Category: Uncategorized

Four Ways to Increase Course Accessibility

Web accessibility refers to strategies, practices, and tools that make online content available for all users, including those with disabilities or technological limitations. One of the more commonly known accessibility features is captions on videos, which help hard-of-hearing users engage with the information. Captions are just one of many available resources, however, and there are a number of ways that developers and designers can make their online content accessible to all. A recent series of webinars hosted by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and 3PlayMedia highlighted strategies for improving the accessibility of online courses and other educational resources. These webinars focused

Let’s Give ’Em Something to Talk About Part I: Five Instructor Practices that Cultivate Online Discussions

Guest Post by: Leslie Fischer. Leslie Fischer teaches in traditional, hybrid, and online classrooms at SPS and Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. She has taught writing, literature, and communication at SPS for 28 years and has taught at the university level for 34 years.  Reach her on twitter @LeslieAFischer or by email at   When teaching an online course, the discussion forum is often your primary connection with your students. Thoughtfully and actively managing the discussion forums can elevate the level of course conversations. Unlike the casual comments that might get tossed off in the classroom, students whose comments are

Distance Learning Librarian Interview

Northwestern University has a vast library system, one that can seem overwhelming to students and faculty alike. Librarians are available to help navigate the NU libraries, and there’s a librarian who is dedicated to working with online faculty and students. Tracy Coyne fills this role as the current Distance Learning Librarian at Schaffner Library, where she has worked for over two years. We asked Tracy a few questions about her role as DL Librarian and the services and supports she provides.   SPS Distance Learning: Can you broadly describe what the Distance Learning Librarian does? TC: Overall, I am here

Desktop Recording Tips & Tricks

Recording a lecture video on your desktop or laptop might not feel as natural or as forgiving as lecturing to students in your classroom. In fact, recording a lecture video can be more like recording a performance than giving a lecture. For that reason it is important to be aware of not only your content, but of your equipment, your surroundings, and your delivery. Close down any programs or applications on your computer that are not required to deliver the lecture or demonstration. Desktop video recording software is computer memory intensive. Having additional programs open on top of what is

Welcome to SPS Distance Learning

Welcome to the SPS Distance Learning blog! We plan to use this space to share information and resources for online education. Unlike the rest of the site, which contains detailed how-to guides and collections of resources, the blog will be a place for a wider variety of information. Best practices, reviews of new technologies, summaries of research from conferences: these are all things that the Distance Learning staff will be sharing here. But this isn’t just a place for the DL staff to share what they know. We want to give our faculty the opportunity to share what they’ve learned from teaching