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Faculty Newsletter - April 2015

Blackboard on Tour and You've Got Tickets

Save the Date: Wednesday, June 10th

Blackboard on Tour is coming to Pace University, NYC campus for a FREE 1-day Teaching & Learning event.

Who should attend?
Faculty, Administrators, Instructional Designers, and Academic Leaders.

What can you look forward to?

  •     Peer-led best practice sessions
  •     Publisher product showcases
  •     Quality time with Blackboard product experts, and much more!

Register here

Blackboard Open Labs

  •     Topic: Using Grading Center
        Tuesday, 4/28: 5:30PM
        Join the session

"For someone who has traditionally taught face-to-face classes, I found that working with Blackboard was surprisingly fun.  If someone like me can do it, so can you!" 
-Tracy Basile

Blackboard Recurring Maintenance

The scheduled maintenance for Blackboard Learn are as follows:

    Daily Morning Maintenance: Monday-Friday: 6:00AM-6:30AM

    Weekly Maintenance: Sunday: 4:00AM-4:30AM

These times and others are listed at

Lunch and Learn: How Do I Archive My Blackboard Course?

In order to optimize our use of Blackboard and reduce the demands on the system, we will be archiving and deleting Blackboard courses according to their age.  To ensure course content is always available, instructors have the ability to create archives of their courses.

Come to the Lunch and Learn session on Wednesday, May 6th from 12:00PM-1:00PM in Miller 16 and E319, to better understand the schedule of archived/deleted courses, the methods to archive your own course as well as how to restore the course content in the future. The session will be hosted by John Blackwell from the Office of Academic Technologies. 

More information will be posted at as it becomes available.

Making Up Missed Classes

Still trying to make up those snow days? Get your semester back on track with Academic Technologies' helpful tips for making the most of your class time. 

Click the link to watch the "Making up Missed Classes" webinar.

Degree Works - Have you Logged In Yet?

In time for Fall 2015 registration, Pace launched Degree Works in March, a web-based degree reporting tool for advisors and students. Faculty can check student's progress and advise on course selection using Degree Works.

To see what programs and academic years are available in Degree Works, and for more information on the tool, visit

Digital Toolkit for Teaching

Want to use our toolkit, but don't know where to start?  View our A to Z List of Tools which features all the tools we support along with the corresponding icon, link to support, login area, and short description.

Click here to visit the tool index

ePortfolio Corner

Spring Contest
The annual ePortfolio contest is upon us. Five students will be awarded prizes and honored at the ePortfolio Student Showcase events in May. Please spread the word and direct your students here:

Four Ways of Seeing an ePortfolio
1. Learning (Inquiry, Reflection, Integration)
2. Institutional Assessment
3. Technology in Education
4. Culture and Economy

View Trent Batson's full article here.

New Service Now Available

Poll Everywhere Puts Participation Back in the Classroom

"I plan to put this in every one of my classes", said Dr. Kathy Winsted in a discussion about Poll Everywhere. She is a power user and has implemented it in the form of jeopardy and classroom Power Point slides to do two things:

1)  Engage the students
2)  Get them to come prepared

She found that using Poll Everywhere has increased class participation and noticed that the students have started to monitor and discuss each others' answers. For Jeopardy, Dr. Winsted includes a short answer question on one slide, sets the timer, and does not show the answers until everyone has submitted. This way, each student is forced to text in their own original idea. The students love seeing each others' answers. She excitedly began generating even more ideas about how to use the tool in our discussion:   

  • Introductions: Learn about student backgrounds, perceptions, and collect suggestions
  • Debates: Poll students about their position, conduct debate, then initiate a second poll to see if thoughts change
  • Review: Sprinkle in multiple choice questions in class PowerPoint slides
  • Pop Quizzes: Test student understanding with a "pop-poll"

Upcoming Services

This citation software will help strengthen individual scholarship and ensure Pace documentation methods are in alignment with current academic standards. It gives students an advantage in conducting comprehensive scholarship.

Exam Soft
This online testing software eliminates internet dependence and disables internet connectivity. Detailed reports are available for instant scoring and data analytics.

