2017-2018 ANNUAL REPORT
Effective Practice Award
Teaching with Technology
History of the Center
Message from the Executive Director
— NIU GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANT
Overview of the Center
"I am thankful to you and other staff for providing high-quality training and creating a positive environment for professional development"
The center began offering Teaching Effectiveness Institutes in 1999, developed and distributed a comprehensive instructional guide, developed newsletters for faculty and academic supportive staff, and established a four-station Collaboratory and four-station Digital Multimedia Studio for faculty to experiment with instructional technologies.
Due to increased number of services and programs offered, three more staff were added to meet operational needs.
Faculty development office that existed since 1980's was reorganized & renamed in August 1998
In 2003 teaching assistant training and development responsibilities were transferred to the center and the first Teaching Assistant Institute was offered. In spring 2004 the center offered the first Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards.
In April 2005 the center allocated permanent office space on the third floor of Adams Hall. The center was asked to take on support and training for emerging instructional technologies, such as clickers, smart boards, and other online teaching tools. In 2014, the center began offering additional support for online teaching.
Beyond the normal support and services, in July, 2018, the center transformed into a one-stop-shop for all teaching and learning support. With the addition of staff formerly with eLearning Services, the center increased it's capacity to support teaching and online education development, including instructional design, online course development, graphic design and multimedia production.
In 2001, the center began providing training and support to faculty on the Blackboard web course management system and added one staff position to handle the increasing demand for such training and support requests at NIU.
The center’s programs, resources, and services continue to grow with the support of the Office of the Provost, the guidance of the Faculty Development Advisory Committee, and the participation of enthusiastic faculty, supportive professional staff, and graduate teaching assistants.
In this annual report, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center's programs, activities, and services for faculty, supportive professional staff, and graduate teaching assistants during 2017-2018 are summarized.
During the past year, the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center contributed to the university's mission ...to promote excellence and engagement in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creativity and artistry, and outreach and service by collaborating with various academic and support units to meet
Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center was established in 1998 with a director, two staff, and secretary, temporarily housed in Gilbert Hall. The new center was charged with providing comprehensive support on teaching effectiveness and technology integration to faculty and academic supportive professional staff.
the ongoing and emerging needs of NIU faculty, academic supportive professional staff, administrators, and graduate teaching assistants in their teaching, technology integration, professional development, and related needs. This marked the nineteenth full academic year of operation for the center since we were established in August 1998.
We could not have accomplished our goals during the last year without the help and support of the various campus units, administrators, faculty, supportive professional staff, civil service staff, and graduate teaching assistants. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the NIU community for its continued support of faculty development activities. We are especially grateful to the Executive Vice President and Provost, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, and the Provost's staff for their support of the center's activities and for the advice and support of the members of the Faculty Development Advisory Committee.
Thank you for taking the time to read more about the many programs, resources, and services offered by the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center during the 2017-2018 academic year. If my staff or I can ever be of further assistance, please reach out to us.
Advancing NIU's TEACHING Mission
promoting excellence in teaching and learning, supporting faculty career success since 1998
Service empowers innovative teaching
Adaptability is key to student-centered learning
Appropriate use of instructional technology is fundamental to best- practice teaching
Accessibility is a civil right
Professional development stimulates excellence
Sharing and disseminating knowledge is a responsibility in education
Data-driven decisions improve learning
Responding to needs should be timely and accurate
Offered 153 programs for more than 1,974 participants, totaling 7,920 hours of professional development
Conducted 1,620 consultations to 622 unique faculty, instructors, staff, and graduate teaching assistants from 104 academic support units
...to support faculty, academic supportive professional staff, and graduate teaching assistants through a variety of programs, resources, and services in fulfilling Northern Illinois University's mission on teaching and scholarly activities.
