Here's a sampling of some of the recent feedback we've received and what others are saying about the programs, resources and services we offer.

"I want to say thank you! Thank you to the CITL team who have been absolutely heroic in their efforts to calm and inspire our faculty during these times that have been described as unprecedented, fluid and surreal. So again - THANK YOU and Go Huskies!"

- President Lisa C. Freeman
"Thank you very much for being so proactive to help us navigate this challenging situation. I really appreciate all that you have done."

- Matt Streb, Chief of Staff
Office of the President
"It is impossible for us to convey our appreciation and gratitude to everyone in the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning who worked tirelessly to assist and train our faculty ever since the university pivoted to remote instruction. You have carried an incredible heavy load, and your efforts are greatly valued and appreciated. You are instrumental in providing the platform and tools for our faculty and students to safely teach and learn. We can’t thank you enough for your assistance -- Our hats are off to you!!"

- Bob Brinkmann, Dean
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"Thanks for everything you have done for NIU!!! Faculty/staff/students are very appreciative of what you have done."

- Wei-Chen Hung, Chair
Department of Educational Technology,
Research and Assessment
"I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all of this amazing support! Thank you all for your hard work to keep us going!"

- Mary Gardner, Instructor
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
"You are doing an amazing job! Keep up the good work."
"The department and staff have put in extra hours, hard work and provided tremendous support to get the entire university set for online teaching."
"I attended one of NIU's pre-summer online course academy and found it excellent. Moving to Blackboard Ultra for the first time was very helpful teaching in an online format. I had many comments that students liked how I ran my online course and I feel I owe a lot of that to what I learned during the academy. Many of the strengths that were noted dealt with the organization and availability of recorded mini-lectures, which leads me to the following: I would hope more faculty would make use of the online workshops/academy. I frequently try to get feedback from my student how other classes are going and I hear those that are struggling often come from classes/instructors that are carrying-on full synchronous w/ fully live lectures where technical issues get in the way of learning."

"Anytime I have needed support it has been fast and easily available."

"I would like to commend the staff on providing important and instrumental teaching workshops as well as providing immediate and key assistance when issues arose. This department and team are indispensable to the university!"
"Teaching this semester was enhanced and enjoyable because of the help I received from CITL staff. Taking the summer institute gave the confidence to work with Blackboard Collaborate and and with other technology like Kaltura. Thank you so much; I could not have done it without the center's support."
"Support from faculty development has been excellent."
"CITL is amazing and always so quick to help. Thank you!"
"Thank you so much at a time that has been really hard and stressful for everybody. You took the time to step up for NIU and I’m so proud of all of you. Keep up the good work. It is being recognized around campus and I’m getting so much good feedback from the faculty about the ways in which you’ve stepped up."

- Provost Beth Ingram
"Having just finished up with the Fall Teaching Effectiveness Institute, I wanted to send a quick email to express appreciation for all the hard work you've put in since this craziness began. No doubt you have been grinding to meet the needs of faculty across campus and we're grateful for it! CITL is the glue that holds the mental sanity of faculty members together as we continue to adapt to the new landscape of college teaching. I've learned more about online pedagogy over the last few months than I ever thought possible. It's been a wonderful experience, most notably because information is always shared with enthusiasm and a smile. No matter who is leading the workshop, the entire CITL Team has been fantastic to interact with."

- Matt Wilson, Associate Professor
School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders
"I genuinely believe you all are creating a huge difference for NIU faculty and students and helped us cope with the disruptions caused by the pandemic with your great support."

