The Center for Teaching and Learning will provide guidance for faculty and students who are interested in integrating a range of technologies into their work at Baruch College. Here’s a brief overview of the technologies supported at the College, which the CTL can help faculty members integrate into their courses:
Blogs@Baruch is a WordPress platform maintained by the College and used by students, faculty, and staff members to meet a wide range of publishing needs. The system hosts course sites/blogs, sites for special projects or clubs, and student and staff publications. Blogs@Baruch is also running BuddyPress, a social networking suite that allows every member of the community to maintain a profile page where content they’ve publish across the system accrues. Blogs@Baruch also offers a “groups” functionality that can facilitate communication and collaborative document editing.
The Vocat is a web application managed by the Center for Teaching and Learning that helps Baruch students become confident, dynamic public speakers. Both a teaching tool and an assessment instrument, VOCAT enables faculty members to document quantitative and qualitative feedback on video recorded student performances. Vocat gives students easy access to their videos and scores from across their academic career, and provides a space to engage in online conversations with instructors about their progress over time.
Blackboard is CUNY’s course management system, and a familiar presence in the lives of all Baruch students. It allows for the posting of course materials, the structuring of assignments, and ease of communication between participants in a course. Kevin Wolff of BCTC is Baruch’s resident Blackboard expert, and can answer all questions pertaining to the system. For more information about the possibilities of Blackboard, see the slides below.
- Blackboard Information Architecture (slides from Kevin Wolff )
Smart Classroom Technology
Many of the classrooms on campus are electronic or “smart” classrooms that have built-in multimedia equipment – Projector (ceiling mounted), Computer, Document Camera, DVD player and more. Click here to read more about Baruch’s smart classrooms. The College also supports the use of a classroom response system (commonly referred to as “clickers”) that can create an additional mode of feedback in the physical classroom.
Synchronous/Web Conferencing Tools
The College currently supports two synchronous web communications tools: Blackboard Collaborate and Skype. Additional tools are available on the web, including Adobe Connect, Cisco Webex, ooVoo and Google Hangout. The CTL will work with faculty members and BCTC to determine the best solutions for each particular instructional need.
Integrating social media into classes can increase engagement about course-related material both inside and outside of the classroom. Using social media also offers students and faculty an opportunity to connect the content of an academic class with existing local, national, and global conversations. However, many faculty have questions about the ethics, efficacy, and practicality of incorporating social media into their teaching practice. Here are some links that can serve as an entry point for interested faculty members (please note that these links are in no way endorsed by Baruch College or CUNY and serve only as potential sources of advice, not policy).
This page links to all the social media sites where Baruch has an official presence: https://www.baruch.cuny.edu/socialmedia/.
Jesse Stommel describes a Twitter-based assignment he has used in several classes:
To improve students’ cultural literacy, critical thinking, and communication skills, David T. Coad (UC Davis) developed a first year composition course using Facebook and social media:
Written by and for K-12 educators, this post addresses how, when, and why to set boundaries when using social media: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/social-media-guidelines-steven-anderson. For student guidelines on using social media responsibly, see http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/bctc/facebook.htm.
This blog post articulates an assignment that teaches students how to “live tweet” an event and then publish the tweets on Storify: http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/livetweeting-classes-some-suggested-guidelines/54963. For more links on using Twitter, specifically, see: http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/from-the-archives-using-twitter/55775.
This link details a 2011 survey done by Pearson about faculty use and perceptions of social media in higher education: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED535130.pdf.
This article summarizes a variety of social media tools (from social bookmarking sites to Wikis to Facebook) that the author incorporated into a graduate level hybrid education course: http://www.ieeetclt.org/issues/january2013/Baran.pdf.
Arizona State’s Patricia Boyd argues that business writing courses should include spaces for students to practice constructing online professional identities: http://jitp.commons.gc.cuny.edu/online-discussion-boards-as-identity-workspaces-building-professional-identities-in-online-writing-classes/.