Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)


  • Synchronous Online Teaching Session (2/1/2021)

    Are you teaching synchronously this term and want to learn and share tips, techniques, success and lessons learned?

    Please sign up to attend this webinar session on Friday, February 5, 2021, 10:30am – 12pm via WebEx (link provided
    on sign up form).

    Sign up here

    Questions? Contact Aura Lippincott (

  • Faculty Training for Fall Start! (8/17/2020)

    Faculty Training Sessions – Fall 2020

    Please note that session meeting links will be emailed to you prior to the session dates. Please choose the option at the end of the survey to receive a copy of your workshop sign ups.

    Blackboard Basics: Learn the basics of building your course in Blackboard
    – Thursday, August 20, 9am-11am

    Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: learn about synchronous online meeting using Blackboard’s integrated meeting tool.
    – Thursday, August 20, 1pm-2:30pm

    Blackboard Tests: learn how to create online quizzes and tests in Blackboard
    – Thursday, September 10, 12pm-1pm
    – Tuesday, September 15, 2pm-3pm

    Blackboard Grade Center: learn how to set up and navigate your course gradebook
    – Wednesday, September 23, 12pm-1pm
    – Thursday, October 1, 9am-10am

  • Consider Avoiding WebEx (or Zoom) to teach in real time – there are other options (3/18/2020)

    Synchronous or Asynchronous classes? 

    If you are thinking about holding your classes using real time (synchronous) online meeting tools, please reconsider this approach.

    Go Asynchronous Instead

    Asynchronous means that the content and activities will be available for students to access on their own schedule within time parameters / due dates that you set.  Instead of relying on real-time online meeting technology, design asynchronous weekly class activities and assignments


    • Real time online meeting tools (WebEx, Zoom, etc.) classes will NOT be like your face-to-face classes (particularly large classes)
      • Yes, it is real time, BUT there will be issues that will prevent quality interaction
    • Reduces the potential for real time technology issues
    • Provides more flexibility (and time for sorting out issues) for you and your students while everyone gets used to online teaching and learning
    • You and your students may have new schedules, commitments, or illnesses to contend with
    • Your students may not be able to connect to an online meeting for technical / hardware / bandwidth reasons

    Asynchronous Learning Ideas

    • Record a lecture (using Kaltura in Blackboard)
    • Add audio to your PowerPoint slides
    • Use a Blackboard Discussion for asynchronous threaded discussion
    • Have students post a reflection or response paper as an Assignment

    Learn how to use these tools, as well as best practices for online teaching and learning by enrolling in the Faculty: Remote Teaching Organization on Blackboard.

    To access this organization

    1.   Log into Blackboard – you may type in WCSU.EDU in the address bar in either Google Chrome or Edge

    2.    Once on the home page – Click on Essentials on the bar along the top and select Blackboard (direct link:

    3.    Once on the Blackboard sign in page – enter your username (usually lastname first initial) and password.  Click on Login.  You may get a message regarding ‘cookies’.  Click ok or accept.

    4.    You are now in Blackboard

    How to self-enroll to in the Faculty: Remote Teaching Organization  

    1.    Once you’ve logged into Blackboard, along the top part of your Blackboard page you will see ‘WCSU’ and ‘WCSU Organizations’.  Click on the ‘WCSU Organizations’ tab.

    2.    If this is the first time you are accessing this Organization, in the Organization Search box type Faculty: Remote Teaching (or the partial organization name, like remote) and click on ‘GO’

    3.    Click on the down arrow (chevron) after the title Faculty: Remote Teaching and select ‘Enroll’

    4.    Enter  Remote2020 as the access code and select ‘Submit’ (Note: the password is case sensitive)

    5.    Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on ‘OK’

    6.    The Faculty: Remote Teaching Organization should now appear in your Organization list.

  • Preparing your courses to teach remotely (workshops 3/10-3/12) (3/11/2020)

    Are you ready to do these 5 things to keep your class going remotely?:

    1. Communicate  with your students (Announcements, class and individual email, etc.)
    2. Share your syllabus and contact info with your class
    3. Make your content available to your students (course content, lectures, etc.)
    4. Collect, grade, and return Assignments, exams, etc. (evaluate/assess)
    5. Interact with your students (online meetings with class and individual students, online discussions, etc.)

    Attend any of the session below to learn how to use Blackboard, Kaltura and WebEx. Don’t wait, be prepared! 

    Topics to be covered:

    • Blackboard (communication, course content, assignments and exams)
    • Kaltura: recorded lectures
    • WebEx: Meeting online together

    Session Dates, Times, and Locations

    Wednesday, March 11:

    • Where and When: 11am-1pm, Haas Library 434 (Lab)
      • Topics (11am-12pm Blackboard; 12pm-1pm Kaltura and WebEx)
    • Where and When: 2pm-6:30pm, Haas Library 434 (Lab)
      • Topics: (2pm-3pm Blackboard; 3pm-4pm Kaltura and WebEx; 4pm-5pm Open; 5pm-6pm Blackboard; 6pm-6:30pm Open)

    Thursday , March 12:

    • Where and When: 9am-12pm, Online via WebEx
      • Topics: (9am-10am Blackboard; 10am-11am Kaltura and WebEx; 11am-12pm Open)
    • Where and When: 1pm-6pm, Haas Library 434  (Lab)
      • Topics: (1pm-2pm Open; 2pm-3pm Blackboard; 3pm-4pm Kaltura and WebEx; 4pm-5pm Open; 5pm-6pm Blackboard)

    ***No RSVP needed, but please arrive at the start time of the sessions. ***

    Link for Online via WebEx sessions:

    Join by phone

    1-650-479-3208 Call-in toll number (US/Canada)

    1-877-668-4493 Call-in toll-free number (US/Canada)

    Meeting Number/Access code: 644 254 258

  • Tech Scoop – call for faculty presenters! (3/6/2020)

  • SAVE THE DATE: NOVEMBER 13, 2020 (2/25/2020)

    More details to follow including additional speakers!

