Center for Technology Enhanced Learning


September 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Grading with Blackboard's Rubric Tool

Grading with Blackboard's Rubric Tool

Event Date and Time: 
Thursday, September 12, 2013, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
423/424 Glickman Library

shaneUSM's Online Learning Support Specialist, Shane O'Hara, presents Grading with Blackboard's Rubric Tool.  

Blackboard's rubric tool provides course instructors with the means to turn their paper rubric into an online rubric that can be attached to assignments, discussion boards and other tools for grading.  Shane will focus on the setup of a course rubric, how to link rubrics to submissions for grading and how to use the rubric when grading.  Additional functions may be covered as well.

This workshop will be held on Thursday, September 12th from 12-1pm in room 423/424 of the Glickman Library on the USM Portland Campus.

This is a great opportunity to see the rubric tool in action and think about how it can be utilized in your course.

This is a brown bag workshop - please feel free to bring your lunch.

This workshop will be recorded.


Workshop Resources

Blackboard Rubric Tool (USM resource page)


12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Faculty Discussion: Things We Wish That We Knew When We Went On-line For the First Time

Faculty Discussion: Things We Wish That We Knew When We Went On-line For the First Time

Event Date and Time: 
Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Room 216, Abromson Center, USM Portland Campus

Bischoff         John Broida        Betty Robinson        Robert Sanford

Faculty Discussion: Things We Wish That We Knew When We Went On-line For the First Time

Thinking about developing an on-line course? Wondering what you should know as you consider embarking down this path? Wouldn't it be nice to know what others who have gone down this road have learned, even as you take your first steps in this direction? A panel of four people, two who have created multiple on-line courses, two who have just finished creating their first, will discuss what they wished they knew from the get-go.

This discussion is as much about creating a sense of community for those who are new at this sort of thing as it is an opportunity to learn from the experience of others. Those who are yet to create an on-line class will be encouraged to ask questions and interact with each other and the panel as we form a community of learners.

Note, this discussion is not intended for those who are experts in on-line teaching, this one is for the rest of us. Bring your questions and concerns, and let’s see where things go.

This faculty panel discussion will be facilitated by Rob Sanford. Panel discussion participants also include: John Broida, Betty Robinson, & Libby Bischof.

View presentation and discussion resources for of this event.



Polycom participation will be available from the Gorham Campus and from the Lewiston-Auburn Campus.
Portland - 216 Abromson Center
Gorham - 223D Bailey Hall
LAC - 162L



Robert SanfordRob Sanford

I am chair of the department of Environmental Science and have been at USM since 1996. I’ve flirted with online courses in the past, but cowardice and laziness kept me from taking the full plunge until the summer of 2013, when I jumped in with both feet, teaching simultaneous online lecture and laboratory courses. Thanks to the mercy and kindness of more experienced colleagues and the USM Help Desk, my students and I did okay. I figure if done right, online teaching can be a real asset for students and the university, so if I can help others, it is worth it. I decided this workshop would be a good start and that there is no time to waste. Learn more about Rob.


Bischoff Libby Bischof 

I am an Associate Professor of History and have been at USM since 2007.  For the past few years I've been actively following the debates about various forms of online teaching and learning.  I frequently employ blackboard, blog, and social media assignments in my courses, and am very interested in digital humanities. This summer, partly as an experiment to see if I could deliver high quality content in an online setting, I decided to turn one of my face-to-face classes, a 300-level History of American Popular Culture, into an online course.  I found the experience to be rigorous and very rewarding.  I was able to work with a variety of students from USM and other colleges around the country as well as a few Maine high school teachers.  I am in the process of planning another 7-week online course, and welcome the chance to answer any questions about the pros and cons of converting a course from face to face to online, and the online teaching experience in general!
Learn more about Libby. View recent interview with Libby.


Betty Robinson

I began my online journey when I left the LAC Dean's office and signed up for a course offered fully online by my professional association.  So at least I had that experience going for me before I tried incorporating online teaching in my own practice.  Since then the CTEL folks have been my  "best friends," and I've surprised myself by becoming more adept than I expected to be in territory that did NOT come naturally.  I recover from mistakes far more easily than I once did and even explore new tech enhanced learning and teaching options on my own (knowing just whom to call when I get in over my head!). This was not my career plan, but increasingly, online is where I find my students due in large part to their busy lives. Learn more about Betty.


John Broida John Broida

John Broida, Associate Professor of Psychology and chair of the Psychology Department, is also active in the National Center for Academic Transformation. This group of technological innovators is involved in helping faculty find cost-effective ways to use technology. His interest in using technology and association with NCAT means that he is often approached by people interested in getting their products to innovators.
Learn more about John.



Presentation ResourcesFaculty Panel

Panel staff

Panel staff



 Learn more about the CTEL Speaker Series.

1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Beyond the Discussion Board

Beyond the Discussion Board

Event Date and Time: 
Thursday, September 19, 2013, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Glickman Library Rooms 423/424

Beyond the Discussion Board Rucha Image

Far too often, the only interaction between students in an online course is through the discussion board, where the typical assignment asks students to respond to a prompt and then reply to several of their classmate’s posts. Discussion boards are also the mainstay of online group work and usually they are a poor fit to student needs. Sometimes, these   discussions can result in a meaningful exchange of ideas amongst its participants. However, as anyone who has ever taken an online course can attest, rarely do any of these discussions result in the manifestation of deep analysis or critical thinking. The vast majority of the time, these exchanges remain at the surface level and end up feeling more like busywork, rather than an essential tool for learning.

Pieter Photo

Now, more than ever, it is essential to break free from the dependence on the discussion board. CTEL has been working with several faculty members who want to include group work and discussion in their online courses, and we have been able to introduce effective options that don’t sacrifice the convenience of an online interaction. On September 19th we are offering a session on the ‘Online Discussion’ and it will explore ways that instructors can enhance interaction within their online courses. We will explore emerging technologies and new interactive tools that are changing the “discussion board” paradigm, such as Adobe Connect, GoReact, VoiceThread, TeamMaker , Google + Communities, etc.


Workshop Resources:

We have created a sample course in Blackboard that shows how the tools discussed in the workshop can be integrated. To access this sample course, log into Blackboard. Click on the 'Courses' tab, located on the upper-left side of the screen. Under 'Course Search', search for 'Beyond the Discussion Board'. Click on the downward facing arrow under the course ID and click on 'enroll'. See screenshots below for details:

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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