Resources for Faculty

Digital Tools

The Office of Educational Technology provides several resources to support your teaching, whether it's by pairing you with an instructional designer to help you create videos that enhance lessons, or by providing you with access to important software.

Below are a few of the Technologies and links to support pages to help instructors who are using or considering using technology in their teaching. Click below to find out more about these tools.

Blackboard

Blackboard Resource Image

Blackboard is a Web-based platform used to deliver course materials to enhance both teaching and learning experiences. Working in a password-protected environment, faculty and students are able to post and access course materials, make use of discussion groups, email and many related course management tools - anytime and anywhere

VoiceThread for Instructors

VoiceThread Image

VoiceThread is a new type of multimedia discussion board that allows instructors and students to share images, documents, PowerPoint presentations,PFDs, videos and audio files. Instructors and students can then participate in the discussion by leaving feedback/ comments using a microphone, webcam, text, phone and file uploads. Participants can also use VoiceThread's doodle tool to illustrate their point.

SoftChalk for Instructors

Softchalk Cloud Image

SoftChalk Cloud is a platform that makes it easy to create interactive websites to improve student teaching and learning. SoftChalk also allows you to host and share your websites (lessons)

Respondus

Respondus Image

Respondus 4.0 is a powerful tool for creating and managing exams that can be printed to paper or published to Blackboard. Exams can be created offline using a familiar Windows environment, or moved between different learning systems. Whether you are a veteran of online testing or relatively new to it, Respondus 4 will save you hours on each project.

PlayPosit for Instructors

PlayPosit Image

PlayPosit is a platform to create and share interactive video lessons.

Ten Practical Strategies to Improve your Online Course

As the QCC community begins the preparation for another semester in a fully online setup, the Office of Educational Technology thought it would be helpful to develop a list of best practices and recommendations for creating an effective online course. These guidelines are based on the nationally recognized Quality Matters Rubric, which is used to assess the design and quality of online courses.

As we know the summer classes come with new challenges for both the students and faculty. These guidelines will help you to be proactive and prepare your course for the upcoming semester.

 

1. Provide instructions to make clear how to get started and where to find various course components.

Information posted at the beginning of the course provides a general course overview, presents the schedule of activities, guides the learner to explore the course site, and indicates what to do first, in addition to listing detailed navigational instructions for the whole course. A useful feature is a “Getting Started” or “Start Here” button or icon on the course home page, linking learners to start-up information.

  • Clear statements about how to get started in the course
  • A course “tour” – (Record a video in Bb Collaborate on how to navigate your course)
  • A “syllabus quiz” assignment that leads learners through an exploration of the different parts of the course
  • An illustration, table, diagram, visual representation, or mind map that depicts the online and face-to-face portions of a blended course

 

2. The course grading policy is stated clearly.

 

3. Upload your course syllabus

 

4. Minimum technology requirements are clearly stated and instructions for use provided.

 

5. All learning objectives should be stated clearly and written from the student's perspective.

 

6. The relationship between learning objectives and course activities is clearly stated.

The learning activities should not be seen as arbitrary or unconnected; their purpose in the course is explained in terms of the learning objectives or competencies.

Examples of course components that clarify the relationship:

  • A course map shows how the learning objectives or competencies connect to the learning activities.
  • An explanation is provided for how the course-level and module- or unit-level learning objectives or competencies are met through each learning activity.
  • A numbering system demonstrates the relationship between course-level objectives or competencies, module- or unit-level objectives or competencies, and learning activities.

 

7. The course provides learners with multiple opportunities to track their learning progress

Learning is more effective if learners receive frequent, substantive, and timely feedback. The feedback may come from the instructor directly, from assignments and assessments that have feedback built into them, or from other learners.

Examples that meet this recommendation:

  • Writing assignments that allow for the submission of a preliminary draft for instructor comment and suggestions for improvement
  • Interactive games and simulations that have feedback built-in
  • Self-scoring practice quizzes
  • Practice written assignments that receive feedback, such as journals, reflection papers, or portfolios
  • Interactive discussions (VoiceThread)

 

8. A variety of instructional materials is used in the course.

The course presents a variety of relevant instructional materials that may include textbooks, e-textbooks, online publications, Open Educational Resources (OER), instructor-created resources, websites, and multimedia. Variety may take the form of different types of media used to deliver content.

