Monthly Archives: February 2014

Laszlo Bock, Senior VP from Google, responding to what he looks for in a new hire:

The second, he added, “is leadership — in particular emergent leadership as opposed to traditional leadership. Traditional leadership is, were you president of the chess club? Were you vice president of sales? How quickly did you get there? We don’t care. What we care about is, when faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead. And just as critically, do you step back and stop leading, do you let someone else? Because what’s critical to be an effective leader in this environment is you have to be willing to relinquish power.”

A Flexible Grading Structure

What works for you?


I was talking to a senior lecturer here on campus who shared with me his technique for exam grading, that included an element of self assessment for the involved students.

How this came about, was from students complaining that they didn’t know what his exams were like. He could confidently state that the exams from the past couple of years were on file for them to look at, but he also acknowledged that looking at an exam, and sitting in the room taking it were in fact, two different experiences. SO, instead of stopping there and having a tough sh*t attitude about it, he came up with something I feel is kind of ingenious.  They sit in the proctored room, take the test, and then at the very end, make a decision. They either opt to count the exam as 10% of the total grade for the class OR they say don’t count this test and the weight of all of the other forthcoming exams goes up.

And it works.  They self assess very well.  The ones who opt not to count the exam, typically did poorly, and the ones who count it get decent grades.  Plus, they come to the next test far better equipped and have no one to blame but themselves if by the second exam they still fail to prepare properly.

Do you have any grading stories to share with me?


SBCapture again

I don’t want to write about this one service too much, but we just had another snow day and some instructors have thought to do this, but I’m sure more could do this and it just hasn’t occurred to them.  SBCapture has been on campus now since 2008.  Some of you that use it, have captured lectures in the past.  Even for the very same lectures you are giving now, or would have given if school hadn’t gotten cancelled.

Yes – you can republish your old lectures into your current class.

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 3.57.27 PM

Find the lecture that you are interested in, select edit, scroll down to the bottom and select “edit media”, then the “Save New” tab. From here you can give it a new name and description, then pick the current term, course and section and “Save as New”.  The old lecture will appear in your current echocenter.

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 3.59.40 PM

Did you know?

SBCapture not only does room based capture, but also has “Personal Capture” which can record the screen, webcam and audio from any computer, and “Video Ingest” which can take any supplemental video and load into Blackboard?

Meetup in the City! SLN SOLsummit 2014

I’ll be presenting along with Meg Schedel at the SLN SOLsummit as an invited speaker.  We’ll be talking about the MOOC “Introduction to Computational Arts”, which was the first official SUNY MOOC.

February 26-28, 2014 . SUNY Global Center .  NY, NY .

The SLN SOLSummit, sponsored by the SUNY Learning Network (SLN), is an annual SUNY-wide conference specifically for online instructional designers, directors of online learning, and those interested in online learning environment support, services, and best practices.

The first Summit was held in 1998 as an annual face to face meeting of the SLN faculty developmentand instructional design team and the online campus-based SUNY instructional designers (also known at that time as MIDs) whose campuses participated in the SLN program.

Today, the SLN SOLSummit is open to anyone regardless of their CMS, SUNY, or SLN affiliation.

Click on the general info link on the left for Summit posts. Check Summit news, status, and updates.


The SLN SOLsummit has a 3-day agenda.

Day 1 (2.26.14)
Open to all regardless of affiliation with SLN or SUNY.

Day 2 (2.27.14)
Open to all regardless of affiliation with SLN or SUNY.

Day 3 (2.28.14) Special Event: Networking with NUTN
Open to all regardless of SUNY or SLN/CPD affiliation.  Enthusiastic participation from SLN, CPD, and DOODLE members is invited.


Snow Days – Personal Capture time!

Are you over the snow?  It’s been a white winter, that’s for sure!

More importantly are you teaching a course where you really need all of those pesky lecture hours? Do you know what online courses do when it snows really bad?  They keep going.  We have the technology so that you can keep going to!  I’m going to share a trick with you that will let you “flip” those snow days. (Flipping is when you listen to the lecture at home, and do active learning/group work/homework in the classroom.)

Do you have a SBCapture account?  Yes?  Go here: 

Now go to the Downloads tab, and grab personal capture for the OS that you prefer. (Your choices are Win and OSX – don’t go getting all RaspPi on me!)

This software allows you to capture the video from your screen, audio from your mic and optionally, the video from a webcam.  This way you can sit in front of your computer and give your lecture.  There are simple edit capabilities, you can pause the recording in the middle and directly load the finished product straight into Blackboard.

Unless you are already using SBCapture for room based capture this semester, you will need to drop me a line so that I can make the appropriate hooks on the backend between SBCapture and Blackboard, but that is simple enough.  Same goes for if you don’t already have an SBCapture account – just let me know, and I’ll set everything up.

FORM to request Personal Capture

Here is an example of what an end result looks like using Personal Capture:

Sample of Personal Capture

(In this case the webcam was setup to the side… yours might be a tight shot of your face.)

I hope that you find this, and find it helpful!