Preparation for Teaching Online: A Foundational Workshop for CUNY Faculty

We invite you to participate in a CUNY-sponsored workshop to prepare faculty for online and hybrid course instruction, offered by the faculty development team at the School of Professional Studies (SPS). The workshop will be offered online with activities and assignments that can be completed on a flexible schedule (asynchronously) within each scheduled week. Participants should be faculty who are scheduled to teach or develop an online or hybrid course in an upcoming semester, generally within 6 months of the workshop. Familiarity with basic functions of Blackboard is assumed.

Please note that you must be available to participate in discussion during each of the two weeks.  Participants who successfully complete requirements based on specific grading criteria and rubrics of the workshop will receive a certificate of completion from SPS and may be eligible for a payment from their college, based on 10 hours at their NTA rate (up to $550 total). Timing and conditions of payment may vary by college.

Workshop Description

This two-week, asynchronous, instructor-facilitated workshop is designed to prepare CUNY faculty for teaching online and/or hybrid classes. The workshop models effective design and facilitation skills and addresses design issues, pedagogical approaches to teaching online and hybrid courses, as well as organization and management of an online class. It also provides an opportunity for faculty to become more familiar with the environment of the Blackboard LMS from both a student and instructor perspective. The total time on task is estimated at an average of 10 hours for participants. There are no face-to-face or real-time online meetings required.

All participants are asked to familiarize themselves with the basics of Blackboard before beginning the workshop, availing themselves of their home campus resources. School of Professional Studies faculty who need some basic Blackboard training should contact Antonia Levy at to arrange for a convenient training session in person, by phone, or online.

During the workshop, “how-to” handouts will be available in the Resources area of the course site for further guidance on completing tasks in Blackboard.

Each section of the workshop contains an average of no more than 25 participants in order to allow for optimal interaction among participants and facilitator as well as individualized feedback from the facilitator.

This foundational workshop has the following objectives, expressed in terms of outcomes for faculty participants:

  • To gain first-hand experience in and appreciation of the needs of an online learner
  • To become familiar with the basic operations and features of a Blackboard classroom from both student and instructor perspectives
  • To identify the salient differences and requirements between face-to-face,  hybrid and fully online courses
  • To identify some widely accepted best practices for online and hybrid teaching
  • To apply to one’s own course the necessary instructional design, organizational and facilitation skills, and overall communication strategies as modeled in the certification workshop
  • To reflect on past teaching approaches and begin to devise likely strategies for effective assignments and assessments
  • To demonstrate basic competencies in producing the essential elements of an online syllabus and schedule, creating an effective announcement, and providing an ice-breaking introductory topic
  • To design engaging discussion prompts that will result in active discussion and stimulate critical thinking
  • To share ideas concerning online and hybrid teaching with CUNY colleagues within an online community of learners
  • To become familiar with templates and processes needed in order to be ready to teach online

Workshop Activities Include

  • Readings and discussion with colleagues of topics related to design, communication strategies, facilitation, social and teaching presence and the organization and time management of online and hybrid courses
  • Completing assignments involving the use of announcements, designing effective discussion questions, creation or redesign of an assignment/assessment, and developing a comprehensive syllabus and schedule for one’s own course
  • Accomplishment of a series of actions in a Blackboard practice course site, reflecting an understanding of how to use basic functions involved in course setup and facilitation


Preparation for Teaching Online workshops in 2017-18

  • July 17-30, 2017 with priority for those teaching Fall 2017
  • October 23-November 5th, 2017, with priority for those teaching in Winter or Spring 2018
  • January 8-21, 2018, SPS faculty only, 
  • April 23-May 6th, 2018, with priority for those teaching in Summer 2018
  • June 11-24, 2018, with priority for those teaching Fall 2018
  • July 16-29, 2018, with priority for those teaching Fall 2018

Note: October 23rd sections are full and registration is now closed.  SPS faculty who still need to register for October should contact

All registrations are subject to approval by academic director/chair and college. 

Approval from chair approval from chair–please download and follow directions to secure approval if you are not SPS, BMCC, KBCC, or Lehman faculty.