Jessica Mansbach

Learning Designer

I am excited to join the SPS Distance Learning team as a Learning Designer. In this role, I help faculty design online classes that are grounded in theories about how people learn and create learning activities that will be engaging for online students.

Prior to assuming this role, I earned my PhD in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education from Michigan State University’s College of Education (May, 2015). My research focused on faculty work life, faculty perceptions of online learning, and student leadership. During my time at MSU, I also taught several online courses and developed online training programs for graduate student teaching apprentices.

Before I earned my doctorate at MSU, I worked for Temple University doing academic advising and counseling.

When I am not working, I spend my time running, practicing Bikram yoga, cooking, and exploring Chicago. I also enjoy theater and drinking coffee.

Posts by: Jessica Mansbach

Providing Great Feedback to Students: April 2017 Online Learning Webinar

In April’s Online Learning Webinar, learning designers Jessica Mansbach and Krissy Wilson and instructional technologist Jackie Wickham responded to recent student survey results indicating that students want more individual feedback from faculty, sharing six topics related to feedback for online students: Providing Useful Feedback Frequency and Timing of Feedback Getting Students to Use Your Feedback Tone and Bad Feedback Time-Saving Feedback Strategies Considering Feedback in Building Course Structure Faculty attendees also shared experiences and concerns related to providing feedback to students in the online environment. To view a recording of the webinar, click here. To visit the Canvas site displayed


How to Ignite Students’ Learning Using Brain-Based Principles

What is brain-based learning and why do we care about it? With advances in brain imaging technologies and ongoing developments in cognitive research, there is a great deal of information available about how the brain works (Davis, 2008). Knowledge about how the brain integrates new information enables instructors to design courses that incorporate principles of brain-based learning (Clemons, 2005). Brain-based learning involves the use of  “instructional strategies designed for compatibility with the brain’s propensities for seeking, processing, and organizing information”  (Kelly, 2013, para. 3). The handy acronym IGNITE (intervals, grouping, novelty, interconnectedness, technology and time, environment) describes how to activate


Getting Your Feet Wet: Introduction to Course Design Workshop

In October 2016, the Distance Learning Team launched its first iteration of a fully online Course Design Workshop. This workshop is designed to help instructors become familiar with our course design process and to allow them to step into the shoes of an online student. In addition, being in the workshop allows instructors to practice using Canvas and to see what a well-structured SPS course looks like. If instructors have not designed an SPS course or are revising a course, they should take this workshop before they begin course development. Here is a sneak peek of what to expect during


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