Category Archives: Faculty Development

Announcement: Summer Podcasting Workshop 2012

Bronx Community College will host its annual Faculty Development online program which will feature Blackboard training, Web. 2,0 and Podcasting. The podcasting workshop will take place on June 8, 2012. For more information please contact the OIT office

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Announcement: Podcasting of Street Sounds

Invitations were sent out to common citizens to record city sounds then the chosen tracks were selected for display on this virtual sound museum. One of our BCC faculty, WI Coordinator Lynne Ticke, professor of psychology, responded to the call.  Her podcasts were selected among others to be broadcast to the NY Community for all of us to enjoy. Dr. Ticke interest in sound installations was also parallelled with her academic interests. In fact, in Summer 2001, she enrolled in the Summer Podcasting Workshop and has been recording ever since. Check all of the winners and their street sounds. A true gift indeed !

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Podcasting During The Era of Covid19

In March, our life as we knew it took a severe turn, the pandemic was reaching an unprecedented spread and my college shut down and decided that from that moment on every class would be taught 100% online. This new situation was difficult both for faculty and students and we all found ourselves adjusting to a new life and work from home. My college has had for over 10 years a robust and well oiled faculty training program and each department immediately after the shut down organized trainings and support services for students, staff, faculty. It was not an easy transition for all, and many faculty who do not have good basic computer skills struggled to teach online. In addition, it was hard to help them, via Zoom, and at a distance. I believed this was partly to blame for the quality of the instruction in these classes which was impacted by the lack of preparedness. This is a larger issue that should be discussed in another blog post, however, I must say that professors also must take responsibility for not keeping up with a world that is moving rapidly online and requires continuous training. To bridge this gap, after the semester was over my college, and CUNY organized several online course developments trainings which were aimed at training both full-time and part-time instructors.

I was called to be a mentor for OCD this summer on my campus. In addition to Blackboard training 101, as mentors we added the use of podcasting and screencasting as a resource for faculty. I stress the importance of not using a tool just for the pressure of using “something” new, if you do not understand and master the tool you are introducing. Ask yourself, what will the tool allow me to teach this concept better? How will it enhance my teaching? If not, do not use it. Technology must follow theoretical pedagogical principles and learning outcomes, not the other way around. Once this is clear, then you can proceed to introduce podcasting or other tools. An extremely efficient tool that has been used remotely during this time is screencasting. It allow faculty to talk over a powerpoint, document, chart, etc, and record a short video that then can be shared by housing it on google drive or any online platform. The other benefit is that they can be watched by students who were absent or as review for an exam or assignment. Students can also be asked to create an audio file and, to address this request, in our training, we recommend the use of audacity for computers or use phone apps. We stress that the file’s denomination should be compatible with your teaching tools, so WAV. or MP3 files is what we recommend. Going to the Apple store and Play store one will find many phone recording apps, the one we recommend are Smart Record and MP3 Voice Recorder. It is extremely important that the instructor, test and learn the app very well before teaching it to students so that they can create an assignment with it. In one of my classes, I asked students to critique a film using an audio tool. These files must be short, we recommend to make all audio files less than 5 minutes and for video/screencast files less than 10 minutes. 

I try to showcase tools which are free and easy to use

For faculty we recommend for podcasting Audacity 

For Screencasting we recommend, Screen-cast-o-matic and icecream screencast

Phone app: Smart Record and MP3 Voice Recorder.


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Faculty assessment of student work

Here are some samples of assignments sent by faculty during the Summer and Winter Seminar.

Dept of Art and Music

Art–Low-Stakes Assignment with three examples

Attached please find my Low Stakes Writing documents, including a pdf with the assignment guidelines and grading expectations and images of student work. (DN)

Example I

Example II

Example III




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Flipped Classroom

FCAccording to the definition of the flipped classroom, the traditional class model is reversed. Short videos and podcasts about classroom content are seen or heard by students at home, and class time is instead spent practicing, exercising and discussing. The flipped content is more than “consume, review, repeat”; it is mostly about including and involving a wider range of learning activities. It is important to remember that pedagogy should be the driving force behind the flipped approach –something that can be a very valuable tool for teachers. Therefore, using podcasts and learning how to create them is a plus for those who want to try to experiment with this pedagogical approach. The positive aspect of the FC is that the teaching space becomes a more active place where to practice certain skills and to foster discussion and critical thinking. Some studies even claim that this approach increases motivation and metacognition. Perhaps the most popular example of videos has been done by the Khan Academy which shows that math learning happens more efficiently if ideas are presented in a number of different ways.

The goal is not too make these podcasts too long (max 10 min) since students have short attention span. Long videocasts create the opposite effect and are not conducive to learning. Some faculty lament that presenting information only via vlogs can have drawbacks. One of them is that the teacher can’t get direct feedback when teaching in the classroom; another is that it can create a digital divide. This year, at BCC, we will test this approach in our summer development workshop, and I will write more about it in the Fall.

