Information Technology Services

Drop Shadow

Summer Innovation Institute

Summer Innovation Institute '16

Summer Innovation Institute 2016 was a great success!


If you are interested in SII for 2017, read this page to learn more about the SII program, requirements, and application process.

Program Objectives:

  • Offer concise, practical, relevant technical instruction in an institute setting to improve the quality of online pedagogy and current courses at USD
  • Improve the quality of Blackboard courses for hybrid or online course delivery, and to give new and existing faculty the tools to become better online course facilitators
  • Help faculty rethink how they're teaching to improve their students' learning experiences, increasing out-of-class learning and in-class activities
  • Integrate tools that will help faculty to build pedagogically sound online courses that enhance student learning, including the development and deployment of multimedia in faculty's courses

View a sample 2-week schedule!


Stipend Options

Participating Faculty Will Select One of the Following:

  1. iPad option with a twist: current generation iPad with option to upgrade to a new one in two years' time (est. value $1600)
  2. Up to $1500 registration and travel spending towards attendance at an approved teaching and learning focused technology conference. Attendee agrees to present his/her findings at a Learn@Lunch event to USD colleagues
    Online Teaching Conference
    OR up to $1500 towards an online teaching certification at one of these approved programs:
    Online Learning Consortium (Formerly Sloan Consortium)
    UC San Diego Extension
    Quality Matters
  3. Cash stipend of $1000*


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Summer Innovation Institute (SII)?

The SII is a 2-week, intensive transformational instructional program for full-time, benefit-based faculty. SII will enable faculty to build or improve a current Blackboard course, utilize learning technologies and functionality designed to increase student engagement. We will examine course materials, discover techniques for ‘flipping the classroom’ and delve into pedagogical theory with hands-on course development opportunities and guidance from the instructional design and training team. Participants will greatly expand their technology toolkits and become more confident deploying instructional technologies for academic use.

We will examine course materials, discover techniques for keeping your students engaged, delve into pedagogical theory combined with hands-on course development opportunities. Our professional instructional support team will work with you to help you design a course that meets your learning outcomes. Faculty will become familiar with Blackboard tools and features that will help them reach their teaching goals.

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What must a faculty member commit to?

  • Participants must attend all dates of the two-week session. The SII is a time commitment, with workshops from 9am to 3pm daily, Monday through Friday
  • Arrive on time and with any pre-work completed (light reading, account creation, etc.)
  • Complete the pre-course survey and schedule and attend a needs analysis consultaton with member of the Instructional Support and Training team in advance of the cohort dates
  • Complete a 2-hour Blackboard New Users workshop in advance of the cohort dates
  • Partner with ATS in building partnership and community of users and share outcomes with the group and at future events

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Who should attend?

Tenured or tenure-track faculty interested in enhancing your Blackboard courses will benefit greatly from this workshop. Ask yourself the following questions to see if this program is for you:

  • Are you interested in taking your Blackboard course to the next level, or in redesigning your course to make it more interactive and user-friendly?
  • Are you teaching an undergraduate or graduate level academic course for credit using Blackboard?
  • Would you like to learn ways to take advantage of Blackboard’s untapped potential, whether it be in integrating publisher material, displaying your students’ video presentations within Blackboard, or increasing the amount of your course content online to free up your class time for interactive learning activities?

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At the end of the two weeks, participants will be able to:

  • Design and develop engaging, interactive courses based on the Blackboard Exemplary Course Template
  • Examine learning outcomes and teaching approaches to refine syllabi
  • Facilitate active learning strategies and class interactions using the flipped classroom model
  • Leverage iOS mobile apps, multimedia, and social media tools to increase student engagement
  • Explore the benefits of easy-to-use technology tools to augment hybrid courses
  • Apply pedagogical models such as Blooms Taxonomy and ADDIE to course design
  • Utilize tools available such as Google Docs, YouTube Capture, Blackboard Tests
  • Incorporate pre-built publisher content from Wiley, Pearson, McGraw-Hill, etc
  • Integrate communication and collaborative tools such as wikis, blogs, discussion boards, and journals

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Daily focuses include:

  • Flipping the classroom: What it means and how to find opportunities to do it
  • Multi-media: Development, editing, and publication as well as identifying relevant content on the web
  • Mobile Learning: exploring apps relevant to higher education and discovering emerging trends
  • Online collaboration: Dissecting your syllabus to find opportunities
  • Copyright: Discussion and compliance
  • Publisher content: Taking advantage of pre-built materials
  • Apple's iBook Author: Learning how to use it
  • Effective communication: Prompting and facilitating good out-of-class discussion, synchronous and asynchronous tools - when to use them.
  • Social media: Tapping into the new features of Blackboard

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  • Completion of 2 hour Blackboard New Users training, if you haven't, click here to see upcoming opportunities through IT Training
  • Completion of pre-course survey
  • Completion of pre-assigned reading assignments

Important Note: Faculty who are accepted to the program must agree to attend all sessions Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. for 2 weeks, and need to come prepared with course materials and syllabus.

Should an accepted participant become unable to complete the requirements for any reason, a stipend will not be awarded and/or iPad must be forfeited.

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Previous SII Cohorts