This site provides faculty with guidance in the event of an emergency situation that requires the College to transition to distance education.
Below you can find information on how to get ready for the transition, tools you might use to work with your students, the most recent guidance from the CUNY Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost, and where you can go for help and support.
Make sure you can log into all the City Tech and CUNY systems that you might need to access from your home computer and other devices (City Tech email, Office 365, Dropbox, CUNYFirst, Blackboard, OpenLab, etc.). Store your passwords in a secure place.
Make sure you are using the latest versions of browsers to be able to access various CUNY websites. Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge are recommended for most applications.
Make sure you can access library materials from home.
Make sure that you have saved your course teaching materials so that you can access them off campus.
Reach out to students to reassure them about the shift to online coursework.
Make sure your students know the best way to reach you in the event that the College closes (email, voice mail, personal phone, etc.). Make sure you have your students' contact information too.
Survey students in your courses to ask whether they have access to technology and an internet connection off-campus for completing their coursework online.
Contact your department chair or course leader for specific guidance. Other faculty within your department experience in distance education may be available to provide assistance.
As a first step, faculty should look at upcoming assignments to determine what could work in an online format. Writing assignments, class discussions, and video presentations can be moved online using the applications listed here, and other assignments may be viable online with alterations. The resources and tools below can help with this decision process and guide faculty to appropriate technology options.
Note that online students need a good deal of support from you and interaction with their peers to feel a sense of connection, learn the material, and not fall behind.
Determine which tool(s) you will need to use distance education. You will need to:
1. If you have not setup a means for distance learning as of yet, you can download your course roster from CUNYfirst. The roster will include the student's email and their CUNYfirst ID. You have the ability to directly email the students from CUNYfirst or to download the contact info and use different tool.
2. The following tools can help you communicate with students:
Blackboard —If you have setup your course using Blackboard, you can distribute course materials via Blackboard. You can also use the Blackboard assignment tool which allows students to upload their work and organizes it in the Blackboard grade center for your review.
OpenLab — You can distribute course materials and students can submit their work through the OpenLab using the Files feature, by posting to the course site, or by integrating a Dropbox link or form. Students can create ePortfolios on OpenLab and post their work for collection and feedback.
Email — You can distribute course materials to students via email and you can have students email you a file containing their assignment. Be mindful of the size of the file and the type as the College email system will restrict certain types of files and sizes.
In all cases, be sure to follow best practices for copyright and accessibility; see Library Resources below for more information.
Blackboard— is the College's Learning Management system. Through the use of Blackboard tools, you can create a fully online course. Blackboard allows you to have your course material online, create and assignments and exams, collaborate with students and hold real-time video conference lectures. Faculty User Guides.
OpenLab — The OpenLab allows you to present your course material online, create assignments and exams, and collaborate with students using blog posts, comments and discussion forums. You can also use Webex to supplement your OpenLab course for real-time video conferences.
MS Teams — is a City University collaboration suite that allows you to share course content, collaborate and hold video conferences. User Guides.
Blackboard — If you are utilizing Blackboard, you can create exams, quizzes and tests through Blackboard.
OpenLab — Use OpenLab's WordPress plugins to create online quizzes and the OpenLab Gradebook for grading and comments.
Utilize alternative assessment methods — Consider using writing assignments or other student projects in lieu of exams. These types of assignments engage students and may be simpler to manage in the event of a temporary disruption.
Blackboard — If you are utilizing Blackboard, you can use the Gradebook feature to communicate grades to your students.
OpenLab — If you are utilizing OpenLab, you can use posts, comments and ePortfolios to provide feedback on student work. Use the OpenLab Gradebook to communicate private student grades and comments.
As you familiarize yourself with the tools and methods available, consider:
Your comfort using the technologies concerned;
The structure of your course;
The requirements of the content you use - books, pdfs, multimedia;
The assignments and assessments typically used in the course, and the limitations caused by the shift in modality of teaching;
Most importantly, we encourage you to set reasonable expectations for success and be sensitive to those who may have limited access to technology tools and the internet. Keep in mind that the availability of computer labs, libraries or other resources may be limited.
If appropriate, create or set up the online course resources you will be using. (Blackboard, OpenLab, Dropbox, Webex, etc).
Update your instructional materials to reflect your plan for teaching remotely, including due dates, methods for collecting assignments, and grading.
Communicate your teaching plan to your students.
Blackboard is the CUNY-provided Learning Management System. A Blackboard site is automatically created for every active course each semester. Faculty can upload course content, host group discussions, collect assignments, communicate in real time using BB Collaborate, and add grades to the gradebook.
For more information see Faculty Blackboard on Websupport1.
