I wanted to take this opportunity to share additional information regarding training and support services that are available to you in preparation for distance learning. While we have a plethora of resources available on our Website, we wanted to focus specifically on services you will need in order to migrate your course content. I would like to also stress that these services are being provided as a short-term solution and do not replace the importance of instructional design when developing your online course. Please take a moment when things settle down to visit our Distance Learning Website if you wish to explore teaching online in the future.

Blackboard Quick Guides

·       Blackboard (Bb) Faculty Quick Start Guide

This quick guide contains Blackboard tutorials and videos for basic Blackboard functionality (e.g., logging into Blackboard, uploading content, and posting assignments)
Please note: As of Friday, Mar. 13, all of the Blackboard courses have been set to “available.”

·       Blackboard (Bb) Collaborate Ultra (also included in Quick Start Guide)
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra can be used in creative ways to support your teaching and learning. The platform allows you to offer both synchronous and asynchronous collaborative sessions for your students. Recording capabilities allow you to conduct live lessons, which can be posted and shared with your students. Features such as a whiteboard, sharing your desktop, sharing files, simple polling and breakout sessions allow you to actively engage students.

·       Blackboard (Bb) Student Quick Start Guide

Cloud Applications

·       Store and access files from different devices, share files, and collaborate on content.

o   Dropbox

o   OneDrive

·       Office 365: Access office applications remotely

·       Cloud Virtual Desktop: Remotely access your course software

Training Opportunities

·       Training sessions are available for Blackboard, Bb Collaborate, and other technology tools, which you can use for hosting and sharing content (e.g., Cloud repositories such as Dropbox and OneDrive and Cloud applications such as Microsoft Forms).

·       Evening and weekend training has been added to the training schedule to accommodate adjuncts.


·       Information Technology Services, the Faculty Center, and the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures are working together to provide the necessary support during this stressful time.

·       ITS has cross-trained student staff and has established a phone triage in order to provide additional support.

·       The Faculty Center and Modern Languages have a team of technologists who will continue to support your Bb needs.

·       Departments throughout the campus are leveraging a train-the-trainer model to provide further assistance when necessary.

·       Library public labs, Rotunda, and the Campus Center will remain open for students to use.

·       Student support is available in the evenings in the Open Computer Laboratory (1L-212)

Contact Information:

·       Information Technology (helpdesk@csi.cuny.edu; benji.kuriakose@csi.cuny.edu )

Call Center: 718.982.HELP

o   Press 1 for Technical Support (e.g., computer problems and account information)

o   Press 2 for Technology Training (e.g., Blackboard and other software applications)

·       Faculty Center (michael.castelli@csi.cuny.edu ; 718.982.3909) 

·       Modern Languages (valeria.belmonti@csi.cuny.edu ; 718.982.4155)

Thank you again for your continued support.

By Patricia Kahn, PhD