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

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


Is Technology Driving Online Education Off A Cliff?

Is technology driving online education off a cliff? At the School of Professional Studies’ annual Distance Learning Symposium, David Noffs and I raised this question. As instructors and designers of new online courses in the Instructional Design Sequence in the Information Design Strategy (IDS) Program, David and I argued that thoughtful integration of educational technologies into education and training programs is important in designing high quality online learning experiences and modeling sound instructional design strategies for students in the program.  Here is a brief recap of some highlights of the presentation. Is Education Really Just A Game? Why not make


Stories That Stick: Storytelling as a Meaningful Teaching Strategy Webinar: October 2016 Online Learning Webinar

Learning Designer Jessica Mansbach and Director of Faculty Programs at the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching Susanna Calkins hosted the October Online Learning Webinar, Stories That Stick: Storytelling as a Meaningful Teaching Strategy. Jessica and Susanna addressed how to use storytelling as an effective teaching strategy. Listen to the webinar recording to learn how to incorporate storytelling as a strategy to engage students, to help students make meaningful connections to course material, and to build relationships with your students. Jessica and Susanna also discussed the rationale for using storytelling as a teaching strategy, the elements of a sticky


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