Workshops on tools and strategies to create a flexible, resilient course that can withstand any change in modality or delivery are available to attend live online as well as recorded for on-demand viewing.

Featured Workshop

Blackboard Ultra Transition Academy

May 15 - June 4, 2023

The Blackboard Ultra Transition Academy consists of four components:

  • Three-week online course on how to use Ultra Course View and best practices for creating an intuitive and user-friendly experience for your students
  • Ongoing consultation with a dedicated partner; either a member of the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning team or a faculty member serving as an Ultra Ambassador
  • Your commitment to teach using the Ultra Course View in the next semester
  • Membership in the ongoing Teaching with Ultra Community at NIU (via Microsoft Teams)

Faculty who complete the online course, commit to teaching the next semester in the Ultra Course View, and make significant progress in developing their course in the Ultra Course View will receive a certificate, digital badge, and $250 stipend.

Learn More and Apply Now »

Upcoming Workshops

These workshops on tools and strategies to keep teaching are held online and you can participate via a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

All workshop times are listed in Central Time Zone (CDT).

Registration Information

Please register online by clicking the title or "Register now!" link for the program you wish to register for. NIU registrants should log in with your NIU Account ID and password to complete the online registration form provided. For information or assistance with your Account ID, contact the IT Service Desk (815-753-8100). Non-NIU registrants can register with your name and email address.

The workshops will all be held online. The link to join the session will be made available after you register and sent to you via email.

My Workshops

Workshop Recordings

The following workshops were offered live online and recordings made available for on-demand viewing.

Trauma-Informed Teaching NEW

In the past year, an ongoing pandemic and sociopolitical discord has created chronic uncertainty, upheaval, and stress in all of our lives. Now more than ever, educators application of a trauma-informed teaching approach is foundational to supporting students. In this workshop, the presenter will define and contextualize trauma according to updated research. Giselle Hernandez Navarro, NIU Counselor Education and Supervision, will define and model Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) six guiding principles to develop a trauma-informed teaching approach within a relevant, pop culture framework.

Caring for Your Voice: Maintaining Vocal Health for Teaching NEW

For many faculty, speaking is a core element of teaching. With masks, distancing, background noise, and (possibly) remote students, using your voice in the classroom is harder than ever. In this workshop, you will learn some background about vocal hygiene, practical suggestions, and exercises you can use to support the health and strength of your voice. This workshop was presented by Elizabeth Lanza, an NIU alum and Speech Language Pathologist at the University of Utah Voice Disorders Center.

Teaching Face-to-Face with Physical Distancing and Remote Students NEW

Teaching face-to-face courses this fall may require new tools and techniques. How do students work together while physically distant (either in the classroom or in person and remote)? How do you provide active learning opportunities for students who are no in the classroom, or who are watching a recording? In this recorded workshop, we discussed strategies to promote engagement for students who are learning from different spaces and at different times.

Introduction to Live Streaming and Lecture Capture NEW

If you are teaching a face-to-face or staggered class this fall, you may also need an alternative way for students to view in-person classroom lectures. In this recorded workshop, we discussed several approaches you might consider, including lecture capture (one-way asynchronous streaming), one-way live streaming (synchronous), and two-way live streaming (synchronous). We also provided an overview of the technology that the Division of IT has been adding to classrooms across campus.

Holding Virtual Office Hours

Online teaching often necessitates a virtual option for office hours since students in online courses cannot always make it to a professor's physical office space. Students in face-to-face classes may face similar scheduling or proximity challenges. Since office hours are an important opportunity to make connections and support student success, holding virtual office hours could be an important option to provide to students, especially those in online courses. In this workshop, we will discuss the options available for holding office hours online so that you can find one to suit your needs and help you make meaningful connections with your students.

How to Manage Stress as a Faculty Member During Uncertain Times

The COVID-19 crisis has put a great deal of strain on faculty members as they juggle already taxing schedules with a rapid transition to remote instruction. Managing a new style of teaching, disruptions to research and writing practices, and the realities of working from home have proved to be a herculean task for many. This webinar hosted by Academic Impressions will facilitate a conversation with Anita Kite, PhD, and Carina Vocisano, PhD, psychologists and faculty coaches for Academic Impressions.

Effective Online Teaching: Welcome Students to Your Online Environment

Learn practices to effectively welcome students to your online course in ways that support them and let them know that you are committed to their continued success, including the usage of specific methods like video, Q&A and social forums, as well as effective online communication techniques.

Effective Online Teaching: Managing Your Online Presence

One of the most important aspects—if not the most important aspect—of any student’s learning is you, the instructor. Learn how to more effectively be involved in discussions, respond to questions, provide feedback and encouragement, so students feel more supported and engaged in your course.

