I posted my syllabus in Blackboard…now what?

All Pace instructors should know by now that syllabi are required for all courses, and that the Provost strongly suggests posting the syllabus to Blackboard at least one week before classes begin (U. Sukhatme, communication to all teaching faculty, August 12, 2014).

Okay, so you’ve posted your syllabus…now what?

Well, now it is time to set up your Blackboard Grade Center. Yes, before the class begins is a great time to get the grading organized. Regardless of whether or not you have assignments posted in Blackboard, you can create your grades in Blackboard. Surveys show that students view the ability to see their grades as the number one reason they use Blackboard. Preparing your Grade Center before the class starts does the following:

  1. It forces you, as an instructor, to get organized.  By seeing the end result, you are forced to develop the means to get there. This, in turn, reduces the amount of stress at the end of the semester.
  2. It allows you to check the math behind the grades. Yes, you should be checking the math…especially if you are utilizing methods such as rubrics, weighted grades or dropping the lowest quiz score. After you create your desired grading formula, throw in some sample scores and make sure you check it by calculating a few final grades by hand. After all, if you don’t understand how the grades are created, then there is no way you can explain it to the students.
  3. It allows you to check the letter grades Blackboard creates. If you are allowing Blackboard to translate numeric scores into letter scores, you need to make sure the letter grades are correct.  The translation occurs due to the grading schema, which may not be correct for you and/or your department.
  4. It allows your students to see exactly how their grades are determined. This provides motivation as well as clarity, and defuses conflicts that might arise at the end of the semester.
  5. It provides for accurate record keeping…which is available for six years after the course has ended.
  6. You can add/edit/create/delete grades from anywhere in the world that has Internet access. You no longer have to worry about taking your grade book to Aruba on Spring Break. Just log in to Blackboard and take care of grades while on the beach.
  7. Okay, so what if you’re an Excel person? Fine, it is easy to import (and export) Excel files between Blackboard and Excel.

GradesSo, the advantages of organizing your Grade Center are great. For assistance in any of the above procedures, please feel free to contact Academic Technologies by calling 914.773.3664 or emailing us at acadtech@pace.edu. We will be glad to meet with you one-on-one or set up a time to meet with a small group or department. Again, the best time to do this is BEFORE the semester begins.

2015 ePortfolio Awards

This May, the Office of Academic Technologies honored three Pace students on both the Pleasantville and New York City campuses for their exceptional use of ePortfolio at ceremonies held in conjunction with the Writing Enhanced Course Awards. In addition to a $100 VISA gift card, these students also receiving a digital badge to display on their ePortfolio.

NYC WEC Awards Program

NYC WEC Awards Program

This years’ winners were Alexandra Catalano, Adina McCray, and Catherine Weening.

Alexandra Catalano was our May ePortfolio of the month. She is a Political Science major on the Pleasantville campus and was introduced to ePortfolio in her Public Speaking class. She found it challenging at first, but once she got the hang out it, Alexandra was able to create her beautiful ePortfolio—complete with multimedia examples of her accomplishments.

Adina McCray is a first year Communication Arts and Journalism major on the Pleasantville campus. She was introduced to ePortfolio in her Communicating with Social Media class. After checking out some other ePortfolio profiles, Adina became inspired. Adina’s Showcase page includes videos she has worked on with descriptions of her experiences creating them.

 Adina McCray, Communication Arts and Journalism major, March ePortfolio of the Month Winner.

Adina McCray, Communication Arts and Journalism major, March ePortfolio of the Month Winner.

Catherine Weening is a senior English major on the New York City campus. She was first introduced to ePortfolio during a workshop sponsored by the Honors College. Catherine was initially overwhelmed by ePortfolio’s many features and functions. However, once she decided what she wanted to include on it, use of ePortfolio became easier. Catherine’s pages showcase her passion for literature using pictures, art, and text.

