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Online Teaching Symposium

Friday, June 1, 2018
8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Sky Room, Holmes Student Center

featuring Michelle Pacansky-Brock and NIU faculty and staff


Online registration is full

To register, please call 815-753-0595 to be added to the waiting list

Keynote Address - Humanizing Online Learning

michelle pacansky-brock

Are you looking for the secret sauce for your online class? Well, you are it! Research shows that online students often feel isolated and are more likely to need to teach themselves. Studies also show that students who leave an online class feeling like their instructor cared about their learning are more likely to succeed. This presentation will explore the value of conveying your human presence, empathy, and awareness in an online class and showcase humanizing online teaching practices that you can apply immediately.

Michelle Pacansky-Brock, Ed.D., is a noted leader in higher education with expertise in online teaching, course design, and faculty development. Michelle's work has helped online instructors across the nation and beyond understand how to craft relevant, humanized online learning experiences that support the diverse needs of college students. She is the author of Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies (2nd edition, Routledge), has received national recognition for her excellence in teaching, and has held various leadership roles with the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI).

Currently, Michelle is Faculty Mentor, Digital Innovation with the California Community College system. She coordinates professional development efforts related to emerging technologies in online teaching and learning for @ONE (Online Network of Educators) and the CCC Online Education Initiative. Learn more about Michelle at brocansky.com and connect with her on Twitter @brocansky.

Tentative Agenda

Time Topic
8:30 a.m. Check-in, Refreshments, and Networking
9:00 a.m. Welcome
9:15 a.m. Keynote by Michelle Pacansky-Brock
10:00 a.m.

Breakout Panels - Session 1

Active and Engaged Learning Online (Panel 1) 
Room 306
Research on online learning shows that students must be actively engaged in the learning process, such as through reflection, collaboration, or inquiry. Hear from your colleagues as they share how they incorporate active or experiential learning techniques in their online courses.

Alternatives to Textbooks
Room 406
Course materials can be very expensive for online students and can be a barrier to student access and success. Learn more about library resources and other textbook alternatives, such as Open Educational Resources and e-books, that you can use in place of traditional textbooks to reduce costs for students.

Teaching Online STEM Courses
Room 506
Transforming STEM courses for online delivery offers unique challenges. Hear from your colleagues as they share their approaches for solving challenges faced in designing online STEM courses and in supporting students studying STEM subjects online.

11:00 a.m.

Breakout Panels - Session 2

Communication and Collaboration Online
Room 306
One of the most frequent concerns expressed by online students is a feeling of isolation, but this is not true in all online courses. Learn more about the techniques or tools your colleagues have used to build community in your online courses, through communication, instructor and student presence, or collaborative learning.

Instructional Materials and Content Online
Room 406
Most courses are built on a library of content, whether that is curated and assigned by the faculty or discovered and shared by students. See examples of the types of content and media included in online courses, and the strategies your colleagues have used to create or find instructional materials.

Working with an Instructional Designer
Room 506
Have you ever wondered what exactly the role of an instructional designer is and how they can partner with you in the development of your online course? Meet several of NIU's instructional designers and get a taste of the experience working with an instructional designer throughout the online course design and development process.

12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Plenary
2:00 p.m.

Breakout Panels - Session 3

Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning Online
Room 306
We are obligated, both morally and legally, to ensure that our courses are accessible for students with disabilities, but if we incorporate principles of universal design for learning we can help all of our students have the best experience possible. Learn tips for addressing accessibility in online courses or incorporated principles of universal design for learning.

Active and Engaged Learning Online (Panel 2)
Room 406
Research on online learning shows that students must be actively engaged in the learning process, such as through reflection, collaboration, or inquiry. Hear from your colleagues as they share how they incorporate active or experiential learning techniques in their online courses.

Assessment of Learning Online
Room 506
Online courses can include a wide array of assessment types and strategies. Learn more about the assessment methods your colleagues use to assess student learning and provide feedback on their progress, such as grading techniques, feedback strategies, or testing technologies.

3:00 p.m. Wrap-up

Registration Information

The sympsium is open to NIU faculty, instructors, SPS and Civil Service staff, and doctoral students. Due to the expensive nature of the symposium and the advance notice needed for arranging food and materials, please register by the deadline and let us know if you will attend lunch. Advance registration is required.

Registration Deadline: Friday, May 25, 2018. Online registration is full. If you wish to register, please call 815-753-0595 to be added to the waiting list.

After you register, if you are unable to attend, please cancel your registration by Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at facdev.niu.edu/myprograms.

Steering Committee

  • Maryann Abendroth, School of Nursing
  • Walker Ashley, Department of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Fatih Demir, Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment
  • Claire Duvall, Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment
  • Shanthi Muthuswamy, Department of Engineering Technology
  • Isti Sanga, Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment
  • Ursula Sullivan, Department of Marketing