Author: Jessica Mansbach

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


Mapping the Terrain: How To Help Your Students Wrap their Minds Around Big Ideas

What Are Mind Maps? Learning researchers in the 1960s proposed mind maps as a way to make learning happen more quickly. Tony Buzan, with degrees in such varied fields as psychology, mathematics, English, and the general sciences, drew attention to mind maps in his writings about strategies to enhance memory and increase learning (Murley, 2007). In her piece Using Mind Maps as a Teaching and Learning Tool to Promote Student Engagement, Zipp (2011) explains “Mind mapping is a learning technique which uses a non-linear approach to learning that forces the learner to think and explore concepts using visuospatial relationships flowing