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Fresh Ideas

Looking for fresh ideas to get your students more engaged?

We provide a variety of learning opportunities to faculty teaching in any environment. Interested in building your own online course? Join us at a training session or workshop!

  • Registration for all courses is through Skillport

Spring 2018 Training Schedule

Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn is where you’ll find workshops related to the Blackboard (Bb) Learn learning management system. If you haven’t yet used Bb Learn, to get the best overview of the platform we advise you to start with the Basics class and then sign up for further workshops, including CommunitiesGrade CenterRubrics & AssignmentsSafeAssign, and Tests & Quizzes.

Blackboard Learn Basics Jan. 3, 4, 9, 10, and April 4

If you are new to Bb Learn, this course will give you the best overview of the platform.
You’ve got an empty Blackboard Learn course area…now what? Join us for this informative session and learn how Bb tools can help you create interactive, collaborative learning opportunities, on campus or online. We will show you how to create, upload, and edit content, including a review of the feature-rich content editor. We’ll also suggest valuable ideas, short cuts, and tips designed to save you time and energy managing your online class. Sign up today!

Sign-up for a Blackboard Basics training

Blackboard Learn Grade Center Jan. 3, 4, 9, 11, Feb. 7, and April 11

Don’t wait until grades are due! Join us for this review of Blackboard’s Grade Center. We’ll explain different setup options, show how to grade and comment on student work, and demonstrate how to use the electronic rubric. There is also a review of informative reports, including students’ “My Grades”.

Sign-up for a Blackboard Grade Center training

Blackboard Learn Tests & Quizzes Jan. 23 and Feb. 15

Online quizzes and exams can help faculty be more efficient and save time, especially in larger classes. Join us for this review of Blackboard’s full array of powerful question formats. We’ll explain setting options that allow you to precisely control and manage delivery of online assessments, as well as demonstrate importing questions from other sources and building question banks.

Sign-up for a Blackboard Tests & Quizzes training

Classroom Technology

General University Classroom (GUC) Training Jan. 3, 4, 8, 9, and 10

This session provides an introduction to the equipment available to instructors in the General University Classrooms (GUCs). Please note the location of each training as they rotate around campus depending on the availability of rooms.

Sign-up for a GUC training


Active Learning Training Jan. 3, 4, 8, and March 7, 27

This session provides an introduction to active learning. We provide examples of instructional activities and online tools that could be used to foster an active learning environment. Please bring an electronic device—laptops, tablets, and phones—to engage in the workshop. Please note the location of each training as they rotate around campus depending on the availability of rooms.

Sign-up for an Active Learning training

Educational Technology Tools

Educational Technology Tools provides training for a wide range of great tools to support your teaching activities whether you teach online, face-to-face, or hybrid courses. Tools: Panopto (Lecture Capture), Collaborate Ultra (Webconferencing) and Video Conferencing. Are you interested in knowing more about technologies that support teaching, from student engagement to increased efficiency? Come see, touch, and try ed tech tools that others are using to enhance teaching and learning.

Panopto (Lecture Capture) Jan. 4, 11, 18, Feb. 6, and March 22

Panopto is a versatile presentation capture system. It can be used by faculty, staff, or students to easily record and upload presentations to the web. This training will cover the basics of using Panopto, including tips for implementing the technology in online and face-to-face classes.

Sign-up for a Panopto training

To login to WSU’s Panopto site visit

Collaborate Ultra (Webconferencing) Jan. 11 and March 7

Are you curious about how to incorporate synchronous web conferencing into your teaching? Using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, this training provides an overview of the basic user interface, exploring and explaining each function and what it does. You will learn to use the whiteboard, conduct polling, apply helpful hints and tips, schedule a session, and troubleshoot common problems. This session is appropriate for anyone interested in including a web conferencing session (recorded or synchronous) as part of their teaching pedagogy.

Sign-up for a Collaborate Ultra training

Video Conferencing Jan. 3, 10

This synchronous distance learning technology allows students throughout the state and beyond to take part in WSU’s educational experience. Learn the basics of video conferencing and how to use it in your classroom.

Sign-up for a Video Conferencing training

Technology Test Kitchen

Technology Test Kitchen includes workshops and training sessions that feature tools on the cutting edge of teaching innovation.

The Technology Test Kitchen was created by the WSU Provost’s Office and Academic Outreach and Innovation (AOI) to help staff and faculty try out the latest educational technologies in a supportive environment.

  • Quick & Clean: Quick Response Solutions Jan. 17 and March 20
    This session is an introduction to various quick response solutions. It provides faculty an opportunity to check out the features and capabilities of tools like Kahoot!, TopHat, Padlet and Poll Everywhere. AOI’s Emerging Technologists will be on site to provide assistance on which tools best suit your needs and how to incorporate them into your course.

  • Upgrade Your PowerPoint Feb. 1 and March 29
    Come learn about some PowerPoint alternatives for presenting information to your students. All of the tools covered in this session provide faculty with more capabilities than conventional PowerPoint presentations including student engagement, annotation, recording, and even discussion boards.

  • Social Media for the Classroom Feb. 13 and April 18
    Learn how incorporating social media into your coursework can improve your students’ learning experience. Using social media platforms in your course gives the students an opportunity to share beyond the classroom, improving the quality of their work. It also offers faculty the chance to provide students with a real-world application of class content to showcase the relevance of what they are learning in class.