We have batch enrolled all faculty into our fully online Blackboard Online Workshop for Faculty. Log into this workshop using your CUNYfirst credentials to get into Blackboard. Go to the CUNY website at https://www.cuny.edu/. In the far upper right-hand corner, you will see login. Pull down the menu to select Blackboard. Then use your CUNYfirst credentials to get into Blackboard. Since this online workshop is for training purposes, you are all enrolled as students. So look for courses in which you are participating as a student. You will need to scroll down beneath the courses that you are teaching.
OpenLabThe OpenLab is City Tech’s open digital platform for teaching, learning, and collaboration. It can be used as an alternative or supplement to Blackboard. Students, faculty and staff can sign up using a City Tech email address. Faculty can create courses to share materials, hold discussions, collect assignments, grade coursework, and more.
For more information see, OpenLab Help.
For advice and support, contact the OpenLab team: email@example.com.
City Tech Email
Email can be used for one-on-one or group communication to keep students informed of course changes and campus shutdown information, gather course assignments, and provide feedback. If desired, instructors can ask students to discuss readings or course topics via email as a replacement for face-to-face class discussion.
For support with City Tech email, contact Technology Services during business hours.
Microsoft Office 365Office 365 for Education gives faculty and students a suite of applications for productivity and collaboration.
For more information see, Login to Office 365
For support with Office 365, contact Technology Services during business hours.
Dropbox offers cloud-based file storage for faculty, staff, and students.
Use your CUNYFirst ID to login to the CUNY Dropbox.
For more information see CUNY’s Dropbox Resources.
GoogleDrive is cloud-based file storage and also offers a suite of tools: Docs (word documents) Slides (powerpoint-like presentations), Sheets (excel-like spreadsheets), and more.
For more information see, drive.google.com
*Note: This tool is not supported by CUNY. Grade information should not be distributed on non-CUNY platforms.
There are many tools that you can use to create a presentation using the camera on your phone or computer.
You can upload the video to YouTube, Office 365, or Dropbox and share the link with your students via Blackboard, OpenLab, or another online resource.
To comply with accessibility best practices, remember to caption your videos.
The Staff of the Center for Student Accessibility wishes you and your loved ones good health and hope you are well in these times of social and physical distancing.
While the office on campus is closed, the staff of the Center for Student Accessibility is here for you: http://www.citytech.cuny.edu/accessibility/. We will be updating our website as new information or resources become available.
Below is a list of our continuing services as well as a series of links prepared by accessibility colleagues throughout the University. Our tutors and lab techs are working remotely with self-identified students registered with the CSA. You can reach out to them with specific questions on student or accessibility needs. I can be reached at Jcurrie@citytech.cuny.edu.
English and composition:
Carrie Baram: CBaram@citytech.cuny.edu google voice 516-362-1026 Tuesday/Wednesday 9:00-3:00 and Thursday: 9:00-2:00.
Gretchen Johnson: Gretchjo@gmail.com
Our lab staff is working remotely and may have software links and other services students can access. They can be reached at JLeung@citytech.cuny.edu and JArroyo@citytech.cuny.edu.
They are a resource for both students and faculty.
Resources for Textbooks
You may find some resources for textbooks at VitalSource. See instructions and links below.
CUNY students at participating colleges can now access these materials by creating a VitalSource account at http://bookshelf.vitalsource.com using their cuny.edu email addresses.
The Library’s licensed digital collections offer a wide array of material types that could be incorporated into courses, including e books, image collections, newspapers, historical archives, music, videos, datasets, and journals and magazines.
For help and guidance with using Library resources, contact the Subject Specialist for your department or program.
For help following Accessibility standards, see Introduction to Accessibility.
For help understanding Fair Use and Copyright, see: CUNY Fair Use & Copyright Guide.
Open Educational Resources (OER)
Make use of open educational resources (OER) and other free materials to support instruction.
For more information see, contact Prof. Cailean Cooney.
Please note: students may have limited connectivity when off campus and may not be able to join synchronous class meetings.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
This web conferencing tool, integrated with Blackboard courses, allows faculty to lecture, share applications, share student work for student presentations, invite guest lecturers, and chat with your students. It is also useful for office hours.For more information see Faculty Blackboard on Websupport1.
CUNY has implemented the Webex Education Connector that allows:
For any questions concerning Webex, contact Technology Services
Microsoft TeamsOffered as part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite of tools, Microsoft Teams allows instructors to video conference with one or multiple students. This platform can be used to meet with students for virtual office hours or to host small group discussions as needed.
For more information see, Login to Office 365
For support with Office 365, contact Technology Services during business hours.
Zoom is modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems.
We also have the following short videos to help you get up and running with Zoom:
The following types of support are planned to help ensure that faculty are able to use College resources, circumstances permitting.
Room: Namm 901
(For general technology support and assistance with access to CUNYfirst, E-mail, Office 365, etc.)
Ask Us: https://library.citytech.cuny.edu
Room: Library Building (L-441)
(For assistance with Library resources.)
(For assistance with the OpenLab platform.)