Recent Posts

May Staff Spotlight: Dan Murphy

Staff Spotlight: Dan Murphy  This month, we’re spotlighting our Director of Online Learning Technologies, Dan Murphy! In the blog post below, Dan 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 been with SPS Distance Learning for six and a half years. Previously, I worked for online schools and an OPM (online project management) firm. In the 90s, I was an elementary school teacher with the Teach For America program. I noticed how kids who weren’t particularly

Are You Ready for the Mission: Accessible Challenge?

Northwestern University wants to help you make your Canvas course sites more accessible! No matter what you teach or how you use Canvas, accessibility is crucial to building an inclusive and usable digital educational experience for all our students. And Mission: Accessible aims to help instructors and staff learn seven core skills to ensure that when they create or revise in Canvas, the content will be accessible. What is Mission: Accessible? Mission: Accessible is an opt-in challenge for anyone with a Canvas course site. After signing up, you’ll receive email prompts outlining a new challenge for you to complete to

Rubrics: Set Expectations and Save Time

Do you use rubrics to assess learning in your course? Rubrics may not seem like the most exciting part of designing your course, but they’re still worth the time to develop!  Photo from Pixabay Why Rubrics?  Set Expectations: Rubrics provide students with clear guidelines to an assignment’s desired outcome and can make grading more transparent. By providing a rubric to students before they begin an assignment, the instructor offers them a roadmap to success. Rubrics aid the students’ learning process and help them improve the quality of their work.   Equity: Rubrics allow you to assess complex learning criteria consistently and

Neurodiversity and Learning Design: Bringing Equity to the Classroom

An Interview with Heather Brown, Learning Designer, Distance Learning by Michelle Bannerman Reading Time: 7 minutes Introduction We invite you to learn more about neurodiversity and bringing equity to the classroom in this conversation with Heather Brown, a Learning Designer at Northwestern and champion for neurodiverse learners, and Michelle Bannerman, a Graduate Student in the Northwestern Information Design & Strategy (IDS) program, parent of a teen with ADHD, and a career-changer pursuing a path in Learning Design to bring equity to the classroom. Heather and Michelle cover a variety of topics, from classroom accommodations to gender expression to learning design

April Staff Spotlight: Lynn Healy

Staff Spotlight: Lynn Healy This month, we’re spotlighting our newest team member, learning designer Lynn Healy! Read more about Lynn’s journey to Distance Learning in the post below. How long have you worked here? How did you come to join the DL team / get involved in distance education? I began my journey as a college instructor of face-to-face classes in 2003 and then switched to fully synchronous and asynchronous online teaching in 2017, when my family and I moved to Texas. After defending my dissertation in 2014 on human rights, ethnicity, and gender in Peru, I turned my research