Best of the Summit Webinars

Best of the Summit Webinar Series

The Minnesota Learning Commons presents the "Best of the Summit" webinar series from 2:00−3:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, 2017.

Gentle Project Management: Shepherding Pedagogical Change
Sara Schoen & Annette McNamara, University of Minnesota 

Does it ever feel like your project management experience gets thrown out the door when working in higher education? As instructional designers, project managers, and/or academic technologists, we have to be flexible in keeping projects on-track; we also have to be sensitive and realize that asking instructors to consider changing how they traditionally teach can present them an overwhelming prospect. On paper, project management, change management, and instructional design may look like fairly straightforward processes: project management manages the tasks necessary to complete a project. Change management guides the people as they prepare for change, manage change, and reinforce change. Instructional design manages the design and development of an educational experience. In real life, however, these processes are never quite so straightforward. Additionally, we work in the higher ed environment which offers us unique challenges and opportunities for managing the tasks and people in our projects. By integrating traditional change management, project management, and instructional design models, we can adapt strategies to our academic environment. We will focus on concrete strategies to support both the tasks and the people.


Sara Schoen is an Instructional Designer at the University of Minnesota. She works with faculty and staff to develop, design, and transfer course content to online environments in ways that will be most effective for student learning. She is also interested in supporting the professional development of online instructors so that they can support their online students. Sara holds a master's degree in Multicultural College Teaching and Learning with a focus on supporting online learning. She also likes tea, playing sports, and reading.

Annette McNamara is an Instructional Designer for the University of Minnesota's Academic Technology Support Services (ATSS). As an instructional designer, she enjoys collaborating on the integration of academic technology into the design and development of effective, efficient teaching and learning experiences. Her professional interests include learning that is authentic and related to real life, making connections to create lifelong learning networks, the narrative arc of learning design, and using technology for increased efficiency in teaching and learning. She holds a master's degree in education: her research focused on the benefits and challenges of parental involvement in a secondary charter school.

Webinar Details

Date: Thursday, May 4, 2017 
Time: 2:00 p.m., Central Standard Time (Chicago, GMT -06:00) 
Session number: 803 978 258 
Session password: MNLC@2017

Teleconference Information

To receive a callback, provide your phone number when you join the training session. Alternatively, you can call one of the following numbers and enter the access code: 
Call-in toll-free number:1-(888) 742-5095 (US) 
Call-in number:1-(619) 377-3319 (US) 
Conference Code: 297 345 8873

WebEx Windows 10 Compatibility Issue - Participants with the Windows 10 operating system will need to use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as an alternate web browser and adjust the compatibility mode of the alternate browser to Windows 7. Note: This issue applies to Windows 10 only. If you have Windows 10 as your operating system complete these steps to enable viewing of this webinar: 1) Use either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as your browser. 2) Complete the following steps prior to connecting to the WebEx webinar. a) Go to the start menu. b) Select “All Programs” and find the browser in the program list. c) Right mouse click on the browser. From the box that pops up select “Properties”. d) From the Properties box select the “Compatibility” tab. e) On the Compatibility tab select the box “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” f) From the drop down box under the check box select “Windows 7”. g) At the bottom of the Properties box select “Apply” and then “OK”. h) Connect to the WebEx webinar.

Past Webinars

April 6, 2017

Creation & Adoption of OER: A Sustainable Statewide Model
Jon Fila, Intermediate District 287 

The MN Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum is a grassroots initiative of over 200 districts developing courses for all core content areas.

In 2013, Minnesota’s new Social Studies standards were approved. Districts needed all new curriculum for a 6th grade MN Studies course; a few of them opted to develop one themselves and the MN Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum was born. There is a sustainable model in place that will allow us to move beyond the initial scope of this project and start developing electives and forming additional partnerships.

The MPCC is a model for districts and other organizations to collaborate on the creation and adoption of OER as well as professional development and teacher support.


Jon Fila is a Curriculum Coordinator; Innovation Coach; Teacher & Moodle Strategist at Intermediate District 287. He presents around the country on the topics of digital delivery, using Open Educational Resources and Curriculum Development. He is also a content writer and curator for the MN Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum.

