are new to Blackboard, you’ll learn strategies for organizing your Blackboard course, review the many tools and features available in Blackboard, and start adding course content items like your syllabus and web links to your course. Be sure to bring a digital version of your syllabus and/or other course materials; this is designed as a hands-on seminar. If you’re using Blackboard.

Getting Started with Ensemble, the Campus’ “In-House YouTube”

Monday, October 16, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Ensemble works like an in-house YouTube, allowing faculty to quickly and easily upload videos, then link to them from Blackboard and other websites. Faculty who are flipping the classroom, teaching online, using video clips in instruction, or working with student video projects should plan to attend this special information session about Ensemble. Pre-registration is helpful for this session, so that an account can be created for you in advance.

PowerPoint Bootcamp: Getting Started with PowerPoint

Wednesday, October 18, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Prerequisites: Introductory level, basic working knowledge of PCs and navigation

In this introductory session to PowerPoint, we will explore how to get started in creating PowerPoint presentations to use in your classroom or conference presentations. Using PowerPoint 2016 for PC, we will cover basics such as:

  • Creating new slides and choosing slide layouts
  • How to add backgrounds to slides
  • How to insert images, customize, and compress them
  • How to change font types, sizes and styles
  • How to add simple slide transitions and animations
  • How to insert sound and/or videos

In this session, we will also discuss how PowerPoint, used correctly, can be a valuable tool in the classroom and also show you how to rectify common mistakes. We will explore bad vs. good PowerPoint design and best practices for use in the classroom.

Digital Notebooks: More than Just a Note-Taking Tool

Thursday, October 19, 2017, 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Guest Presenters:
Danielle Bellows, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences 
Dr. Lee Townsend, Assistant Professor in the College of Engineering, Technology and Architecture

In this session, Ms. Danielle Bellows and Dr. Lee Townsend will discuss best practices and ways to use interactive digital notebooks such as OneNote and Evernote to: promote collaborative learning; engage and organize students; and provide an on-going professional resource. Using

interactive notebooks is a great way for students to take notes, post labs, and curate content for research papers or projects. With the use of a digital notebook, students can scaffold their assignments, describe experiences and craft meaningful, thought out writing. These notebooks are also useful for educators in planning lessons and capturing feedback after a class. Outside the LMS, the notebooks provide a collection of work for students that they can use for portfolios that can be used as a future resource. Notebooks can be shared with your class, students can contribute to the notes, and whiteboard photos can be captured and handouts can be disseminated. Students and Educators can access digital notebooks like OneNote and Evernote across multiple devices such as their computers, phone or tablets, allowing them to create content on-the-go, in their own spaces, and on their own time.

PowerPoint Tips and Tricks from a Graphic Designer

Monday, October 23, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Prerequisites: Intermediate to Advanced users of PowerPoint.

Learn how to spice up your PowerPoints in this seminar, creating visually stimulating PowerPoint slides that appeal to the reader and incorporate media in its various forms. Learn how to embed images, manipulate them, and also add graphics, transitions, animations and other tools to create interactivity within your presentations.

Build Polls and Quizzes into your Classes with Office Mix

Wednesday, October 25, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Office Mix is a powerful tool and a free add-on to PowerPoint 2013 that makes authoring and sharing online lessons and presentations simple. Interactive simulations, videos, polls and quizzing can be embedded into narrated PowerPoints to enhance the learning experience. Office Mix is accessible via the web and can show data about who watched your mix, how much time was spent on each slide, as well as their responses to quizzes or polls. In this session, we will explore the features of Office Mix and talk about learning strategies. 

Creating Video ‘Lecturettes’ with Personal Capture (PCap)

Monday, October 30, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Personal Capture (PCAP) is a simple, convenient tool that can capture your voice, the action on your computer screen, and webcam video. Its versatility means that you can use it to record audio podcasts, video lectures, or narrated presentations and demonstrations. This session will guide you through the process of recording a narrated screen capture, editing it, and publishing it to Blackboard. Pre-registration is helpful for this session, so that an account can be created for you in advance.

