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College of Fine Arts and Communication
Office of Technology and DE Services

Erwin 210 panorama

Individual and Group Instructional Technology Training

One of the primary services offered by the Office of Technology and Distance Education Services is faculty development training. Below is a listing of various topics currently approved by the Provost office for annual DE training requirements. Other topics, locations, dates and times are available upon request. For faculty who teach online courses, one training session per year is required for compliance. This office will offer training sessions for DE faculty on a regular basis, but faculty can request special training sessions on specialized topics. If interested, please contact Michael Dixon at or 328-6567 to discuss topics, times, and dates.

Please note that the training room (Erwin 210) is not accessible by elevator. If you are interested in a training session but cannot access this location, contact Michael Dixon at or 328-6567 to schedule a session in an accessible location.

Blackboard 13: The New Blackboard (Changes and New Features Overview) (1 hour)

Change is inevitable! ECU will be upgrading Blackboard to a brand-new version at the end of the Spring 2014 semester (and before Summer Session 1 starts). A few faculty members are teaching with Blackboard 13 this Spring, and I'm teaching a large online class with it as well. This session will showcase the changes and new features that will impact you the most as we all migrate to Blackboard 13 this summer.

Contact Mike to schedule this session for you or a group with your colleagues!

Incorporating Visuals into Blackboard (1 hour)

Struggling with integrating media (images, video, audio) into Blackboard for student viewing? Ever want to spruce up an Announcement by embedding an image? This session is for you. Many online students are visual learners. By incorporating imagery or other media into your course materials (even a banner for your Bb course), you can create a more welcoming and productive environment for your students.

Contact Mike to schedule this session for you or a group with your colleagues!

Tegrity in an Online Class (sneak peak at MyMediaSite) (1 hour)

Tegrity is a lecture capture tool commonly used in the classroom. However, this training session will be unique in that it will not only introduce you to Tegrity, but also provide instructional best practices in an online class...including students using it to record their presentations or videos. This session will also give you a sneak peak at a new tool coming soon that may be a far better tool for collecting student videos.

Contact Mike to schedule this session for you or a group with your colleagues!


Blackboard Advanced: Taming the Blackboard Grade Center (approx. 1 hour)

Whether you teach in the classroom or online, students are becoming accustomed to having their grades available to view 24/7 in Blackboard. Properly setting up the Grade Center to do your bidding requires some forethought and planning! There are also several additional features and tricks that can simplify your life as well. While the Grade Center isn't perfect for everyone (some instructor's methods of grading simply don't jive with how Blackboard's Grade Center works), it can be a powerful tool.

In this session, you'll learn about:
  • Keeping the Grade Center tidy (organization tips)
  • Determining & Deleting unnecessary columns; reordering columns
  • Best way to override grades
  • Using categories
  • Looking at the grades from the student's point-of-view
  • Using color to highlight certain grades in the Grade Center for easier tracking of low-performing students
  • Learning how to work with weights for easy end-of-semester final grade calculations
  • Running total vs. non-running total: which is best to show students?
...and more! Bring your questions, scenarios, and grading policies to see if it will work with Grade Center!

The Grade Center is no where near perfect, but if properly utilized, it can practically eliminate student inquiries about their grades and save you time at the end of the semester.

Contact Mike to schedule this session for you or a group with your colleagues!

How to Integrate Exam Proctoring in your Online Course (1 hour)

You've probably heard about the online proctoring system through the UNC "Portal". It originated at ECU's College of Business and has been adopted by the entire UNC system for proctoring online assessments. In this session, you will learn how to integrate proctoring into an online course, learn best practices in instructing students to use the UNC Proctoring system, and take a tour of the UNC proctoring site and how to add your exams to it. We'll also discuss the types of assessments that work best with this proctoring system. We welcome any comments from attendees who have used the system before, so we can all learn!

Contact Mike to schedule this session for you or a group with your colleagues!

Blackboard Advanced: Becoming a Power User (approx. 1 hour)

You've used Blackboard for several years but you know there are features and tools you aren't using. This session will focus on several features in Blackboard that could help instructors become more efficient when delivering instruction and instructional materials in Blackboard. Find out whether certain tools are worth your time and effort implementing into your online course/materials. Tools and features covered include:
  • Adaptive Release
  • Messages
  • Blackboard Blogs
  • Respondus LockDown Browser
  • Learning Module
  • "Mashups"
  • Chat
  • SafeAssignment and the coming of TurnItIn
  • Wiki
  • Statistics
Contact Mike to schedule this session for you or a group with your colleagues!

Reflective Journaling in Online Courses (1 hour)

This will be both a session on best practices in the use of reflective journals in Blackboard as well as a discussion on journaling in online courses. Journals have been found as an effective means of accomplishing/developing self-knowledge (Black et al, 2000). Other research has found that journals facilitate learning by enhancing students' ability to make multiple connections within a course (O'Rourke, 1998). Perhaps if you don't currently use journaling, you might after this session! We will also do a comparison between the journal and the blog tool in Blackboard.

Contact Mike to schedule this session

Creating a Great DE Syllabus (approx. 1 hour)

Bring your syllabus for your online course(s) and let's see if we can make them even better! Using proven methods and design, discover how to best present your information in a way that reduces student questions (e-mail), clutter and more. Also provided will be wording you can use in your own syllabus to describe online proctoring services, computer system recommendations, academic integrity, and more.

Contact Mike to schedule this session

Methods of Communication in Online Courses (approx. 1 hour)
Contact Mike to schedule this session

This will be both a session on best practices in online course communication in a discussion format. How much is too much availability? What are student expectations? What are your expectations for student communication with you, the instructor? Share what policies you use in your class and hear about others.

Synchronous or Asynchronous?  (approx. 1 hour)
Contact Mike to schedule this session

How much is too much when involving live instruction with online students? Involving live, real-time instruction in an online course can be an effective method of communicating information to students, but it can also introduce a hardship as well. Synchronous instruction can also involve technology hurdles for both instructor and student. This session will hopefully generate a lively discussion on the debate on the importance of synchronous instruction, its potential benefits and pitfalls, and determining which courses it would serve best. Also learn about the new tool "Blackboard Collaborate" which is like Centra except that it works inside Blackboard!

Black, R.S., Sileo, T.W., & Prater, M.A. (2000). Learning journals, self-reflection and university students' changing perceptions. Action in Teacher Education, 21(4), 71-89.

O'Rourke, R. (1998). The learning journal: From chaos to coherence. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 23(4), 403-413.

* This room is not wheelchair accessible. There is no elevator in Erwin.