- Furkan Gur, Assistant Professor
Department of Management
"As a campus, we are all indebted to our wonderful colleagues at CITL for the extraordinary work they are doing in these unprecedented times. Moving all of our teaching and learning to an online environment would not have been possible without the expertise and extra hours that everyone in CITL have shared with us. Thank you for your invaluable work and for being there whenever we need your support! We are fortunate and grateful."
"The staff have been heroes! Whipping out new content, consulting with faculty! They had to take everyone from 0 to 60 in no time and they did an amazing job!"
"I appreciate all I've learned in CITL trainings; you've helped equip me to teach online."
"So grateful for the center. I may not have taken any classes this semester but I did reach out for help and staff always answered my questions. Thank you all."
"The teaching support team is utterly amazing. Kudos goes to every single person on this team.... you have been nothing short of amazing! Thank you for all you do to help faculty!"
"Whereas I did not avail myself of the many technology-related options, I very much appreciated the support that I knew was offered and that was communicated throughout the term. You guys were great."
"One-on-one consultations with center staff was key to success!"
"Thank you for the professional seminars and technical and software support last semester and in the summer! I also used technical and software support this fall. I love being able to schedule a consultation."
"As online teaching continues to evolve, participating in the Online Course Design Academy was a fantastic opportunity in bringing me up-to-date with the best online teaching practices and the tools and resources we need to excel in our online teaching. I cannot thank the CITL team enough."
"I appreciate all the help that you have provided for faculty!"
"I would just like to thank CITL for all they have done to support us as a campus since the pandemic started. Their Online Course Design Academy saved me when we shifted from in person to online last year. Having now taught every semester since then, I can say that what I learned was invaluable. In fact, the parts of course planning I was most resistant to are those that I use and rely on the most heavily. Although I’ve taught for nearly 20 years, CITL’s teaching has made me a better teacher. Thank you so much! (NIU Today Applaud a Colleague, May 7, 2021)
"You all have certainly been grinding over these last two years. Thank you for continuing to find ways to keep us inspired and informed on how to be our best selves inside and out of the classroom" (Matt Wilson, Associate Professor, School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders, Teaching Effectiveness Institute, January 2022)
Congratulations to the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning for another successful Teaching Effectiveness Institute. As always, the event was organized and run seamlessly from pre-event to post-event activities. All details were addressed and we had a very engaging day. I heard many other participants talking about the benefits of the event and how they planned to use the information and techniques to support their teaching and students’ learning. Thanks CITL! (NIU Today Applaud a Colleague, August 24, 2023)
Thanks to the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning for another excellent professional development event. I enjoyed participating in the Spring 2024 Teaching Effectiveness Institute hosted by CITL yesterday. The event addressed critical issues related to grading for equity and ran flawlessly. Running a large-scale, virtual event requires extensive preparations, coordination, technical support, and adapting “on the fly.” Great job, CITL! Your work is appreciated! (NIU Today Applaud a Colleague, January 17, 2024)

Staff Applause

The following comments about our staff have been shared directly to staff or through NIU Today Applaud a Colleague:

Diane Alberts

"Diane’s work on the Blackboard Ultra Transition Academy has been outstanding. She continues to improve the academy’s design as new features emerge. She loves working with her academy partners. She’s an excellent project manager and the 4th iteration of the academy started flawlessly." (May 25, 2023)

"Having recently developed a course with Diane, I wanted to reach out to note how fabulous it was to work with her. She is considerate, innovative and, most of all, has shown great patience!! It has been a pleasure to work with someone so competent at what they do." (October 25, 2021)

"Diane went above and beyond to bring an online learning module back to life (after Flash was discontinued). Her work on the project was not required but she knew how helpful the outcome would be to faculty, students and to many NIU K-12 educators in our region. Thanks, Diane!" (January 21, 2021)

Kevin Forman

"I appreciate your dedication and ongoing commitment to learning. You have been very helpful to me this semester!" (February 14, 2024)

Kevin Harris

"Kevin Harris is so patient, kind, and knowledgeable when explaining how to navigate Blackboard Ultra. Although I am new to the process, he gives me confidence that I am capable. THANK YOU!" (February 15, 2024)

Amanda Hirsch

"I had an unexpectedly large number of “special requests” I had to make regarding multiple Blackboard courses and I had to reach out to Amanda for assistance. With every new email, I shared that I hoped that the request would be the “last one,” but it was not true until after a few more requests. Amanda is so knowledgeable, so helpful and so very patient with people – she deserves a huge round of applause for all of the assistance she gave me. Thank you, Amanda, for providing assistance in such a responsive and supportive manner!" (September 20, 2022)

"Amanda has always been a great help with assisting me with Blackboard questions. She is kind, incredibly responsive (often within minutes of a message being sent), and very patient when I am asking the same question I asked months earlier, but did not retain the answer. Last summer and fall many College of Law faculty who may not have used Blackboard in the past were using it. Because our schedule is a bit different than the rest of the university and because of the newness of Blackboard for some faculty, we had several issues around course availability. Amanda worked with me to make sure all the classes were made available early enough to avoid any issues with access and we were able to make the access to fall classes go smoothly. Also, just last Friday she was quick to help resolve an issue I was having, making my own start to the semester better. I really appreciate her patience and pleasant attitude and all the assistance she provides." (January 25, 2021)

"Amanda has been incredibly helpful to us in the transition to remote teaching, all while keeping other learning communities she runs active and awesome. She is patient and kind, while being brilliant and helpful." (June 1, 2020)

Megan Holt

"Megan did a great job organizing the Online Teaching Symposium. You lead the team in completing all the fine details that made up a great experience. I know the participants appreciated all your work. You are a CITL gem." (June 1, 2023)

"Oh my gosh! Megan is the most amazing ambassador! She was so supportive and so informative as I worked through the BB Ultra Academy. I’m so glad to know that she’ll continue to be “in the wings” (she likes birds) to support when I get stuck. Thank you, Megan! Your department is incredible." (June 22, 2022)

