Dan Murphy

Director of Online Learning Technologies

As an undergraduate, Dan majored in philosophy and communication (TV/film). His early career included stints in television production and advertising research. He also taught elementary school in Houston, Texas with the Teach For America program and provided IT training and support at Loyola University Medical School.

Dan earned his MA in Learning Sciences from Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy in 1998. He worked as distance learning consultant for clients that included Kraft Foods and Arthur Andersen. Later, Dan was hired by Andersen as a Senior Technology Consultant where he led efforts to add media and interactivity to the firm’s online employee training.

In 2002, Dan joined UNext as an instructional designer. Through a series of promotions, he took responsibility for developing tools and processes for the course development team, advising senior management on technology issues, and collaborating with the software development team on enhancements to the company’s proprietary LMS.

Before coming to Northwestern, Dan was the Manager of Learning Technology at Capital Education where he provided technology leadership and support to a course development team. He also worked closely with the faculty of the company’s partner schools on course development and technology issues. Recently, Dan played a key role in the company’s Canvas implementation team.

When his schedule and the weather allow, Dan likes to swim, cycle or cross-country ski (but he does none of them anywhere near a competitive level). He also enjoys photography, trivia (particularly Chicago history) and board games. Dan lives in Riverside with his wife, two daughters and a dog named Coconut.

Posts by: Daniel Murphy

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


Distance Learning: The Next Best Thing to Being There?

On October 10, I had the privilege of presenting at a symposium held by the National Resource Center for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, or OLLIs, provide university-level, non-credit educational opportunities for their membership, adults aged 50 and older. The symposium brought together a select group of OLLI directors from around the U.S. to consider a number of issues of interest to OLLIs, among the use of the distance learning technology. My presentation, “Distance Learning: The Next Best Thing to Being There?”, considered the the acceptance of distance learning technology by the OLLI membership, who typically


Group Projects II: October Online Learning Webinar

For the October webinar, two members of the faculty in the Global Health Program presented group projects they designed and implemented. The solutions they developed, challenges they faced, and the lessons they learned are applicable to a wide variety of subjects. These experiences will be of interest to all faculty who want to develop effective and engaging group projects in their own courses. Dr. Kristin Darin provided an overview of her group project from MSGH 456: Access to Health and Medicines. She discussed the project design and highlighted successes and challenges to its implementation. Dr. Darin also explained how the project was recently modified


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