by George Rosa

The Office of Educational Technology (EdTech) has unveiled an online course in Blackboard available to all faculty beginning Fall semester 2018. When instructors go into Blackboard and look under the “My Courses” module they will see a course named Roadmap to Teaching Innovation”.  They may need to scroll down to see it since faculty are enrolled in this course as Students rather than Instructors.

Roadmap to Teaching Innovation is an online self-paced course program, open to all Hostos faculty and staff, that is a guide for those interested in having an online presence in their teaching and bringing instruction to the online environment. Roadmap can be considered a course, a certification program and a resource for online pedagogy. Its open structure of units covering basic and advanced topics in online teaching and Blackboard allows users to manage the program in ways that fit their own online goals. They may use it as a source of how-to tutorials on tools and features of Blackboard and other technologies that they wish to introduce into their coursework; they may treat it as a course, following the units sequentially to gain expert skills, or they can take the full course with the certifications, passing the course certifying exams, and therefore demonstrating that they are highly prepared to take teaching online in hybrid and fully online asynchronous courses.

The Roadmap is divided into three sections, “The Basics”, “Taking It Further” and “Going the Distance.” The Basics essentially corresponds to topics covered in EdTech Blackboard workshops while the other sections get into more advanced features and practices. Each section is divided into units which include content on particular topics, and a quiz. You can take a quiz as many times as you wish. At the end of each section there is a section test. There are three tests in the course, “The Basics Test”, the “Taking It Further Test”, and the “Final Exam.” The first two earn you certificates for each of their sections, while the third will earn you the course certificate. Completing each section also earns you an EdTech Innovation Chase Roadmap badge, and points towards awards, prizes and recognition at the Celebration of Innovation held each semester. While the unit quizzes are optional and meant for practice, the section tests are required for certification. You must take the section tests in order and you must earn 100% in each to make the next one available. All tests have no time limits on them and can be taken an unlimited number of times, so if you don’t score 100% the first time, you are welcome to try again.

Although much of the focus of this course is towards developing familiarity with basic and advanced Blackboard, it actually covers many aspects of online pedagogy, including accessibility, netiquette, universal design, live streaming video and lecture capture, online collaboration, the Hostos and CUNY digital environment, non-Blackboard applications such as Nearpod and Eportfolio, and finding and requesting installment of a Blackboard building block.

As stated previously this course is an open one, can be covered sequentially but also allows enrollees to freely move around to different units and sections. It can be also be used as a a resource site for information on Blackboard tools, features and best practices as well as other essential topics for teaching with at least an online presence.  For those interested in teaching a hybrid or an asynchronous course with modest online experience, this course will be especially valuable, and for them earning the certificates of completion for all the sections may be among the best options.

As stated previously, all current faculty are already enrolled in the Roadmap course as Students, and should look for Roadmap to Teaching Innovation in the Blackboard “My Courses” module.  If you need help with the course or have any questions about it then don’t hesitate to contact EdTech.

Roadmap to Teaching Innovation syllabus

THE BASICS
A tour through the most essential tools of Blackboard. All you need to manage the online assets of a course, whether you just plan to only have a web presence or teach a fully online asynchronous course.

Unit 1: Getting Started
Unit 2: Getting to Know Your Blackboard Course
Unit 3: Begin Building Your Course
Unit 4: The Discussion Board
Unit 5: Assignments, SafeAssignments and Turnitin
Unit 6: Online Tests in Blackboard
Unit 7: Blogs, Journals and Wikis
Unit 8: The Grade Center
Unit 9: Copy, Exporting, Archiving and Importing Courses

TAKING IT FURTHER
Taking It Further is about tools and techniques that bring more in-depth management to course assets and greater levels of collaboration, and introduces innovative online streaming media.

Unit 1: Grade Center Part 2
Unit 2: Rubrics
Unit 3: Introduction to Video Streaming
Unit 4: Groups
Unit 5: Evaluation and Notification
Unit 6: Content Collection

GOING THE DISTANCE
After completing this level you will be familiar with virtually every tool and feature that will help you manage a collaborative learning environment online with innovative tools, practices and course structure.

Unit 1: Self and Peer Assessment
Unit 2: Collaborative Learning Live
Unit 3: Adaptive Release and Achievements
Unit 4: Building Blocks and LTIs
Unit 5: – Online Tools Outside of Blackboard

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