The center's primary offerings include monthly workshops, full-day institutes, custom resources and tutorials on teaching and teaching with technology, individual consultations, classroom observations, institute for teaching assistants, mentorship opportunities for new faculty, scholarly writing circles, and referral service to campus resources. The center recognizes participants through Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards, Graduate Teaching Certificates, and Certificate of Participation.
why we exist
Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center advances NIU's mission to promote excellence in teaching and learning by supporting all aspects of teaching for faculty, instructors, staff, and graduate teaching assistants. The center offers programs, resources, and services to promote teaching effectiveness, facilitate the use of instructional technologies in teaching, and support research and scholarly activities.
what we believe
what we strive for
The major functions of the center are to:
» provide opportunities
for effective teaching
» promote research and
» facilitate the use of
technologies in teaching
» provide professional
» serve as a referral
service and resource
The center envisions an enriched academic environment at Northern Illinois University that facilitates and promotes effective teaching, supports professional development, stimulates research and scholarly activities, and encourages the integration of instructional technologies.
"Thanks for the great ideas today and these resources. I love the support and education that I always get from your department"
- NIU Faculty Member
activities we engage in
Conducted over 1,620 consultations with 622 unique faculty, instructors, staff, and graduate teaching assistants from 104 academic and support units
The following provides a summary of the programs, resources, and services offered by the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center during the 2017-2018 academic year. Center staff collaborate with various academic and support units to meet the ongoing and evolving needs of NIU faculty, academic supportive professional staff, and graduate teaching assistants.
Served on 20 committees, councils, and organizations within NIU and the broader Faculty Development Community
Offered 153 programs on teaching and integrating technology for 1,974 participants, for a total of nearly 7,920 hours of professional development
Recognized 4 recipients of the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, issued 21 Graduate Teaching Certificates, and was honored with 5 individual and department recognitions
153 formally scheduled programs for 1,974 faculty, academic staff, and Teaching assistants
Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center promotes effective teaching through the following activities and services:
» Arranging and conducting workshops, seminars,
institutes, and related programs on teaching
» Providing instructional design consultations
» Offering workshops on integrating technology into
» Offering teaching-related consultations and
» Promoting multicultural and international education
» Providing access to resources on teaching
During 2017-2018, center staff offered teaching effectiveness programs of varying durations on a number of topics of interest to faculty, academic supportive professional staff, and graduate teaching assistants. Center staff offered workshops and invited a nationally recognized presenter to offer a one-day workshop on an advanced pedagogical topic.
» Team-Based Learning: A Transformative Strategy for Your Courses by David J. Matthes (Minnesota State University)
As in previous years, center staff offered Teaching Effectiveness Institutes at the beginning of fall and spring semesters for faculty and teaching staff during 2017-2018.
The Spring 2018 Teaching Effectiveness Institute consisted of a full-day workshop on an advanced topic of interest. Faculty participation in Teaching Effectiveness Institute during 2017-2018 remained comparable to previous years. Attendance for the institutes reflects faculty members' continued interest in teaching effectiveness and the center's effort in offering programs that meet their needs and interests.
» Spring 2018 Teaching Effectiveness Institute -
Universal Design for Learning: Beyond Accessibility (am) and Three Paths to Academic Integrity across Campus (pm) by Thomas Tobin on January 11, 2018
TEACHING EFFECTIVENESS PROGRAMS
Center staff offered 153 formally-scheduled programs between August 16, 2017 and August 15, 2018. The total attendance for these programs was 1,974 and the total number of hours the attendees spent for these programs was 7920 hours. These numbers include one-time and repeat participation by faculty, instructors, administrators, supportive professional staff, graduate teaching assistants, and guests.
The charts show programs by type, program participation by classification, and program participation by college. The participation figures are not normalized for the actual number of personnel in each college.
"Wonderful! Thank you for bringing this terrific speaker to tell us how to transform our classes"
- Teaching Effectiveness Institute Participant
"I learned ways to energize the classroom to impact knowledge."
- Teaching Effectiveness Institute Participant
workshops, seminars, institutes, and related programs on teaching effectiveness
"I learned how to stop cheating before it starts"
- Teaching Effectiveness Institute Participant
44 teaching effectiveness programs offered for 933 attendees, totaling 4,435.5 contact hours
Center staff offered 44 Teaching Effectiveness programs between August 16, 2017 and August 15, 2018. The total attendance for these programs was 933 and the total number of hours the attendees spent for these programs was 4,435.5. These numbers include one-time and repeat participation by faculty, instructors, administrators, supportive professional staff, graduate teaching assistants, and guests.
