By George Rosa, Senior Instructional Designer at EdTech
The Office of Educational Technology (EdTech) has unveiled an online course in Blackboard available to all faculty beginning Fall semester 2018. When you go into Blackboard and look under your “My Courses” module you will see a course named “Roadmap to Teaching Innovation.” You 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 t 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 certification, 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 frst time, you are welcome to try again. Although much of the focus of this course is towards developing familiarity with basic and advanced Blackboard tools and features, it actually covers many aspects of online pedagogy, including accessibility, netiquette, universal design in learning, 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 you to freely move around to different units and sections. It can also be used as 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.
Again, 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.