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BEST Institute

BEST Institute:
Faculty & Instructor Training
USC Columbia Campus
January 9-10, 2014

Beginning with the Spring 2014 semester, the University will be running Blackboard Learn 9.1, SP13. This is a major upgrade from the current SP9.

The January BEST Institute will mainly consist of the new and enhanced features of this latest service pack. In addition, favorite sessions such as Adobe Connect & Presenter, 0-60 Tech Tools, Web 2.0 Technologies, and Wikis, Blogs, and Discussion Boards will also be available.

Join us for learning and renewing helpful teaching and technology skills. Be prepared to learn how to take your classroom instruction to a different level. Sessions go from 8:30 until 5:00 throughout USC Columbia campus.

Sponsored by University Technology Services and the Center for Teaching Excellence, the BEST Institute is available for all faculty and instructors. Registration is required.


Schedule & Listing

0-60 Tech Tools
Learn about 10 Web 2.0 tools that will engage your students but also increase your online presence as an instructor. Learn to make your course fun, engaging and more relevant by the using free (or nearly free) digital resources that are easy to use and incorporate into your classes whether they are F2F, hybrid or totally online.

Adobe Connect & Presenter
Use Adobe Connect to create PowerPoint presentations with audio for delivery on the Web. Connect also allows for live Webcasts and archiving of lectures, including slides, desktop sharing, chat and more. Get introduced to Adobe Connect Professional and why it may be helpful to you whether you are teaching online, or in a traditional classroom and providing some information online.

Beginning Online Teaching (Design & Development)
Are you teaching online for the first time or do you want to learn some new tips for teaching online? This session provides basic tips for setting up your online course (based on the Quality Matters guidelines) to include organizational tips, design strategies and activities. Best practices will be discussed and examples shown.

Blackboard: Assignments / Safe Assigns
Assign Learn how to post assignments, load files, receive student input and files, organize information, and grade assignments using the Assignment Manager. Discover how to check for plagiarism using Safe Assign.

Blackboard Basics
This workshop is a thorough overview of Blackboard's capabilities. Learn how to log-in, add course content, create announcements and send email. Explore online course design, the discussion board, see how to set up groups and use the Grade Center.

Blackboard: Content Collection & ePortfolios
This session will introduce you to the Content Collection and ePortfolio feature in Blackboard. The Content System allows you to store files of all types in a place where they can be shared among many classes. You can also grant access to your files so that you may work collaboratively with colleagues both at USC and elsewhere. ePortfolios allow faculty, staff and students to have a personal web space that they can share with others, both at USC and elsewhere.

Blackboard: Grade Center (Basics)
The Grade Center is more than just a way to record students' grades. It is a dynamic and interactive tool, allowing instructors to record data, calculate grades, and monitor student progress. In the Grade Center, instructors can provide and manage students' grades for a variety of assessments, including assignments, tests, discussion board posts, journals, blogs, and wikis. Faculty can also create grade columns for any activities or requirements that require grading but do not require submission through Blackboard, such as special projects, presentation, participation, or attendance.

Blackboard: Self & Peer Assessment
Explore how to allow students to grade themselves and one another, using Self and Peer Assessment. The Self and Peer Assessment Building Block is a tool designed to enhance the reflective learning skills of students.

Digital Natives: Connecting with your students
So, you have heard about the Millennial or Gen Y students. But, who is coming to USC now? The Digital Natives or the Generation "Z" student. This is the first generation to be born with complete technology. This session will go over some of the needs and expectations, tendencies, and learning preferences of those students born after 1994. You will leave with a better understanding of the students as well as some helpful teaching hints.

Enhanced Test and Surveys (Basics & New Features)
Learn how to create tests and surveys. You can use test and surveys in place of paper/pencil exams, to assess mastery of a concept, or to prepare students for in class exams. Plus, learn about new Test and Survey Options.

Enhanced Wikis, Blogs, and Discussion Boards
Did you know you can put a blog or a wiki in your Blackboard site? Campus Pack tools are packages created by Learning Objects, Inc. that work with Blackboard. Learn how to add Campus Wikis and Blogs and Blackboard Discussion Boards to your course site as well as some interesting ways to use Wikis, Blogs and discussion Boards.

My Blackboard and Social Learning Tools
Discover, communicate, and collaborate! With Blackboard Learn’s new social learning tools, instructors and students can create an online identity, find and connect with other uses, and engage in group and peer collaboration.

Securing Your Home Mac
We look at issues facing OSX computers and offer security advice for users of all comfort levels.

Securing Your Home PC
We look at issues facing Windows computers and offer security advice for users of all comfort levels.

Web 2.0 Technologies
Be a part of this demonstration and discussion session dealing with Web 2.0 technologies. These technologies include applications like Twitter, Facebook, del.icio.us, etc. used for organizing information and social networking. Bring your ideas.

What's New in Blackboard 9.1 SP13 (New & Enhanced Features)
Beginning with the Spring 2014 semester, the University will be running Blackboard Learn 9.1, SP13. This is a major upgrade from the current SP9. Come learn about the new and enhanced features.

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BEST Institute

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