Connecting with Northwestern

by Kristina Wilson

As a Distance Learning faculty member, you probably don’t have an office on campus where students can pop in or a lounge where you can chat with your peers. You could be in a different time zone–or even a different country!–from Northwestern’s campuses in Evanston and Chicago.

It can get lonely out there, but luckily there are lots of ways to make that distance feel shorter. Here are some tips for connecting with your students, faculty peers, the School of Professional Studies, and Northwestern as an institution.

Follow us and connect with us (and your peers) on social media.

Is there any Northwestern in your feed? Follow Northwestern University, Northwestern SPS and NU SPS Online on Twitter, and Northwestern University and Northwestern SPS on Facebook.

One of the first things you’ll do as a new faculty member is to connect with your peers In the faculty training courses. Why not share your social media profiles and follow your peers on LinkedIn or Twitter?

You can also connect with your Learning Designer or Instructional Technologist via Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media. Just ask!

Keep up with the news.

If you’ve got a few minutes, check out SPS Stories. Your students are real, and they’re doing great things!

For current events and campus climate, read the student newspaper, The Daily Northwestern, and keep up with university news at Northwestern Now. You might even follow Northwestern on Instagram!

Attend on-campus and online events.

Check out SPS-hosted in-person and live-streamed events on the Calendar. The distance learning team also puts on an online learning webinar series, with one presentation each month.

Curious about what other online courses look like at SPS? After a faculty developer has completed a new course or revised an existing one, they give a course presentation by screensharing through Blue Jeans. Attend these presentations to hear about innovative uses of technology and new assignments, but also to touch base with your fellow online instructors, faculty directors, and program managers. Faculty who attend at least two course presentations per quarter–and provide feedback–will receive $250 for their service. They typically last about 45 minutes and take place in a two-week period just before the start of a new quarter.

Attend SPS convocation (or watch the live stream online).

It’s generally held in June of each year in downtown Chicago, and this year is no different. Save the date for Friday, June 16th, 2017! Students love to meet their online instructors in person.

If you can’t make it in person, watch the students you had in your online classes cross the stage from afar, using the live stream option. You can read more about it on the SPS Convocation Ceremony page.

Hail to Purple! Hail to White!

Yes, you are a faculty member at Northwestern University, even though you may be teaching at a distance.

Want to show your pride?

  • Use Northwestern’s slide templates so that you’re up to brand standards.
  • Wear that sweater! Hang that pennant! Pick something up at the Northwestern Bookstore, in person or online, and wear or display it (possibly in videos for your online course).

Need to get in the spirit?