Supporting Student Success in Virtual Learning

As we work to ensure we can keep teaching, the university has been simultaneously rallying support to ensure that students are able to keep learning. In this workshop, Renique Kersh, Associate Vice Provost for Student Engagement and Success will describe the support available to students and some strategies you can use to support your students' success.

Employing Equity-Minded and Culturally-Affirming Teaching and Learning Practices in Virtual Learning Communities

The unanticipated transition from face-to-face to online courses in response to COVID-19 presents a substantial challenge for many faculty, particularly those who have worked to create a teaching and learning environment that prioritizes equity and equity-mindedness. In this webinar hosted by the Center for Organizational Responsibility and Advancement (CORA) through San Diego State University, Drs. Frank Harris III and J. Luke Wood present some salient trends and issues that complicate the experiences of diverse learners in online courses and propose equity-minded teaching and learning strategies for faculty teaching online courses. This webinar is free and open to the public.

Rethinking Exams for Virtual Instruction

Translating your face-to-face assessments for an online course can be challenging, particularly for exams. You can replace your exam with another assessment, modify the exam for open book delivery, or take some precautions for promoting academic integrity. In this workshop, we will share some tools and strategies for rethinking your exams for virtual instruction.

Create, Store, and Interact with Videos Using Kaltura

Learn how Kaltura can make you work with video more efficient and streamlined. In this workshop, we examined the features of this new video storage and streaming platform, including uploading and sharing videos, capturing screen recording videos using the Kaltura Capture tool, basic video editing, and creating simple quizzes to use in your courses.

Student Presentations Online: Tools and Strategies

Presentations are a great way for students to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts covered in your course. There are tools that will help you facilitate student presentations. In this workshop, you will learn about some tips and strategies to allow your students to present online.

Feeling Connected While Apart: Building Community While Teaching Virtually

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 online workshop, we share some strategies to make remote teaching more personal and techniques to build faculty and student presence in courses that are moving online. Advance registration is required.

Facilitating Small Group Discussion Online Using Blackboard Collaborate Breakout Rooms

Learn how to use the Breakout Groups feature within Blackboard Collaborate to facilitate small group discussions during an online session. During this workshop we'll explore the options within a Blackboard Collaborate session for organizing students into small groups for discussion, including creating Breakout Groups, assigning students to Breakout Groups (both manually and automatically), moving whiteboard content into Breakout Groups, and monitoring small group discussion.

Keep Teaching: Strategies and Considerations

Teaching in times of disruption can be challenging because you need to rethink how you teach on short notice while supporting student learning, but it also is an exciting opportunity to think creatively about your most essential course objectives and how you meet them. In this workshop, we discussed some practical considerations for how you plan to modify your course, highlighted some tools and strategies you can adopt, and shared how to ensure your students feel supported throughout.

Holding Class Online Using Blackboard Collaborate

One of the easiest ways to transition to an alternate delivery for your face-to-face course is to hold class sessions online via Blackboard Collaborate or another web conferencing tool, at the same time as your class would have met. In this workshop, we provided an overview of using Blackboard Collaborate and some tips for leading an interactive session with your students.

Collecting Assignments and Delivering Tests with Blackboard Tools

Blackboard Learn can handle a variety of student assessment approaches including online testing and a range of assignment options. In this workshop, you will learn how to create electronic assignments, build online tests, and grade student submissions.

Creating Recorded Presentations with VoiceThread

There are many, many tools that you could use to record presentations. VoiceThread is a great option because you can start with a PowerPoint presentation or other file (like Word documents, PDFs, or images) and record narration to accompany it. Don't have a microphone? No problem! VoiceThread allows you to record audio via telephone. Best of all, your students can also use it to record and submit a presentation that they would have delivered in class. In this workshop, we provided an overview of VoiceThread and how to get started with your first recording.

Facilitating Online Discussion with Your Students

Discussion Boards are useful tools for facilitating student interaction and fostering a sense of community. In this workshop, we provided an overview of creating a discussion forum in Blackboard and how you can review and assess student participation.

Record Software Demonstrations with Kaltura Capture

Kaltura Capture is a new tool that we are piloting this semester. It allows you to easily capture whatever is on your desktop, like a software application or website, while you narrate with audio. In this workshop, we introduced Kaltura Capture and provided an overview for getting started with your first recording.

Library Resources and Services for Remote Teaching

University Libraries has a variety of resources and services that can support remote teaching. In this recorded workshop, you will learn how to find and incorporate alternative readings and media into your courses so that students will be able to access them online. This online workshop was offered by the University Libraries.

Recordings Playlist

View any of the workshop recordings on YouTube

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