Author: Angela Xiong

Empowering Students Through Universal Design and Instructional Transparency

Building an inclusive online learning community (OLC) can acknowledge the learners’ diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. The newly updated version of the Northwestern SPS High-Impact Teaching Practices for Online Instruction offers many strategies and techniques to build, maintain, and sustain an OLC. According to the Community of Inquiry Framework, learning in this environment occurs at the intersection of social, cognitive, and teaching presence. What follows are some course design considerations with an emphasis on designing an OLC with diversity and inclusion in mind. Use Front-loaded Context to Deepen Learning When beginning a new module each week in a course, students


Some Strategies for Using the Quiz Tool in Canvas

Using the Canvas quiz tool for frequent, low-stakes formative assessments allows students to get feedback immediately. There are many strategies for using the quiz tool in Canvas for course design and teaching. Instructors can:   create a graded/ungraded knowledge check quiz to highlight important concepts at the end of the module.    deploy a quiz to measure comprehension of assigned readings and media in each module.   have students practice taking an ungraded quiz before having them complete the high-stakes end-of-course exams.  For low-stakes assessments, students are often given multiple attempts with a certain amount of time to submit their answers, which may


You belong here: Building an equitable and inclusive online learning community 

Students must feel like they belong in online learning communities David Noffs and I recently presented at the 19th ICQI (International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry) Virtual Conference on the topic of Building an Equitable and Inclusive Online Learning Community. As learning designers in the Distance Learning Department at Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies, we are interested in investigating the mechanics of this phenomenon in order to help educators and other learning designers apply it effectively in their practice.  During our presentation, we shared a document developed at Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies entitled High-Impact Teaching Practices for Online Instruction (2022).


Takeaways from UPCEA 2021 Annual Conference

Introduction This year, the Distance Learning team attended the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) 2021 Annual Conference virtually. For three days in April, this conference brought together leaders in the management, administration, and growth of professional, continuing, and online education programs to share best practices and discuss strategies.  In this blog post, Dr. Angela Xiong and Krissy Wilson share their thoughts on two standout sessions. “Supporting Faculty in the Pivot to Online Instruction: Research Insights and Successful Programming” Review: Dr. Angela Xiong, Learning Designer I chose this session because I was interested in learning about the faculty development