Wimba Classroom

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After reviewing feedback from faculty regarding the Wimba Classroom pilot, the Provost’s Office has decided to continue the Wimba Classroom license. Therefore, the Wimba Classroom tool will continue to be available in Blackboard for all NIU faculty to utilize in extending their communications with students throughout the 2008-2009 academic year.

To request that Wimba Classroom be enabled in your Blackboard course(s), each semester after requesting the creation of your Blackboard courses, simply click here complete the online request form.

A wealth of helpful documentation, video tutorials, and online training resources regarding Wimba Classroom are available here.

Those planning on using Wimba Classroom this fall you may find the upcoming online workshop, “Success with Wimba Classroom” to be of great benefit. This one hour introductory session is designed to equip you with the five teaching tips for engaging, interactive sessions. You will learn the recommended techniques to prepare your participants before attending your live session. You will also learn how to communicate with and manage the interactions of your participants. Best practice tips will be covered regarding your content along with an overview of the importance of archives. Complete details are available at http://www.wimba.com/eventreg/participant/registration.php?eventid=1159

New FacDev Blog Address

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The NIU Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center Blog now has a new address…check it out at facdevblog.niu.edu

In the days ahead, we look forward to continuing to post news, announcements, resources, and encourage discussion using the blog.  Those subscribed to via RSS don’t need to do anything different…updates will continue to arrive automatically.

Leave us a comment…we’d love to hear from you!

Instructional Technology Coordinator

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Full-time 12-month position responsible for developing and delivering programs and consultations on teaching, technology integration, and related areas for faculty, teaching staff and teaching assistants; providing training and support on the use of web course management system; preparing online and hard copy materials; working closely with various academic and support units at NIU to address their needs on instructional technologies; and participating in various activities of the Center.

Required: Master’s degree in instructional technology or related field, with knowledge of instructional design principles, pedagogical techniques, Web-based course management system and office productivity tools; experience in developing and delivering workshops in a university; ability to develop training materials and documentation, handle multiple tasks and function collaboratively and collegially in a team environment.

Preferred: Doctoral degree; experience in teaching in a higher education environment, offering training programs on web course management systems, ability to learn and show how to use new instructional technologies in teaching, and plan and coordinate programs.

Send: Letter of application, resume and three current letters of professional references related to this position to: Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, Instructional Technologies Coordinator Search, NIU, DeKalb, IL 60115. Preference will be given to complete applications received by July 31, 2008, however, applications will be accepted until position is filled. AA/EEO Institution.

To download a complete position description, visit http://www.niu.edu/facdev/positions/instructechcoord.shtml

New Online Collaboration Suite Features in Blackboard

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Many faculty consider live audio and visual interactions to be important elements of effective teaching and learning experiences online. Yet, such interactions can be difficult to foster in an online learning environment.

NIU has arranged for a six month, campus-wide trial license of Wimba Classroom, an online collaboration suite designed exclusively for education that integrates with Blackboard and allows educators and students to engage effectively by combining interactive technologies with instructional best practices.

Some of the features of Wimba Classroom include:

  • presentations with audio and video narration
  • multi-way audio and video chat
  • public and private text chat
  • electronic whiteboard for annotating, diagramming, etc.
  • polls, quizzes, and surveys conducted in real-time and rusults available on demand
  • desktop sharing / application sharing
  • breakout rooms
  • full-featured archives
  • telephone access
  • accessibility features

A demonstration of Wimba Classroom will be held on Friday, March 7th from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm in Altgeld Hall, Room 100. NIU faculty/staff, graduate teaching assistants, and leaders of Blackboard communities are encouraged to come and learn more about the capabilities of this collaboration suite and how to participate in the pilot implementation for enhancing the teaching and learning experience.

For more details about this online collaboration suite and to request Wimba Classroom be activated in your Blackboard course(s) and/or community, visit http://www.blackboard.niu.edu/blackboard/resources/wimbaclassroom.shtml.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at Helpdesk@niu.edu.

Hate Protests at NIU

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Responding to Hate: A Message about the Hate Protests at Northern Illinois University

Word has spread rapidly about the fringe “religious” group (the WBC) that is bringing its agenda of hate and homophobia to our community as we grapple with the tragic events that happened on our campus.

Many students and others have come together through the Internet to voice their outrage and plan responses to the protestors. We understand that many people are angered and hurt by this blatant homophobia and the appalling attempt to capitalize on the NIU tragedy. The university is heartened and warmed by the outpouring of support from our students and community friends who share our outrage at this intrusion during this painful time.

We want everyone to know that the university’s response to the tragedy includes careful planning for managing the presence of any protestors. We ask everyone’s cooperation in supporting the university’s coordinated response.

A trained group of NIU students and supporters have organized and are working with law enforcement agencies to peacefully shield our grieving community from the presence of any hate protests by blocking the view of the small group of protestors who may be present.

The university requests your assistance in the following ways:

  • If you are not a member of the trained team of shielders, please DO NOT come to the Convocation Center on Sunday, February 24 with the intent of “counter protesting.” The university asks that you help us by not giving the hate protestors the attention, publicity, and credibility that they are aiming for. As much as you might want to physically show your opposition to hate such as this, direct confrontations and “counter protests” only serve the purposes of this hate group.
  • Instead of attempting to “counter protest,” please join our community at the Memorial Program to celebrate the lives of our fallen students, pay tribute to the injured, support our grieving families, and begin the process of moving forward. Please help us keep this occasion a peaceful, calm, and dignified evening of remembrance and healing.
  • Encourage your friends, colleagues and others at the Memorial Program not to give their attention and emotional energy to the protestors, but to ignore them and move inside the building for the program. Please do not engage with the protesters in any way as this will only encourage them and attract more attention.
  • Also be aware that protest groups such as this use pickets and an array of intimidating tactics to upset people, instigate violence and create scores of lawsuits that fund their work. Don’t become a victim of their tactics.

Please help us spread this message among your friends. We do not want the protestors to overshadow the true purpose of our gathering.

We also encourage everyone to remember that it was violence that brought us to this moment, and that despite how appalled we are by the actions of this hate group, responding with violent words and actions does not help our community heal. We must not be seduced into responding to hate with hate. We call upon all in our community to not let this hate group shift our focus from our mourning, our grief, and our healing. We call upon you to channel your outrage into action for justice wherever you live, study, and work.

For some ideas about how to channel your emotions into other, more productive channels, please visit our website at http://www.niu.edu/LGBT/tragedy/RespondingToHate.shtml for more information.

In solidarity,

Margie Cook

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center
Holmes Student Center 704
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: 815-753-5428
Fax: 815-753-2201

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