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Teaching with Technology- last meeting for spring 2019 semester- May 28 & 29

There was discussion about an event during the fall 2019 semester for faculty to showcase their online courses and/or to learn about online courses.  We brainstormed about what would be of greatest interest to faculty.  Some ideas were:

  • a speaker from a community college
  • a presentation including data about online course success statistics
  • what skills should we be incorporating into online courses that address future employment opportunities for our students.
  • a practical, “how to” piece
  • food

We also reviewed a sheet on technology tools that can be used with our classes. The sheet was developed for the composition faculty.  Some of the tools we tested included hypothes.is (for annotation) and Microsoft Office 365 Teams for collaboration on a single document.

Sharing Technology Tools

Teaching with Technology FIG

Meeting 2 of Spring 2019 Semester- May 7 and May 8, 2019

At our meetings, we reviewed various tools people have been using with their classes.  Most were Blackboard tools.  Here is a summary of the tools we shared with one another:

  1. Zoom:  KCC has a zoom account for conducting video-conferences.  With zoom, you can record a lecture or meeting.  The recording is saved and a shareable link is created. The recordings are large files but with the shareable link, you are able to post it on Blackboard for your students to easily access.
  2. Youtube live: always you to live stream so you can work with learners in real time

Blackboard Tools

  1. Adaptive Release:  a BB feature that restricts access to content until a learner has completed a certain task, such as a reading quiz.
  2. Blackboard Organizations:  similar to a course shell. Organizations can be set up by KCC’s IT Office.  You can then add any CUNY user.  Organizations are great if you are working with colleagues on a project and need a space to collaborate.
  3. Tests: Tests can be set up in Blackboard. As you are setting up a test, you can use the pools selections so that questions can be stored and randomized. As you set up you test, you should think the date and time you would like to deploy the test as well as the  amount of time you will give students to complete the test.
  4. Safeassign:  a BB feature that detects plagiarism.

Our next meetings will be on May 28 at 11:30 and May 29 at 1:50 in KCeL (L705)

Teaching with Technology Spring 2019 Meeting 1

Teaching with Technology FIG

Meeting 1 of Spring 2019 Semester- April 2 and April 3, 2019


We discussed the article, Gavassa, S., Benebentos, R,. Kravec, M., Colllins, T., and Eddy ,S. 2019.  “Closing the Achievement Gap in a Large Introductory Course by Balancing Reduced In-Person Contact with Increased Course Structure” CBE-Life Sciences Education 18ar8: 1-10


The study compared a three delivery formats, online, face-to-face and hybrid, of a General Biology course at a large Hispanic serving institution. Course structure was defined as the presence of pre-class assignments, in class engagement (clicker questions) and review assignments.  The hybrid format had all three of the aforementioned structure elements.  The online course did not have in class engagement; the face-to-face course did not have required pre class assignments. Student performance was measured using the course exams.  Linear regression analysis was performed to determine if course format could be correlated with exam performance. The regression model predicted performance using SAT Math score, course format, college level and race ethnicity as control and predictive variables and examined interaction between course format and race/ethnicity.

The findings were:

  • SAT math score predicted variation in student performance.
  • No difference between male and female performance after accounting for SAT Math score
  • College level was a predictor of exam performance with juniors & seniors out performing freshmen and sophomores
  • Comparing performance of Hispanic students, those in the hybrid format scored higher than those in the f2f or online formats
  • Black students had the lowest exam scores in all three formats
  • Hybrid format had the highest scores for all racial/ethnic groups. Only the online format had significant differences based on race/ethnic groups.  Black and Hispanic students had the highest scores in the hybrid format; whites students had the highest scores in the hybrid and online formats


Discussion questions

  1. Even though the f2f format had the most contact time, it resulted in the lowest performance. Why do you think this is so?

Possibly, students presume lecture is a passive activity whereas for online assignments, they invest more time.

In the study, most of the students in the f2f version were freshmen and sophomores, probably with less time management skills than juniors and seniors. This might explain why the online and hybrid format, which was dominated by juniors and seniors, had better performance.

  1. Why do you think the hybrid format was the most successful?

In the study, the course was highly structured and required students to complete pre class work, engage in in class activities and complete a post class assessment.



We shared the items we include in our classes (both f2f and online) that make them highly structured.  They included:

  • A “start here” tab on BB that explains how to navigate the course site and find material
  • A course calendar that includes all of the semester’s work and due dates
  • Having assignments due on the same day and at the same time each week, particular for online submissions.
  • Pre class quizzes on readings. Students are given multiple attempts so they continue to review course content.

We also shared items that makes classes engaging (in class as well as online:

In class

  • Discussions
  • Group work
  • Clicker questions using poll everywhere or Socrative: although these questions are engaging for students, they do required a strong wifi connection in classrooms, which we do not have. Students are reluctant to use their data plan.

Online Versions

  • Discussion forums
  • Group work using the groups feature of Blackboard
  • Having students watch videos and use other multimedia instead of reading text