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September Newsletter

Message from the Director

We welcome you all to the start of Fall 2020 term. This has been and incredibly busy summer, with over 950 unique people attending CTL workshops and events to prepare to move online.

Please remember to reach out to your students and let them know how to attend your class (see how in Blackboard Tips below). Students, particularly those who are new to UWindsor, may not know how to find classes and labs in the first week.

Need help moving online? Refer to our newly created resource for teaching online and consider sample wording for your syllabus.

If you have any feedback or ideas for teaching and learning support that would help faculty or graduate students, please let us know! You can email us at

Indigenous Curriculum and Teaching Online

Through a touching narrative exchange, Jaimie Kechego discusses her role as Indigenous Curriculum and Pedagogy Project Coordinator with her departed Grandmother. Included in this post are links to the three recorded Pulling Together Foundation Series workshops.
As the University shifts to online teaching in the Fall, Archivist and Librarian Sarah Glassford writes about her personal experiences as a student of online and hybrid courses, and what she felt worked for her, and what didn't.

CTL will publish 2-3 articles a month and looks forward to curating content from teaching and learning practitioners who want to share their personal thoughts, opinions, insights, reflections, and advice. Contact if you have an idea for a post.

Visit Teach & Learn

Nominations Open for the Minister’s Award of Excellence 

The Minister of Colleges and Universities wants to shine a spotlight on the work being done by professors and instructors at Ontario’s publicly-assisted, Indigenous and private postsecondary institutions during COVID-19. 

Do you know an instructor that has gone above and beyond during the pandemic and embodied a UWindsor Together attitude?  You can nominate them for the Minister of Colleges and Universities Awards of Excellence. Fill out a quick online form and make sure the whole province knows what an important role they played. Nominate someone you think has demonstrated Ontario spirit today and help celebrate everyday heroes.

The CTL is offering three half courses this Fall. To find out more about any of the courses, or to sign up, visit the CTL Registration System.

Learning-Centred Teaching in Higher Education - This course offers students the opportunity to explore and evaluate the principles and theories of learning-centred teaching in higher education.
Every Thursday from September 10 - October 22, 2020, 1:00 - 3:50 p.m.

Authentic Assessment - This course will introduce you to the principles and practice of this approach to assessment of student learning.
Every Tuesday from October 27 - December 1, 2020, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Leading Effective Discussions - This course introduces the basic skills involved in promoting, leading, and sustaining educationally effective discussions.
Every Monday from November 2 - December 7, 2020, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

The following sessions are available to Instructors and GA/TAs.

Sprint Sessions in the Bb Café Virtual Classroom

Stop by for a half-hour (or slightly more) sprint sessions in the Bb Café Virtual Café to see demonstrations of various Blackboard tools or dive deeper into a hot topic. Quick informal sessions to help get you back into your day with a little more insight. 
View the schedule for these sessions.

Teaching in a Blackboard Learning Environment Self-paced course (TBLEUTC-O-S19-01)

Teaching in a Blackboard Learning Environment – TBLE (Online) will introduce current or future instructors to the essential components of a well-designed and implemented Blackboard course site experience for their students. This is an online course with lessons and activities that provide you with the experience of being both an instructor and a student in an online environment.
Schedule: Self-paced, online. Register, or find out more.

Other Blackboard Online Courses Available Self-paced

If you like to work at your own pace online and want to learn more about using Blackboard, register for one or more free online courses. If you are interested in using Blackboard to provide basic communications, some online assessments, and grading components, we encourage you to register for the following sequence of courses:
  1. Getting Started
  2. Assessing Learners
  3. Monitoring Student Performance

We thought we would share with you a few tips and tricks for using Blackboard and teaching online at this time of year.

Can your students find your course?

Once you have prepared your site with materials and you are ready to open the site to your students, click the red lock icon in the top right corner to set your site to be available to students. 

Reach out to your students!

Some students are having difficulty finding their courses and submitting tickets for support. Help your students by sending a welcoming announcement to your class and invite them to your course with any special details they need to know about. Quick steps to do so:

  1. Go to Course Menu.
  2. Click on Announcements -> Create Announcement.
  3. Enter Subject and Message.
  4. To send an email with your announcement, select under Duration - the Not Date Restricted option. Then check the Send copy of this announcement immediately option.
  5. Click Submit to complete.

Avoid uploading large files

Please don't upload video files or large graphic/multi-media files to Blackboard! Instead, stream them and add the link or embed the video. Tips on how to do that are in the Adding Embedding Videos in MS Stream to Blackboard article.  Also, some tips about using large files in Blackboard are found in the Sharing Large Files article.

Breakout rooms in Blackboard Collaborate (Virtual Classroom) 

Want to use break out rooms for office hours in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra?  Check out this Blackboard Collaborate video which tells you how to do that.

Having trouble with Blackboard?

If you are experiencing a problem with Blackboard or want to find out more about a particular tool or way of accomplishing a task, reach out with a Service Request at and one of the team will respond.

Preparing Your Course to be Accessible

As you prepare for the Fall, we have have created some resources to help make your online course accessible. These links can be found at the Teaching Online website.

We hope that you will encourage your graduate assistants (GAs) and teaching assistants (TAs) in your departments to participate in this year’s GATAcademy. GATAcademy is being held completely online right now, as a week-long event from August 31st to September 4th, 2020.

GATAcademy is a project of the GATA Network, a distributed network supported jointly by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Timed for the beginning of every Fall semester, GATAcademy is the largest event for GAs and TAs to explore opportunities for personal and professional development. We look forward to welcoming your GAs/TAs to this event. Please visit the GATA Network for more information on this and other events coordinated by the network.
For registration information, visit

Office of Open Learning (OOL) Workshops

OOL aims to provide faculty and students with the tools and training they need to be successful with online, blended and open learning. They offer a wide range of expertise and training through workshops and other flexible learning opportunities.


Teaching Professor Virtual Conference

Due to travel restrictions, we’re offering a virtual conference that captures the spirit that the Teaching Professor Conference is known for. It features on-demand access to conference plenary sessions along with on-demand delivery of 50+ concurrent sessions. There’s even an opportunity for you to virtually attend 9 optional preconference workshops plus poster sessions too!

Registration Includes:

  • Conference plenary sessions
  • More than 50 concurrent sessions
  • Q&A for each session
  • Closed captioning
  • Downloadable conference handouts
  • Poster sessions
  • Conference app with handouts, presenter profiles, networking, and sponsors
  • Access begins Wednesday May 27 through September 30
Email us if you have comments, feedback or notes regarding this newsletter.

Copyright © 2020

Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Windsor
401 Sunset Ave., Windsor, Ontario, N9B 3P4

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Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Windsor · 401 Sunset Avenue · Windsor, On N9B 3P4 · Canada

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