Faculty member standing in front of podium

Professional Development Opportunities

Structured faculty development opportunities include Online Teaching Essentials, a course designed to introduce online teaching; Advanced Online Teaching Strategies, which focuses on more complex course designs and pedagogies; and workshops for learning and improving specific skills. 

Online Teaching Essentials

St. John’s University’s Office of Online Learning and Services offers faculty members interested in teaching hybrid or fully online courses the opportunity to enroll in Online Teaching Essentials. This four-week, facilitated online course focuses on online course design and pedagogy.

Advanced Online Teaching Strategies 

Advanced Online Teaching Strategies (AOTS) is an optional, three-week facilitated online course designed for faculty who want to expand their knowledge and skills in the virtual classroom. It builds upon the pedagogical foundation established in Online Teaching Essentials. 

Please visit Preparation to Teach Online to learn more and register for the above courses.

Workshops & Events 

Fall 2020 Workshops 

Preparing for the Spring: Teaching in a Rotating Format

Are you beginning to prepare for the spring semester? Maybe you are just starting to think about it? If so, join us for this presentation and brainstorming session to learn about and discuss some strategies to improve the teaching and learning environment in the rotating teaching format. 

Tips and Strategies to address:

  • Building Community
  • Collaboration
  • Communication 
  • Managing Your Attention

How to Design High-Quality Online Assessments

This year has brought many pedagogical challenges. As we progress towards the end of the fall semester you are likely thinking about how to design assessments for the online learning environment. We are here to help! This workshop will focus on ideas for how to design high-quality online assessments. Specifically, we will address:

  • Tests and quizzes
  • Respondus as a tool
  • Student-Created presentations
  • VoiceThread as a tool
  • Project-Based assessments
  • Value of peer feedback in assessment 

Hybrid Rotating Teaching: REFLECTION (Session Three)

This session will start by continuing our discussion of engagement strategies in a rotating class, with a short presentation by Professor Shruti Balvalli Deshpande. Shruti will discuss how she has successfully used the educational technology tool Kahoot to engage her students. 

The second part of the workshop is designed to be a space and time for reflection on your experiences and lessons learned from teaching in a rotating format this semester. Participants are encouraged to bring their personal reflections, stories, ideas, and questions. The instructional designers of Online Learning will guide the reflection session providing space for all to speak, share, and ask their questions.

Spring 2020 Events 

Need Help Transitioning Your Course to a Remote-Delivery Format
Presenters: Ian August and Gina Robinson
We understand that you had to rapidly transition your course to a remote-delivery format, and you may have some questions or concerns. Attend this open forum with two of our online learning specialists to learn more.

Best Practices for Adding Voice to Your PowerPoint Presentations
Gina Robinson
Narrating your PowerPoint presentations is a way to ensure your students get the most out of the course materials you are posting, especially when teaching remotely. This workshop will explain the best practices for recording voice over your PowerPoint presentations, demonstrate how you can accomplish this using the narration tools in PowerPoint, and show you how to post your narrated PowerPoints to Blackboard.

Need Help Transitioning to Online Discussion
Ian August
This webinar will share a concise strategy to convert your face-to-face classroom discussions into engaging online discussions.
We will cover:
• The benefits and drawbacks of online discussions
• Tips for creating engaging online discussions
• What active discussions look like online

Need Help Transitioning to Online Testing
Ian August
This webinar will share a concise strategy to convert your face-to-face classroom exams for the online environment.
• We will cover:
• Benefits and drawbacks of online testing
• Anti-cheating strategies and tools
• Tools to create online exams quickly

Teaching Online with VoiceThread Basics: What, Why and How
Tara King
This workshop will introduce you to VoiceThread for teaching online. This is an introductory level workshop.
These questions will be addressed:
• What is VoiceThread?
• What are the pedagogical implications of this tool?
• Why would I use it?
• How can I get started with the tool?
• How should I explain this to my students?
• A demonstration will walk you through how to do the following in Blackboard:
• Create a VoiceThread
• Add “central media” to a VoiceThread
• Use the Doodle tool to write and draw on central media 
• Add a text, audio, and video comments 
• Create a VoiceThread “assignment” for students 

