July Staff Spotlight: Aaron Bannasch

by Loren Guay

Staff Spotlight: Aaron Bannasch 

This month, we’re spotlighting Senior Instructional Technologist Aaron Bannasch! In the blog post below, Aaron tells us more about his work with Distance Learning.

How long have you worked here? How did you come to join the DL team / get involved in distance education?

I have worked at Northwestern for 8 years; I joined SPS in July of 2014. I became involved in distance education through working in IT and media support roles in higher education during undergrad and grad school.

Distance learning recording studio with equipment, lights, and sophisticated desk setup.
One of Aaron’s recording setups.

Describe your typical “Day in the Life.”

A series of images showing Aaron interviewing himself.

The most visually interesting area of my role involves media production. While a typical day might involve responding to technical support requests, summarizing complex visual and human-computer interaction design concepts in terms that are meaningful for non-experts, and finding ways to optimize routine course technology operations, none of those tasks are highly visual in nature or accessible in terms of having the image give sufficient context for the actual task.

I find purpose in all my tasks, but media production has a tangible element that is easier to describe to audiences who are not familiar with online course administration.

What’s something about your job that might surprise readers?

A surprising feature of my job is that I’ve developed a keen skill for identifying and removing the distant sounds of commercial toilet flushers from video recordings.

What’s your favorite resource or tool that not many people know about?

A favorite tool that people may not know about is the Canvas Course Analysis Tool, an open-source project that was created to leverage the power of Google Apps Scripts in Google Sheets to analyze Canvas course site content.

What’s the most unusual job you’ve ever had? Did it give you any interesting takeaways?

The most unusual job I’ve ever had was working at a car wash. The takeaways are very interesting, but probably not OSHA compliant. 

The Distance Learning team is part of the Northwestern School of Professional Studies (SPS). To keep up with news, staff spotlights, online education insights and more, subscribe to the DL newsletter (The DL Digest) and check out the rest of the Distance Learning blog!