Information technology training provides professors instruction on online resources


Tom Mahon, manager of information technology, teaches a Blackboard workshop for faculty focusing on tests and assignments. There are various different courses regarding Blackboard in the library, as well as online help.

Anna Smith Reporter

Faculty can learn more about technology programs to improve online learning through free workshops.

The IT Training and Outreach technical workshop topics include Blackboard Learn, Adobe, Microsoft and Google products.

“A lot of times we get faculty that are using Blackboard in one way, but now need to shift gears and use it in another way,” said Tom Mahon, manager of IT Training and Outreach.

Blackboard Learn workshops concentrate on topics such as tests and assignments, the grade center and communication tools.

There are many features in the system that teaching assistants and first-time teachers who are starting from scratch could learn more about, he said.

“We have a lot of adjuncts at the university who may not have any background in actually managing a class in Blackboard,” he said. “They may not use some of the more dedicated tools for an online class.”

Workshops on Blackboard Learn are focused at the beginning of semesters and over breaks, Mahon said. 

“Before the semester starts, we will do half a dozen Blackboard workshops in a single week,” Mahon said. “That way people can get in, get the training they need to build their class, and then go on.”

The training program sends a schedule to faculty at the beginning of the semester and puts workshops on the main university calendar to draw attention to their training.

“Once the semester starts, we average four workshops a day every day,” he said. “Sometimes we’ll have a full room, and sometimes it will just be one or two.”

Along with face-to-face workshops that are held on the first floor of the library, training is also available online through LinkedIn Learning.

“If you can’t wait for a workshop then there’s this online component to it,” he said. “It’s a good way to reach everybody however they need their training.”  

The training service partners with the library to provide additional workshops on citations and plagiarism, Mahon said.

To view the list of technology workshops, visit the training website.

“All of our workshops are open to the entire university community: students, faculty and staff,” Mahon said.

Contact Anna Smith at [email protected]