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Center for Teaching Excellence

Student Online Course

Distributed Learning/Technology

CTE sponsors workshops, seminars, and other events that allow participants to explore a broad range of topics important to the development of high-quality distributed learning courses.

Click on the "+" sign next to each event to see description.

October 2018

Wondering why you can't seem to reach all of your students? Finding it difficult to engage a diverse set of learners in your online or hybrid courses? Research shows that many common educational and social practices reinforce inequities and work against the success of students from underrepresented groups. Let's unpack why this might happen and work together to develop solutions to engage all learners in our courses - with a particular focus on online instruction.  Register

In this session, participants will learn how to use the Blackboard Grade Center to their advantage and manage grades more efficiently. Creating and managing categories, weighting grades, dropping grades, downloading grades to work offline and using Smart Views are some of the topics to be covered. We welcome users with any level of experience, but this course is designed for instructors or graders who are already comfortable with Grade Center basics.  Register

Planning an online course is not about technology, it’s about pedagogy. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to online teaching and develop their knowledge and ability to implement and teach online courses. Participants will be guided through the 3 phases of online course design, Design, Development, and Delivery, without the need to do any online building. Participants will learn about how online teaching differs from face-to-face and the Design, Development, and Delivery phases of online course design. By the end of the workshop, participants will design online learning activities and student interactions, and create a plan for online course delivery.  Register

Ever walked around the historic Horseshoe and wished the buildings could tell you their story? Or walked in a forest and wondered the name of the tree with strange foliage? Would you like to hold an elephant in your hand? By blending the physical world with the digital world, augmented and mixed reality can tell the stories, can provide data, and even introduce virtual elephants into your real world. Join us to learn more about possibilities with augmented and mixed reality.  Register

An instructor can often make small changes to his or her documents and presentations to make them more inclusive and accessible by all students. Bring your own mobile device for this hands-on session to learn best practices to make your course materials more usable by all students.  Register

All USC faculty, instructors and graduate teaching assistants are invited to participate in the ninth annual Oktoberbest: A Symposium on Teaching on Friday, October 12, 2018. Join colleagues from across USC campuses for this free one-day symposium focused on sharing best practices in teaching.

The Oktoberbest schedule has a wide variety of workshops on topics ranging from active learning and online course development to critical thinking and integrative learning. The event will include:

  • Breakfast with our keynote speaker, Pamela E. Barnett
  • Panel discussion on the 'Implications of the Horizon Report' facilitated by Debbie Yoho, a doctoral candidate in Library and Information Sciences
  • Choice of Concurrent Sessions presented by your colleagues at USC
  • Closing reception featuring door prizes and traditional Oktoberfest fare

Oktoberbest is free to all who teach or support teaching at USC, but is not open to the general public.  Register

Learn the differences among the blog, journal, wiki and discussion board tools in Blackboard. In addition to encouraging class communication and collaboration, these tools can allow students to share information in creative ways. Register

Are you looking for ways to make your formative and summative assessments more effective? Join us to learn how to use Office 365 tools, including Forms, PowerPoint, OneNote and Sway, to create authentic assessments from the beginning to the end of a unit.  Register

What happens to student engagement, interaction and learning when you incorporate educational technologies? Participants will explore easy and inexpensive technologies available for incorporation into the classroom bringing boring lecture content to life and actively engaging learners. In this interactive workshop, we will discuss and demonstrate several tools, share examples of in-class active learning, successes and challenges and identify future steps for successful implementation.  Register

Learn how to post assignments, load files, receive student input and files, organize information, and grade assignments using the Assignment Manager. Discover how to check for plagiarism using SafeAssign.  Register

Blackboard Organizations provide a forum for communication with members of a specific academic community. Leaders of an organization can add participants, create internal groups, share and secure information, conduct discussions, and email group members. Organizations function like Blackboard courses but are generally used for administrative processes. Organizations may be created for faculty and staff based on specific needs, such as providing information to academic departments and committees, and providing space for work group collaboration.  Register

Want to help students develop their most creative and innovative abilities? Introduce them to digital storytelling, regardless of their digital device! Students can use digital tools to create and share their own stories or experiences or reflect on what they've learned. Join us as we learn about how you can use Sway, a NEW innovative web-based learning tool that can be used on any device your students may have access to in the classroom.  Register

November 2018

Are you looking for ways to make your formative and summative assessments more effective? Join us to learn how to use Office 365 tools, including Forms, PowerPoint, OneNote and Sway, to create authentic assessments from the beginning to the end of a unit.  Register

Are you thinking of teaching an online course? Do you need help recording and producing lectures for online courses? The Office of Distributed Learning assists faculty and academic units with online course needs. In this workshop, learn more about the services we provide to deliver exceptional courses to students regardless of location, classroom availability, or time constraints. These services include:

  • Scheduling (through Banner) all distributed learning courses (> 50% online or 100% online)
  • Producing online lectures or other media in our on-site, professional production suites with advanced studio-level and audio equipment
  • Producing transcription/closed captioning to meet course accessibility needs
  • Providing test proctoring options for paper and computer-based formats at approved on- or off-campus testing sites or through a secure online proctoring service
  • Promoting courses taught each semester in various distributed learning formats with our easy to search website.  Register

In this webinar, the presenter will provide an overview of both Adobe Connect and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and discuss the differences between the two web conferencing technologies. Also, the presenter will give suggestions for when to use which one. Both technologies are supported by the Division of Information Technology (DoIT).  Register

Most have heard the famous line “Help me, help you” from Jerry McGuire. The Division of IT wants to help you. Come and learn how to find answers to your technology questions, how to request something, or how to report something that is not working by using the DoIT Service Portal at  Register

As you prepare for a new semester, don’t let Blackboard get the best of you! Let us show you some tips and tricks to help you get off on the right foot. We will also cover best practices for using Blackboard as a teaching tool, who to contact for help, and how to access our Knowledge Base.  Register

December 2018

Are you looking for a presentation tool? PowerPoint is one of the most popular presentation tools. However, there are alternatives, such as Google Slides, Emaze, and PowToon. With Google Slides, you can create, edit, collaborate, and present wherever you are and at no cost. Emaze is a cloud-based presentation tool for creating visually engaging rich media presentations. Powtoon is another online presentation tool that allows you to create animated videos and presentations. Come learn about these presentation tools to move beyond PowerPoint.  Register