Category Archives: Pedagogy

Office of Instructional Technology (OIT) Workshops


BRONX COMMUNITY COLLEGE/Office of Instructional Technology (OIT) Workshops for the Week of March 7th*To attend Blackboard workshops, participants must have working BCC email and CUNY Portal accounts. If you don’t have a Portal account go to ( and register. 



Date:  Monday, March 7

Title: Blackboard Level 2
Location: Virtual online session (Login instructions will be emailed to participants)

Time: 12-1:30 pm

Instructor: Albert Robinson


Description: This workshop covers selected advanced features of Blackboard.

Topics will include: adding tests to a content area, exploring the Grade Center, setting up the Grade Center to suit instructional needs, customizing display and grading options, and grading test and assignment submissions.


If you would like to attend this workshop, please register online at


Date: Tuesday, March 8 

Title: Introduction to ePortfolios 

Location: Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Philosophy Hall  

Time: 3-5 pm

Instructors: Albert Robinson


Description: Electronic Portfolios, or ePortfolios, allow students and faculty to collect and display their work in multiple forms to multiple audiences. This workshop will introduce participants to BCC’s ePortfolio software platform, and will review the advantages of bringing ePortfolios into courses and programs. All participants will receive an account on the ePortfolio system. 


If you would like to attend this workshop, please register online at                  


Date: Wednesday, March 9

Title: Webex
Location: Virtual online session (Login instructions will be emailed to participants)

Time: 12-1:30 pm

Instructor: Albert Robinson


Description: What is Webex?  Webex combines real-time desktop sharing with phone conferencing so everyone sees the same thing while you talk. It’s far more productive than emailing files and struggling to get everyone on the same page over the phone. Meeting can also be recorded and shared with colleagues.


What can Webex be used for? Virtual Meetings and Small Group training sessions (25 participants max)


If you would like to attend this workshop, please register online at


Date: Thursday, March 10

Title: Increasing Collaboration and Interactivity in your Online Class

Location: Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Philosophy Hall

Time: 12-2 pm

Instructor: Giulia Guarnieri


Description: A key goal is to increase interactivity. This workshop will allow you to determine the degree of collaborative activities present in your course and will provide resources and strategies on how to create successful interactions between students, course content and instruction.


If you would like to attend this workshop, please register online at


To see the full list of all the workshops, go to


If you have any questions about the OIT workshops, please contact Albert Robinson at: or 718-289-5100 ext 3063


Office Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 am-5:00 pm

FAQs – Faculty/Staff  

FAQs – Students  

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The “P-Word”: Yes Thanks !

I would like to offer my opinion on the recent blog entitled the “P-Word” which I found on the Commons. The desire to discuss my personal take on pedagogy comes from different sources mainly the type of subject I teach, foreign languages, in which methodology plays a central role. Secondly, the fact that I manage a blog called “pedagogy and podcasting” (two P-words!) and I conduct at my college workshops on pedagogy. With the word pedagogy we generally refer to the study of what it means to be an educator and the focus on the methods used for teaching. Foreign languages, for example, must be taught using some type of (possibly current) methodology otherwise the students learning outcomes will be severely impacted. When a faculty is observed, teaching is evaluated not on the fact that he/she speaks the language fluently, but most importantly that he/she knows how to teach it. For example, just because you are a native speaker of a certain language doesn’t necessarily mean you can teach it to others. Some of the things we look for are: Is the target language spoken at all times? Is it a student-centered classroom? Are drills, repetitions, or communicative strategies part of the methodology used? In the 1800, foreign languages were taught using the so called translation method then new approaches were introduced such as the audio-lingual method, the oral approach, the communicative approach, language immersion method, the Natural Approach, and Total Physical Response –just to name a few.

The importance to have a grasp of current teaching methodologies in my field is also proven by the fact that during job interviews potential candidates are usually asked to teach a language class (I had to do this several times during the job hunting process). The reality is that CUNY is mostly a teaching institution, (the course load provides support for this assertion), even though research and service also play a big part in tenure’s expectations. Apart from rare cases, I do not see many opportunities to share teaching tips and tools among colleagues. For the most part the focus seems to be on content but not so much on the how that content is being delivered. What strategies are used to maximize the learning of that specific subject? What are students actually learning? This, of course, took me a while to conceptualize but I do ask myself the following question: “How do I know what students are actually learning?” all of these questions offer a sort of explanation to the “art of teaching”, or good use of classroom time — you can call it pedagogy or methodology. If we go back to the origin of the word education, from the Latin ‘educere’, it meant to nurture, to preserve, to grow, to instruct and to provide, but it also meant to train and to raise.  Pedagogy — in Greek pais/paidòs — means son, youngster and the verb ago translates to the word to conduct. From all of these definitions, the concept that emerges seems to indicate that education means to “get something” out of someone. In the 19thcentury, pedagogy was equated to an applied science, as a discipline with scientific methods and processes, it was no longer seen as purely metaphysical knowledge but it became a critical discipline that studied how knowledge is learned.

