Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center

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Blackboard I: Introduction to Blackboard
Tuesday, July 10, 2018 from 1:30 PM to 4:30 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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Blackboard II: Building Your Blackboard Course
Thursday, July 12, 2018 from 9:30 AM to 11:00 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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Introduction to Live Online Classes Using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
Tuesday, July 17, 2018 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Many faculty consider live, personal interaction to be the most valuable element of quality teaching and learning experiences. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is web conferencing/collaboration tool that faculty and students rely on to provide opportunities for live interaction and personal connection in online and blended courses. In this hands-on workshop, you will be able to try the features of Collaborate Ultra first-hand. No previous experience needed. Advance registration is required.
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Designing a Course Syllabus
Thursday, July 19, 2018 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
The course syllabus is an essential component of your course and should be thorough, precise, and clear. Since the syllabus is often one of the first means of communication between you and your students, it should set the tone for the entire semester. The ultimate goal of a well-designed syllabus, therefore, is to inform students about what is expected of them throughout the semester by outlining content, requirements, policies, and due dates. In essence, the syllabus acts as a road map to help students navigate the course. In this workshop, we will discuss key elements of a course syllabus, possibilities for design layout, and provide a checklist to help you create a well-organized and complete course syllabus. Advance registration required.
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Building Classroom Games and Simulations
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
In this hand-on workshop we will create and share engaging educational games and simulations using inexpensive materials. Learn about game mechanics and how to relate them to your course content. Explore how games can help your students learn through cooperation, strategy, competition, and creativity! Breathe a new energy into your most difficult course topics or bring your own gaming or simulation ideas to life. Have a game that you’ve already created? Come show it off! Advance registration is required.
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Applying the Quality Matters Rubric
Thursday, July 26, 2018 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/20180726. Advance registration is required.
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**NEW - ONLINE** What's New in Blackboard?
Tuesday, August 14, 2018 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Our May 2018 Blackboard upgrade migrated us from our local servers to Blackboard’s cloud hosting (SaaS) and allowed us to adopt the Q2 2018 Release. The upgrade is largely behind-the-scenes, to reduce the costs of running Blackboard and continue to provide a stable and reliable teaching and learning environment. There are some exciting new features, as well, including a new tool to record attendance and include it in grade calculations, and some enhancements to existing tools. Join us to learn more about what’s new in this upgrade! Advance registration is required.
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Fall 2018 Teaching Effectiveness Institute - Fundamental Principles of Instruction
Thursday, August 16, 2018 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
This institute is designed to introduce faculty to the basic principles of teaching, share information about teaching-related support resources available at NIU, and discuss how faculty can address students’ learning needs. This institute will include interactive presentations by NIU faculty and staff and participants will have opportunities to network with both new and experienced NIU faculty. This institute is geared toward those who are new to teaching as well as those wanting to refresh their knowledge about teaching fundamentals. More details are available at go.niu.edu/tei18day1.
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Fall 2018 Teaching Effectiveness Institute - Teaching the Selfie Generation
Friday, August 17, 2018 from 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM
In this workshop you will explore the characteristics of the latest generation of students entering our classrooms today, engage in interactive group discussion, and experience some quick exercises to model teaching strategies for our current students. Specifically, you will:

  • identify the group of students known as the “selfie generation”;
  • explore some of the characteristics attributed to millennial or post-millennial learners;
  • complete a quiz designed to locate oneself in a list of different generations;
  • engage in individual reflection and group discussion;
  • join in several quick exercises designed to model teaching strategies for our current students.
More details are available at go.niu.edu/tei18day2am.
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Fall 2018 Teaching Effectiveness Institute - Critical Reflection in Enhancing Student Learning
Friday, August 17, 2018 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
In this workshop you will: 1) share a variety of ideas for how to embrace reflection to improve student learning through practical strategies that can be implemented in courses across disciplines and in out-of-class experiences; 2) engage in collaborative group work designed to foster conversation and open exchange of different teaching methods in diverse academic areas; 3) simulate some of the reflective exercises and will reflect themselves to help generate a list of additional tips to add to suggestions such as learning portfolios, online feedback tools, journals, learning logs, classroom assessment exercises, and others. More details are available at go.niu.edu/tei18day2pm.
Register here!