CUNY IT Conference is this Thursday and Friday

A reminder that this year’s CUNY IT Conference is this Thursday & Friday, December 5th & 6th, 2013.

John Jay College
899 Tenth Ave.
New York, NY 10019

DAY 1 – Thursday, December 5th
12:00 PM – Registration *Located in the gymnasium*
1:00 PM – Sessions Begin
4:30 PM – Awards Ceremony
5:00 PM – Adjourn

DAY 2 – Friday, December 6th
8:30 AM – Registration *Located in the gymnasium*
9:30 AM – Sessions Begin
12:15 PM – Lunch
3:30 PM – End-of-Day Drawing

There is no parking available on campus. There are several pay parking garages along 59th Street between 9th and 11th Avenues.

Transportation and Map

To register additional attendees, please visit our online registration form.

Thank you for registering and we look forward to seeing you.

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upcoming ONLINE SUMMER faculty development workshops

Another great SUMMER online faculty development learning option:


Now through June 11th, we have openings available for CUNY faculty interested in our two upcoming faculty development workshops, “Essential Instructional Design for Faculty” (June 17-24) and “The Art of Feedback” (July 15-22).  Each workshop is delivered entirely online and is 8-days in length. There are no real-time or face-to-face meetings required.

For a description of each workshop and a link to register, please see

Susan S, Ko, PhD
Director, Faculty Development and Instructional Technology
CUNY  School of Professional Studies
Office phone: 646-344-7267

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Summer Technology Boot Camp workshops for Faculty- register now June 18-20 August 20-22


Congratulations faculty on making it through another graduation day! Summer vacation may have just started, though not for some who will be hard at work in our in-person Summer Boot Camp workshops and online workshops!

We have two exciting training opportunities for you this summer:
IN PERSON: June 18-20 and August 20-22

This summer lineup of hands-on workshops focus on the tools for developing active students through engaging online content… and offer you the time and personal attention to put them to good use in your classes.

These in-person workshops will cover some of the best freely available software tools: Blogging, Wikis, Voicethread (now in Blackboard!), Camtasia and much more! Give a half day a try or register for all six… those faculty participating in at least 4 of the 6 workshops will receive a FREE copy of either Mac or PC versions of Camtasia! Yes, you read it right, free. This offer is limited to the first 8 who sign upto  attend at least 4 workshops so register now to reserve a space.

Please find more information in our attached flyer or visit our website for details:

Register for june dates (JUNE 18, 19, 20) at:
Register for AUGUST dates (AUGUST 20, 21, 22) at:


Registration is now open for June and July sessions of the  online workshop, “Preparation for Teaching Online: A Foundational Workshop for CUNY Faculty,” sponsored by the School of Professional Studies.

This intensive, 2-week online workshop is intended for faculty who will be teaching an upcoming online or hybrid class. (June and July sessions give priority to those teaching Fall 2013—additional sessions are offered throughout the year.)

Faculty must have the approval of their academic supervisors and school to participate in this workshop and should already possess basic Blackboard skills.

The detailed description on the registration page at should answer most questions, but you or your faculty or academic directors should feel free to contact Susan Ko, Director, Faculty Development and Instructional Technology at  646-344-7267 if there are any questions.

Registration is open for both till filled, so faculty should sign up as soon as possible to get their preferred session dates. Thanks!

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Wednesday March 20 Tech Coffee break

AussummerTomorrow, Wednesday March 20, stop by Carman 264 at noon and indulge yourself in a coffee break while you investigate the latest Web 2.0 collaboration tools.

Register here!

…for our tech workshop “Tools for Online Learning” at which we’ll be introducing various social media as solutions for creating online communities around research.

Learn how to add Voicethread to your Blackboard course, sign up for a wikispaces wiki and check out, the latest visual virtual bulletin board to help your students build a graphic workflow. Think of as a visual Google Docs- a perfect platform on which to begin a group collaborative project!


See you in Carman 264 at noon- we’ll be there through 1:30 with coffee and freshly baked goodies.

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Via Response bring your own device clicker software to test in your classroom

Free software test- faculty and adjuncts
Lehman College has been invited to a free one semester test pilot of Via Response, the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) cloud-based software that operates much like the hardware based ‘clicker’ personal response system. A recent college-wide survey illustrates that browser-based so-called ‘smart’ phones are becoming ubiquitous on our campus and that nearly all students now use them, so instead of having to purchase hardware through tech fee funds, we can support Via response, which utilizes students’ own smart phone, tablet or laptop to access questions that you’ve pre-submitted via the  internet. Via supports a broad array of question types, including multiple choice, free text response, numerical response, even ‘on the fly’ and anonymous questions. For an invitation to join us in this test pilot, see the attached document labeled Lehman Test Pilot – ViaResponse. An explanation for why clickers are a valuable teaching tool see attache document ‘why are we using clickers?’

