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The UTPA Online Teaching Awards were created by the Center for Online Learning, Teaching & technology (COLTT) to show recognition and appreciation for the efforts of UTPA faculty who teach online.
It is comprised of two categories within the areas of Excellence in Teaching and Innovation.

The detailed descriptions for these awards and nominations are provided HERE.



21st Century Online Education

Join us

March 19th 2014 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Click Here to Register today and reserve your spot!

Free Meals, Snacks and “Tech Ed” Bundle provided

Our keynote speaker, Dr. Charles Dziuban, will be with us for the full day of activities and promises a lively presentation that will appeal to the first time and the seasoned online instructors. His expertise in the field is highly regarded and recognized across the globe. For more information about Dr. Dziuban please go to:

The UTPA Center for Online Learning, Teaching & Technology is requesting proposals for presentation at the upcoming 2014 COLTT Conference to be held March 19th on campus. “Engage. Connect. Transform.” is an opportunity for faculty, administration and staff to share information and ideas about online education. While we encourage submission of all papers regarding online learning, our topics of focus for this year’s conference are as follows:

·        Adaptive Learning
·        Educators Connecting and Collaborating
·        Innovative Presentation Design
·        Lecture Capture and Webcasting
·        MOOC’s
·        Social Media
·        Student Assessment, Engagement and Success
*Please note that all submissions must be relevant to online education in higher education institutions of learning.
Deadline for Submission is January 30, 2014!!!!!

Steps to complete Proposal
1.     Get and complete proposal form.
2.     Upload proposal form.

The Center for Online Learning, Teaching & Technology (COLTT) is excited to offer several professional development opportunities for the Spring 2014 semester.  These trainings are beneficial for faculty who are currently teaching, or will be teaching fully online or hybrid courses in the near future. The “Tools of the Trade” series is designed to provide professional development in the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully deliver online instruction. The trainings focus on the different instructional technologies available at UTPA such as SoftChalk, Respondus, Tegrity, & Blackboard Collaborate.  We will also be offering Blackboard Basics training as well as Blackboard Learn trainings that focus on a specific tools such as the Grade Center or Discussion Board.

To sign up please visit the link below:
1.       http://www.utpa.edu/training
2.       Log in with UTPA credentials
3.       Click on the Register button for any of the Blackboard Learn or Blackboard Tools of the Trade trainings

Important Note*
For those who will be teaching fully online in the Summer/Spring 2014 semesters, please remember that you will need to successfully complete the required Teaching Online (TOL) training. Please register for the TOL training through http://www.utpa.edu/training. If you have additional questions specific to the TOL, please email the TOL Coordinator, Toni Saldivar (salidvara@utpa.edu) for more information.

This is a great opportunity and we look forward to working with you!

Celebrate National Distance Learning Week with the Center for Online Learning, Teaching & Technology



Sponsored by The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) is November 11 – 15, 2013 and celebrates the growth and accomplishments in this field across the country.  Please join us for several events taking place throughout this week.  The Center for Online Learning, Teaching & Technology (COLTT) will be hosting a variety of Quality Matters and USDLA webinars as well as a daily Facebook/Twitter contest!  Please stop by and visit us to have an opportunity to view these webinars as well as meet some of our new staff members!


Facebook/Twitter Contest Details –

At a random time each day of NDLW, a trivia question will be posted on Facebook  or Twitter (or both!).  The first individual to respond with the correct answer will win a prize(s)!  Please get ready for next week by LIKING/FOLLOWING COLTT on Facebook/Twitter!


Webinar Details –

A series of webinars will be held throughout the week. You can participate in these webinars while enjoying coffee and cookies at COLTT (EDCC 2.202). Below is a list of some of the webinars COLTT will be broadcasting.  We will share additional dates and times for other webinars in the days to come!  No registration needed so, please stop by COLTT and celebrate NDLW with us!


Tuesday, November 12th

9:00AM – 10:00AM

Creating Accessible Word Documents

Microsoft Word is one of the most widely used word processing applications. Instructors use Microsoft Word to share documents with their students but may not be aware of the accessibility issues students with disabilities may encounter in improperly formatted documents. Learn how to use Word’s accessibility features to quickly create documents that will be usable for all of your students.


Wednesday, November 13th

9:00AM – 10:00AM

Creating a Discussion Board Rubric

Rubrics can be powerful tools that benefit both the instructor and the students. Rubrics explain to your students the criteria that will be used to assess their work, encourage critical thinking, and enable instructors to provide better feedback to their students. In this workshop, you will create a rubric that helps your students maximize learning in discussion forums.


Thursday, November 14th

9:00AM – 10:00AM

Considering New Policies for Online Students

Does your online course syllabus contain a “Calamity Day” policy? What policies do you need for an online course? Online students need to understand how institution and classroom policies work online. Explore both classroom and institution policies you can include right away to ensure your students are successful and stay on the right track.


We look forward to celebrating this week and hope to see you soon!