Participation in the center’s programs is completely voluntary. The continued participation of faculty, teaching staff, academic administrators, and graduate teaching assistants in the programs is a testament to their commitment to effective teaching practice and sustained interest in professional development programs on teaching effectiveness, technology integration, and related areas. The following list contains a sample of teaching effectiveness programs offered during 2017-2018:
Teaching Assistant Institute
"I did like the question and answer session at the end of the first half. It helped a lot and provided information which was useful to me. I'm thankful to the organizers and the presenters for conducting this fruitful event."
- Teaching Assistant Institute Participant
Tips to Engage Critical Thinkers & Writers Transform Your Course Now!
Series by Brad Peters (english)
annual opportunity to network and learn more about available teaching and support services
Since fall 2003, center staff have been offering the day-long Teaching Assistant (TA) Institute at the beginning of the fall semester. These institutes are attended by graduate teaching assistants, research assistants, and staff assistants at NIU. The center coordinates this event with not only the Graduate School, but many other departments and support units to provide a valuable experience for new graduate teaching assistants.
TA Institute provides an opportunity for new and returning teaching assistants (TAs) to learn more about teaching and supporting students while networking with their fellow TAs. Participation is voluntary for TAs from a majority of academic units, but some academic units require their TAs to participate in the institute.
Over 225 TAs and presenters gathered for a full day of learning and preparing for their role as teaching assistants. Fall 2017 TA Institute consisted of a morning general session followed by afternoon breakout sessions on a wide range of teaching-related topics, including:
» Teaching with Technology
» Providing Teaching-Related Support
» Teaching Strategies for Engaging Students
» Managing Your Time
» Presenting/Communicating Effectively
» Using Grading
Teaching Effectiveness Programs offered during 2017-2018
» Fall 2017 Teaching Effectiveness Institute - Fundamental Principles of Instruction, offered on August 17, 2017
» Fall 2017 Teaching Effectiveness Institute- Team-Based Learning: A Transformative Strategy for Your Courses, offered by David Matthes (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) on August 18, 2017
» Spring 2018 Teaching Effectiveness Institute - Universal Design for Learning: Beyond Accessibility and Threee Paths to Academic Integrity, offered by Thomas Tobin (State College Pennsylvania) on Janury 11, 2018
» Board of Trustees Professor Seminar: Laura Vazquez (Communication) offered on September 28, 2017
» Board of Trustees Professor Seminar: David Hedin
(Physics) offered on April 5, 2018
» Presidential Teaching Professor Seminar: Murali Krishnamurthi (Industrial and Systems Engineering)
offered on November 2, 2017
» Presidential Teaching Professor Seminar: Jim Young (Accountancy) offered on February 12, 2018
» Engaged Learning: Teaching and Scholarship Conference, offered on March 6, 2018
» Special Workshop: Connecting Knowledge Organization Structures and Learning for Chemistry for GA's, offered on October 6, 2017
» Special Workshop: Using Advance Organizers to Help Students Construct Meaning for Chemistry GA's, offered on November 17, 2017
» Tips to Engage Critical Thinkers & Writers - Transform Your Course Now! Lighten the Paper Work Load
» Tips to Engage Critical Thinkers & Writers - Transform Your Course Now! Design Short Writing Assignments that Work
» Tips to Engage Critical Thinkers & Writers - Transform Your Course Now! Help Students Avoid Plagiarism
» Tips to Engage Critical Thinkers & Writers - Transform Your Course Now! Respond Effectively to Students' Written Assignments
75 TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION programs offered for 468 attendees, totaling 777 contact hours
Center staff promote technology integration into teaching, courses, and curricula by:
» Offering workshops, seminars, institutes, and related
programs on integrating a wide spectrum of
technologies into teaching
» Providing a laboratory environment for faculty to
experiment with instructional technologies
» Serving as the initial point of contact for faculty
teaching online credit courses
» Offering training programs on web course
management software and online pedagogy
» Making available resources on instructional
technologies and related topics
» Collaborating with other units to provide support for
faculty on integrating instructional technologies
The center considers technology integration as part of teaching effectiveness and not independent of teaching. Hence, technology integration programs offered by center staff focus on both pedagogy and technology skills and range from the integration of basic instructional technologies to advanced multimedia technologies.