Heather Askildsen, Academic Technology Consultant

Heather Askildsen, Academic Technology Consultant

Congratulations to all the winners!

Inspired by this year’s winners? Get started on your ePortfolio today and maybe we’ll be honoring you at next spring’s ceremony.


May ePortfolio of the Month: Alexandra Catalano

Our May ePortfolio of the month is Alexandra Catalano. Alexandra is a political science major at Pace’s Pleasantville campus.  She was introduced to ePortfolio by Professor Cypkin in her Public Speaking course.


When she first started using ePortfolio, Alexandra found the layout feature to be the most challenging. After she practiced using the feature, it became easier for her.

Alexandra’s pages incorporate images, quotes, and text that showcase who she is. On her About Me Page, she includes her goals, a quote, and a Tagxedo word cloud describing her personality.


Alexandra enjoyed putting her ePortfolio together. She likes how she is able to choose what goes where and who has access to which pages. She’s already shared her ePortfolio with her public speaking class and has received positive feedback from her peers. Her professor said her ePortfolio is professional and well-organized.


April ePortfolio of the Month: Ana Bolivar

Our April ePortfolio of the month is Ana Bolivar. Ana is a graduate student in the Media and Communication Arts program here at Pace. She was only introduced to ePortfolio last semester, but she has already developed an outstanding collection of pages.


Ana uses numerous images to illustrate her different experiences. There are pictures of her working as a mechanical engineer, doing volunteer work, and traveling. On her page Colombia: The Land of Coffee, Ana displays beautiful photos of her family and the local agriculture of her native country.


“Putting together the ePortfolio was a challenging experience, but mostly because I knew my final grade was tied to it,” Ana said.  Ana had to put her ePortfolio together for her final project in Dr. Pulaski-Behling’s “Industry Theory and Practice” course. In the end, Ana not only found using ePortfolio to be easier than she expected, but that it allowed her “to be creative in a way that [she] couldn’t in some of [her] other assignments.”




March ePortfolio of the Month: Adina McCray


Adina McCray is our March ePortfolio of the month! Adina is a freshman Communication Arts and Journalism major. She was first introduced to ePortfolio in her “Communicating with Social Media” class taught by Dr. Pulaski-Behling. Throughout her pages, Adina incorporates her academic and professional experiences as well as elements of her personality.


Adina wasn’t sure what to do when she first started using ePortfolio. “I thought it had to be more of an online resume and display of my employable skills, but after seeing other people’s pages, I saw that we could add a touch of our personality to the portfolio,” Adina says. She was able to quickly figure out the different layouts that are available to support the diverse content for each page: “For example, on my Showcase page, which features a lot of videos, I alternated descriptions of the videos and the actual video on opposite sides of the page.”


Adina has shared her ePortfolio with friends, family, her advisor, and potential employers. Adina has found ePortfolio useful. “It has become a valuable asset to me” she reflected. ”I have promoted it on my resume as well as on my business cards.” She has been told that “it’s an exemplary showcase of my skills as a student as well as how quickly I adapted to using ePortfolio.”

Adina’s favorite part of ePortfolio is embedding videos. She has worked on many video projects, and she’s embedded them on her Showcase pages for viewers to easily watch. “It’s user friendly,” she says, “viewers can watch any of my videos without leaving the page. It also makes the page pop and look unique”.




Briarcliff Blackboard Lab


Come visit us in West Hall-LL02 (Briarcliff) for help with teaching and learning technologies.  Schedule a one-on-one session with us to go over Blackboard specifics and/or instructional design.  We can also assist you in student assessment, setting up web conferences, collecting feedback and engaging your students both in class and online.  Email acadtech@pace.edu  to set up a session, and make sure you check out our toolkit to see what other services we can provide for your course.

Academic Technology Consultant Heather Askildsen working with Professor Susan Glaum in LL02, West Hall.

Academic Technology Consultant Heather Askildsen working with Professor Susan Glaum in LL02, West Hall.