  • Insight and Interview (12/1/2019)


    Dr.Sean Murthy

    Director of Data Science & Systems Lab

    Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science



    This is the final faculty interview conducted and written by a talented WCSU MFA student, John Bonanni. Our goal is to celebrate and learn from some of WCSU’s dedicated teachers and scholars.

    Those of us who have been overcome with the struggle to understand the nature of computing can seek the refuge of Dr. Sean Murthy, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Data Science and Systems Lab (DASSL, read dazzle), a research lab for data science and data-intensive systems.

    Dr. Murthy offered a comprehensive discussion defining the scope of the discipline. He feels entering students possess an inaccurate view of the subject, having been exposed to the “Hollywood notion of what programming is about.”

    To remedy the issue, Dr. Murthy encourages the potential student to think deeply about selecting Computer Science (CS) as a major. He encourages students to complete at least the first two courses. He then asks a simple question. “Why do you want to take CS?” Many respond, “I like games.” The professor then offers an analogy that succinctly defines the credibility of the discipline. He offers the yarn of driving a car for 30 years without an accident. He indicates that he is a good driver, and he likes to drive, but that does not make him an automobile engineer.

    The defining word is “engineer,” and achieving competency in using “professional tools and implementing them in a professional manner.”

    As an accomplished architect of software used in Fortune 100 companies, Dr. Murthy emphasizes the need for the student to engineer software, which requires “discipline, patience, thinking, and deliberation on the part of the practitioner.” The professor’s detailed approach to achieving competency in the field is apparent in his overview. He imparts the notion that CS students are problem solvers, not gamers. Students must understand the problem before they can solve it. That requires the student’s understanding of the industry in which the problem exists. He reminds them that “every software is implementing a solution,” making “software-engineering necessarily interdisciplinary.”

    Dr. Murthy follows a philosophy of “democratizing access” to improve accessibility and availability, making students their own time managers in learning and assignment submissions, and still have a physical campus connection. This synergy between online and in-class applications consists of making courseware accessible on OneDrive, and making tools accessible at locations others than just the computers in assigned classrooms.

    In a data-management course that was using a commercial database system available from only the 20 computers in the classroom. With 40 students enrolled (two sections), availability was generally low, being rather poor especially the night before assignments were due. To address this problem, Dr. Murthy worked with 2 volunteer students and replaced the proprietary system with a new, home-grown, free, and open-source system called ClassDB, which he has made usable from any computer on campus and on students’ own computers anywhere.

    Dr. Murthy just completed negotiations with Microsoft to provide normally cost-prohibitive tools free of charge to CS students, faculty and staff. This arrangement lets students install professional tools on their own computers to complete assignments and to practice, making them better prepared as potential hires.

    Dr. Murthy is convinced that embracing technology in designing courseware, teaching, and interacting with students has increased efficiency, clarity, and connection to the contemporary environment of the student.

    Interview conducted by John Bonanni & Ronald Samul

    Author Bio: John Bonanni spent the last forty years in the theatre on tour, on Broadway, at Radio City Music Hall and many places in between managing every sensitive personality he encountered. He now writes about them, among other things. His articles have appeared in Adelaide Literary Magazine, Inspired Living Magazine, and Senior Outlook Today.  He is currently enrolled in the MFA in Creative and Professional Program at Western Connecticut State University.

  • Drop in on 12/4 or 12/16! (11/18/2019)

  • WCSU Faculty – you are invited! (10/7/2019)

  • Dr. Stephanie Kuhn: Using Kaltura Technology to Increase Active Student Responding in Blackboard (9/26/2019)

    To watch the Vlog with Dr. Stephanie Kuhn:

    Kaltura can be accessed for free in Blackboard. To access this feature in your course go to: Build content > Mashups > Kaltura Media. For technical support, please contact Scott Volpe:

    For the benefits of using active student responding in your classroom:

    1. Kellum, K. K., Carr, J. E., & Dozier, C. L. (2001). Response-card instruction and student learning in a college classroom. Teaching of Psychology28, 101-104.

    2. Malanga, P. R., & Sweeney, W. J. (2008). Increasing active student responding in a university applied behavior analysis course: The effect of daily assessment and response cards on end of week quiz scores. Journal of Behavioral Education17, 187-199.

    Dr. Stephanie Kuhn, PhD, BCBA-D, LP, LBA has almost 25 years of experience in the field of Behavioral Psychology. She is a licensed psychologist in New York and Connecticut, a licensed Behavior Analyst in Connecticut, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst at the Doctorate level. She currently holds a faculty appointment and teaches full time in the ABA program at Western Connecticut State University and provides clinical services as part of a private practice in Westport, CT. In the past, she had held faculty appointments at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and New York Medical College. Dr. Kuhn has authored and co-authored multiple publications in peer reviewed journals and has extensive clinical experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She has provided school consultation and school based assessment treatment services for many years as well as home based individual services including program supervision and parent counseling and training. She enjoys watching soccer, running, and spending time with her husband, daughters, and dogs.