Author: Kristina Wilson

Reflecting on the Loyola Digital Accessibility Conference

Introduction The Loyola Digital Accessibility Conference was organized by graduate students in the digital humanities program at Loyola University. The event drew presenters and attendees from all over the country, including a team who called in from University of California-Davis! Content Specialist Christine Scherer and Learning Designer Krissy Wilson represented the School of Professional Studies Distance Learning department on the Tackling Large Scale Accessibility panel. The presentations covered a wide range of issues, from accessibility of digital library resources to podcast transcripts to retrofitting inaccessible web pages. But there were common themes raised throughout the conversations. One theme was that

Five Ways to Incorporate Universal Design for Learning into Your Online Course

Introduction What if someone told you that there were research-proven techniques you could use to improve your online class for all students, increasing retention, persistence, and satisfaction by more than 4% over the baseline? I’m sure you’d be skeptical. Students differ so significantly from each other and from quarter to quarter; how can any instructor anticipate the individual needs of every student? Universal Design for Learning is a great place to start. What is Universal Design for Learning? At its core, Universal Design for Learning is a flexible, research-based pedagogical framework that aims to develop curriculum that meets the needs

Involving Teaching Assistants in the Online Classroom

Introduction Have you been thinking about involving a teaching assistant (TA) in your online course? TAs are a great way to provide supplemental instruction opportunities for students, as well as help instructors manage a demanding online class. Take it from me–I’ve been a TA in an online course! With a little creativity and trust, we can be involved in most components of online courses to your benefit and ours. Start with the Pragmatics Once you’ve identified a TA for your online course, talk through the pragmatics, the way you might with a TA in a face-to-face course. Meet before the

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

Reflections on the 2017 QM Connect Conference

Introduction The 2017 Quality Matters Connect Conference was held between September 24th and 27th in Fort Worth, Texas. Two representatives from the Distance Learning department attended and gave presentations on Quality Matters topics, all the way from 1.9 (“Learners are asked to introduce themselves to the class”) to 8.4 (“The course design facilitates readability”). Read on to learn more about their experiences and lessons learned. Reba-Anna Lee, Director of Online Program Development Presenting: As a long time member of the Quality Matters community, I was delighted to attend this year’s conference. I did two presentations, served as a poster judge,