Those who want to participate in this free test pilot can contact me via the link below by February 8. I look forward to hearing from you!
Viaresponse Test Pilot information

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Discussion of Queensborough and Pathways on Brian Lehrer

There is a live conversation on Brian Lehrer (WNYC) occurring now re: Pathways (9-20-2012). It will be available taped. CUNY CAT committee member Phil Peccorino is speaking

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Graduate Teaching Fellow and New Adjunct Teaching Workshops- August 21-23

This summer the Office of Undergraduate Studies and Online Education at Lehman College is offering hands-on guidance to GTFs who are just starting out in their teaching roles. This intensive series of 3 five-hour in-person workshops will be held from 10 am-3 pm August 21-23, is intended for fellows no matter their teaching experience. We are also opening this opportunity to new adjunct instructors. To that end, over the course of the three days we will offer a range of high-impact pedagogical practices and innovative teaching and learning strategies: syllabus development that incorporates active learning, Blackboard supported online techniques, projects that utilize Web 2.0, even how to teach in a hybrid (blended) environment to help them get started.

We encourage new adjuncts and Graduate Teaching Fellows to take advantage of this opportunity to develop and grow within the craft of their teaching- (whether it be online or in-person). Anticipate that those who participate will be fully supported by representatives of Lehman’s office of Undergraduate Studies and Online Education.
GTFinvite Please see the attached letter and application for details.

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Why Do Teachers Like School? Lehman’s New Faculty Seminars

This spring, seven faculty members and two Teaching & Learning Commons staff members piloted a seminar grounded in Daniel T. Willingham’s book, Why Don’t Students Like School? Readings and discussions of Willingham’s cognitive science approach to teaching and learning were partnered with presentations of current teaching challenges for peer feedback. Each week, those who participated explored a research-supported learning principle and its classroom implications through a variety of strategies that encouraged individual and group ownership of the texts presented through diverse media.

In our final meeting, faculty shared their insights and applications from the seminar. Emma Tsui, an Assistant Professor of Public Health for the Health Sciences Program, discovered that “I started to do less and was able to respond more effectively and to connect to more advanced concepts by covering less content.” Doing less, in her case, meant not less preparation or fewer activities but rather meant the presentation of less content. Reducing the content students were required to learn gave students more time to ask questions and to learn the material. Emma built these changes into her teaching based on implications from Willingham’s first principle, “Respect students’ cognitive limits.”

We took time to review our teaching challenges and to map those on the whiteboards with connections to Willingham’s principles. As we toured the mappings, we added principles and implications through a series of questions and examples drawn from our previous meetings. Each of Willingham’s nine principles was represented at least once in our boardwork, which demonstrated the integration of our text work with our teaching practices.

It made some sense at this point to review our logic models for developing our teaching skills and then to apply those models in a consideration of assessment needs for the coming year. We delved into a set of resource texts that provided a variety of approaches to classroom and teacher assessment: each faculty member chose two or more strategies to continue examining over the summer as she designed her fall and spring courses.

As we debriefed our semester together, Jennifer Poggiali, an Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology for the Leonard Lief Library, pointed to a new understanding that articulation could be a form of assessment, explaining that informal feedback during her Information Literacy classes can increase her awareness of what students are learning and retaining. Beatriz Lado, an Assistant Professor of Spanish Language and Literature, spoke of developing deeper critical thinking skills with her students through strategies such as concept mapping and one minute papers. Emma Tsui emphasized her renewed engagement with learning objectives that she feels need to be stated more clearly and made more relevant to the students’ work, while Robin Wright, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences resources at the Leonard Lief Library, underlined the importance of asking quality questions and “tagging” activities related to those questions.

The seminar evaluation forms show that faculty who participated in the seminar felt they had learned and shared challenges and ideas that will be helpful to them for many years to come. In particular, one faculty member wrote that the “Teaching challenges [were a] great way to foster discussion and generate ideas; [these] also created a model for supportive engagement across disciplines.” Another wrote that the teaching challenge sharing was “both instrumentally useful and a bit of a revelation for me in terms of process.” As for Willingham’s text, the response to using a shared text that challenged us to consider research and practice outside of our fields of expertise was positive; faculty advised repeating the seminar with more opportunities to participate in the coming year.