Center for Online Learning, Teaching & Technology






HETS Online Journal

Volume IV, Fall Edition

picWelcome to the Fall Issue of the HETS Online Journal,

I am delighted to present the Fall Issue of the fourth edition of this publication as the HETS Consortium celebrates its 20th Anniversary serving Institutions in Puerto Rico, United States and Latin America. We are also proud because, the journal is being included in the Cengage and EBSCO Publishing’s databases. EBSCO Publishing caters to the information needs of researchers at every level by providing the content to bring the latest and best information to researchers.

The HETS Online journal has been characterized because it addresses relevant topics impacting technology and Hispanic Students; this issue is not an exception. This is peer-reviewed journal which is available not only online, but also it can be downloaded and printed if that’s your preference. Our readership includes researchers, scholars, students and organizations who are interested in technologies, higher education and the Hispanic population. It is only through publications such as the HETS Online Journal that we can focus a wide spotlight on the good work that is being done by our colleagues.

It is my sincere hope that you share the link to our Journal with your colleagues. Should you have an innovative technique or would like share your knowledge and experience in technologies impacting higher education, please consider submitting an article for the fourth issue, Spring Edition on or before February 15, 2014. Click here to download the guidelines to submit your article. Your submission should be an original work either in English or Spanish. Just send it to the HETS office via e-mail to: info@hets.org.

My sincere gratitude to Dr. Ivonne Chirino, Editor-in-Chief, and the members of the Editorial Board: Dr. Howard Wach, Dr. Robert Whittaker, Ms. Pamela Vargas, Prof. Purísima Centeno, Dr. Carlos Morales and Ms. Alyson Vogel, for accepting the challenge of reviewing and selecting the articles among the many exciting submissions received. This is the fourth year of volunteer service of this outstanding Editorial Board. We would like to recognize the hard work, commitment and dedication of all of its members.

I hope you find our fall issue both informative and interesting.

“Take education to a higher level. Let’s share our knowledge with the world” 

All the best,
Manuel J. Fernós, Esq.

Chair of the HETS Board of Directors

President, Inter American University of Puerto Rico
PO Box 191293
San Juan, PR 00919-1293


Don’t Miss Your Chance to be Recognized
Internationalization Through Technology Award
Submissions Due Nov. 11

ACE’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement and the SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) are pleased to announce a new award program to recognize and promote the use of technology to enhance institutional internationalization and global competence of students at U.S. colleges and universities.

The awards, which are sponsored by Asahi Net International (ANI), will highlight innovative programs and approaches in two categories:

  • Leaders in Internationalization Through Technology, which will recognize established programs; and
  • Advancing Internationalization Through Collaborative Online International Learning, which will recognize and offer support for emerging initiatives.

ACE and SUNY COIL are conducting a national call for submissions from institutions until November 11, 2013. For more information about the award criteria and submission process, click here.

The winners in the Leaders in Internationalization Through Technology category will receive cash prizes of about $5,000 each, and be announced at ACE’s 96th Annual Meeting, March 8-11, 2014, in San Diego, CA.

The winners in the Advancing Internationalization Through Collaborative Online International Learning category will receive training and support from the SUNY COIL Center to launch “globally networked” courses that involve an online collaboration with an international partner institution. Recipients of this award will be announced at the 6th annual COIL conference, March 20-21, 2014, at the SUNY Global Center in New York City.

Click here to learn more about the award and to send us your submission today!

ALSO AVAILABLE: An online Q&A recording to help answer questions as you think through the award submission process.



The UTPA Blackboard Learn learning management system will be unavailable Friday, October 25, 2013 from 12:01am to 12:30am. During this time, the mobile component of Blackboard will be updated to resolve some issues with the Blackboard iOS mobile app.

Blackboard Collaborate, an easy to use online collaboration platform that “engages everyone, every time, everywhere”. Users at remote locations can participate in the events as though they were attending in person. Join us to explore how to create virtual classrooms, meeting spaces, and implement best practices giving endless possibilities to students, wherever they are.

Date: October 24, 2013

Time: 12:00p.m. – 1:00p.m.

Location: Academic Service Building – ACAS 1.104

Register at: http://training.utpa.edu

RSVP requested by October 21, 2013, lunch provided.

Special: If you require special accommodations, please contact Ms. Gracie Jimenez, 956.665.2979 or email: graciej@utpa.edu

Phishing Attempt

Today, shortly after 12 PM, an email impersonating Blackboard with subject line “ Important Course Form” was sent to faculty, staff, and students from an outside party.  Please delete the email or add it to your “Block Sender” list.

The email is an attempt to compromise your UTPA credentials. Internet Security has blocked the URL associated with the email.

If you clicked on the link, please scan your computer for viruses and spyware.  If you provided your credentials, please use a different PC to change your password at http://utpa.edu/password

If you have any questions or concerns related to this event, please contact the IT Help Desk by sending an email to helpdesk@utpa.edu or by calling  during business hours at 956-665-2020.

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