Author: Kristina Wilson

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


Reflections on the 2017 QM Connect Conference

Introduction The 2017 Quality Matters Connect Conference was held between September 24th and 27th in Fort Worth, Texas. Two representatives from the Distance Learning department attended and gave presentations on Quality Matters topics, all the way from 1.9 (“Learners are asked to introduce themselves to the class”) to 8.4 (“The course design facilitates readability”). Read on to learn more about their experiences and lessons learned. Reba-Anna Lee, Director of Online Program Development Presenting: As a long time member of the Quality Matters community, I was delighted to attend this year’s conference. I did two presentations, served as a poster judge,


Reflections on the Loyola University Chicago Focus on Teaching and Learning Conference

Introduction Twice a year, the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy at Loyola University Chicago (LUC) holds a Focus on Teaching and Learning conference where faculty and staff gather to share innovative teaching strategies and case studies. The goal of the event is to “contribute to a faculty and staff life that involves active scholarship, candid and vibrant collaboration, and innovative activities that reflect the University’s mission.” A cadre of representatives from the Distance Learning team–Learning Designer Jessica Mansbach, Information Design and Strategy faculty member David Noffs, and Learning Designer Krissy Wilson–headed up to Loyola’s Lake Shore campus in Rogers Park


How Does the Writing Place Serve Distance Learning Students?

Introduction By day, I’m a Learning Designer in the School of Professional Studies. When I meet with faculty members who are designing or revising online courses, I often advocate for the needs of online students, saying, “Online students prefer X,” or “Online students need Y.” But wait, how do I know what students want or need if I’m not in a teaching role? Sure, there are research-based standards like Quality Matters, but I wanted to interface with adult and distance learning students directly and ask them those questions. What do you prefer? What do you need? So by night, I’m


Effective Working Relationships – Faculty and Staff

Introduction What is at the core of a successful online course development or revision? A really great collaboration between a faculty member, a  Learning Designer, and an Instructional Technologist. Working with a course development team for the first time can feel new or overwhelming. There are so many new terms and roles to figure out! So, what can be done to build effective working relationships that last from the kickoff meeting through the course launch? Inspired by the May 2017 Inside Higher Ed article, “Quashing Tension, Boosting Cooperation,” we asked School of Professional Studies faculty what worked for them. Although