U Innovate Banner


Sessions List

After viewing the sessions listings, head to to the Learning Opportunities page to register.


So much to see, so much to learn!  We’re offering several Blackboard-related courses this year.  Some old, some new, all with your classroom in mind!  Look for sessions regarding:

  • Using the Grade Center
  • Blackboard Instant Messenger
  • Discussions in Blackboard (and other online communications strategies)
  • Blackboard Tests, Pools, and Polls
  • Safe Assign, Blackboard’s anti-Plagiarism tool
  • Start and End of Semester Housekeeping
  • A Preview of Blackboard 9.1, Service Pack 9

Each session will be presented using its own set of objectives, learning outcomes, and prerequisites.  Click on a calendar date to learn more!

Record Your Lectures: You’ll Flip Over Panopto!

It doesn’t matter whether you teach in a face-to-face classroom, an online environment, or some blending of both.  Using Panopto lecture capture allows you to deliver lectures to your students via your Blackboard course shell.  Download the recorder, and share your content.  When you’re finished, the video is uploaded to your course with the click of one button.  (No, really.  One click.)  At the end of this session, users will:

  • Know how to provision a Blackboard course for use with Panopto
  • Understand how to download and use the recorder
  • Be able to choose a folder for content upload
  • Click once!

Student access to lecture videos will allow them to improve the effectiveness of their studying efforts by giving them the opportunity to return to your content for review.

Session Time: 60 minutes, Presented by:  Joe Kern.  Prerequisites: None.

Anything That You Can Do…. (Panopto II)

Think Panopto for educators is cool (we sure do!)?  How about giving students the ability to record content and upload it to a folder for your viewing.  Whether they’re in their own classrooms, in the field, or in any situation where demonstrations or presentations can help you assess student learning, Panopto is a great tool for student use.  Plus, did you know?  Panopto is also available for use with an iPad.  So much awesome.  In this session, users will learn:

  • Where students’ recordings are stored and viewed on the Panopto server
  • How to provision a folder for student use
  • How to view content from students.

Students who create and upload video are able to demonstrate their learning progress in a real-life setting:  in a classroom, in the field, conducting/playing music. and so forth.

Session Time: 60 minutes, Presented by:  Sandy Valenti.  Prerequisites: Panopto I or equivalent familiarity with Panopto.

Effective Assessment Strategies:  Still Using High-Stakes Exams?

Many faculty assess students as they were assessed: multiple-choice and true-false exams. But are those the best option? Come and learn why there are better options for assessing student competency and why research shows that multi-choice and true-false exams are ineffective for long-term retention and recall. However, if you must use multiple-choice, we’ll discuss strategies for effective question construction.  By the end of the session, participants will:

  • Be able to write an effective true/false or multiple-choice exam question
  • Develop a real-world problem solving question for assessment
  • Discuss effective evaluation options.

What you will learn:

  • When  to use high stakes v. low-stakes testing
  • Why objective tests are one of the least effective testing options for retention and recall
  • How to write effective test questions
  • Identification of alternative assessment options

Session Time:  60 minutes, Presenter:  Rob Gibson.  Prerequisites:  None.

In 1,000 Words or Less (Photo Basics)

Whether you’re adding an image to a webpage, Facebook, or your Blackboard course, this session will get your started.  We’ll cover the concepts of aspect ratio (ever wonder why people look stretched out or smushed in some pictures?), transparency, resizing, and image layers in this beginning session.  The session will be conducted using free image manipulation software, along with showing you options for editing images in Word 2010.  Objectives for learners in this session:

  • To know how to remove image backgrounds in Word
  • To know when to use a .gif file versus a .jpg or other format
  • To resize an image without distorting it

Attending this session gives participants a refresher course in image basics, including basic image editing and file formatting, to aid in deploying image content to students in their courses.

Session Time:  60 minutes, Presenter:  Mark Summey.  Prerequisite:  None

Video Basics - Lights, Camera, Download!

