Author: Daniel Murphy

Nine Week Assessment Alternatives

At Northwestern, our 10 week terms are already fast-paced. So what happens when the term is shortened by a week, and you have only nine weeks to accomplish your goals as an instructor? How do you decide which content to combine, alter, or even remove? This short guide will outline a few strategies you can consider to modify your course activities, assessment, and content to meet students’ needs within a constrained timeframe. Download a copy of the Nine Week Assessment Alternatives tip sheet. Pre-Work, Examples, and Best Practices What is pre-work? Pre-work is exactly what you think it is. It


Distance Learning Blog Re-launched

We’ve stepped away from this blog for a while, we admit it! Prior to the pandemic, our department, the Office of Distance Learning, had seen an increased workload as School of Professional Studies expanded its course and program offerings. With Northwestern’s move to exclusively online learning last spring, we found ourselves busier than ever supporting faculty in our own school and throughout the university. Now that things have more or less settled to a “new normal” (or, hopefully, just a “steady state for now”), we are ready to turn our attention back to this blog and re-engage in an exchange


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