A photo gallery of the seminar, handouts, notes, teaching challenge summaries, and other resources are posted on our seminar Google Site:

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Mapping the Present, Modeling the Future: Lehman’s New Faculty Seminars

This last week, our new faculty applied Daniel T. Willingham’s cognitive science principles for learning to their current teaching practices. Using concept maps, we covered whiteboards with visual networks that spoke as much to our individual teaching styles as they did to our understanding and implementation of what we had learned during the term. And, just as with learning styles and multiple intelligences, our diversity of maps revealed much more overlap than distinction in terms of basic content.

In our discussion, we noted that several of Willingham’s “implications for the classroom” are included in more than one principle (for example, “keep a teaching diary” and “change the pace”). It was exciting to see practical applications of the principles “Factual knowledge must precede skill” (Jennifer Poggiali’s step-by-step lesson building towards a comparison of advanced Google and library database searches) and “unless the cognitive conditions are right, we will avoid thinking” (Emma Tsui’s “rich infographic” example of Edward Tufte’s “beautiful evidence” that asked students to view and discuss a visually rich data display).

Willingham’s final chapter of Why Don’t Students Like School? describes the importance of understanding students as audiences when considering how to teach. Using easel post-its and markers, we diagrammed our classrooms and labs, students included, to come to a better understanding of what is happening cognitively with our students when we teach. Our library team generated a fascinating look at varying levels of student attention, while our health sciences team illustrated the differing levels of preparation and engagement in their classes through physical location and time of arrival. As we compared our audiences, we began to see the need to change settings and to present different expectations of our students before our classes begin in order to provide the appropriate “cognitive conditions.”

These two activities served as catalysts to continue our logic modeling from the previous week, as we expanded our short-, mid-, and long-term goals and added in activities, resources, and outputs for individualized teaching development. We did a quick round of peer annotating (one question, one comment) on the models and promised to complete those in our final week of the seminar.

With that, we were ready for one last teaching challenge discussion. Madeline Cohen, our new head reference librarian, asked for feedback on working with Gen Y students on increasing information literacy. How can she capitalize on what they already know while imparting additional skills for college-level research? 20 minutes of discussion led us to suggest a variety of techniques and emphases (see our Google site teaching challenges for the full discussion) for Madeline to try in the summer and fall.

Our term of meetings and activities have felt like an immersion into a rich infographic display: many thanks to the faculty who participated!

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Partners in Practice: Lehman’s New Faculty Seminars

Learning how we learn has been the focus of our new faculty seminar this term. This past week we shifted from thinking about how our students learn to thinking about how we as faculty learn in the somewhat ambiguous and ambivalent space of teaching ourselves to teach. Willingham’s 9th chapter of Why Don’t Students Like School? explores this space through integrating his previous principles and emphasizing the importance of practice.

Willingham’s 9th principle states that “teaching, like any complex cognitive skill, must be practiced to be improved.” This may seem obvious, and yet, although most faculty devote considerable time to their teaching, they may not make the connection between the practice of teaching as a discipline in itself related to yet distinct to their own areas of specialization.

We took some time to model practice at the beginning of our session by writing advice letters to new faculty based on Willingham’s advice for working with differences in learning speeds. Sharing these letters helped to reinforce our own awarenesses of our teaching strengths (and questions), and this led nicely into a boardwork discussion of the learning and teaching assessments in which we are currently engaged. With these examples of practice fresh in our minds, we took some time to read through the chapter opening, a review of the connections and processes between long-term and working memories to problem-solving.

In teaching, we draw on increased working memory for effective problem-solving, which is related to the amount of factual knowledge we are able to place in long-term memory and the automation of skills and complex relationships. When we expand our working memories to retain more information and greater organization of new information, we are able not only to demonstrate more expertise in our fields but also to teach more effectively through modeling, questioning, and careful contextualizing in the classroom.

To bring this principle into our current practice, we began to design logic models for individual pedagogical development over the next year. Each faculty member took time to envision their future teaching selves at their best, using this ideal as backward planning prompt for setting goals and designing activities and partnerships. As Willingham encourages faculty to develop teaching partners who give and receive formative critiques, we are modeling this in our seminar through sharing teaching challenges with our peers and providing feedback based on questions and experience across disciplines.


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