  • Makerspace Projects for the Classroom Feb. 28 and April 26
    Looking to incorporate an engaging project into your course? AOI’s Emerging Technologists are here to show you the ins and outs of Makerspace tools and help you develop projects for your course that allow students to create tangible renderings of their work.

Sign-up for Technology Test Kitchen events

Faculty-Led Workshops

LIFT (Learn. Inspire. Foster. Transform.) Fellows Panel Jan 23

3:30-5 p.m. in CUE 518

This is the faculty development aspect of the Transformational Change Initiative at WSU. It focuses on the implementation of pedagogical and behavioral innovations and implementations across the undergraduate curriculum with goals to support students’ academic success, increase their life skills and resilience, and transform their experience at WSU.

Join fellows from the first LIFT faculty cohort as they share about their experience of the program and their innovative approaches to active learning and student-centered teaching methods in the classroom. Topic areas include connection and social belonging, values, mindfulness, and growth mindset.

Faculty can apply to be a part of the program by submitting an application by contacting Denise Yost ( or Katie Forsythe (

Sign-up for LIFT Fellows Panel

Teaching Fellows Panel Feb. 8

3:30-5 p.m. in CUE 518

Are you thinking about applying for the Teaching Fellowship?  Applications and information are available here. Applications will open in January and close March 1, 2018.

In this panel you will hear from the inaugural class of Teaching Fellows, about the type of research and opportunities the fellowship has funded as you consider whether or not applying for this program may be right for you. 

Current WSU Teaching Fellows
  • Clif Stratton, Clinical Assistant Faculty, History & Assistant Director of the Roots Contemporary Issues Program and representing the Roots faculty
  • Jeff Sanders, Associate Professor of History
  • Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens, Clinical Professor, School of the Environment & School of Biological Sciences (Vancouver)
  • Erica Offerdahl, Associate Professor, School of Molecular Biosciences

Sign-up for Teaching Fellows Panel

OER Panel March 7

2-3 p.m. in Lighty 405

Faculty and Student Panel on Open Educational Resources
Sponsored by AOI and the WSU Libraries

Hear from faculty members and students who have used open educational resources (OERs) in their courses. OERs are educational materials that are freely available and openly licensed for reuse by other students, instructors, and the general public. OERs are being seen as a one potential solution for the sharp rise in the cost for educational materials—and as a means of engaging students more deeply in their courses. 

OER Panelists
  • Kate Watts, English, member of WSU President’s Teaching Academy
  • Myiah Hutchens, Murrow College of Communication
  • Carrie Cuttler, Psychology
  • Colleen McMahon, ASWSU, Director of University Affairs

Watts, Hutchens, and Cuttler all participated in the Affordable Learning Project in 2016-2017—an effort funded by a Student Success Seed Grant to revise courses to feature zero- to low-cost materials.

Sign-up for OER Panel

The Ubiquitous Research Paper (Two-Part Series) March 8, 20

Research Writing Roundtable Part 1: Scaffolding stages for maximal success
March 8 | 3:30–5 p.m. in CUE 518

This discussion/workshop looks at the process of writing a research paper from an inductive perspective, and uses that perspective to discuss the sequenced design of a multi-staged research-writing assignment.

Sign-up for Research Paper Part 1

Research Writing Workshop Part 2: Audience and Evaluation
March 20 | 3:30–5 p.m. in The Spark 102

This workshop is an extension of the previous workshop (part 1), and focuses on the deductive shift that happens when the research part of a research-writing assignment is culminated, focused and then presented to an appropriate audience. This workshop will discuss the relationship of the evaluation process as it relates to what is being communicated to a given audience, and discuss the differences between a researched report and a thesis-based argument.

Sign-up for Research Paper Part 2

Teaching in The Spark March 22

3:30-5 p.m. in CUE 518

Faculty Panel
  • Rebecca Ellis-Dodson, Department of History
  • Erica Crespi, School of Biological Sciences
  • Bob Krikac, School of Design and Construction  

Sign-up for Teaching in The Spark

How to Prepare Multiple Choice Test Items April 12

3:30-5 p.m. in CUE 518

Write effective multiple choice questions with Dr. Phil Mixter

Sign-up for Multiple Choice Test Workshop

Community of Practice

Community of Practice for Instructors in The Spark Jan. 16, Feb. 14, March 6, April 11

Are you teaching in The Spark building this semester? Or do you hope to utilize the building and its technology in the future? Join this event to learn more about the technology available and how your peers are already using it in the classrooms.

Sign-up for Community of Practice for Instructors in The Spark training

Community of Practice: Large Enrollment Courses March 29 and April 26

Faculty teaching large enrollment courses will have the opportunity to share their experiences and ideas for teaching classes with a high enrollment cap. Participants will be able to flaunt their innovative approaches, share their struggles, and learn from their peers.

Sign-up for Community of Practice: Large Enrollment Courses training

Workshop Materials

Do you need the handouts or presentation from a workshop? You’ll find materials from the most recent and upcoming workshops here. Be sure to register for the session to get the full experience.

Active Learning, March 7 (pdf)

Open Educational Resources, March 7, presentation slides (ppt)

The Ubiquitous Research Paper, Part 1 (March 8) and Part 2 (March 20)

New! Training on Demand

Are these scheduled events at inconvenient times for you? Do you have a group you’d like trained at one time? Schedule a custom training session! Use the online Request Training form to tell us what topic you’re interested in or the teaching issue you’d like to address.