Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center

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Using Advance Organizers to Help Students Construct Meaning
Monday, February 20, 2017 from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Advance organizers are instructional tools that illustrate relationships between concepts, terms or ideas connected to a learning task. Although advance organizers may be referred to as concept maps, story maps, or graphic organizers, they all follow a similar practice in which introductory material, presented as text, graphics, or hypermedia, act as frameworks for further content. Advance organizers can help students organize ideas, understand new content, solve problems as well as plan research and increase recall. Workshop participants will practice using a range of advance organizers that are applicable across all learning disciplines. Advance registration is required.
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**ONLINE** Universal Design for Learning: Part I - Multiple Means of Engagement
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM | Location: Online
Contemporary classrooms include a more diverse mix of students than ever before - 21st century students bring a wide variety of interests, skills and expectations to the classroom. Are you looking for new ways to connect with students and engage them in your classes? Have you wondered about techniques for motivating students in your classes? During the first session of the 3-part online series we will introduce the concepts of Universal Design for Learning, which focus on designing instruction that is usable by all students. Strategies for engaging and motivating students will also be discussed.
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Screencasting to Facilitate Learning Opportunities
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Screencasting is becoming an increasingly common tool for online instruction. The workshop introduction will focus on the process of conceptualizing educational tutorials, asking important pedagogical questions, storyboarding ideas, and deciding on the most appropriate method for distribution of content. Participants will use Camtasia Studio, a screencasting program offering features and options that enhance instruction by capturing lectures, recording and highlighting interaction with website tours or software applications, and using closed captioning to expand accessibility. Participants will create a brief instructional screencast demonstrating various features. Advance registration is required.
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Reference Resource Management
Thursday, February 23, 2017 from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
How did you first learn to keep track of references and citations? Did you make index cards, keep a notebook, lists, or a spreadsheet? Today, there are much richer (and free!) tools for you and your students to save citation information while searching and browsing the Web. With a single click, save citations and create customized bibliographies in standard citation styles, including MLA, Chicago and APA. Create groups to share references with students, or for students to share with each other. In this workshop, you will learn the key functions of Zotero, a free program for reference management. We will cover adding citations to your reference library, organizing and managing those citations, creating a bibliography, and using the Microsoft Word plug-in to easily insert citations from Zotero into your documents. We will discuss implications for both professional and classroom use. Advance registration is required.
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Design Short Writing Assignments that Work
Friday, February 24, 2017 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
This workshop is part of the series: Tips to Engage Critical Thinkers & Writers - Transform Your Course Now!, presented by Brad Peters, Department of English.

What are alternatives to the dreaded term paper? Improve students' written skills and mastery of course content with short assignments you'll enjoy grading. Advance registration is required.
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**NEW - ONLINE** Evidence-based Practices for Blended Course Design
Friday, February 24, 2017 from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM | Location: Online
Based on principles from The Blended Course Design Workbook: A Practical Guide, participants in this webinar explore best practices for transitioning a course from a traditional, face-to-face environment to one that is blended. Topics include writing course goals and objectives, developing assessments, designing learning activities, and effectively leveraging technology for student success. Advance registration is required.
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**ONLINE** Quality Online Course Series: Promoting Learning with Technology
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM | Location: Online
In an online course, technology is necessary for connecting with students, engaging them in learning, and assessing their knowledge. It's important to choose the right tools that support the learning objectives but are also obtainable and suitable for student use. In this online workshop, you will learn how to ensure technology in an online course supports learning and discover some tools you can incorporate into an online course. Advance registration is required.
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Formative and Summative Feedback for Teaching and Learning
Wednesday, March 1, 2017 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Providing and receiving feedback is known to enhance teaching and learning. But how (and why) do we choose the most appropriate form of feedback for any given situation? In this workshop we will discuss different forms of feedback, compare formative and summative feedback, and strategize which forms of feedback work best in different learning environments. Advance registration is required.
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Recognizing and Embracing Cultural Communications and Sensitivity in the Classroom
Thursday, March 2, 2017 from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM
This panel discussion will help you to adapt and adjust the way you communicate and recognize cross cultural differences in your courses, which is just as important as teaching your subject matter. With proper training, you can appreciate the value that students from other cultures bring to the classroom while maintaining your own cultural identity. Participants will practice with activities that will be applicable in their teaching.
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Clickers in the Classroom
Friday, March 3, 2017 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
This workshop is designed to introduce faculty to the instructional possibilities of the student response systems (clickers) and their integration with Blackboard. The student response system is an educational technology that faculty can use in conjunction with Blackboard to create an interactive learning experience for students. Clickers can be used to increase student engagement, facilitate collaboration and dialogue, provide instant feedback to questions, and improve class attendance. Student assessment results as well as attendance can also be uploaded to Blackboard. Advance registration is required.
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Blackboard I: Introduction to Blackboard
Tuesday, March 7, 2017 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Learn the basics of creating and developing a course in Blackboard, NIU's Web Course Management System. Participants will get an overview of course layout and navigation, have an opportunity to place materials in a sample course, and also get assistance with requesting their own Blackboard courses. Participants who wish to request their courses during the workshop must have an active NIU Account ID. [For information about NIU Account IDs used in Blackboard, contact the IT Service Desk: servicedesk@niu.edu or 815-753-8100.] Prerequisites: Basic computer skills; basic Web navigation skills. Advance registration is required.
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Writing Goals and Objectives
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Instructional goals are broad, generalized statements about what is to be learned. Instructional objectives, on the other hand, are focused measurable statements which will help you and your students reach your goals. When written well, instructional goals and objectives will assist in identifying course content, help organize your instruction, and best of all, help students achieve your expectations. In this workshop, we will review the characteristics of instructional goals and objectives and practice writing these two important components of successful instruction. Please bring a course syllabus to the workshop. Advance registration is required.
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Blackboard II: Building Your Blackboard Course
Thursday, March 9, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
This hands-on workshop is a follow-up to the Blackboard I: Introduction to Blackboard workshop. We will cover the specifics of developing a course in Blackboard, including personalizing course navigation, setting up a materials-delivery structure and creating discussion areas. Participants will work in their own Blackboard courses and should bring to the session any course materials they want to upload or work with during the workshop. Files need to be on a flash drive (readable in a USB port) or available online. Advance registration is required.
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Lighten the Paper Load
Friday, March 10, 2017 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
This workshop is part of the series: Tips to Engage Critical Thinkers & Writers - Transform Your Course Now!, presented by Brad Peters, Department of English.