March 2, 2017

Online Learner Discussion Self-Grading: Sharing of an Innovative Teaching-Learning Strategy
Nancyruth Leibold, Southwest Minnesota State University & Laura Schwarz, Minnesota State University, Mankato

The goals of this presentation are to share the whats, whys, hows, and successes of online discussion self-grading. The presenters have successfully implemented discussion self-grading. We will provide a step-by-step how-to for execution of online discussion self-grading through employment of a well-crafted rubric in conjunction with the learning management system quizzing tool. We will discuss how we have shared our discoveries and successes of this innovation with others who have in turn gone on to implement it with positive results. Finally, we will share empirical findings from a first-of-its-kind study on learner perceptions supportive of this innovation as further support. Study findings indicate 1) the rubric and self-grading quiz are clear, fair, and easy to apply, 2) learners are honest and use reflection in critical self-assessment of discussion performance, and 3) the rubric and process motivate and assist learners in improving their discussion performance.


Dr. Nancyruth Leibold is an experienced educator with a passion for online teaching/learning in higher education.  She has a special focus on online teaching strategies and instructional technology.  Dr. Leibold teaches in the Department of Nursing at Southwest Minnesota State University

Dr. Laura Schwarz is an associate professor at MSU, Mankato.  She has been a Registered Nurse for over 25 years and has taught in higher education for over 20 years. Dr. Schwarz is passionate about teaching online and use of innovative technology, and has conducted research in these areas.

February 2, 2017

Exploring the Flipped Side: Inside and Out the Flipped Classroom
Caroline Hilk, Kate Borowske, Gina Erickson, & Nicole Nelson, Hamline University

In this session, educational innovators will share experiences from a Flipped Faculty Institute. Participants in this highly interactive session will identify activities to support active learning inside the classroom, explore tools and multimodal resources to facilitate engagement outside the classroom, and discuss how this model of faculty development could be implemented at your institution. Hamline’s collaborative model of instructional support will highlight the benefits and considerations of sharing expertise and resources. You will hear from a librarian, an academic technologist, an instructional consultant, and a faculty member about how this model leveraged limited resources and can enhance innovation in teaching and learning.


Caroline Hilk serves as the director and faculty development coordinator in the Center for Teaching and Learning at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In this capacity she consults with faculty on innovative instructional approaches, learning outcomes assessment, and online course design, and oversees university-wide faculty development programming. Dr. Hilk has taught many online and face-to-face courses, including educational and cognitive psychology, human relations, and a first-year seminar on creativity and innovation. She received her BA from Saint Olaf College and her MA and PhD from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Her research interests include effective approaches to team-based learning, development of social presence in online learning environments, and rubric-based measurement of student learning outcomes.

Kate Borowske is the Instructional Design and Marketing Librarian for the Hamline University library, where she works with faculty and students to explore sources that inform and inspire their research and creative work.

Gina Erickson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science at Hamline University. She teaches quantitative methods, criminological theory, and advises student internships in the capstone course. Gina teaches traditional and hybrid courses and enjoys experimenting with new technologies and teaching tools in class and online. Her teaching goals surround critical thinking and application, and helping students transform from learners to practitioners by using data and knowledge to create a more just society. Gina holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, an MA from the University of Iowa, and a BA from Luther College.

Nicole Nelson is an Academic Technology Consultant at Hamline University. She works primarily with faculty to explore ways of utilizing technology in all classroom environments. She also promotes the advancement of learning through the use of emerging technologies. While her focus is on training, her goal is to help faculty and staff understand the “why” of using technology as well as the “how”. Nicole holds a BFA in Art/Graphic Design from Minnesota State Mankato and a MEd. in Technology Education from the University of Minnesota. Prior to working at Hamline, Nicole developed curriculum, conducted technology workshops and taught higher-ed residential, hybrid, and online courses.

January 5, 2017

Engaged Brains: Strategies for Mastering Learner Engagement
Tracy King, InspirEd

In an age of constant distraction, how do we rein in student focus? Neuroscience offers insights into what it takes to create an optimal learning environment. It all starts with learner engagement. In this session we’ll explore the neurobiological underpinnings of attention and address five key strategies you can immediately apply in your eLearning course design.