Examples of variety in instructional materials:

  • A text from a single author, multiple videos, and a selection of websites
  • Several scholarly journal articles as readings and a few audio podcasts created by the instructor
  • A series of topical videos and a e-textbooks
  • Open Educational Resources (CUNY Academic Works)
  • Weekly video lectures (Synchronous or Asynchronous modality). We strongly recommend Bb Collaborate or Camtasia + YouTube.
  • Existing video lecture on YouTube or TeacherTube in conjunction with PlayPosit. Use PlayPosit to embed quiz-type questions into videos.

 

9. Learning activities provide opportunities for interaction that support active learning

Interactive learning activities promote active learning and engagement through three types of interaction: learner-content, learner-instructor, and learner-learner. Active learning entails guiding learners to increasing levels of responsibility for their own learning. Activities for learner-instructor interaction might include an assignment or project submitted for instructor feedback; learner-instructor discussion in a synchronous session or an asynchronous discussion board exchange; or a frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) discussion forum moderated by the instructor.

 

10. Course tools promote learner engagement and active learning.

Examples of tools that support engagement and active learning:

  • Software that facilitates interaction in real-time (synchronous), such as collaborative tools, webinars, and virtual worlds.
  • Software that facilitates asynchronous interaction, such as shared documents or wikis.
  • Animations, simulations, and games that require learner input and allow for faculty feedback (automated or instructor-initiated).
  • Discussion Boards or VoiceThreads assignments.
  • Automated self-check exercises.

Quality Matters

Quality Matters (QM) is a nationally recognized, faculty-driven peer review process used to ensure the quality of online and partially-onlinecourse design. The Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric is a set of standards used to evaluate the design of online and blended courses. These standards were developed and revised based on research and established standards in the fields of instructional design and online learning.

A set of eight General Standards and 42 Specific Review Standards used to evaluate the design of online and partially-onlinecourses. Annotations explain the applications of the Standards and their inter-relationships. The Rubric has a scoring system used by the mentor or self-evaluator to determinewhether a course meets the standards.

 

The eight General Standards of this Rubric are:

  • Course Overview and Introduction
  • Learning Objectives (Competencies)
  • Assessment and Measurement
  • Instructional Materials
  • Learning Activities and Learner Interaction
  • Course Technology
  • Learner Support
  • Accessibility and Usability**Meeting QM's accessibility Standards does not guarantee or imply that specific country/federal/state/local accessibility regulations are met. It is recommended by QM to consult with an accessibility specialist to ensure that accessibility regulations are met.

Academic Continuity

Ensuring continuity in teaching and learning resources is essential. Queensborough Community College recommends faculty be prepared to utilize CUNY's Learning Management System - Blackboard - for delivery of course material online.

 

Course Development - Quick Transition to Online Instruction

The "Transition to Online Instruction" checklist has been designed to assign instructors in the transition to quick conversion from face-to-face to fully online instruction.

 

Training Material

These User Guides provide useful information on how to get the most of out Blackboard. The information presented in a variety of text and video formats will help you perform many common Blackboard tasks.

 

Synchronous Tools

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra


Collaborate allows for the sharing of presentations and information. Permits in-depth discussions with higher-touch interactions.

Zoom University Licenses


The University has secured an enterprise license for the use of ZOOM. The license covers all CUNY faculty and staff (up to 49,000) and all students (capped at 320,000). If you wish to use Zoom for your online classes or online office hour, go to cuny.zoom.us, click on Sign In and sign in using your CUNYFirst credentials.

Asynchronous Tools

Announcements


Announcements are an ideal way to post time-sensitive information critical to course success.

Assignments


The Assignment tool in Blackboard allows you to collect and grade student assignments electronically.

Discussion Board


In discussion, you can share thoughts and ideas about class materials.

Content Containers/Folders/Learning Modules


A learning module is a container for organized collections of content.

Tests


The tools enable you to create online tests and surveys using different question types such as multiple-choice, opinion scale, True/False or short answer.

Video Lectures


Video lectures are considered an effective means for delivering course content and infusing teaching presence in the virtual environment. Note: VIdeos should not be uploaded directly to Blackboard. Videos should be hosted in any external video hosting environment, such as YouTube. The link can be shared through Blackboard.

VoiceThread


VoiceThread is a Blackboard third-party application that allows you to place collections of media like images, videos, documents, and presentations at the center of an asynchronous conversation.

Zoom University Licenses


The University has secured an enterprise license for the use of ZOOM. The license covers all faculty and staff (up to 49,000) and all students (capped at 320,000). If you wish to use Zoom for your online classes or online office hours, go to cuny.zoom.us, click on Sign In and sign in using CUNYFirst credentials.

Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center exterior lit up at nightOpens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Russian Ballet performing at the Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art Gallery exterior in the afternoonOpens in a new window
QCC Art GalleryOpens in a new window

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.