Professor Tracy Basile, Woody

Professor Tracy Basile, Woody

“For someone who has traditionally taught face-to-face classes, I found that working with Blackboard was surprisingly fun.  If someone like me can do it, anyone can!” – Tracy Basile


 Dr. Rebecca Martin, Pebbles, Heather Askildsen

Dr. Rebecca Martin, Pebbles, Heather Askildsen

We service all clients, no matter how small or furry.  Faculty love coming in to our office for a visit.  They log in to their very own desktop computer and stay a while.  Our visitors are eager to schedule follow-up appointments before leaving.  Sometimes, they even bring their dogs!


February ePortfolio of the Month: Tameka Bazile

Tameka is a senior Criminal Justice Major. She was first introduced to ePortfolio in her freshman year English class. “At first, ePortfolio was a bit difficult for me to work with. I never thought of myself as the least bit creative. However, after I got the hang of it, it was easy to make it my own. I was way more creative than I thought!” Tameka said.


When Tameka put her ePortfolio together, she showcased who she is personally, professionally, and academically. She did this so viewers “get a holistic understanding of who [she is]”. Tameka’s pages include a lot of text, pictures, and videos. By viewing her Introduction Page, you learn about her interests. She’s included pictures of herself, the Pace Pleasantville crest, pictures of places to travel, and her long-term and short-term goals.

Tameka uses ePortfolio to highlight her achievements and campus involvement. She is currently the Vice President of Programming and posts flyers for events she has organized.  She also has the logos for the Dean’s List, Pforzheimer Honors College, and other organizations to highlight her academic achievements. Tameka shows rather than tells us she is a high achieving student by uploading visual examples of her honors and awards.

pic2Tameka has a passion for writing and created a page dedicated to it. Her page includes books and stories she loves as well as pieces she’s written herself. She also maintains a blog that is accessible via her ePortfolio page.

pic3Tameka shares her ePortfolio on LinkedIn and potential employers have given her great feedback. “[P]otential employers who look at my LinkedIn have said it’s a great resource and gives them a great knowledge of me as a personal and a potential employee”.  Her favorite aspect of ePortfolio is the ability to incorporate all different types of media onto it. “I have used a mixture of videos, pictures and word bubbles to add some color or accentuate my pages.”

Check out Tameka’s amazing ePortfolio here and make sure you work on your ePortfolio in time to enter our Spring Contest!

New Beginnings: 4 New Hires & Expansion

Academic Technology is excited to announce that beginning next semester, it will be the go-to spot for technology help. With this expansion, Academic Technology is also thrilled to announce the addition of four new Academic Technology Consultants, who are here to help support all campuses with technology tools like ePortfolio, Blackboard, Blackboard Collaborate, and Digital Measures.

Meet our new members of the team:

Megan Burke


Meg has been an eTern at Academic Technology for several years and has a lot of experience with all of our different tools. This November, Meg became a full-time staff member with Academic Technology. Her favorite tool is ePortfolio because it gives people a positive online presence. In her spare time, she enjoys giving back through community service, traveling, scrapbooking and spending time with family.

Heather Askildsen


Heather joined the Academic Technology team as an Academic Technology Consultant. She is a Pace alumni and lifelong learner. Her favorite Academic Technology tool is ePortfolio because it gives students a platform to showcase their interest, achievements, and goals. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and going to the theater with friends.

Dr. John Blackwell


Dr. John Blackwell joined the Academic Technology team as a Sr. Academic Technology Consultant. He earned his M.S. in Internet Technology at Pace and has experience as a technical support specialist. His favorite Academic Technology tool is Blackboard, and in his spare time, he loves eating grilled octopus in Greece.

