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

Common Course Design Questions: See What Your Peers Think

On June 26, thirteen SPS faculty members who will be designing courses for Winter 2018 began the Course Design Workshop, a two-week workshop about creating online learning environments, using the Quality Matters Standards, and designing an accessible course.  Throughout the workshop, nearly all of the workshop participants enthusiastically engaged in discussions of effective online course design and instruction. The participants brought their many and varied experiences as educators to the discussions. The following is a summary of the major themes and insights and questions that emerged. How do you help students understand the main ideas in your course? Organizing content


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


More