Blackboard Portfolio Tool: Faculty Perspectives

During the summer of 2015, the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center team worked collaboratively with many faculty and staff to prepare for the Fall 2015 implementation of the new Blackboard Portfolio tool. Blackboard portfolios were created in a variety of courses including UNIV 101 and First Year Composition courses, as well as other undergraduate and graduate level courses and programs. The easy-to-use portfolio tool allows students and faculty to … Read More

NIU Hosts International Delegation for Cultural Exchange and Professional Development

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Northern Illinois University (NIU) hosted faculty from the Anhui University of Finance and Economics (AUFE), mainland China, during the fall 2015 semester. The International Training Office was instrumental in designing and administering the program for the delegation of six Chinese scholars, which was focused on cultural exchange and professional development. Because of this focus, the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center was asked to provide professional development opportunities in the form … Read More

Enhancing Live Online Sessions with the New Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Part II: Updated Features and Faculty Feedback

During fall 2015, we introduced Blackboard Collaborate Ultra – an updated version of the existing web conferencing tool that can promote online collaboration and interaction. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra can be used to hold live class sessions, offer virtual office hours online, or conduct meetings with students or colleagues. One of the most exciting improvements in this release of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is that sessions open quickly directly in a web browser, with nothing to download … Read More


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In case you missed it (ICYMI): students love their classes and their faculty. U ROCK! For Valentine’s Day, NIU Today asked students to share stories about an NIU faculty member of class that they love. They shared touching stories about faculty who cared, such as Madelyn Anderson from the Department of Communication, who cheered on her students in the marching band during the Sycamore Pumpkin Parade, or Lisa Finkelstein from … Read More

Philosophical Perspectives and Being Green Inspire Online Spring 2016 Teaching Effectiveness Institute

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The first Faculty Development program of the New Year focused on the fundamental philosophical principles of how and why we teach. On Thursday, January 7, 2016, nearly 70 individuals participated in both the morning and afternoon online sessions, saving over 180 gallons of gasoline if everyone would have traveled by car to campus that day. This equates to almost 3500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions saved from entering the atmosphere … Read More

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