Cynthia Paralejas, Ed.D.

Senior Instructional Designer


Cynthia collaborates with faculty and staff in the design, development, and management of online courses and learning experiences, applying various learning theories, teaching strategies, instructional design models, best practices in online education, and integrating educational technologies to improve teaching effectiveness and student learning experiences. She implements and maintains quality standards across all aspects of the instructional design process.


  • Ed.D., Instructional Technology, Northern Illinois University, 2013
  • M.A., Cultural Anthropology, Northern Illinois University, 2005
  • M.P.M., Public Management, Universität Potsdam, 2001
  • B.A., Sociology-Psychology, University of the Philippines Institution, 1996
  • Instructional Design and Accessibility Resource Person for CARLI/Illinois SCOERs (Support for the Creation of Open Educational Resources) grant project entitled Teaching Photography: Critical Literacies in Creative Practice. 2023-2024
  • CITL Staff Ambassador for the Ultra Transition Academy (UTA), 2022-2023
  • CITL Staff partner for the Curricular Innovation Grants, 2023
  • CITL Staff Partner in the Online Course Design Academy, 2019-Present
  • Facilitator of the ACUE micro-credential course in Inclusive Teaching for Equitable Learning, Spring 2022 & Fall 2022

Holt, M., & Paralejas, C. (2024, April). The synergy of AI, faculty development, and instructional design; Transforming the narrative. Presented at Online Learning Consortium Accelerate 2024, Denver, CO.

Holt, M., Miller, T. & Paralejas, C. (2023, October). Driving together: Sharing the wheel and navigating the new instructional design partnership. Presented at Online Learning Consortium Accelerate 2023, Washington, DC.

Paralejas, C. (2023, April). Diversity, equity, and inclusion in social media advocacy. Presented at the Philippine Youth Leadership Program 2023, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL.

Paralejas, C. (2019, April). #KayaNatinIto: How social media can empower youth advocacy. Presented at the Philippine Youth Leadership Program 2019. Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL.

Paralejas, C. (2013). A case study of understanding the influence of cultural patterns on international students' perception and experience with online learning. [Doctoral dissertation, Northern Illinois University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Publishing.

Paralejas, C. (2002). People's Republic of China: Fiscal Decentralization: Opportunities and Challenges. In A. Brillantes, Jr. & N. Cuachon (Eds.), Decentralization and Power Shift (Vol. 1, pp.13-23). Asian Resource Center for Decentralization.

Paralejas, C. (2002). Decentralization: Power to the People, or to the Local Elite. In P. Tapales, & A. Brillantes, Jr. (Eds.), Local Government in the Philippines: A Book of Readings (Vol. 3, pp. 575-588).UP National College of Public Administration and Governance.

Paralejas, C. (1999). Comprehensive Land Use Planning Conference: A Summary of Issues and Challenges. Local Government Bulletin, 34(3&4-b).

Paralejas, C. (1999). CLRG and DSE Conduct Training of Trainers Nationwide. Local Government Bulletin, 34(1&2-c).

Paralejas, C. (1999). Capability Building for Local Governance. Local Government Bulletin 34 (1&2-i).


The following comments from NIU faculty were shared through NIU Today Applaud a Colleague:

"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)

"Since 2012, Cynthia has been an invaluable colleague to me. With her guidance, I can continually improve my online course development and teaching. She shares valuable resources and offers recommendations for improvement that adhere to quality online instruction in a respectful and constructive manner. The instructional design process does take time and is ever evolving. Thank you, Cynthia for your long-lasting mentorship, support and partnership!" (February 4, 2022)

"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)

Cynthia Paralejas


Cynthia Paralejas
Phone: 815-753-4003
Office: AC100C

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