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10. What do I need to know about teaching at Albany?
Short Cuts for Getting Started
No matter what your experience has been as a university instructor, there are a lot of resources you can use to avoid having to re-invent everything. The ITLAL Teaching Resources pages offer materials and ideas specifically for professors starting at a new institution.
Teaching Support, Consultation, Feedback, and Ideas
The resource page you are currently viewing is a service of the Institute for Teaching, Learning and Academic Leadership (ITLAL). ITLAL features a variety of Teaching Consultation Services, as well as an extensive collection of web-based Teaching and Learning Resources. ITLAL also sponsors an ongoing series of Events and Workshops for faculty and instructional staff.
Albany Students and Student Support Services
UAlbany has over 16,000 graduate and undergraduate students with diverse interests and backgrounds. Nearly three quarters of UAlbany's students receive financial aid and there are many programs to support students including Academic Support Services, The Education Opportunities Program (EOP), The Writing Center, The Disability Resource Center, Student Success, The University Counseling Center, and the library's Interactive Media Center. You will want to keep these programs in mind while designing your course and preparing your syllabus. You will also want to familiarize yourself with the Undergraduate Academic Policies of UAlbany.
MyUAlbany is the web-based information management system accessing your schedule, rosters, and information about your courses and students. Here you will also submit final grades and process "permissions" (through SKN's), which students need if you want to let them join your course above the enrollment cap.
Books, Course Packs, and Distributed Media
The University at Albany Bookstore will help you purchase textbooks, although you should check with your department to see if their ordering procedures are centralized through an administrative assistant. To create a customized course reader, you can contact Copies Plus (on campus) and Shipmates (off campus) to have copies made for students to pick up. You can also make materials available through electronic reserves (E-Res) in the library. If you want students to have access to films and videos, ITLAL offers a variety of services to allow you to digitize your existing media into formats that are exportable for a wide range of uses, such as in web pages and in visual or audio presentations. Our media services can also convert entire films from a variety of sources into streamable, password-protected files. Access to these files can be managed through your online course or through any course-related website.
You can find the classroom assignments for your courses by logging on to MyUAlbany. If you want to change classrooms, the process begins by putting in a change request through an administrator in your home department.
You can preview most of the classrooms on campus using the ITLAL Classrooms Page. This page lists the features of each classroom, and provides photos. If you need media support beyond what is already available in a classroom, Audio/Visual Services (442 -3647) can, with advance notice, provide you with portable equipment (i.e., TVs, slide projectors and portable computer projection systems).
Automated Test Scoring
ITS provides free, blank ScanTron forms for short-answer tests, and processes the completed forms. The Test Scoring Customer Service Center is located in the Lecture Center complex between the Arts and Sciences and Fine Arts buildings. ITLAL works with faculty on testing strategies, test item development, and distracter refinement. ITLAL can also provide examples and models of effective short-answer testing to measure higher levels of student thinking.
Blended and Online Learning
UAlbany uses Blackboard Learning System CE 9. The Faculty Technology Resources unit of ITS offers online and face to face training in CMS technology. For more information about the Blackboard upgrade and training visit the Blackboard website. ITLAL consultants are available to explore with you potential uses of these systems in your own teaching, through workshops and private consultations.
The Library's Interactive Media Center offers a walk-in service, tutorials, and classes to faculty who want to learn applications such as Web editors, audio and video editors, DVD burning tools, and much more. Information Technology Services also provides training sessions for applications such as Excel, Access, Dreamweaver and Photoshop. ITLAL currently provides one-on-one help to faculty who want to learn media conversion and editing.