What are smart ways to assign, manage, and grade papers? Make your life easier while motivating students through rubrics and "minimal marking." Advance registration is required.
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Applying the Quality Matters Rubric
Thursday, March 16, 2017 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
The Quality Matters (QM) Rubric identifies the characteristics of high-quality online courses that promote engagement and support student learning, based on an extensive body of research on online learning. In this day-long workshop, you will learn about the QM Rubric and its use in reviewing the design of online and blended courses by discussing the standards and conducting a partial course review. It is intended for a broad audience, including but not limited to faculty, instructors, instructional designers, and administrators who wish to understand more about the QM process and perhaps become QM Peer Reviewers. Learn more at facdev.niu.edu/20170316appqmr. Advance registration is required. 
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Using PowerPoint Interactively to Engage and Motivate Students
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Now that you have used PowerPoint to outline lectures and visually present information, learn how to create dynamic, interactive PowerPoint slides that can motivate and engage students. In this hands-on workshop, participants will construct a progressive series of PowerPoint slides that will illustrate a number of engaging, interactive, and focused strategies beyond simple projection of lecture notes. Advance registration is required.
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Supporting Student Success with the Blackboard Retention Center
Wednesday, March 22, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
One of the key factors in improving student retention is identifying students who may be at risk early and intervening before it is too late. The Retention Center, which is integrated into Blackboard, makes it easy for faculty to monitor student performance proactively and contact students who may need additional support. Student performance is tracked based on grade, activity level, access to the Blackboard course, and missed deadlines. In this online workshop, we will explore how the Retention Center can be used to track student performance and connect with students, to improve success and retention. Advance registration is required.
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Help Students Avoid Plagiarism
Friday, March 24, 2017 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
This workshop is part of the series: Tips to Engage Critical Thinkers & Writers - Transform Your Course Now!, presented by Brad Peters, Department of English.

How can we guide students away from academic misconduct? Advice from the National Council of Writing Program Administrators show you. Advance registration is required.
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Blackboard Groups
Monday, March 27, 2017 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Student group work can be an effective component in meeting and enhancing your course objectives. Unfortunately, the logistics of forming, supporting, and assessing groups can also present significant challenges. In this workshop, we will explore Blackboard's group feature and discuss related tools and strategies in order to address some of the more common difficulties when working with groups.
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**NEW - ONLINE** Quality Online Teaching Series: Humanizing Your Online Course
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM | Location: Online
Research suggests that building a strong sense of connectedness in an online course promotes student success, engages students, and retains students. This requires that you establish a strong teaching presence within the course, and that you create structures for students to form a community. In this workshop, you will learn strategies to make your online course more personal and techniques to build faculty and student presence in your online course. Advance registration is required.
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**ONLINE** Quality Online Course Series: Accessibility, Usability, & Student Support
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM | Location: Online
Online students can feel isolated, but they don't have to be. In this workshop, you will explore how usability and accessibility can set students up for success. You will also learn how to connect students with valuable support services. Advance registration is required.
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**ONLINE** Universal Design for Learning: Part II - Multiple Means of Representation
Thursday, March 30, 2017 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM | Location: Online
Contemporary classrooms include a more diverse mix of students than ever before. 21st century students bring a wide variety of interests, skills and expectations to the classroom. Are you looking for new ways to connect with students by diversifying how you present material in your classes? Have you wondered about techniques for reaching more of your students using a range of multimedia applications? During the second session of the new 3-part online series, we will continue our discussion of the concepts of Universal Design for Learning, which focus on designing instruction that is usable by all students. Strategies for devising multiple ways of representing content will be discussed. Attendance at Part 1 is not required to attend Part 2.
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**NEW** Expanding your Reach: Captioning for Self-Created Videos
Friday, March 31, 2017 from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
Video, whether used for instruction or communication, is an excellent medium to engage students and facilitate a sense of community within a course. However, it is important to ensure that the materials we use are accessible to all individuals. One way to ensure accessible video is to provide captions, which can help students with a hearing impairment, students whose first language is not English, or any student who could benefit from both reading captions and listening to the accompanying audio. In fact, it’s not only the right thing to do and beneficial to a variety of students, it is required by law. In this hands-on workshop, you will learn how you can add captions to videos you have created and post them in your Blackboard course. Advance registration is required.
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Respond Effectively to Student Writing
Friday, April 7, 2017 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
This workshop is part of the series: Tips to Engage Critical Thinkers & Writers - Transform Your Course Now!, presented by Brad Peters, Department of English.

Why do students need revision-oriented feedback? See how effective, time-saving response encourages students to do their best work and learn more. Advance registration is required.
Register here!