Recent Posts

Assessing OER for Accessibility

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are often praised for being more accessible than standard textbooks. In this context, accessibility often refers to low or no costs, or to how students can obtain the resource just by clicking a link. But accessibility also has another meaning: can disabled people access the resource? And in this sense, OERs are no better than the competition. According to UDL on Campus, a 2011 survey of OER textbooks found that nearly half the web-based textbooks (42%) had significant accessibility problems. And of the PDF textbooks, none were accessible to disabled users. This is a tremendous concern.


Register for TEACHx 2019!

It’s time for TEACHx 2019—Northwestern’s symposium celebrating teaching, learning and technology. This year the TEACHx theme is student-centered learning. Come learn with your peers as they share their experiences with changing up their teaching. The day bring together instructors, students, learning designers, and technology specialists to make connections and begin collaborations. Register now and learn more about this special day. SPS staff and teachers will be presenting, so please join us!


Why and When to Use PowerPoint in Online Courses

While PowerPoint is a very effective tool for creating visual aids when used properly (or artistically, or satirically), it can be harmful when misused. Suggestions for appropriate use of PowerPoint have been documented in various blog posts on the Distance Learning website. For the Summer 2019 course development period, extra emphasis is being placed on on using PowerPoint in ways that go beyond its most convenient form: bulleted lists. Structured, bulleted lists may work well for quickly organizing your own thoughts, but there are other (trendier?) ways of doing that without using PowerPoint. PowerPoint can continue to be a useful


5 Ways to Group Adult Students for Teamwork Online

Introduction In the School of Professional Studies (SPS), group projects are our bread and butter. That means team case studies, small group discussions, peer review, and other collaborative assignments. One question I’ve heard faculty members frequently ask their peers in course presentations is, “How do you group your students?” Everyone has a technique for doing it differently, based on any number of factors. How many students are in your class? How many students should be in each group? What if you have students “left over”? Should I group them with teammates they know? Teammates they don’t know? Teammates they choose?


Submit a Proposal to TEACHx 2019!

Have you experimented with a new approach in one of your SPS courses in the last year?  Would you like to share what you’ve learned with others? TEACHx, Northwestern’s annual symposium that brings together instructors, students, learning designers, and technology specialists to make connections, begin collaborations, and learn from their peers, is returning to the Norris University Center in Evanston on May 22-23, 2019. Whether you want to give a poster, an interactive session or be part of a panel—join in on the celebration of teaching and learning.  This year we are excited to announce that TEACHx is expanding to include a half-day pre-conference. Attend