This tool provides a text-based transcription of spoken words. Research has shown that captioned videos cater to students' myriad learning styles (visual, sound, and text), enhance comprehension and retention, and help ESL students.

This video management platform will be included within Blackboard and gives you access to a video library with over 300,000 web publishers.  Professors can choose YouTube videos, record videos, and upload video content to be included in their course shells.

Lab Archives
This  electronic lab notebook software is designed to organize student notes, preserve data, and increase collaboration. You can give students constructive feedback at any time and students can download all work as a PDF.

Using Wireless in Pace Classrooms?

Did you know that there are several considerations for using WiFi in the classroom?  The following tips will help.

  • Contact ITS to assess the wireless capacity in a classroom and your plans for using technology that needs Wi-Fi, such as PollEverywhere, in-class testing software, or asking students to access the web or video during class.
  • Be cautious with time-sensitive activities that need wireless service. Due to high usage by numerous devices, availability in classrooms can't be guaranteed.
  • Turn off unnecessary Wi-Fi devices. Devices left on may consume bandwidth and reduce service for the devices you want your students to use.
  • Encourage students to update wireless drivers and ensure that they have registered their devices prior to coming to class. More information is available here.
  • The type of mobile device and how it uses Wi-Fi makes a difference. Devices that use 802.11n or 802.11ac perform better, and ITS can help assess this for you.

Over the past few months, ITS has been upgrading additional access points in many locations across our campuses. These access points offer more speed (802.11ac compatible) and allow more users to be connected. Additionally, we are conducting technical analyses of key areas to ensure that we have proper wireless signal strength and coverage.    

Course Evaluations: Feedback Makes a Difference

To increase participation in course evaluations, Dyson has created a grade hold; students must complete the evaluations in order to receive their grades in a timely manner. This ensures feedback is given, which benefits the university as a whole. 

Academic Technologies recently interviewed Rebecca Tekula, PhD about how course evaluations have impacted her teaching and semester overall. According to Dr. Tekula, "As a faculty member, it's great to learn how I might improve upon areas like course materials, in-class and online experience, grading and assessment. These are my grades from students! I use the course evaluations when preparing my syllabi and schedules for the very next semester." 

These evaluations can not only better student experiences, but, also enhance your own experience as an educator. Dr. Tekula was simultaneously able to identify areas for improvement and find inspiration in the feedback she received. "Positive evaluations are a great incentive to keep working hard," she told us. "And my students are typically very kind in providing any constructive criticism, which makes me want to work even harder."

The ability to be seamlessly provided feedback is just one way technology is advancing education.

Dyson and Lubin Course Evaluations & Grade Delays

Course evaluation is critical in providing constructive feedback to faculty and their departments on the quality of instruction delivered at Pace.  Dyson College and Lubin School of Business are urging all students taking any Dyson or Lubin course to participate.

Course evaluations for Spring 2015 will be available during the following time frame: Sunday, April 26th - Sunday, May 10th.  

This semester grades will be delayed until Friday, May 22nd for any students who have not completed all of their evaluations by the deadline noted above.  Faculty will receive an email on Friday, May 22nd with information on how to run their reports. 

Questions? For Dyson contact Rich Miller ( and for Lubin contact Tom Miliano (

Dyson College Grade Delay Notice
Lubin School of Business Grade Delay Notice

Best Practices Conference Reflections

In February, Pace held its 2015 Best Practices Conference. Faculty, staff, and students from varying disciplines joined in a larger conversation about teaching and learning in today's world, and the role of technology was at the fore front of the discussion. 

The new Academic Technologies team, John Blackwell, Brian Gregory, Megan Burke, and Heather Askildsen promoted strategies for using technology to increase student engagement and retention. Professors Hillary Knepper, Gina Scutelnicu, Tony Soares, and Rebecca Tekula shared their experiences teaching online and hybrid courses, and students LeeAnn Reynolds and Aisha Shillingford reflected on publishing their creative fiction for Dr. Jane Collin's writing course on the online platform Watt Pad.

While the voices varied, the message was the same; Pace continues to integrate and embrace new technologies for the advancement of learning.

Looking for IT Services?

Check out our ITS Services Catalog at