Recent Posts

SPS Learning Designers Represent at TEACHx

TEACHx, a fun day set aside to explore teaching and learning, will be held on May 18, 2022, in the Norris Student Center. We encourage you to join the Distance Learning staff as we take some time out to think about creative, effective teaching as we listen to a variety of presenters talk about their recent experiments and what they have learned from them. We encourage you to learn more and register at TEACHx.com. The School of Professional Studies’ learning designers will present some of their innovative work.   David Noffs and Assistant Director Shannon Castle will be part of the digital


Prior Learning Assessment Strategies at the Course Level

Defining Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is an approach to Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) that allows institutions of higher learning to “evaluate and formally recognize learning that has occurred outside of the traditional academic environment. It is used to grant college credit, certification, or advanced standing toward further education or training.”  PLA strategies vary between different universities and colleges, but may include awarding credit for military and professional experiences, Course Match PLA Projects, exams such as College-Level Examination Program® (CLEP) exams, professional licensures or certifications, and open-source learning opportunities such as MOOCs (massively open online courses). 


Psychological Safety in the Online Classroom

Introduction It goes without saying that all instructors, whether teaching in face-to-face, hybrid or online classrooms, have a vested interest in student engagement. What “counts” as engagement can encompass active participation in discussions, meeting with faculty, and — of course — submitting assignments and activities for feedback and assessment. If students are engaging, then they are full participants in the individual and collective project that is completing a given course of study. But what is the engine behind that engagement to learn? What does it take to activate meaningful engagement? In a word: motivation.  In her theoretical framework of motivation,


Applying Twitch Streamers’ Engagement Strategies to Synchronous Online Learning

Context  Early in 2022, a friend told me he was going to start streaming on Twitch and asked if I would join to watch and chat. I knew little about Twitch, an online community for streaming video gameplay, and as I considered his request I wondered if there could be a place for me in this space. Frankly, I don’t play video games, and at first glance, most streamers appeared to be men with a focus on fighting and shooting games.   However, I logged in to amusedly watch my friend play long-distance trucking and city-building games and, curious, found


Register now for TEACHx

Discover new ways to teach and learn If you have not attended the TEACHx conference in the past, we strongly urge you to try it out this year. It’s a day to focus your attention on new approaches to teaching and to hear from your colleagues as they present about their experiments with teaching. This year the one-day conference will be in person once again. Where will it be held? Here are the details: When: Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 8am- 5pm (CDT) Where: Northwestern’s Evanston campus, Norris Center Register Here Come celebrate the successes of instructors, students, learning designers, and