Author: Daniel Murphy

Reflections on the 2017 SLATE Conference

Introduction 2017 marks the 15th anniversary of the SLATE (Supporting Learning and Technology in Education) Conference, held at the Northern Illinois University campus in Naperville, IL. SLATE was born as the Midwest Blackboard Users Group in 2002, and Northwestern University was among its founding members. Since then, with Executive Director Ken Sadowski at the helm, it has grown into an LMS-inclusive organization with the mission to “support learning and technology in education through communication, collaboration, and innovation, while developing and sustaining a community of practice.” This year, two representatives from the Distance Learning department attended and one of them presented


Distance Learning: The Next Best Thing to Being There?

On October 10, I had the privilege of presenting at a symposium held by the National Resource Center for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, or OLLIs, provide university-level, non-credit educational opportunities for their membership, adults aged 50 and older. The symposium brought together a select group of OLLI directors from around the U.S. to consider a number of issues of interest to OLLIs, among the use of the distance learning technology. My presentation, “Distance Learning: The Next Best Thing to Being There?”, considered the the acceptance of distance learning technology by the OLLI membership, who typically


Group Projects II: October Online Learning Webinar

For the October webinar, two members of the faculty in the Global Health Program presented group projects they designed and implemented. The solutions they developed, challenges they faced, and the lessons they learned are applicable to a wide variety of subjects. These experiences will be of interest to all faculty who want to develop effective and engaging group projects in their own courses. Dr. Kristin Darin provided an overview of her group project from MSGH 456: Access to Health and Medicines. She discussed the project design and highlighted successes and challenges to its implementation. Dr. Darin also explained how the project was recently modified


Common Course Design Questions: See What Your Peers Think

On June 26, thirteen SPS faculty members who will be designing courses for Winter 2018 began the Course Design Workshop, a two-week workshop about creating online learning environments, using the Quality Matters Standards, and designing an accessible course.  Throughout the workshop, nearly all of the workshop participants enthusiastically engaged in discussions of effective online course design and instruction. The participants brought their many and varied experiences as educators to the discussions. The following is a summary of the major themes and insights and questions that emerged. How do you help students understand the main ideas in your course? Organizing content