Resources: (tool for podcasting with Ipad) (to create questions by video)


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“Let me tell you what I think”; using podcasts for feedback.


An interesting use of podcasts is to provide feedback. This feedback is meant to offer students commentary on their academic work and to orally assess their performance. Scientific literature reveals several studies on the topic, some of which describe how audio recorded feedback on written papers is an effective method that provides individualized instruction. Furthermore, one study suggests that students find it more meaningful to receive this type of commentary than the traditional written one since it positively impacts their self-esteem, motivation and revision practices.

In a survey, students reported they find oral commentary on school performance to be more relevant to their needs and more appropriate for students with special needs. More specifically, students feel oral commentary is helpful to improve school work since it is more clear, direct and detailed than written commentary. In a 2008 study, the researcher focused on using podcasts to give feedback on Ph.D dissertations. Interesting right? Would you have liked to be on the other side of this new trend? The positive results are easily comprehensible since students thinks it’s more useful to receive feedback this way since it is more on point, detailed and clearer.  However, in a further study, the tone of voice was underlined as a negative factor for some students. This is also an interesting aspect to discuss. Do you think tone and disposition also plays a role? I believe this would be the case since students can sense the professor’s sense of openness, relaxed attitude, and encouragement. So are you ready to try this with your students next time around? I think I just might!

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Tools to create a storytelling or a digital sound project in the classroom



A great way to find out about “human sounds” is to explore the many oral archives that populate the internet. Some of the most interesting collections are the ones that bring together dialects and speech accents from various parts of the world. These audio files and collections are housed in renowned universities and libraries and the good news is that they can be freely accessed from everyone just by surfing the web. Some of the most interesting ones are the Dialects Archive which displays all of the dialects from different parts of the US (and around the world), Another interesting archive is the British, Sounds Familiar? Accents and Dialects of the UK which stores all of the dialect variations of  the English Language. Among the many oral archives one can find, an interesting one is the Smith College’s Voices of Feminism, Oral history Project. It collects recorded interviews (on DVD or VHS video tapes, plus audio CDs) with transcripts; and also the correspondence between interviewer and interviewee.

This could be an interesting way to incorporate audio podcasts in the classroom! Simply ask students to work on a large scale project. Students can interview immigrants, folks who grew up in the 50s or those with large families.  To carry out this work students can use different programs or use the old digital player or phone recording apps even though, their quality is not so great. I recommend thefollowing free recording (with storage options) programs: Audacity, Wavosaur, Olefa, Audiopal and Podomatic

Have you tried to create a digital oral project in your class? If you want to check out more options, then visit the following page !

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2015 Podcasting Faculty Development Program at BCC

Podcast-Consumption_Page_44-e1421690555678This year (2015) Podcasting Faculty Development Program just wrapped up, and once again it saw the participation of many instructors from various disciplines: History, Biology, Sociology and English. Since I am on sabbatical my colleague and co-coodinator of the program, Dr. Moronke Oshin-Martin, lead the entire workshop with great success. She told me that faculty feel very excited when they come to the training since they will be able to “enhance their teaching and student learning”. BCC is proud to be one of the few campus across the US where this kind of training takes place. We are proud to contribute to the revival that podcasts have seen in the last two years. In fact, according to the online magazine” Maximize social business”, “46 million Americans over the age of 12 now listen to podcasts on a monthly basis. That’s 17% of the 12+ US population, up from 12% in 2013.” In general, podcasts listeners tend to have college degrees (24%) compared to the 10% of those who listen to podcast every week without a college degree, according to the magazine.




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Recording Sounds From Birds

I am compelled to share with you the latest work of a colleague at Bronx Community College. Jeff Talman teaches in the Art and Music Department and just this week he wrote a piece, “Birds of New York: A Soundscape”, on the New York Times. The article features his latest installation at Columbia University’s Chapel, the orchestration of the recordings of birds’ sounds. His attraction to these sounds began when he was student at Columbia University and the idea of replicating it was a project that had been twirling in his mind for quite some time. But more than that, Talman claims that he always felt that music is not just made inside a room, but that there is a lot of musicality in the natural environment, “Flight and music both represent freedom from earthbound restraint. But music is even more intangible; music is made of the air, the medium of flight, the ether between us. Music is made of the sky.” He began with an installation that features the sounds of 102 species of birds which were made available by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which has the largest collection. After a masterful “manipulation” of these sounds, Talman was able to achieve “a kind of spatial chamber music as performed by virtuosos and sung by some of the world’s greatest sopranos.”

Here is the link to this wonderful piece of music, art, and composition.

Have you ever recorded sounds of birds or any other sound found in nature? If so please post your work on the comment feature.


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