Faculty Development Opportunities

Academic Affairs and Academic Services are offering the following faculty development opportunities. All sessions are held in the Classroom Building, Room 214. Most workshops are offered on at least two dates.

Weekly Blackboard walk-in support is available on Tuesdays 12-3 p.m. and Wednesdays 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Introduction to Universal Design
September 1, 10 a.m.; September 22, 12 p.m.

Michael Caulfield, Emma Frieberg, Patience McGinnis
Captions help students with hearing impairments, but they also help students who want to quickly find a point in a video. Screen-readable text helps people using screen readers for vision difficulties, but also aids the student who wishes to refresh their memory during a jog. Online tests designed to work without time limits help students with test anxiety, but also serve students who may have unreliable internet connections.

We’re used to thinking of meeting accessibility requirements as a burden, because it’s often something we think about after the fact. Universal Design asks us to think about designing for accessibility not as accommodation, but as producing a better course for all students. This 30-minute session goes over what Universal Design for accessibility means and what it looks like in practice, and offers some baby steps you can take towards it.

Getting Started with Blackboard
September 1, 12 p.m.

Ryan Thomas
This is a faculty-driven introduction to getting started with the Blackboard LMS. Topics covered are uploading your syllabus, organizing your materials, setting up your gradebook, assignments and quizzes. Additional topics will be covered based on participant request. We’re in a computer lab for this, so you can also work while you listen!

Using OneDrive for Storage and Sharing
September 1, 2 p.m.; September 8, 10 a.m.

Chris Rhoads, Ryan Thomas, Aaron Thorne, Adam Dvorak
All faculty, staff, and students now have institutional access to Microsoft’s OneDrive, an online document storage and collaboration platform. This entry level presentation will start by showing you how you can save your documents to OneDrive, offering you easy off-campus access to your work files and how those files can be shared with others, both internal and external to Washington State University. Some of the idiosyncrasies of sharing and document synchronization will be detailed.

Although all questions about OneDrive will be fielded, the focus of the session is squarely on the storage and sharing aspects of OneDrive; OneDrive use for collaboration (including review, co-editing, commenting, and revisioning) is dealt with in OneDrive for Collaboration later in the month.

Accessible Blackboard
September 8, 12 p.m.; September 15, 10 a.m.

Michelle Eccles
Most accessibility issues with Blackboard come from the way the platform is used, not from Blackboard itself. Following a few simple guidelines for organizing your files, checking the accessibility of print and video materials, and adding timing exceptions for students with cognitive disabilities can make a huge difference in the accessibility of your course and ensure compliance with accommodation letters.

As with most of our Blackboard sessions, we have computers in the room for this and are happy to take a look at your specific course and see what can be done to make it better.

Organizing Your Class in Blackboard
September 8, 2 p.m.;  September 29, 2 p.m.

Mike Caulfield, Ryan Thomas
Just as you don’t want to have to learn five different interfaces to do your job, students don’t want to have to guess at where important materials in a course might be, or sort through multiple folders to pull together materials for the current week’s assignments. This session will introduce you to simple techniques to organize and label your activities in Blackboard to make sure your students spend their time learning your subject and not learning to navigate your class. Techniques include week or module-based folder structures, “imperative” labels, video and document embedding, student completed weekly checklists. 

Helping Students Sort Fact from Fiction on the Web
September 15, 12 p.m.

Mike Caulfield
WSU Vancouver has been chosen by AASCU’s American Democracy Project to lead a nationwide initiative to improve the way that students obtain and evaluate information on the web. With nine WSU classes participating this fall and a major multi-institutional effort rolling out in the spring, we are exploring new ways to teach students to quickly and effectively sort truth from fiction in their Facebook feeds and Google search results.

This session will detail the latest research on why web readers struggle in evaluating web information, what strategies work, and how these strategies can be taught in any class. We’ll probably try to convince you to join our initiative, but this session is for newbies who want to improve how their students use the web for information seeking, and will demonstrate useful activities that can be executed in as little as one class session.

So You Have an Accommodation Letter: What’s Next?
September 15, 2 p.m.

Patience McGinnis
This session will go over the ins and outs of the accommodation letters many faculty receive when the semester starts. These letters require that professors make reasonable accommodations for students with federally defined disabilities. Patience will go over what the letters mean in practice, what reasonable accommodations look like, and who to turn to when you need help with the accommodation.

Preparing Your Class for a Campus Closure (or Other Unfortunate Events)
September 22, 10 a.m.

Chris Rhoads, Ryan Thomas
If you’re trying to figure out what to do for a class the morning of a campus closure (or other event that makes a class meeting impossible – even an unexpected illness) you’re going to have a bad time. This session shows how to prepare your class to use technology during a campus closer.

Collaborating with OneDrive
September 22, 2 p.m.; September 29, 12 p.m.

Chris Rhoads, Ryan Thomas, Aaron Thorne, Adam Dvorak
The companion class to Using OneDrive for Storage and Sharing, this class digs deeper into the ins and outs of working on specific documents with other people using comments, revision histories, and concurrent editing. Some of the oddities of ownership and permissions will be dealt with as well. The earlier session on storage and sharing is not required for this session, but may help. 

Better Quizzes with Blackboard
September 29, 10 a.m.

Ryan Thomas, Mike Caulfield
Learn how to use the best of Blackboard’s quiz features without falling into the deadly trap of the over-engineered quiz. We’ll cover technical issues such as question types, quiz banks, timing options, and randomization while also detailing decades of research on designing questions that test the abilities and understanding of students instead of their ability to decipher a test (e.g. using well-formed question stems, creating valid distractor items, reducing cognitive load, etc.).