"Megan was truly an excellent “ambassador” for the Center for Innovative Teaching and Leaning’s recent Blackboard Ultra Transition Academy. She was very patient with my many questions and provided precise, well organized suggestions for building my summer course in Blackboard Ultra. She was also wonderful to work with in a virtual context. (June 9, 2022)

"Thank you Megan, for your valuable advice and coaching as we pivoted to a Zoom all-college meeting. Your willingness to share your time and talents is appreciated by all. You exemplify collaboration and the Huskie spirit!" (January 18, 2022)

"Megan's kind voice, support and willingness to be 'at the ready' when I’m in need is so authentic and amazing. As an adjunct, there are plenty of Blackboard nuances that I continue to learn and Megan's efforts are so appreciated. Thank you, Megan! Talk soon!" (September 22, 2021)

"Megan has been an incredible resource to me, always swift to reply and steps in to help in any way she could. She provided Blackboard training to our UNIV educators, shared a general CITL-built template with me to help build our UNIV courses, and helped manage copying my course shell into each section. She is wonderful and also fun to work with!" (June 25, 2021)

"If you ever have a question about teaching with Blackboard, send an online ticket request to CITL. Megan has replied to my multiple queries incredibly quickly in a very helpful and friendly manner. Thank you Megan!" (June 25, 2021)

Yvonne Johnson and Michael Taylor

"I do not know what I would have done without your help, patience, availability and, of course, your expertise in Blackboard Collaborate and Blackboard video posting. You were there for consults, answering emails, and even phone calls. You were always prompt and polite. Thanks for being there. You are an asset to our university!" (April 1, 2020)

Tracy Miller

"Tracy was flexible and provided exceptional support of the School of Nursing’s recent accreditation visit. She provide a solution to Blackboard access for the accreditors and then worked tirelessly with the IT team in the closing hours to get everything ready. We appreciate all of her efforts! On behalf of the entire School of Nursing, please accept our heartfelt thanks. (October 25, 2021)

"Tracy has gone above and beyond to assist me as I developed and taught my first online course this past summer. She has been a pleasure to work with and is an outstanding asset to the university. It is employees like her that guarantee that our students receive a quality education." (January 22, 2016)

Tracy Miller, Amanda Hirsch and Stephanie Richter

"This team developed, coordinated and launched the TA Institute fully online! Your efforts provided access to this critical training opportunity for so many NIU graduate students–thank you!" (August 24, 2020)

Tina Moran

"Thank you Tina for going out of your way to help course schedulers to enter summer and fall courses using the correct campus codes. Your help is appreciated and we know you put in a lot of hours on making sure everything was accurate and ready for the students." (February 22, 2021)

Christiane Ong-McCarthy

"Christiane helped me set up a new course shell in Blackboard Ultra converting if from original and worked with me to improve the content in addition to answering questions and ensuring I was ready to customize… all in rush. She was fantastic to work with and very communicative. It was a pleasure working with her and she is a great resource for NIU." (August 29, 2023)

"Ms. Ong-McCarthy always goes above-and-beyond to assist me and my colleagues with our Quality Matters course development, as well as any technical issues we have in delivering our courses. She never hesitates to provide quality and professional help in response to each inquiry. She also has been a big help in our e-training programs for research purposes. Thank you for being a continued invaluable support to our work, Christiane!" (March 1, 2021)

Cynthia Paralejas

"Cynthia tirelessly answers my emails and calls regarding anything Blackboard, and in particular Ultra during this, my first semester using it. She is professional, helpful, responsive and friendly. THANKS!!" (December 10, 2023)

"Cynthia is consistently going above and beyond and helping others in improving not only the technical experience for students but also the course experience as well! For the online class I teach, Cynthia helped me revamp it into a more interactive and engaging experience that students will remember for years to come. Without her guidance, I could not have dreamed of achieving the experiences my students are now having in my course. Thank you Cynthia for all that you do for us!" (June 20, 2021)

"Cynthia has been 100% instrumental in my success as an online instructor at the College of Business. While I am a part time instructor teaching in the Masters in Digital Marketing program, Cynthia has dedicated so many hours to ensuring that my content presented to students is of a high quality and helping me navigate the nuances of teaching online courses. I do not know what I would have done without her. In addition, this is not a one-off thing. She has consistently helped me again and again each time I have another crazy idea to change my course, she jumps in immediately and starts helping to solve problems with me. I truly believe she has gone well above and beyond my expectations and I’m so thankful she is a member of the CITL team!" (April 24, 2020)

"Cynthia’s expertise in converting my exams into online tests in Blackboard has been a life-saver for me. She has been extremely prompt in handling my requests and answering my questions. We are so fortunate to have such competent and caring employees who go above and beyond to support us during these difficult times." (April 24, 2020)

Rob Piercy

"Rob has gone above and beyond in helping me create the best possible online offerings for my students! He is always timely and professional in answering my many questions. Thanks, Rob!" (November 10, 2020)