Video is fast becoming the go-to media for telling a story, engaging learners, and just plain sharing.  In this 60 minute session, learners will

  • Be able to use at least one method for downloading and saving YouTube video
  • Understand various video file formats
  • Be able to convert a video to a different file format
  • Be able to access and use ESU’s streaming media server

What you will learn:

  • How simple video projects can be used in your curriculum
  • Simple, cost-effective (often free) resources for creating video
  • Lesson ideas can be created around video-based activities

Session Time:  60 minutes, Presenter:  Rob Gibson.  Prerequisite:  None

Campus Pack I – Blogs, Wikis, and Journals

Tired of trying to use the discussions boards for all of your asynchronous discussion?  Looking for something more transparent, with better editing tools?  Leverage the ease-of-use of built-in social applications tied directly to Blackboard.  In this session, learners will:

  • Be able to select a blog versus a wiki or journal based upon the desired class outcome
  • Understand permissions levels within Campus Pack and how to manipulate them
  • Tie the use of Campus Pack to your stated learning objectives

What you will learn:

  • Effective course activities that utilize blogs, wikis, journals, and podcasts
  • How assignment wikis, blogs, and journals differ from non-assignments
  • Where these tools can be used to replace other course activities, including the discussion board

Session Time:  60 minutes, Presenter:  Rob Gibson.  Prerequisites:  None.

Campus Pack II - The Personal Learning Space

The creation and maintenance of an e-portfolio allows students to collect and arrange content that can be used to demonstrate competencies, provide a space for reflection on learning, and house resume and other important information in one sharable space.  In this 60 minute session, users will:

  • Learn how to create a Blackboard link to the PLS
  • Be able to tell students how to share the content with others
  • Learn how to create new pages and add content and portlets

What you will learn:

  • Effective course activities that utilize blogs, wikis, journals, and podcasts
  • How assignment wikis, blogs, and journals differ from non-assignments
  • Where these tools can be used to replace other course activities, including the discussion board
  • How to create custom interfaces for your course content

Session Time:  60 minutes, Presenter:  Rob Gibson.  Prerequisites:  Campus Pack I.

Meetings Without Boundaries (Connect Pro)

Even if you’re not a million miles away, you can save time and energy by meeting via Connect Pro.  If distance is a factor, the benefits become greater and greater.  In this session, we will discuss the use of Connect Pro versus other content deployment methods.  By the end of the session, participants will:

  • Know how to create a room from Blackboard or Connect
  • Present content, such as PowerPoint and documents
  • Share the computer screen
  • Record a session and locate it for later viewing.

Using Connect Pro benefits students by allowing them to see (via webcam) and interact with their faculty in a synchronous setting.  Faculty may also use their host seats to connect with colleagues at a distance.

Session Time:  60 minutes, Presenter:  Sandy Valenti.  Prerequisite:  None

There is no “I” in Group work (Teams Best Practices)

Having students work together on projects in groups is a great way to foster the development of the collaborative skills needed in today’s workplace.  This 60-minute session will touch on creating groups in Blackboard, but will concentrate mostly on best practices for group projects as discussed in current literature.  By the end of the session, participants will:

  • Know how to create, deploy, and grade groups and group assignments
  • Exchange ideas regarding working with student groups
  • Begin developing a list of group projects that might apply to your classroom

Session Time:  60 minutes, Presenter:  Sandy Valenti.  Prerequisites:  None.

Advanced PowerPoint

If you see PowerPoint as just the slightly higher-tech replacement of an overhead projector and a colorful set of markers, you’re missing out on a lot of capabilities that could enhance your lectures and in-class activities.  In this workshop you will learn how to put the “Power” in PowerPoint, by using hyperlinks to create an interactive lesson or game, creating animations to spice up your presentation or to show events in motion, and embedding interactive multimedia from The Web into your presentation.  If you are looking for better ways to use your Promethean Board, this session will give you some great ideas. Through completing the session, instructors will be able to:

  • Apply best practices in developing PowerPoint presentations.
  • Add hyperlinked buttons to jump from one slide to another, creating a learner-based path through the content or a game for students.
  • Add and customize animations, including motion paths, for objects in the presentation.
  • Embed interactive multimedia into the presentation (Flash content, YouTube videos, audio files)


Instructors will be able to create interactive PowerPoint presentations that will increase student engagement with their content.

-back to U Innovate home-