Author: Christine Scherer

Top Five Takeaways from AHEAD

Last month, I had the privilege of attending the national conference of the Association of Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD). The three-day conference was a time for staff, faculty, and students who work in disability services and accessibility to meet and share their knowledge, experiences, and stories. I had the opportunity to present on the Distance Learning department’s efforts on web accessibility and share our processes and guidelines with other institutions. I also attended numerous sessions and learned a great deal about accessibility, disability services, and disability culture. Here are five of the many, many takeaways I brought back from


IDS 425 Showcase: August Online Learning Webinar

In the August Online Learning Webinar, IDS faculty David Noffs and SPS learning designer Jessica Mansbach discussed their collaboration in the development and launch of IDS 425: Learning Environment Design. They provided an overview of the design and development process for an online course and discussed highlights of their collaboration as well as challenges they faced. To watch the recording, visit Blue Jeans. You can also visit the Showcase page.  


Vetting Web Tools for Accessibility

Recently, Instructional Technologist William Guth has written about Web 2.0 Selection Criteria, which help online learning faculty and staff select the best web tools for their course. One of those criteria is making sure that the tool is accessible. But how can you find out? Given the vast variety of tools available, it’s a tough question to answer. But there are a few things you can do to make sure that a web tool has some degree of accessibility for students. What does accessibility mean? In this instance, accessibility means making sure that a tool can be accessed and interacted


Facilitating Online Group Work: June Online Learning Webinar

Instructional Technologist Aaron Bannasch led a discussion of best practices for facilitating online group work during the June Online Learning Webinar. Aaron covered evidence-based reasons for including group work in courses, tips for deciding on group size and composition, and learning technologies to assist students in collaboration. Faculty attendees shared experiences with learning activities that proved useful for working in groups. A recording of the webinar is available on Blue Jeans.


TEACHx 2017 Reflections

Last month, many members of the Distance Learning team attended and presented at Northwestern’s annual TEACHx conference. The conference highlights innovative uses of technology in education, and with most presentations lasting from 15-30 minutes, there’s a lot to see and learn! Here’s a sample of some of the most memorable, insightful, and valuable things we experienced at TEACHx. Elizabeth Lemke Marcia Chatelain, the afternoon keynote speaker, was inspiring and refreshing, to say the least. In addition to the many sessions where faculty and staff shared innovative teaching and learning experiences, there is a conversation that should always be going on,