» Alternative Textbook Resources (offered 2 times)
» Building Classroom Games and Simulations (offered 2 times)
» Classroom Assessment Techniques to Jumpstart the Semester
» Connecting Knowledge Organization Structures and Learning
» Designing a Course Syllabus (offered 2 times)
» Designing Effective Assessments
» Designing or Revising a Course (offered 2 times)
» Dynamic Classroom Discussions
» Ending Your Course with Your Students
» Formative and Summative Feedback for Teaching and
» Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction
» Problem-Based Learning
» Reflecting on Your Teaching and Professional
» Rubrics for Meaningful Assessment and Evaluation
(offered 2 times)
» Strategies to End the Semester with Your Students
» Teaching with Revised Bloom's Taxonomy
» Using Advance Organizers to Help Students Construct Meaning
» Ways to Group and Partner Students
» Writing Goals and Objectives (offered 2 times)
"Thank you for the workshop today. Your sessions always seem to strike a great balance with a clear overview of the basics, but also some new and innovative ideas that can be brought in the classroom. I appreciate the information."
- Faculty Feedback
technology integration programs
Regularly scheduled teaching effectiveness workshops offered by center staff included:
"I learned ways to energize my teaching to improve connections with my students"
- Teaching Effectiveness Institute Participant
Teaching Effectiveness workshops
During 2017-2018 center staff offered technology integration programs of varying durations on a number of topics of interest to faculty, academic supportive professional staff, and graduate teaching assistants. The following list contains a sample of technology integration programs offered during 2017-2018:
» **NEW** Creating Instructional Videos with Your
» Designing and Delivering Effective PowerPoint
» Expanding Your Reach: Captioning for Self-Created
» Getting Started with Adobe Presenter (offered 3
» **ONLINE** Multimedia Sampler
» **NEW** Recording Lectures with Microsoft
PowerPoint (offered 3 times)
» Screencasting to Facilitate Learning Opportunities
» Trello: Project Management for the Classroom
» TurningPoint Clicker for New Users
» Turning Technologies Clickers: Introduction to
» Turning Technologies Clickers: Q&A Session
» **ONLINE** TurningPoint Q&A for Advanced Users
» **NEW** Using Office 365 Groups to Enhance Student
» Using PowerPoint to Engage and Motivate Students
workshops, seminars, institutes, and related programs on integrating technology in teaching
technology integration Programs offered during 2017-2018
During 2017-2018, center staff offered programs of varying durations on a number of topics of interest to faculty, academic supportive professional staff, and graduate teaching assistants on teaching with Blackboard. Center staff offered the following Blackboard programs during 2017-2018:
» Blackboard I: Introduction to Blackboard (offered 13
» Blackboard II: Building Your Blackboard Course
(offered 10 times)
» Blackboard Open Lab (offered 8 times)
» Blackboard Open Lab Calculating Final Grades
(offered 2 times)
» Calculating Final Grades with the Blackboard Grade
Center (offered 2 times)
» **ONLINE** Characteristics of Effective Discussion
» **ONLINE** Designing Effective Assessments
» Electronic Portfolios: Using the Blackboard Portfolio
Tool (offered 2 times)
» Facilitating Small Group Discussion Online Using
Blackboard Collaborate Breakout Groups
» **NEW - ONLINE** Hidden Gems of Blackboard:
Things You Never Knew Blackboard Could Do!