From Face-to-Face to Online: Teach Language Remotely
Yi Zhang and Gina Robinson
Given the current situation all instructors are being forced to quickly switch from face-to-face learning to remote learning. This can pose a particular challenge to language instructors who rely heavily on speech to teach and assess their students. Language is a living breathing communication between real humans. Instructors and students need to see, and hear each other so they can pick up on vocal tone, expression, and body language. Yi Zhang and Gina Robinson from Online Learning and Services have been working with several language professors to convert their face-to-face courses to the online environment. In this workshop they will share strategies and tools that enhance the teaching of language online. 

Remote Course Delivery: Blackboard FAQs
Ian August
It has been about two weeks since everyone moved fully online. This session will address any questions or trouble you are having. 

Remote Course Delivery: WebEx FAQs
Presenter: Ian August
It has been about two weeks since everyone moved fully online. This session will address any questions or trouble you are having. 

Grading and Setting up the Grade Center in Blackboard
Ian August
This webinar will show you how to grade your students work in Blackboard. We will show how to grade the different types of student work, discussions, assignments (drop box), tests, and assignments that were not submitted through Blackboard. We will also show you how to set up the grade center, so the students’ final grades are automatically calculated based on your weighting requirements. Lastly, we will show you where students can go to see their grades, and how you can choose when to share the students’ grades on Blackboard. 

Move Your Multiple-Choice Exams Online Like a Pro
Yi Zhang
Do you use multiple-choice exams? Do you have a million questions in your exams and hate to add one at a time manually? Do you want to convert your existing word document to an online exam? This workshop will introduce a fast and easy way to move your multiple-choice exams online.
• Here are the easy steps that we will cover in this workshop:
• Format the original word document
• Run through Quiz Generator
• Import into Blackboard pool
• Re-use the question in the pool
• Deploy the exam 
Other alternative testing ways will be covered as well. Hands-on activity included. Q & A session will follow.

Student Presentations Can Continue Online
Tara King and Gina Robinson
You assigned in class presentations, but your class moved online. Now what? Tara King and Gina Robinson from Online Learning and Services will present strategies, tips and tools for assigning online presentations. 
The following topics will be covered:
• What is an asynchronous online presentation?
• Best practices for recording online presentations.
• Using VoiceThread to share online presentations.
• Using Panopto share online presentations.

Remote Course Delivery: Teacher Presence and Engagement FAQs
Ian August
One of the most important aspects of teaching in a remote manner is teacher presence and engagement. Ian August, one of the instructional designers from the Office of Online Learning and Services will answer questions about how to show your presence when teaching remotely, how to create opportunities for engagement between faculty and students, and between students. Research shows that the quality and quantity of engagement is a leading factor in the satisfaction of students and faculty involved in remote learning. 

Fall 2019 Events 

Online Student Engagement 
Yi Zhang
Student engagement refers to students’ level of interest in the topic being taught--including their interaction with the content, instructor, and peers--and their motivation to learn and progress through the course. Student engagement is essential to effective online learning. This workshop presents ideas for increasing and ensuring a higher level of student engagement in online courses. • Expected workshop goals and outcomes are:
• Build online presence (with content, instructor and peers) 
• Provide active learning opportunities
• Make learning more social
• Provide timely and useful feedback
• Tap into the power of digital technologies 

Effective Use of Video in an Online Course
Gina Robinson
Using video in your course, especially in an online course, can be a very effective way to engage students, create a sense of instructor presence, and help students better understand difficult concepts.  This workshop will show you how to get started with incorporating video into your course.  
• Topics covered include:
• Why create videos for your students
• Types of videos you can create
• Preparing for filming
• University-supported filming/video tools
• Making videos available to students