Author: Jessica Mansbach

Getting Your Feet Wet: Introduction to Course Design Workshop

In October 2016, the Distance Learning Team launched its first iteration of a fully online Course Design Workshop. This workshop is designed to help instructors become familiar with our course design process and to allow them to step into the shoes of an online student. In addition, being in the workshop allows instructors to practice using Canvas and to see what a well-structured SPS course looks like. If instructors have not designed an SPS course or are revising a course, they should take this workshop before they begin course development. Here is a sneak peek of what to expect during


Is Technology Driving Online Education Off A Cliff?

Is technology driving online education off a cliff? At the School of Professional Studies’ annual Distance Learning Symposium, David Noffs and I raised this question. As instructors and designers of new online courses in the Instructional Design Sequence in the Information Design Strategy (IDS) Program, David and I argued that thoughtful integration of educational technologies into education and training programs is important in designing high quality online learning experiences and modeling sound instructional design strategies for students in the program.  Here is a brief recap of some highlights of the presentation. Is Education Really Just A Game? Why not make


Stories That Stick: Storytelling as a Meaningful Teaching Strategy Webinar: October 2016 Online Learning Webinar

Learning Designer Jessica Mansbach and Director of Faculty Programs at the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching Susanna Calkins hosted the October Online Learning Webinar, Stories That Stick: Storytelling as a Meaningful Teaching Strategy. Jessica and Susanna addressed how to use storytelling as an effective teaching strategy. Listen to the webinar recording to learn how to incorporate storytelling as a strategy to engage students, to help students make meaningful connections to course material, and to build relationships with your students. Jessica and Susanna also discussed the rationale for using storytelling as a teaching strategy, the elements of a sticky


Digital Storytelling: Another Tool To Add To Your Pedagogy Toolbox

Digital Storytelling In Education: Why care? Telling stories allows us to narrate our experiences. When we hear stories, particularly powerful ones, they tend to stick with us (Rossiter, 2002). We all respond to storytelling, regardless of our backgrounds (Alexander & Levine, 2008). It is not surprising then that using storytelling in the classroom has been a successful pedagogical approach. Different technological tools and programs, such as podcasts, infographics, and other types of presentations, make it easy for instructors to create digital stories (McLellan, 2007).  Digital stories weave “the art of telling stories with a variety of digital multimedia, such as


Putting Learners In Charge: Learner-Centered Teaching

The first paragraph of your course syllabus states, “Welcome to the course! In this course, we will cover many topics.” The first paragraph of your colleagues’ syllabus states, “Welcome to the course! In this course, you will learn about many topics.” Do you notice the difference? It may be subtle, but the phrases “we will cover” versus “you will learn” suggest differences in students’ role in learning. We will cover suggests that students play a passive role in class, learning what you decide to cover or teach. You will learn suggests that students will play an active role in the