Previous Workshops

Blackboard Tips and Tricks

Description: Have you ever wondered if there is a way to get things done more efficiently in your Blackboard course? This workshop will introduce participants to various time saving tips and shortcuts in Blackboard, such as how to check your final grade calculation using student preview account, how to save and re-use frequently typed comments in assignment grading screen, how to navigate more quickly between multiple courses and many others.

Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Time: 11-11:30am

Presenter: Alena Woods, Manager of Adv. Rich Media for Faculty Development

Link to Recording

Promoting Regular and Substantive Interaction (RSI) in your Online Course

In this session, we will provide an overview of promoting regular and substantive interaction (RSI), which is an essential part of leading an online course. It not only helps engage students in the learning process, but it helps the instructor keep track of students’ progress. Besides being a pedagogical best practice, RSI is legally required in all online courses for which federal financial aid is used.  

Offering practical examples and recommendations, this is an ideal workshop for faculty who want fresh ideas for interaction leading into the fall semester. 

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • List characteristics of RSI
  • Describe how to promote RSI in their online courses  

Date: Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

Presenter: Scott Musfeldt, Online Course Design Specialist  

Link to Recording

Fair Use and Copyright in Online Courses

In GPS, we often get questions from online faculty about whether or not including specific materials (such as a pdf of an article) is considered fair use. This workshop will help clarify the criteria that make up fair use, providing examples of what is fair use and what is a copyright violation.

The workshop will also includes suggestions for finding alternative formats if the use of the desired materials violate copyright.

By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to explain:

  • the concept of fair use for online courses
  • the four criteria used to make the case for fair use
  • alternative formats and how to locate them

Date: Tuesday, August 9th 11:00 - 11:30 AM

Presenter: Carrie Powanda-Croft, Online Course Developer and Faculty Trainer

Link to Recording

Text or Video? Choosing the Most Effective Format for your Course Content

Session Description: When developing your course content, keep in mind its primary goal: successful transfer of knowledge and information to your students.  And since the knowledge and information can be transferred through different types of media, it's important to examine the benefits and drawbacks of each given the distinct objectives of each course.

In this session, we'll focus on the choice between video-based and text-based content, and we'll discuss the factors that can contribute to the decision.

Participants will be able to: 

  • describe the benefits and drawbacks of text-based and video-based content
  • determine the best format for their course content

Date: June 2022

Presenter: Scott Musfeldt, Online Course Development Specialist

Link to Recording

Academic Integrity in your Online Course

Description: We get many questions from faculty about how they can reduce the potential for academic dishonesty in their online courses. This workshop will address some steps that you can take to minimize the opportunity for plagiarism or cheating, Blackboard related or not.

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify Blackboard Tests options that decrease opportunities for collaboration.
  • Create Assignments using SafeAssign to identify any potential plagiarism.
  • Identify how tests and assignments can reduce opportunities for cheating or plagiarizing

Date: May 2022

Presenter: Carrie Powanda-Croft, Faculty Trainer

Link to Recording

Blackboard Course Showcase: Public Health Policy

Description:  Participants will be given a "tour" of a UML instructor's Blackboard course.  The instructor will demonstrate which methods and tools they used to create their learning content, student interactions, and assessments.  The workshop will include time for a Q & A session.

The goal of the workshop is for participants to be exposed to new and creative course design techniques.


  • Serena Rajabiun, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health
  • Scott Musfeldt, Online Course Design Specialist

Date: April 2022

Link to Recording

Using Blackboard Features to Provide Student Feedback

Description:  This workshop will discuss how to present feedback to students on Tests and Assignments in your online course.

Providing feedback on assessments is a large part of how students learn. Whether you are using tests or assignments, or both, feedback options are available in Blackboard for these assessments.

First, we'll discuss the feedback options for Tests and demonstrate what students see according to the feedback you choose to display. Then we'll provide an overview of the features in Blackboard Annotate, the inline grading tool for Assignments.

