Recent Posts

Active Learning Strategies for the Online Classroom

Dr. Ray Schroeder recently gave a presentation on active learning strategies for NUIT’s Teachxpert Speaker Series. He describes active learning not as a theory, but as “a teaching method that supports learning. The method uses techniques…that promote analysis, synthesis and evaluation that guide students towards achieving learning objectives” (Active Blending for Engagement). Think about the last time you learned something. What was it? How did you learn it? The last time I learned something, I received direct instruction from a peer where I watched a process being done while it was explained, and then I went off on my own



Web 2.0 Digital Tools Selection: Online Presentation Tools

In Part 1 of this series, Web 2.0 Digital Tools Selection Criteria, I shared a method for evaluating digital learning tools that may find their way into our online courses. In this continuation entry, I will demonstrate the method in action by discussing tools which I evaluated as part of my course work for Introduction to Online Presentation Tools. If you missed the last entry and want a quick catch up, the premise of the Web 2.0 Digital Tools Selection Criteria is to quickly evaluate proposed learning tools by measuring their user-friendliness against a thorough checklist which tests for: Accessibility,


Student-to-Student Interaction in Online Courses

Having worked in online education for the past five years, I was intrigued by Darren Rosenblum’s recent New York Times article, “Leave Your Laptops at the Door to My Classroom.” While reading it, Rosenblum’s observation of a colleague’s course, where laptops were allowed, stood out to me: “[The students] took notes when [the professor] spoke, but resumed the rest of their lives instead of listening to classmates.” At the School of Professional Studies, we focus on student-to-student interaction as one of the three types of interaction, along with student-content and student-instructor, when designing courses. Rosenblum’s observation that students didn’t value


The Many Hats of Online Education: An Interview with Leslie Fischer

In every job I have had, my job description varied depending on the day or the project or who was on my team. That holds true for being a Learning Designer as well, where I am project manager, trainer, researcher, collaborator, among other roles. Faculty developers take on additional roles in the course development process as well. Leslie Fischer is a 30 year teaching veteran at Northwestern University, teaching classes in literature, communication, research, and writing. She has embodied the role of teacher by embracing the interconnected roles of mentor, facilitator, creator, and learner. She is also a student in