"You are the best, Rob. My 22-year-old son was in the room while we worked together. Afterwards he said he liked how you helped me without making me feel foolish. You have a gift!" (June 10, 2020)

Stephanie Richter

"Stephanie is an absolutely amazing mentor! With her patience, perseverance, kindness, and methodical instructions, I was able to navigate from Blackboard Original to Blackboard Ultra. This task had caused me some anxiety, but with her expertise and directives, I find myself well on the way to being able to set up my courses. THANK YOU, Stephanie!" (January 7, 2024)

"Stephanie is so knowledgeable and dedicated; she makes a great leader!" (June 9, 2022)

"Stephanie has extended significant support to the LEPF Superintendent Preparation Program time and time again. Her willingness to provide expertise and templates for our admissions and internship portfolio processes are indicative of the backbone behind the program. She has been extremely responsive, supportive and dependable. What a team member! Thanks for all your help. We value you, Stephanie!" (March 23, 2022)

"Stephanie excels in one on one mentoring in addition to working with the programs her office provides. Recently she helped me recover my inadvertent deletion of a robust Bb-Content Folder. I also want her to be acknowledged here for the 2020 SPS Presidential Award for Excellence that was not well-publicized at the time but perennially deserved." (February 1, 2021)

Michael Strunk

"Hours before class was scheduled, there were problems with Zoom. Mike responded immediately and, with the help of DOIT, resolved the issue within an hour. Mike was both prompt, professional and able to resolve the issue seemingly as soon as I sent my email... Thank you for caring about faculty and students, and making me feel okay with the difficulties encountered." (September 12, 2022)

"Whenever I have a Blackboard question, Mike is the person at CITL that I contact. He get backs to me quickly and his answers are always thoughtful and thorough. If there is not an immediate answer to my problem, he does the research and testing needed to figure it out. Thank you, Mike, for all you do!" (April 23, 2021)

"Thank you for being who you are, a person who is dedicated, enthusiastic, helpful and caring. We can’t thank you enough for teaching and helping us when we needed it. I want to take a moment to applaud you for your dedication." (October 19, 2018)

Michael Taylor

"I just wanted to applaud Michael Taylor at CITL for his extensive support and help in assisting me today in the studio recording a video for my online class I am designing. He was very kind, patient, and accommodating even when things went wrong, and we had to restart the system (I had to record my video three times). Michael was especially wonderful in helping me learn Katura and how to optimize my video quality on Blackboard." (February 29, 2024)

"Michael showed empathy with my emergency Blackboard error, working with me until 5:30 p.m. to solve the problem. THANKS!!!" (December 10, 2023)

"Michael Taylor is extremely knowledgeable in Blackboard Ultra and goes out of his way to help faculty. If students and faculty need some help right away, he doesn’t hesitate to work past regular working hours, to solve their problems. People like Michael make NIU a wonderful place for the Huskies!" (October 12, 2023)

"Our department needed some data for a report due that same day; Mike was quick to respond with a solution to the problem so that we could meet our deadline." (June 11, 2023)

"Mike answered all of the questions I had about the new Ultra Blackboard learning platform. He listened intently and then covered lengthy explanations with knowledge, courtesy and professionalism. He allowed me to work hands on, ensuring I understood and could duplicate the results in the future. He’s an amazing teacher, and I was so very lucky to be able to work with him!" (June 9, 2022)

"On a Friday night at 4:30 p.m., I needed to add a student to my course after 4 weeks so that over the weekend, they could get started on the first four weeks of work. Michael helped make that possible and even offered to watch his email over the weekend in case problems developed. I have had questions in the past and Michael has always been very receptive but in this case, I really needed to help this student and he happily made that possible even though it was very late in the day. Thanks, Michael, I appreciated the support!" (February 17, 2021)

"Mike is always friendly and willing to assist me with any technical issues that I may be having." (January 21, 2021)

"Michael Taylor assisted me with submitting student exams online when the system would not allow them to be submitted. This was an evening exam after office hours so no one was available, yet it was his vacation day! The questions were Blackboard-related or Examity-related, and he has helped me with Blackboard Ultra a lot this semester. While this was a troubling experience for the students, they appreciated that he and I were working to assist them. I was especially appreciative since I had the entire class, who were very concerned, emailing me after they completed between 5 to 9 p.m. I was very grateful for his willingness to assist me, especially since this was not planned!" (October 16, 2020)

"Michael Taylor has been my “hero” as he saved me a few times when I was dealing with some urgent, technical issues. No matter it was lunch time or 6 pm on a Friday, he always responded to my requests promptly, and walked through all the details until the problems got resolved. A huge shout out to Mike and his colleagues who are working around the clock to support us during this difficult time." (April 1, 2020)

Contact Us

Center for Innovative
Teaching and Learning

Phone: 815-753-0595

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