Programs & Events

FITC Faculty Seminar Series

The Faculty Instructional Technology Center (FITC) is celebrating the first year of eCommons and our new location at McHenry Library with a new Faculty Seminar Series, beginning in October 2011.

Discovery – What I learned using eCommons

Themes in teaching, learning, and collaboration. Topics will include: communication, efficiencies, fun, trials, and successes. Instructors sharing their insights in using eCommons. If you are interested in presenting for our series contact Robin Ove, we welcome your insights! To attend any of our presentations register at

Guest Speakers

October 12, 2011, 3:00 - 4:00 pm Greg Gilbert, Environmental Studies

SCWIBLES: eCommons for a multi-institution collaboration.
Presentation Description:  SCWIBLES (Santa Cruz-Watsonville Inquiry-Based Learning in Environmental Sciences) is a 5-yr NSF funded graduate training program that pairs 6-7 graduate students at UCSC with the same number of teachers from Watsonville High School, and embeds the graduate students as scientists in residence at Watsonville High over the course of the full academic year.  Fellows and teachers collaborate to develop inquiry-based science curriculum.  We use eCommons as a central point of communication, collaboration, and coordination among staff, faculty, graduate students, and Watsonville High partners (about 18 people each year).  We also use it to collect regular data for reporting functions to NSF.  We have had significant challenges in incorporating non-UCSC participants into eCommons, but once in, eCommons has served as a reasonably efficient and effect tool for the project.

October 26, 2011, 3:00 pm  Travis Seymour, Psychology

Assessing Students using eCommons (Sakai CLE)

A demonstration and conversation about how Professor Seymour manages and grades online assignments, especially using the offline grading facility.

November 8, 2011, 3:00-4:00PM  Gerald Moulds, Computer Science

Using eCommons effectively in Large Classes

In classes with hundreds of students, the eCommons class portal can prove invaluable.  In such large classes, though, eCommons presents its own set of difficulties, particularly the first few times you teach these classes.  You're often using the system alongside TAs and Student Graders, and it's not always clear what the "correct" procedures are, or who has access to what information.  Minor missteps can lead to large headaches.  Being prepared for eCommons' quirks, and preparing your students for them, can make your class run much more smoothly.

November 16, 2011, 3:00 pm Miriam Greenberg, Sociology

Regularization and Specialization: Designing a flexible eCommons Teacher Site for Sociology 10

Miriam Greenberg will discuss her work with co-instructors Jenny Reardon and Deborah Gould to design a flexible, user-friendly teacher site for "Sociology 10: Issues and Problems in American Society," a core course that is both theoretical and topical, and is taught by alternating instructors from year to year.  The goal was to create a site that could regularize fundamental aspects of the curriculum, as well as be adaptable to changing times and to the specializations of different instructors.  They accomplished this through the use of a wiki to organize and link to resources, creating both static content and swappable "modules" on particular themes.

Listen to the webcast recording of her talk. Webcast, Greenberg.

February 7, 2012, Noon - 1:30 pm Elizabeth Stephens, Art, eCommons and Artists

Elizabeth Stephens will discuss using eCommons in conjunction with teaching her large art course 3D Foundation. This course was a hybrid course that combined large weekly lectures with studio sections where the students made 3D art work.  Implementing eCommons in this foundation course has proven extremely useful for sharing information with large numbers of students.  This web based format also makes it easy to share images of art work, artists websites and to post lectures online.  eCommons has also posed challenges in terms following how the students absorb the information, especially the art,  presented online as the web is one step further removed from physical art work.  Stephens will discuss these issues and more in her presentation on eCommons in art foundation courses.

Listen to the webcasat recording of her talk, Webcast, Stephens

Fall Faculty Fridays Noon - 1:00pm, 1330 McHenry

Join us on the first and third Fridays of the month for a brown-bag lunch discussion in the new Faculty Seminar Room (1330 McHenry Library) unless otherwise noted. Topics are short and to the point and there will be plenty of time for discussion and questions with FITC Staffers. Bring your lunch and join us! Register to attend at

  • October 7, 2011 - Communication Tools Overview
  • October 21, 2011 - Tips and Tricks importing Scantron Data to eCommons Courses
  • November 18, 2011 - Video Conferencing Basics (1336 McHenry)
  • December 2, 2011 -  Why not a project site?
  • December 16, 2011 - Advanced Peek at Gradebook 2