David Noffs

Learning Designer

I have spent most of my life designing innovative learning environments, from my early work with hi-tech mobile classrooms in Australia’s rural communities, to over ten years as an instructional technologist and designer in the Center for Innovation in Teaching Excellence at Columbia College Chicago.

I joined the Distance Learning team at Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies as a Learning Designer in 2017. In this role, I am able to do what I love most; help educators make learning a productive, enjoyable, and transformative experience.

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Roosevelt University and a Master’s Degree in Public Heath from Benedictine University. My doctoral dissertation in Adult and Continuing Education from National Louis University is titled “Resonating Frequencies of a Virtual Learning Community: An Ethnographic Case Study of Online Faculty Development at Columbia College Chicago.”

Posts by: David Noffs

What Should I Do With My Slides Now That I’m Teaching Online?

Introduction If you’ve taught face-to-face before, there’s a good chance you’ve developed slides to help give lectures in your classroom. You may even have structured your course around them: ten slide decks for ten weeks of class. There’s no shame there–keynote speakers and conference presenters use slides as an important part of their practice, and when properly designed they can make for engaging in-person presentations. Now you’re designing an online or hybrid class, and you’ve got your slides in hand. These worked great in my face-to-face class, you’re thinking. I’ll just put them online for students to read. But wait!


Promising Practices in Inclusive Teaching

Learning designers Jeanne Kerl, Brian Runo, and David Noffs attended the Second Annual Teaching Forum on Promising Practices: Learning from Our Community held April 18, 2018 at the Norris University Center at Northwestern University’s main campus in Evanston. The plenary session speaker was Dr. Frank Tuitt, Senior Advisor to the Chancellor and Provost on Diversity and Inclusion and Professor of Higher Education at the University of Denver. His address was entitled, Making Excellence Inclusive in Challenging Times: Diversity Consideration for the Classroom and Beyond. Dr. Tuitt started his presentation with a review of the challenging times we are facing. Headlines


Focus on Teaching and Learning Highlights Active Learning

Several members of the Distance Learning Team at Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies attended Loyola’s Focus on Teaching and Learning (FOTL), a one day conference on January 10, 2018 at Schreiber Hall in Chicago. The Keynote address, delivered by Dr. Therese Hutton of Seattle University, was entitled, “If I Could Only Fit in More Learning:” Making the Most of Your Classroom Time. According to Dr. Hutton, teaching is akin to storytelling in many ways, and the traditional lecture, whether online or on-ground, is often more storytelling than lecture. In fact, according to Hutton, lectures have been making something of a