Online Readiness Faculty Development Project

The purpose of this project is to ensure that all school of education faculty are conversant with the technology tools and elements of design and delivery so that each may participate fully in the development of a framework for online courses that is appropriate for individual programs. Please select all sessions that you feel can contribute to your understanding of online course design, development, and delivery.

Additional sessions on systems such as Bb Collaborate (a virtual classroom environment), Taskstream (portfolios), and other tools will be offered at a future time based on level of interest.

All workshops will be held at the Center for Teaching & Learning unless otherwise noted. Click on the Workshop title for a description.

You can register for all applicable workshops at one time. Register here

Workshop Title Session Date Session 1 Session 2
Blackboard Workshops
Foundations Monday 3/25 12:30 - 2:00 2:30 - 4:00
Basic Tools Friday 3/29 1:30 - 3:00
Grade Center Monday 4/1 12 - 1:30
Discussion Boards, Wikis, Blogs, and Journals Friday 4/5 12:15 - 1:45
Discussion Boards, Wikis, Blogs, and Journals Monday 4/8 12:30 - 2:00
Foundations: Sessions #3 and #4 Wednesday, 4/10 9 - 10:30 1 - 2:30
Basic Tools: Sessions #2 and #3 Thursday, 4/11 9-10:30 1 - 2:30
**Session date changed due to scheduling conflict Friday 4/12
Course Development Sessions:
Online Course Design Monday 4/15 12:30 - 2:00 2:30 - 4:00
Faculty Forum: Good Practice for Blackboard** Friday 4/19 10 - 11:30
Teaching Presence in Online Environments Monday 4/22 12:15-1:45
Faculty Forum: Good Practice for Online Courses Friday 4/26 10-11:30

This workshop will introduce you to basic best practices for organizing, optimizing, and uploading content into a blackboard course. The course is intended for novice and new users of Blackboard. Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Check the java version on your computer
  • Organize content within a Blackboard course shell
  • Navigate the Blackboard Interface
  • Manage course content using the course menu and control panel
    • Including adding menu links and adding content to a content area
  • Communicate with students using Blackboard’s communication tools
Recommended for xx Novice users (click for more information)
What to Bring: Content that you would like to upload to a blackboard course shell xx Register

Basic Tools
This workshop is designed for non-experienced users of Blackboard Learn who have already taken the Blackboard Learn Foundations workshop. In this workshop participants will learn how to manipulate Bb Learn's basic tools, create links to course tools, and set adaptive release on tools and other content items.

  • Tools Availabilty and Visibility
  • Creating Discussion Boards
  • Creating Blogs & Journals
  • The Tests, Surveys and Pools menu
  • Creating a test
  • Set adaptive release
Recommended for xx Novice and/or intermediate users (click for more information)
What to Bring: Content that you would like to use for formative or summative assessment and/or student interaction xx Register

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Grade Center
In this workshop participants will learn how to use, manage, navigate, and customize the grade center. The workshop is for users who have already attended the Bb Learn Basic Workshop or the Bb Learn Enhanced workshop. Topics covered during this workshop include:

  • Creating Columns
  • Creating Calculated Columns
  • Managing the Grade Center
  • Running Reports
  • Downloading the Grade Center to Excel
  • Automatic Regrading of Tests
  • Creating a rubric in Blackboard
Recommended for xx Intermediate users (click for more information)
What to Bring: The grade structure that you would like to create for your course xx Register

Discussion Boards, Wikis, Blogs, and Journals
In this workshop participants will learn how to set up course tools for students to use, how to grade tools, and elements of good practice for assignment design using these tools. Topics covered in the workshop include:

  • Creating groups
  • Design discussion, wiki, blog, and journal assignments
  • Grade assignments built using these tools


Recommended for xx Intermediate users (click for more information)
What to Bring: Content that you would like to use for formative or summative assessment and/or student interaction xx Register