The Power of Stories: Engaging Students through Digital Stories

Thursday, November 2, 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Guest Presenter: 
Dr. Susan Cardillo, Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the School of Communications

The best stories are those we tell again and again. For the next generation of storytellers, this means crafting inspiring, shareable tales that audiences will eagerly pass on. Research suggests that as many as 56 percent of online supporters report compelling storytelling as a motivation for taking action on behalf of social causes.

Digital storytelling takes the art of oral storytelling and engages a palette of technical tools to weave narratives using images, graphics, video, music and sounds mixed together, using a voice narration. In this engaging seminar, Dr. Susan Cardillo will share some tools to create digital stories that you can use with your courses or share with students so that they can create unique presentations for an array of subjects. Making a digital story involves creative and critical thinking, inquiry, writing, discussion, design, production, reflection and presentation. It provides opportunities for students to enhance the expression of their own or others’ stories, thoughts and ideas in creative and engaging ways, across a diverse range of learning contexts.

Setting up Blackboard Tests and Quizzes

Monday, November 6, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

In this session, FCLD will demonstrate the step-by-step creation of quizzes and polls in Blackboard, tips and tricks to improve online assessment experiences, and discuss strategies for using Blackboard tests and quizzes that may improve student learning.

Create Signatures, Forms & More in Adobe Acrobat Pro

Wednesday, November 15, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

In this hands-on session, we will explore some advanced features available in Adobe Acrobat Pro, such as creating digital signatures and developing fillable forms. We will also discuss some other features, such as how to convert a scanned image PDF to a text-based PDF using Adobe’s built-in OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool. We will also demonstrate how to run the Accessibility Checker to ensure that our PDF documents meet Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act guidelines.

Ensemble Next Steps: Captions, Student Submissions & Playlists

Thursday, November 16, 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Prerequisites: Getting Started with Ensemble Session or prior use of Ensemble. Ensemble account is required.

Did you know that you can upload videos to Ensemble from your phone, or have your students submit video and audio files to stream via Ensemble? In this session, we will demonstrate how upload videos on mobile devices; create playlists and stream them in Blackboard; create digital dropboxes for students to send instructors their videos for grading and/or to share their videos with the class; as well as how to caption videos uploaded to Ensemble. This session is for Faculty or Staff who are already using Ensemble.

Blackboard’s Inline Grading Tool

Monday, November 20, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Tired of downloading papers from Blackboard just so you can grade them? Blackboard’s Inline Grading Tool is designed to allow instructors to grade and markup student assignments, as well as grade blogs, wikis and journals without the cumbersome process of downloading and using Microsoft Word’s markup tools or something equivalent. This seminar is a must for online instructors, but very helpful for anyone who uses Blackboard’s assignments, blogs, wikis, or journals tools.

Excel SIG: Formatting Text and Numbers

Lee Townsend, Assistant Professor, College of Engineering, Technology & Architecture
Thursday, November 30, 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Prerequisites: This session is for intermediate to advanced users of Excel

In this continuing professional development series, Dr. Lee Townsend, Assistant Professor in the College of Engineering, Technology and Architecture will be presenting and guiding us in an interactive session in Excel.  One of the most powerful tools in Excel is the ability to apply specific formatting for text and numbers. Instead of displaying all cell content in exactly the same way, you can use formatting to change the appearance of dates, times, decimals, percentages (%), currency ($), and much more. This session is open to both PC and Mac users; however, Mac users will need to bring their laptops as we do not have Macs on hand for participants to use. Faculty and Staff are invited to join us for this Excel SIG session in the Woods Classroom, Mortensen Library.  Space is limited, so please RSVP as soon as possible to

These informal gatherings are open to all instructors and staff, and are designed to provide a forum for sharing ideas and effective techniques for using Excel in the classroom or in our daily university work.  They typically include a brief (15-20 minute) presentation by a faculty member on his or her use of Excel, followed by a hands-on activity and an informal – and lively – conversation. 

Grade Center: Do It Now!

Friday, December 1, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Come and learn how setting up your Blackboard Grade Center early in the semester has numerous advantages.   Doing so earlier means you can:

  • Have course grades calculated automatically throughout the course.
  • Help students keep track of their own progress throughout the course.
  • Have information ready at your fingertips when it's time to submit mid-semester or final grades.
  • Weight grades and drop lowest scores quickly and easily.