Feedback

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
"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!"
"I appreciate all the help that you have provided for faculty!"
"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."

Staff Applause

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

Diane Alberts

"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)

Dan Cabrera

"Dan has always been willing to help when I had reached out to him, regarding Blackboard questions. He is optimistic, reassuring, and very cordial and respectful. He is never too busy to help and follow. He is also very knowledgeable, skillful and professional. Dan is certainly a gold mine I found at NIU!" (June 1, 2020)

Claire Duvall

"Claire Duvall was absolutely amazing in helping me to navigate Blackboard. As a newbie to Blackboard, I was totally in the dark about many of the features. In her very kind, respectful, informative manner, she patiently guided me through the steps helping me to feel confident in this endeavor! I am so grateful for her expertise and my life now is a little easier! Thank you, Claire!" (January 13, 2021)

Silvia Ginting

"As I started remote teaching including class meetings and delivery of tests, I ran into a number of issues related to use of Blackboard Ultra Collaborate, and the differences between Blackboard Original and Blackboard Ultra, Not all answers were in the standard video tutorials that were available. Silvia took the time to answer the questions precisely and in depth. She even constructed a step by step tutorial to show me how I could edit an already set test and add diagrams in the questions." (April 17, 2020)

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 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 Smothers 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

"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 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 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)

Amanda Smothers

"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)

Michael Taylor

"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)

Jason Underwood

"On a Sunday, Jason engaged in a prompt email exchange to help me fix an error I caused in my video lectures. He had me call him and he coached me through the issue, getting my lecture prep back on track on Sunday evening. His help was excellent, very unexpectedly prompt (on a Sunday!) and so very appreciated!" (October 20, 2020)

"Jason has been my go-to resource for all things about teaching remotely. Three weeks in and he has always been easy to contact and work with, no matter the day or the time. Just last evening, he contacted me to inform me that one of my uploaded videos did not caption correctly and that it might have errors. Sure enough, the original did not load correctly so I was able to reload and have a very usable video for students to watch. Thanks, Jason!" (September 8, 2020)

"I sent in a request for some help and Jason responded that day, a Saturday, and met me in a virtual room and showed me exactly what I needed in a very complete yet succinct way. It made me feel very reassured knowing I had such wonderful support resources available to help during this stressful period." (April 1, 2020)

Contact Us

Center for Innovative
Teaching and Learning

Phone: 815-797-2477
Email: citl@niu.edu

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