As Chief Learning Strategist & Founder of InspirEd, Tracy leverages her more than 16 years in the education industry for organizations interested in increasing their relevance and revenue with meaningful live, online, and mobile adult learning programs. Tracy specializes in the intersection of learning science and technology. She's a thought leader in education strategy and learning design. In addition, Tracy offers training to instructional design teams, university faculty, and at conferences to promote leading-edge practices developing learning experiences that make a measurable difference.

December 1, 2016

What Does Recent Pedagogical Research Tell Us About eLearning Good Practice?
Christina Petersen, University of Minnesota

Many instructors indicate that they want their elearning teaching approaches to be evidence-based. Indeed, there are rich and varied sources of research being conducted on elearning good practices available in scholarly journals and government reports. However, few of us have time to keep up with these publications. In this session I will do some of that work for you. I’ll summarize findings from recent government and university reports which review over 1,000 online learning studies. I will also summarize the findings from newly published articles from pedagogical journals with important information about good practices in online education. These practices address evidence-based methods for promoting student engagement in online courses, good practices for video production, and other topics related to online teaching. We will discuss the importance of all of these findings for your teaching.


Christina Petersen is an Education Program Specialist in the Center for Educational Innovation at the University of Minnesota where she partners with faculty and departments to help create and redesign courses and curriculum to promote maximal student learning. She facilitates a monthly Pedagogical Innovations Journal Club at the CEI. She has a PhD in Pharmacology and her teaching experience includes undergraduate courses in Pharmacology and graduate courses in Higher Education pedagogy. Her teaching interests include integrating active learning into science courses, teaching in active learning classrooms, and evidence-based teaching practice. She is co-author of a soon-to-be-released book from Stylus, A Guide to Teaching in Active Learning Classrooms.

November 3, 2016

Making Accessibility Accessible: Engaging Instructors Empathetically
Cynthia Sarver, University of St. Thomas

The problem with most digital accessibility training lies in the approach: it tends to be presented as a list of instructions for properly formatting headers, images, and other document features rather than as a strategy for including disabled students in the classroom. This subtle difference between the traditional process-centered training framework and the more human-centered one that is the focus of this presentation can make all the difference in trainees' ability to retain and transfer their learning. What’s more, framing digital accessibility with what I call “scaffolded empathy”—a series of increasingly focused opportunities for considering the perspective of the disabled—has the potential to permanently diversify instructors' images of the students for whom they design their courses.


Cynthia Sarver, MET, PhD, is an Instructional Designer and Accessibility Specialist in the University of St. Thomas's Center for Faculty Development. Before UST, she worked as an instructional designer at Syracuse University and a teacher educator at SUNY Cortland, where she spent nearly a decade instructing pre- and in-service teachers in the use of educational technology, project-based learning, and related learning theory. She is deeply committed to supporting all students by promoting inclusive and quality constructivist pedagogy that often involves technology.

October 6, 2016

They Aren’t Wrong, We Are: Designing Online Courses for How Students Actually Use Them
Ellyn Buchanan, Sara Hurley, and Audra Kerlin, University of Minnesota

As instructional designers and academic technologists, we devote our time to working with faculty and content experts to meticulously design and develop online courses. The student voice, however, is all but absent in this process. We make broad assumptions about who our students are and how they will interact with the environments we design. We create these courses for them, and if they aren’t using them the way we expect, they aren’t doing it wrong: we are. After undergoing usability testing of multiple online course designs, the Office of E-Learning Services, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, gained a better understanding of how students think and operate in our online courses. As a result of this testing, we have implemented numerous changes to our design process, the most important of which is a commitment to building relationships with our students.


Ellyn Buchanan, PhD, is the Learning Technologist with the Office of E-Learning Services, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota. Her interests include design and aesthetics in online education and technology integration. She created and currently manages the Student Advisory Board for Online Learning in the School of Public Health.

Sara Hurley, MFA, PhD, is the director of the Office of E-Learning Services at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. She is a relentless advocate for putting student experience first and using technology to create better learning experiences.

Audra Kerlin is a multimedia project coordinator with the Office of E-Learning Services at the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health. She supervises undergraduate student workers and manages the production of multimedia projects. Her background is in Library and Information Science and she is passionate about digital literacy and user experience design.