Here’s a brief overview of the technologies supported at the College:
Source: Baruch College Center for Teaching and Learning. All site content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Tech for Course Sites
Blogs@Baruch is a WordPress platform maintained by the College and used by students, faculty, and staff members to meet a wide range of publishing needs. The system hosts course sites/blogs, sites for special projects or clubs, and student and staff publications. Blogs@Baruch is also running BuddyPress, a social networking suite that allows every member of the community to maintain a profile page where content they’ve publish across the system accrues. Blogs@Baruch also offers a “groups” functionality that can facilitate communication and collaborative document editing.
Blackboard is CUNY’s course management system, and a familiar presence in the lives of all Baruch students. It allows for the posting of course materials, the structuring of assignments, and ease of communication between participants in a course. If you choose to use Blackboard, consider how best to design your Blackboard site to increase learning opportunities for students. Consult the Blackboard support website.
Tech for Live or Recorded Audio/Video
These tools can be used for either live or asynchronous instruction. Instructors who plan to share audio or video lectures with students, note is a two-step process. First, faculty will need to create a video and then it will need to be uploaded to a platform where students might view it.
Zoom is a live videoconferencing tool that has become a staple figure of recreating the classroom online. Read the Baruch Center for Teaching and Learning’s Zoom Guide for a comprehensive set of tips and information. Baruch instructors have access to Zoom licenses in Fall 2020 as they did in in Spring 2020.
Zoom allows you to easily record a room, even when you are the only one in it—making for a simple space to record presentations or lectures. You can set Zoom to sore these recordings in the cloud. Zoom produces a transcript of the recording and offers a shareable link to viewing it. For more information, view the CTL Zoom Guide.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a synchronous videoconferencing tool offered as a built-in feature of your course Blackboard page. Like with Zoom, you can use Collaborate Ultra to hold class meetings, share your or students’ screens, create breakout groups, and record themselves or the class. If you are using Blackboard, you can find it on your course page under Course Management > Tools > Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Instructions are provided on the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra web page.
Vocat is a web application managed by the Center for Teaching and Learning that helps Baruch students become confident, dynamic public speakers. Both a teaching tool and an assessment instrument, VOCAT enables faculty members to document quantitative and qualitative feedback on video recorded student performances. Vocat gives students easy access to their videos and scores from across their academic career, and provides a space to engage in online conversations with instructors about their progress over time.
Vocat is a streamlined tool for uploading and commenting on video and audio. Instructors use it to create a dialogic space in an asynchronous environment. Students and instructors can upload media from their computers or with a YouTube link. Faculty who have set up a Vocat account may use it to upload video files, including ones recorded with a portable device such as a mobile phone. You can request a Vocat page for your class on the Baruch Vocat site.
PowerPoint with voice-over
A simpler alternative to using video is voice-over narration on a PowerPoint presentation. Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 and later versions provide this function as Record Slide Show. Instructions are available on the Microsoft web site. Voice-over narration is also an alternative to screen recording. The software that the College licenses for screen recording/screencasting (Camtasia) has a steep learning curve.
Videos and PowerPoint presentations can be shared with students via Blackboard, Vocat or Blogs@Baruch.
Digital Instructional Content
Open Educational Resources (OER) – The College’s OER Guide can help faculty select materials suitable for a class or discipline. The TeachOER site includes sample assignments from Baruch faculty and introduces some digital tools that are free for faculty to use.
The Newman Library’s licensed digital collections offer a wide array of material types that could be incorporated into courses. These include books, business cases, videos, image collections, newspapers, historical archives, music, datasets, and journals and magazines dating back to the 18th century. Assistance with using library resources will be provided via the Chat Reference service available from the Newman Library home page.
For more details on available technology, see the Baruch Center for Teaching and Learning’s guidance on educational technology.