Participants will be able to:

  • identify the feedback options you can display on Tests
  • describe what the Test feedback options look like from the student perspective
  • explain the different ways to include feedback on assignments using Blackboard's inline grading tool

Date & Time: March 2022

Presenter: Carrie Powanda-Croft, Faculty Trainer

Link to Recording 

Feedback in your Online Course: Challenges, Strategies, and Best Practices

Description: Student feedback is an integral part of a successful online course, and it should be offered on a regular basis.  However, given the wide-ranging responsibilities of online course delivery, the idea of providing individual feedback can be daunting.  In this session, we will discuss the benefits of effective feedback, the challenges of providing feedback and strategies to overcome them.

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify benefits of actionable and substantive feedback
  • Identify strategies for providing actionable and substantive feedback to students in a consistent and predictable manner (even with a high-enrollment course)

Date : March 2022

Presenter: Scott Musfeldt, Online Course Design Specialist

Link to Recording 

Incorporate Short Videos to Enhance Instructor Presence in Your Online Course

Description: Instructor presence in asynchronous courses has been shown to improve student performance, engagement, and satisfaction. This workshop will provide a few practical strategies for increasing instructor presence in online courses, with a focus on DIY video using the UML-supported Echo Universal Capture tool.

Participants will be able to:

  • Describe how the inclusion of simple videos can enhance instructor presence in online courses
  • Understand how UML’s Echo Universal Capture tool can be used to record audio and video via Blackboard
  • Apply and edit auto-generated captions to Echo Universal Capture videos

Date: January 7, 11:00-11:30am

Presenter(s): Patrick Connell, Executive Director, Online Learning

Link to Recording

Grade More Efficiently and Set Clear Assignment Criteria for Students with Rubrics in Blackboard 

Description: Rubrics are scoring instruments that faculty can use to grade student work and easily provide feedback. Rubrics can also be used to inform students of assignment expectations and criteria for grading. Their benefits are many, and Blackboard has a very powerful rubric tool that works seamlessly with assignments, tests and discussions.

Participants will be able to:

  • Describe the benefits of using rubrics
  • Create rubrics in Blackboard and associate them with assignments and discussion activities
  • Grade student work and provide feedback through a rubric

Date & Time: January 10, 10:00-10:30am


  • Alena Woods, Mgr. of Advanced Rich Media for Faculty Development
  • Michelle Scribner-MacLean, Ed.D., Clinical Professor Mathematics and Science Education

Link to Recording

Personal Interaction Through FlipGrid Video Discussions

Description: When online instructors and students are asked what they miss about an in-person learning environment, it's likely that responses will mention a lack of personal interaction. This type of interaction is often created organically in an in-person environment, in which students have numerous opportunities to establish relationships through face-to-face discussions.  Though there are various pathways to interaction in online courses, creating personal interaction, in which students see and hear each other, can be a challenge. In this session, we will explore Flipgrid, an application that allows students to quickly and easily create and share videos, leading to instances of personal interaction.

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify the benefits of personal interaction in education
  • Describe how Flipgrid develops personal interaction in online courses
  • Set up a "Group" and "Topic" on Flipgrid with a shareable link

Date & Time: January 11, 11:00-11:30am


  • Scott Musfeldt, Online Course Design Specialist
  • Leland Ackerson, Associate Professor, Zuckerburg College of Health Science

Link to Recording

Blackboard Grade Center: Create a Weighted Total Column

Description: The Weighted Total Column in Blackboard's Grade Center will automatically calculate final grades for your course. There are many options to set, but it can be calculated according to the percentages that you choose, and you can calculate based on assessment categories. This tool will save you time, and provide your students with an easy way to see their status in your course throughout the semester.

Participants will be able to: 

  • Use the Categories feature in Blackboard’s Grade Center to organize similar assessments in their online course
  • Create a Weighted Total column in the Grade Center that calculates the final grade for your course based on the percentages included in the syllabus and using Categories.

Date & Time: January 13, 11:00-11:30am

Presenter: Carrie Powanda-Croft, Faculty Trainer

Link to Recording