Dr. Brian Gregory


Dr. Brian Gregory joined the Academic Technology team as an Academic Technology Consultant at the Pace New York City campus. He is excited to be working with faculty, students, and the Pace community to use instructional technologies, including Blackboard and Blackboard Collaborate, ePortfolios, Digital Measures, Echo 360, Digital Storytelling, SMART Boards, and many others. His favorite Academic Technology tool is Blackboard Collaborate. Collaborate allows students who are remote and cannot take a face-to-face course (for various reasons) to take part in many of the same types of learning situations, including asking and posing questions, small group work (through the breakout room function), and also making use of video and audio, which adds presence. In his spare time, he enjoys running, going to the gym, listening to music, going to shows (specifically blues and underground hip-hop) and spending time with friends and family.

Megan Burke, Heather Askildsen, and Dr. John Blackwell are located on the Briarcliff campus in West Hall, LL02, and Dr. Brian Gregory is located on the NYC campus in 529 156 William Street. Our team is excited to help you with all of your technology needs.  Please direct any inquiries or appointment requests to our team email at acadtech@pace.edu. The new team is excited to help support the Pace community.

eTern’s Experiences on ePortfolio

Although the summer seems like a distant memory, that didn’t stop our eterns from sharing their wonderful summers through elaborate and creative ePortfolio pages. Our etern summer showcase brought together the Pleasantville and New York City teams and gave everyone the opportunity to get to know each other better.

Heidi spent the summer visiting the other side of the world. While traveling from Athens to Cyprus to Turkey and even the Vatican City, Heidi made sure to document her trips through amazing photos as well as personal descriptions. Heidi showcased her adventures using both the image gallery and slideshow options within ePortfolio.


Uri spent his summer interning at Marvel. Yes, Marvel, with all of the awesome superheroes. Through this experience he was able to see prereleases of the films as well as meet some of these “heroes”.


Meg’s summer was spent bettering and preparing herself for her career and I can tell what a great opportunity it was, just by looking at the page. Meg interned at KPMG and showed such potential; she was able to land a full time position for the Fall of 2015. Congratulations Meg!!!


Lucio, our newest member to the team, impressed us all with his ideas for future ePortfolio projects as well as with his pages as he is adjusting and getting accustomed to ePortfolio as a whole. Take a look at his videos, as he spends his spare time traveling and performing music.


Amanda on the other hand spent most of her summer local and working, unfortunately not in a cool vacation spot. However, she loves to travel and tries to escape every summer. For the eTern summer showcase she highlighted her travel page and showed off some of her cruising pictures.


Feel free to take a look at the eTern’s ePortfolio pages to get some ideas on how to display your passions and experiences.

November ePortfolio of the Month: Diana Mendez

November’s ePortfolio of the month winner is Diana Mendez. Diana is a sophomore Management major who expresses her love of sports, reading, and organization on her first ePortfolio page.  She has posted a few meaningful photos and has stated her goals which include a study abroad trip!  Diana was first introduced to ePortfolio by her advisor in her University 101 class. “At first, I had trouble understanding how to work the website,” Diana says. “After playing around with my profile and viewing other successful ePortfolios, I learned that it was like a fun resume where you can post pictures and write about experiences that matter to you the most”. When Diana makes additions to her ePortfolio, she likes to post pictures along with her experiences, as they give the viewer a better idea of those events. Diana has gotten a lot of great feedback from professors and students, with students telling her “it is fun to look at”. Diana’s favorite aspect of her ePortfolio is the opportunity to create her own page names.  She enjoys updating the page titles, such as “Leadership, Experience, and About Me.”



Diana’s Experience page highlights the different internships and jobs she’s done. Instead of just listing her experiences, she added pictures, some information about the companies, and her responsibilities. Diana’s portfolio highlights her intern experience in Human Resources, her current position as a student aide at Pace University, and her participation in the Career Opportunities in Accounting Profession program at St. Johns University.  Diana has presented her professional experiences in a very engaging way.


She also includes photos of sports teams she’s belonged to, as well as leadership activities at Pace. These include soccer, basketball, orientation leader, and peer leader. Diana is very proud of her achievements and has posted photos to show her viewers what those experiences were like.