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Innovative Instructor
Blog Feed

3 New Innovative Instructor Articles

The Innovative Instructor series has grown to 30 articles on innovative teaching methods, technology and best practices. Read them online here along with previously published articles.

You can also pick up printed copies from the stands located near the Brody Learning Commons Cafe, on M-level by the Circulation desk or at the CER in the MSE Library.


Recent Blackboard Updates Blackboard Logo

Scrollbars Unavailable in Grade Center – a Fix for Mac Users
If you are a Mac user, you may be have had trouble scrolling through your grade center columns because of the lack of scrollbars. A new default setting for Mac OS X is to keep scrollbars hidden until activated by use, which is causing frustration for some users. Fortunately the setting can be changed to 'always show scrollbars', which fixes the problem. Here is a link with more information and steps to change the setting:

Upgrade to Blackboard coming this December
On December 26, 2013, Blackboard will be unavailable to all users from 8am-8pm as Service Packs 12 and 13 are installed on the servers. New features and enhancements will be included:

  • New Math Editor! Long awaited by math and engineering instructors, LaTeX formula editing and display will now be supported in the upgraded math editor.
  • Inline Grading for Discussion Board, Blog, Journal, and Wiki tools. The grading interface of these tools has been upgraded to provide a more efficient and streamlined experience for instructors.
  • Groups Management update. Modify group membership using avatars, perform bulk actions for deleting groups, and manage tool availability for all groups from one page.
  • Test Access Log. View detailed interactions of students taking tests, including test start and end times as well as time spent on each question.
Screen shot Blackboard Test Access Log


Congratulations to the Inaugural Cohort of the Johns Hopkins University
Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) Teaching Academy!

Too often, PhD students are trained as researchers who graduate with little knowledge of pedagogy or skills needed for successful teaching, although those who pursue academic careers are usually assigned undergraduate and graduate teaching assignments as part of their first faculty appointments.

Through a new initiative — the Johns Hopkins PFF Teaching Academy — participants acquire critical skills needed in initial faculty appointments, including an overview of pedagogy, the opportunity to explore different educational models, teaching and assessment skill acquisition, and focused time with a faculty teaching mentor in a classroom, online course, or laboratory environment. An optional component at the end of the program offers the opportunity to contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning by developing a teaching-as-research project as part of a hands-on teaching experience.

The program is designed to permit maximum flexibility for participants to gain exposure to good teaching practices while fulfilling their PhD research requirements. Upon completion of the three phase program, participants are presented a certificate that can add to their competitive advantage in today’s challenging job market. Please visit the Preparing Future Faculty Teaching Academy website for additional information.

The Johns Hopkins Preparing Future Faculty Teaching Academy Program is pleased to extend congratulations to each student selected for the inaugural cohort!