Blackboard, Knowmia, Turnitin and more: Sign up now for Instructional Technology workshops

The Office of Instructional Technology (OIT) is offering a series of workshops this fall to support faculty and staff in their work to provide high-quality learning experiences for students in new, online formats.

These interactive, virtual workshops include primers on tools like Blackboard Collaborate, Knowmia and Turnitin, and some more holistic pedagogical discussions on the online learning environment.

Faculty who are interested in joining these conversations are asked to register in advance. All workshops will be held virtually on Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

Use this link for the full list of fall 2020 Instructional Technology workshops and to register.


Monday, Sept. 14, 2 – 3 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 18, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

New for fall 2020! Knowmia is a media tool that can add a lot of value to the learning experience for faculty and students alike. This workshop will cover topics including how to access Knowmia; how to pair a mobile device; how to organize your library; how to closed-caption content; and ways to use the engagement features.

Consistent Online Environments

Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2 – 3 p.m.

This workshop will cover the importance of continuity and consistency of course design across our New Paltz campus. We will cover the following:

  • Why we recommend using Blackboard and campus-supported tools
  • Impact on students with disabilities
  • Impact on support and training
  • Impact on learning curves
  • Using the default main menu layout in Blackboard
  • Using folders to design modules
  • How to request the Blackboard course shell

Blackboard Learning Tools

Thursday, Sept. 17, 10 – 11 a.m.

In this workshop you’ll learn about the four primary learning tools in Blackboard: Discussion Boards, Blogs, Journals, and Wikis. We’ll also discuss best use cases for each tool, as well as basic set-up.

Discussion Workshop

Thursday, Sept. 17, 2 – 3 p.m.

This will be an interactive workshop about synchronous discussions that will occur in breakout groups and round-table type discussions. Come prepared to share and brainstorm!

Blackboard Assignments and Turnitin

Monday, Sept. 21, 2 – 3 p.m.

This workshop will cover the fundamentals of creating, managing, and grading Blackboard Assignments and Turnitin Assignments.

Remember: Blackboard Assignments had an upgrade over the summer, so come learn about the new features!

Blackboard Groups

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 10 – 11 a.m.

If you have your students work in small groups, consider using the “Groups” feature in Blackboard to give your students a virtual place to interact; the ability to submit group assignments; and access to their own Collaborate Ultra room. In this workshop, we will cover group setup and features.

Blackboard Rubrics

Tuesday, Sept. 29, 10 – 11 a.m.

Creating digital rubrics in Blackboard improves grading speed and effectiveness, without sacrificing feedback to students. In this workshop, you will learn how to create a rubric; associate a rubric with an assignment; set the view of the rubric; and use the rubric to grade.

Blackboard Exams

Thursday, Oct. 1, 2 – 3 p.m.

Learn how to create digital quizzes and exams in Blackboard. This hands-on workshop is best for learners who have some familiarity with navigating Blackboard, but beginners are still welcome.

We will cover the following: creating the test canvas; creating self-scored questions; creating manual scored questions; deploying the exam; and reviewing the exam.

Grade Center QuickStart

Tuesday, Oct. 6, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 8, 3 – 4 p.m.

If you have not been using Blackboard Grade Center, this workshop will cover fundamentals including: accessing the full Grade Center; making manual columns; organizing columns; and inserting and modifying grades.

If you are new to Blackboard Grade Center, this workshop is a prerequisite to the Grade Center Calculations workshop (see below).

Grade Center Calculations

Tuesday, Oct. 13, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 15, 3 – 4 p.m.

This workshop will focus on making sure your Blackboard Grade Center is organized and set to calculate your final grades.

Topics will include: organizing your Grade Center; column organization area; checking point values; setting or modifying categories; weighted total column; and changing the external grade flag.