Events‎ > ‎

2015-2016 Events

Webinar: Instructional Designer Track

Open SUNY COTE Quality Review (OSCQR) Rubric Webinar
May 3, 2016
12:00PM - 1:00PM EST

Download PPT Presentation

Recording Link


The Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence (COTE) has developed an online course design rubric and process that addresses both the instructional design and accessibility of an online course that is openly licensed for anyone to use and adapt. The aim of the Open SUNY COTE Quality Review (OSCQR) Rubric and Process is to support continuous improvements to the quality and accessibility of online courses, while also providing a system-wide approach to collect data that can be used to inform faculty development, and support large scale online course design review and refresh efforts systematically and consistently. This webinar focuses on the development and implementation of the OSCQR process and rubric.  We will discuss how the rubric was developed, the steps in the OSCQR review and refresh process, what supports are in place for faculty and instructional designers, and what plans are in place for the next iteration of development.


Dan Feinberg is a senior instructional designer at Open SUNY's Center for Online Teaching Excellence. He assists campuses with creating quality online courses and implementing a successful online learning strategy. Dan has also worked as a campus-based Instructional Designer, online course developer, and classroom teacher.

Webinar: System Administrator Track

Institutional Hierarchy

April 19, 2016
12:00PM - 1:00PM EST

Files from presentation:
Feed file used to setup hierarchy (.txt.)
Course creation instructions for support staff (.docx)

Recording Link


Katie will present on Institutional Hierarchy in Blackboard, from the use of access control for features through feeding the hierarchy through SIS integration.  


Katie Clark is a Systems Analyst from Grand Valley State University, which has been a Blackboard client since the late 1990s.   She joined GVSU in 2004 with one of her roles being the backup Blackboard Administrator for the Managed Hosting environment.   Katie moved to primary Blackboard Administrator in 2006 and lead the project to transition to self hosted Bb environment in 2011.  GVSU started using Institutional Hierarchy in the web interface upon it’s introduction by Blackboard, Inc. to allow for access control of modules for specific colleges.  Once GVSU transitioned to SIS integration in Fall 2013 hierarchy feeding of courses and users was completed.

Webinar: Faculty Track

Achievement Badges

April 1, 2016
12:00PM - 1:00PM EST


YouTube Video


Achievement badges can be used to increase student engagement and motivation by letting them earn badges or certificates upon completion of specific tasks, goals, or accomplishments.  They can be used as challenges for new information or special skill development, surprises for unique thinking, and connections to their current online world of games.  Learn how you can use Blackboard Achievements to create opportunities for students to earn recognition for the work you wish to emphasize, to communicate their progress on assignments, to incorporate checkpoints for their self-management, and to provide feedback in a graphic fashion.


Michael DiFonzo is the Blackboard Trainer at SUNY Buffalo State who provides Blackboard Learn training and support to faculty, staff, and students. Michael is a trained Instructional Designer experienced with pedagogy related to technology enhanced teaching and learning and the application of instructional design principles. He taught in the public school system for eight years and he was the Course Design Manager at Bryant & Stratton College – Online. Michael earned his Master of Science in Educational Technology and Bachelor of Science in Education from Buffalo State.

Jo Yudess is an adjunct assistant professor in the International Center for Studies in Creativity, in the Educational Technology Master’s program in Computer Information Systems, and in the Business Department at Buffalo State College. She is owner/president of United Innovations, an organization development consulting firm primarily training people in Management Development, Creative Problem Solving and Facilitation Skills in the United States and Brazil. She was Managing Editor for eleven years of the Journal of Creative Behavior, a publication of the Creative Education Foundation for which she is also an adjunct faculty member and colleague, and has received their Distinguished Leader Award. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education, Chemistry and Mathematics; and a Master of Science degree in Creative Studies and Personnel Administration, both from Buffalo State.  Her Doctorate of Education in Executive Leadership is from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY

Second Annual WNYBUG eLearning Day

September 18th 2015 - Hilbert College

Want to begin your semester on a positive note? Come join us at the Western New York Blackboard User Group (WNYBUG) eLearning Day.

Take advantage of this free opportunity to learn from your peers, interact and collaborate with one another, gain new ideas and perspectives AND enjoy a free (delicious) lunch.

This event will feature the following presentations:

  • Utilizing The Starfish Retention Tool to Maximize Student Success
  • Is Your Blackboard Grade Center Too Large to Handle?
  • The All New Blackboard Collaborate
  • Usability in Online Course Design: Does it really matter?
  • Student Reflections: Guide students to deeper thought in Blackboard Learn
  • Using Blackboard to Provide Online Faculty Training
  • The Use of ePortfolios to Support First Year Student's Metacognitive Thinking
  • Utilizing Rubrics in Your Blackboard Course
  • The Student Perspective: Student Panel Discussion
  • How to Set Up and Use Alignments in Blackboard
  • Using Social-media Tools of Engagement Together with Your Learning Management System
This is a free day of professional development that includes complimentary parking and lunch.

Register for this event. View the complete schedule!

WNY BUG Event - eLearning Day at Hilbert College September 18th, 2015.

2015 Fall Event - eLearning Day - Agenda/Session Materials

WNY BUG Event - eLearning Day at Hilbert College September 18, 2015


8:00-9:00 AM - Registration and Breakfast

9:00-10:00 AM - Welcome and Blackboard Keynote - Claudia Myrick, Solution Engineer

10:00 - 10:15 AM - Break

10:15-11:00 AM  Sessions

- Student Reflections: Guide students to Deeper Thought in Blackboard LearnGreg Flowers
- Utilizing Rubrics in Your Blackboard Course - Michael DiFonzo and Kathleen O’Brien
- The Use of ePortfolios to Support First Year Student's Metacognitive Thinking - Katie Sabourin
- Training Faculty in Blackboard - Jennifer Ruhland

11:00 - 11:15AM - Break

11:15-12:00 PM -  Vendor Sponsor Sessions

 - Kaltura
 - Cengage Learning
 - Software Secure
 - Ensemble Video
 - Fishtree

12:00-1:10 - Lunch and Vendor Showcase

1:15-2:00 PM -  Sessions

 - The Student Perspective: Student Panel Discussion Maureen Porter (Instructor) Jeff Dugan, Esther Ekong, & Shelanise Daniels (students)
 - Is Your Blackboard Grade Center Too Large to Handle?Donna Simiele
 - Using Social-media Tools of Engagement Together with Your Learning Management SystemRobin Sullivan
 - Usability in Online Course Design: Does it really matter? Jeanne Myers, PhD.

2:00 - 2:15 - Break

2:15-3:00 PM - Sessions
 - Utilizing The Starfish Retention Tool to Maximize Student Success - Ryan McCabe
 - How to Set Up and Use Alignments in Blackboard Harold Strassner and Judith Littlejohn
 - Un-session: An informal time to share interesting initiatives happening on your campus - Michele Messenger

3:05-3:30 PM - Closing Remarks & Vendor Drawing

WNYBUG Meeting - BbWorld 2015
July 22, 2015
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM EST
Maryland 1, Level 2, Convention Center