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Online Course Design
This session will provide you with a set of principles and practices for designing and organizing your course in a blended or online environment. This session explores implementation of principles developed by UAB faculty, and include:

  • Designing and Organizing Content: Key Elements
  • Creating an Online Syllabus
  • Enhancing content for online delivery
Recommended for xx All instructors with little or no experience teaching online
What to Bring: Course syllabus xx Register

Teaching Presence in Online Environments
This session will provide you with a set of principles and practices for delivering your course in a blended or online environment. This session explores implementation of principles developed by UAB faculty, and include:

  • Developing Instructor Presence in online environments
  • Setting and Communicating Expectations for Students
  • Creating a Collaborative Environment


Recommended for xx All instructors with little or no experience teaching online
What to Bring: TBD xx Register

Faculty Forum

The panel sessions are intended to bring faculty together to discuss good practice and initiate development of a framework for online courses that make sense for individual programs, or departments.

Faculty Forum: Good Practice for Blackboard, Friday 4/12
• a panel discussion between faculty on uses and limitations of education technology tools, particularly Blackboard
• a focus group session to identify principles and practices that will help individual departments create a framework for online courses
Faculty Forum: Good Practice for Online Course Design, Development, and Delivery 4/26
• a panel discussion between faculty on experiences in online learning environments
• a focus group session to identify principles and practices that will help individual departments create a framework for online instruction

Recommended for xx All interested School of Education Faculty and instructors
What to Bring: Questions xx Register


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Blackboard Collaborate Plan and Publish

Blackboard Collaborate Plan is a tool you can use to organize, script, and package a session prior to your real-time, online session. Unlike other products designed for self-paced viewing,

You can download plan here.

You can access a recorded demonstration on the plan tool, sample plans, and the user guide here.

The Publish tool allows you to create video and audio podcasts as well as standalone recordings.
Download the tool here. Click here for a recorded demo and the user guide.

Bb Collaborate Product Overview

Collaborate is a flexible product can that can be used in much the same way as Wimba as a virtual classroom, online meeting space, a location for virtual office hours, among other uses. Essential features include two-way audio, multi-point video, interactive whiteboard, application and desktop sharing, rich media, breakout rooms, and session recording.

New features include:

  • a redesigned user interface;
  • an object-based whiteboard that is more flexible and in which annotations persist throughout a session;
  • audio buffering to improve audio quality and echo cancellation that eliminates the need for headphones
  • up to 6 simultaneous video streams
  • multimedia presentation tool
  • private chat monitoring
  • mobile access to sessions for students

In addition, two desktop tools are available to develop content and activity before a real-time session: Plan and Publish.

The Plan tool will help you organize and script session content ahead of time, allowing you to devote more session time to interaction with your students. Publish allows you to create standalone recordings or video files from session recordings to allow for asynchronous review.

Features of the Wimba system that are not available in Collaborate include:

  • persistent settings and content
  • content organized by presentation
  • tracking information available to moderator
  • open ended polling

The Pilot program began in the summer 2012 term and will continue through spring 2013. Both systems will be deployed for use in Blackboard for the summer 2013 term, and the full switchover will be made at the beginning of the fall 2013 term. Wimba will be disabled at the end of the summer 2013 term.


Click for the Collaborate implementation timeline

Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard purchased the Elluminate and Wimba systems in 2010 and announced its intentions to merge both products into a single solution. As result, Collaborate will be the online classroom solution for UAB as of Fall 2013 (See Timeline). We are preparing for this transition with pilot projects, which began in Summer 2012, a series of communications to ensure that everyone is made aware of the transition, and extensive workshop events to ensure that all Wimba users can successfully transition to the new software.

Much like Wimba, Blackboard Collaborate is a platform of tools that provides synchronous video and audio interaction, display, and collaborative tools for online and blended courses.

This system is being used on a pilot basis on some UAB courses during the Fall 2012 term. It provides many of the same features and functions that Wimba does, and will be the UAB online classroom tool from Fall 2013 forward.

