A Sea of Dark Screens: Keeping Students Active in Zoom and Hybrid Classes

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A Sea of Dark Screens: Keeping Students Active in Zoom and Hybrid Classes

A Sea of Dark Screens: Keeping Students Active in Zoom and Hybrid Classes

By OAA - CUNY Innovative Teaching Academy

When and where

Date and time

Friday, March 25, 2022 · 11am - 12pm PDT



About this event

Join us on Friday, March 25, 2022 at 2:00-3:00 PM EST for a workshop on approaches to teaching synchronous online and hybrid classes. When confronted with a sea of dark screens and names, or perhaps profile pictures, how can professors create a lively, engaging learning experience for their students? Join members of the Online Learning Advisory Council (OLAC) at City Tech as we share our own experiences and encourage you to share yours.

Dr. Karen Lundstrem, Chair of OLAC, will present the types of synchronous and breakout room activities faculty members have found most effective when designing hybrid and online learning spaces. Professor Eugenia Giannopoulou, Biological Sciences (Bioinformatics), will share techniques and resources from her own courses, such as using embedded questions in videos before sessions to prepare for better synchronous discussions.

Professor Amit Mehrotra, Hospitality Management, will show examples from his courses and share some of his most successful tips and tricks, including the organization, management, and assessment of the course.

Through polling, questions, and breakout room activities, CUNY faculty will explore how they might best use some of these techniques, or are currently using them, in their own courses. They will also have the opportunity to build on the vast resources and collective wisdom culled across CUNY over the past two years of teaching in the online or hybrid modalities.


Dr. Karen Lundstrem is Chair of the Online Learning Advisory Council (OLAC) and Director of Instructional Technology at City Tech. She has been training faculty to teach online since joining CUNY through the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant, which helped fund the development of CUNY Online.

Dr. Evgenia (Jenny) Giannopoulou was trained in online teaching as soon as she joined CityTech in 2014. She has taught multiple courses in Biomedical Informatics and her research experience is in the analysis of high throughput genomics data. She has been the PI of the “City Tech-WCM Big Data Training Program in Biomedical Informatics (BD2BMI)” NIH training program that was a collaboration with Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM).

Dr. Amit Mehrotra has been trained in online teaching, including certification from the Online Learning Advisory Council (OLAC)). He has engaged and collaborated throughout his teaching career at NYCCT and CUNY on best practices for hybrid and online teaching and learning. Additionally, he has presented at multiple national and international conferences on using technology effectively during the teaching and learning process.

About the organizer