Author: Kristina Wilson

Prior Learning Assessment Strategies at the Course Level

Defining Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is an approach to Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) that allows institutions of higher learning to “evaluate and formally recognize learning that has occurred outside of the traditional academic environment. It is used to grant college credit, certification, or advanced standing toward further education or training.”  PLA strategies vary between different universities and colleges, but may include awarding credit for military and professional experiences, Course Match PLA Projects, exams such as College-Level Examination Program® (CLEP) exams, professional licensures or certifications, and open-source learning opportunities such as MOOCs (massively open online courses). 


Applying Twitch Streamers’ Engagement Strategies to Synchronous Online Learning

Context  Early in 2022, a friend told me he was going to start streaming on Twitch and asked if I would join to watch and chat. I knew little about Twitch, an online community for streaming video gameplay, and as I considered his request I wondered if there could be a place for me in this space. Frankly, I don’t play video games, and at first glance, most streamers appeared to be men with a focus on fighting and shooting games.   However, I logged in to amusedly watch my friend play long-distance trucking and city-building games and, curious, found


ANNOUNCING: Distance Learning Consultations

Overview  The Distance Learning team in the School of Professional Studies is excited to announce that Consultations with Distance Learning staff are now available for booking, allowing SPS instructors to discuss course design and technology with online learning experts outside of the course development and revision process.  Whether you are new to teaching online or have been teaching online for many years, we are excited to consult with you and look forward to our conversations! If you have any questions, please contact distanceeducation@northwestern.edu.  Why Book a Consultation?  There are many reasons why you might want to chat with a Learning


Add Quiz Questions to Canvas by Converting CSV Files to QTI ZIP Files

It can be time-consuming to add questions manually to a quiz or exam in Canvas, and it is easy to accidentally omit portions of a question, introduce errors such as typos, or improperly identify a correct or incorrect response. Drafting questions directly into Canvas can also be slow and unwieldy. If you’ve been writing your questions in a word processor, you have a long copy-and-paste session ahead of you before your quiz is available to students. When you have lots of quizzes, an extensive exam, or are planning to build question banks, it is more efficient to automate the process.


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