The following links provide information on using the system from the moderator perspective. The student support page contains information on how Collaborate works from the participant perspective.

General Resources Wimba - Collaborate Comparison Summary
Check System Requirements Quick Start Guide
Moderator Guide System Overview
(Will require that you download the Collaborate client)
The whiteboard Application sharing
Introduction to web tour System feature demos



Supported Technology Tools

Instructional technology provides training and support on the following tools. Click for online guides and/or additional information on using any of these tools.

blackboard cc iclicker2 cc respondus
ldb Wowza taskstream

The Sloan Consortium Workshop Series

UAB is an institutional member of the Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C). Sloan-C supports the collaborative sharing of knowledge and effective practices to improve online education in learning effectiveness, access, affordability for learners and providers, and student and faculty satisfaction.

All faculty and staff can access resources provided by the consortium, the most valuable of which is free registration for (a limited number of) professional development workshops designed to hone your online and blended learning capability.

How to Access Sloan-C:

  1. Click here to create a free user account.
  2. Once you complete your registration, you will be forwarded to your profile page.
  3. Enter your name and University of Alabama at Birmingham as your organization in the space provided (Please ensure that your enter our institution name precisely as it appears in the membership list).
  4. Go to the member resources page for details on the resources available to you.

If you already have a user account, make sure that you have associated your user profile with UAB.

To register for a workshop:

  1. Complete your member registration on the Sloan-C site
  2. Fill out the workshop registration form
  3. We will register you for the workshop and Sloan-C will forward workshop details to you directly via email.

**Please Note:

  • There are a limited number of free registrations for workshops available.
  • Once exhausted, members can register for workshops at a discounted price.
  • Sloan-C controls the registration procedure and sets its own enrollment caps, UAB ITIT cannot guarantee enrollment in any given workshop.

Additional resources available through UAB's Sloan-C membership include:


Typical workshop structure:

  • 2 – 4 weeks in length
  • primarily asynchronous – you determine the time and place of your participation.*
  • Workshops require an estimated 5 - 10 hour commitment each week


*Some workshops may have a minimal synchronous (real-time) component using elluminate, a web conferencing program that you access online – no special software will be needed, but you will need to ensure that you have an up-to-date version of Java installed to download and access elluminate components. For those unable to attend a synchronous meeting, the live sessions are recorded and can be accessed online.

{slide=Sloan-C Workshop Key Takeaway Project}
Common sense can't become commonplace until shared
The knowledge you acquire in completing a Sloan-C workshop could be valuable to your colleagues in a variety of ways: At a minimum, opinions on the value and validity of each workshop you attend provides a signal on the potential value of the workshop to others; your assessment of the key points drawn from the workshop could also spark an idea for lecture, content delivery, or assessment.

We would like to collect information on the key takeaways, merits, deficiencies, and any other pertinent information related to the Sloan-C workshops so that we can provide information on relevance to colleagues, potential avenues of research in the field of online and blended learning that could be relevant and valuable to UAB, and create a database of tips gleaned from completing these workshops.

If you elect to participate (by selecting "Yes" on the registration form), we will follow up with you after the end date of your workshop and ask you to fill out a brief questionnaire that covers the following questions:

  • The most significant points you learned from the workshop
  • The most pertinent questions for further study that arose from participation in the workshop
  • The least clear point or learning objective of the workshop
  • Any significant changes you would make ot the content of the workshop
  • Your personal recommendation on the value of the workshop

Participation in this project is entirely voluntary and can be anonymous if you so choose. This project is internal, and entirely separate from any post-workshop assessment that Sloan-C may conduct. Our aim is to assess the value of the workshop series and establish a clear communication of that value to the UAB teaching community.



Barnes & Noble Nook Study

Nook Study is a free e-reader application for both PC and Mac that allows you to read purchased digital texts on your desktop computer or laptop, make annotations, highlights, create notes, and tag key paragraphs and passages.

You can also create course folders to help you organize e-textbooks, notes, and related electronic documents for different courses.