Nowadays we are more concerned with establishing parameters, assessment, individualizing objectives and learning goals: in other words students should all reach in the end the same results. Has this evolution of parameters lead to an improved quality of learning? This is the 100 million dollar question ! The point is that we need to have these discussions and exchanges more often. In the blog I also read that the most important things are learned outside of class, I do not dispute that, and I don’t know if this is always the case, but as an educator I am concerned of what happens inside the classroom.  Perhaps if the teaching is successful the rest, the life’s lessons, happens by osmosis. I would like to advocate that CUNY’s graduate programs develop specific courses that place methodology at the center, or at least, make it  a part of graduate students’ professional preparation. When I ask my colleagues who teach history, biology or art about their pedagogical training, they tell me that this was never part of their graduate academic journey. I think that this is a big gap of graduate education and that the current job market reality is not reflected in the preparation of language instructors, at least this is what I see in my field. The chances that a graduate student will end up teaching literature courses in a research institution are very slim, this means that language teaching will become the bread and butter of someone’s teaching profession. We simply do not prepare our professionals for this reality and we do a disservice to them and to students. I thank you dear colleague for sharing your thoughts with us, and for bringing to light  the P-word, which is not a bad word, or a strange senseless word, but a word that needs to be brought out of the cave and taken to the floor for discussion. I hope that your blog will make people want to know more about the art of teaching, and I believe it has.  I think that the pedagogical challenges faced by FLs  can be applied also to other disciplines. I would like close with this quote “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” [Mark Van Doren]

 Carlo Maratti, (1625-1713) ” The Virgin teaching the infant Christ how to read”

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Conference June 3rd, 2011 Montclair State University

An interesting conference on the pedagogy of online teaching and technology integration.

These are some of the keynotes speakers

Keynote Speaker Sarah Robbins
“Pedagogy First, Technology Second: How to Choose the Right Tool for the Job”

 Craig Kapp
“Visualizing the Future: How Augmented Reality can empower faculty, inspire students and bring ideas to life in the classroom”

  Jonathon Richter
“Emerging Strategic Innovations in Educational Leadership: Future-Focused & Grounded in the Cloud”

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First Workshop at BCC on Pedagogy and Podcasting

Please come to the workshop on February 14, at Bronx Community College, 2155 University Avenue, Bronx 10453, in New Hall 23 from 4.00-5.50pm.

Title: The Pedagogy of Podcasting: Building Stronger Connections

Description:This workshop will provide insight into the pedagogy of podcasts, (audio/video/screencasts), and it will help you successfully plan for integration into your courses. You will also learn how podcasting is being used by other BCC colleagues. A portion of the workshop will be dedicated to discussion and questions about best pedagogical strategies. No prerequisites. No previous experience with podcasting required.

Instuctor: Giulia Guarnieri

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The New Blended Concept in the Language Class

I am planning my Italian honors class this year by incorporating even more technology than before. First of all, this is the first time that an honors and online course is offered at Bronx Community College and instead of  having the usual “H” denomination, the title has a “K” next to the course number. I created, for example, a Blackboard assignment where students will be able to work collaboratively on a wiki (they will write a story using the past tense — passato prossimo–). In addition, students will be doing all of their homework on their electronic portfolios. I now have moved away from the book for homework, even though I use it in class the days we meet face-to- face. Most, if not all of the homework, is done on the EP. This is the EP page I created for my class. The third element I use in my class is podcasting. During this semester students have 5 assignments in which podcasts will be used, sometimes I will ask them to create their own podcasts (they are all handed mp3 players at the beginning of the semester), or complete listening comprehension tasks. All of these tools have proven very effective in learning a foreign language: students are more exposed to the target language; and they improve speaking by recoding their assignments. Students can also monitor and assess their progress in the TL.  In addition, videocasts and audio files support a multidimensional type of learning which allows students to be exposed to different learning styles and end up being more engaged in the learning process.

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Pedagogical Workshops

I just finished putting together the web pages that provide information about the podcasting program ( step I) at BCC.  It’s still a work in progress and there is more material that needs to be added, but for now, I made it go live, so that the community can take a look of the kind of work we will be doing during the Spring Semester. There will be two distinct components to this project; one is to link the podcasting technical workshops lead by Albert Robinson to the newly created pedagogical podcasting workshops. The second project is in the development stage; so I will talk about it another time.

At this moment we are in the process of finalizing the schedule of our workshops that address the pedagogy of podcasting and we are certain that this is a great addition to the instructional side of technology. Once the schedule becomes official (very soon) I will be posting all these information.

I often thought about the meaning of the adjective “instructional” and realized that generally much of the focus in faculty development for online teaching is mainly on technology. I must also give credit to the work done by the OIT and the fact that the word pedagogy is always emphasized during the faculty development trainings. Faculty are constantly reminded that technology is a tool which serves the learning outcomes and is to be used to strengthen the learning of that particular subject. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why technology has the role it has, and why so much must time is spent on teaching the technical aspect. The main objective of the new pedagogical workshops is to make this feature even more evident, visible, and strong. By offering these types of workshops faculty will be able to have open and face-to-face discussions about teaching in the online environment. We hope to create a community for dedicated teachers who will find in the physical and virtual space (this site !) a comfortable environment where these issues can be addressed.

After all, we are mostly a teaching college, and more conversations on teaching and learning should be created.  These pedagogical workshops, I believe, will fill this gap.

Apart from the podcasting pedagogical workshops already planned for Spring 2010, we will offer other workshops that specifically address the academic side of the online environment. Topics will range from fostering interactivity, and to the pedagogy of web 2.0 and screencast. If these sound interesting, and you don’t want to miss out stay tuned!

Photo: Chart created by the University of Alberta, Canada

This image illustrates the relationship between content, technology and pedagogy

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