Features and Benefits

Students Faculty
  • Cost - etextbooks are significantly cheaper than paper copies
  • Easy integration into your Blackboard course
  • Easy note-taking, highlighting, searching and side-by-side reading
  • Organize research and course-related material into a single location
  • Helpful course organization tool
  • Save students some coin
  • Single-click web access to look up key terms and definitions
  • Teach directly from text using laptop and projector when needed

Download the app and 1) as a student, try their free titles and test out the study and organization tools; 2) as an instructor test out the Blackboard integration.

You should note that Nookstudy is an application for your desktop or laptop, it is NOT designed for use on the nook reading tablet.

Required Operating Systems

Windows Mac
XP, Vista, or Windows7 ccccc OS 10.6 or higher


Check the FAQs for additional important information related to this tool.

July 03, 2013

Web 2.0 Tools






Creating online tool makes it easy to mark sites you find interesting to use for later research or to send to friends and project partners.

WordPress- WordPress started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day.

YouTube-Founded in February 2005, YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos.


Google Groups-The new Google Groups is an improved way to participate in online discussions.

Google Docs- With this program from Google you can take notes online, save them, and even send them to your peers for collaboration.

Tumblr- lets you effortlessly share anything. Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos from your browser, phone, desktop, email or wherever you happen to be. You can customize everything, from colors to your theme's HTML.

Diigio-Your all-purpose digital library on iPad - bookmarks, archives, annotations, notes, images, and screenshots. Collect everything, find fast, share easily, and access anywhere.


Blogger- a simple and quick way to get a blog up and running. You can use it for your own professional diary, to run a blog for your course or for your students to keep their own learning journals.

Voice Thread-a great venue for a presentation that allows docs, video, audio, photos; great for my students to teach their students; by the time students pass middle school, they are sick of creating PPTs; easy, flexible, shareable

Zoho Show-This great online tool allows you to create, edit and share presentations online making it easy to create interactive homework assignments or to organize your notes in an audio-visual format.

Thinkature-This site allows real-time collaboration on flow charts, diagrams and mind maps with features that include color organization and freehand drawing.

Jing Project-Simple and FREE, Jing is the perfect way to enhance your fast-paced online conversations. Create images and videos of what you see on your computer screen, then share them instantly!

Facebook- is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.

Wikipedia-is a multilingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia project based on an openly editable mode

Gliffy-Gliffy makes it easy to lay out ideas in flow charts and diagrams or to create floor plans and technical drawings to help you bettervisually understand information.

Empressr-The result is the first free online visual storytelling and presentation rich internet application that is so innovative and easy to use, we think it just might revolutionize the way presentations are created.

PB Works-PBworks Basic Edition is a great way to get started with a collaborative learning experience for your classroom or course. It's free for academic use by up to 100 students, teachers or parents.


Digital Vaults-The Foundation for the National Archives works in partnership with the National Archives to “open the stacks” of the Archives and enable millions of visitors to interact personally with the original records of our democracy through the National Archives Experience, filling the public spaces of its flagship building in Washington, D.C., with exciting exhibitions and varied learning opportunities.

Yahoo! Bookmarks is an online service that lets you save links to your favorite websites on Yahoo! and access them from any computer anywhere in the world.

Glogster-Glogster EDU is the leading global education platform for the creative expression of knowledge and skills in the classroom and beyond. is an online multi-user, real-time collaboration flow charts service. It's Flowcharting made easy.

CiteULike-is a free service to help you to store, organise and share the scholarly papers you are reading. When you see a paper on the web that interests you, you can click one button and have it added to your personal library. CiteULike automatically extracts the citation details, so there's no need to type them in yourself. It all works from within your web browser so there's no need to install any software. Because your library is stored on the server, you can access it from any computer with an Internet connection.

Flisti-create free online polls without signing-up

Google Video -Google Video is chock full of educational videos that can help explain everything from how to use Second Life to learn to explanations of psychological illnesses.




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