» Interactive Rubrics: Providing Consistent and Quality
Feedback in Blackboard Courses (offered 2 times)
» Managing Student Grades with the Blackboard Grade
Center (offered 2 times)
» Paperless Assessment of Student Performance with
» Supporting Student Success with the Blackboard
» **ONLINE** Tips for Communicating Effectively
» **ONLINE** Tracking Student Learning Outcomes in
Blackboard (offered 3 time)
» **NEW - ONLINE** What's New in Blackboard
(offered 2 times)
workshops, seminars, institutes, and related programs on online teaching and course design
In 2014, NIU adopted Quality Matters' nationally recognized standards for quality online courses, with the guidance and approval of the Provost. Since that time, center staff have become QM certified trainers and offer the Quality Matters, "Applying the Quality Matters Rubric" eight-hour workshop, as well as numerous other programs throughout the year for faculty designing online courses.
During 2017-2018, the center offered 30 programs focused on online teaching for 461 participants, totaling 2,413 hours of professional development devoted to learning more about online teaching. These numbers include one-time and repeat participation by faculty, instructors, administrators, supportive professional staff, operating staff, and graduate teaching assistants.
During 2017-2018, center staff developed and delivered new workshops for faculty on online course design while continuing to promote online teaching by:
» Offering workshops, seminars, institutes, and related
programs on online teaching and course design
» Administering Online Teaching Readiness
self-assessments and providing personalized
frameworks for growth and development for online
» Offering online teaching consultations, topics include:
redesigning for an online course, adapting teaching
presence, incorporating innovative approaches, and
exploring best use of technologies
» Serving as the initial point of contact for faculty
teaching online credit courses
» Offering training programs on adopting
evidence-based quality online programs and online
teaching pedagogy, including Quality Online Course
Series (QOCS) and Quality Online Teaching Series
» Making available resources on best practices in
quality online course design and strategic approaches
to online teaching
» Collaborating with other units to provide support for
online course and program design and teaching
While the center staff have been offering programs and consultations on online teaching for many years, the institutional focus on online quality required a significant increase in these offerings, which the center undertook with no additional budget, resources, or staffing. To absorb the additional support for online quality, existing center staff, already stretched thin, have taken on the significant increased workload with no additional pay.
Online teaching programs offered by center staff during 2017-2018 included:
» Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (offered 4 times)
» Online Course Design Academy
» Online Teaching Office Hours (offered 2 times)
» Online Teaching Symposium
» **Special Workshop** Developing a Quality Online
Course for Department of Marketing
» QOCS: Ensuring Quality in Your Online Course
» QOCS: Course Activities & Student Engagement
» QOCS: Course Content & Instructional Materials
» QOCS: Getting Students Started (offered 2 times)
» QOCS: Learning Objectives & Assessments
» QOCS: Accessibility, Usability & Student Support
» QOCS: Promoting Learning with Technology
» QOTS: Best Practices for Delivering an Online
Course (offered 3 times)
» QOTS: Feedback Strategies for Your Online Course
(offered 2 times)
» QOTS: Humanizing Your Online Course
» QOTS: Managing the Online Teaching workload
(offered 2 times)
» QOTS: Tips for Successful Virtual Class Sessions
» QOTS: Tips for Teaching Online with Blackboard
"I learned that online teaching has a learning curve. I'm still learning and that is okay. Many good ideas for improving how I use discussion boards."
- Online Teaching Program Participant
workshops and related programs on teaching with blackboard requested by individual units
Center staff offer special Blackboard web course management system programs when requested by individual departments or colleges. The following special Blackboard programs were offered in 2017-2018:
» Assessing Student Learning with Blackboard
ePortfolios for CEDU
workshops and related programs on teaching with blackboard web course management system
special blackboard programs
Online teaching PROGRAMS
Online Teaching and Learning in Higher education with Visitors from Tianjin University
"I love your programs. They have helped me become a better instructor. My students have frequently come to me and said that they are learning effectively and enjoy the classroom."
- Faculty Feedback
"Your talk was important to understand the full picture. I learned a great deal meeting with you and your staff. You have a professional team there."
- Member of Beijing Delegation
teaching with technology
Staff from the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center met with six faculty members and administrators from the Tianjin University in Beijing, China to discuss online teaching and learning. Some of the topics included: online program decisions, online teaching skills and time commitments, and design models.
To reinforce the concepts, the staff demonstrated sample works of closed-captioned presentations, audio-enhanced lectures, and methods for creating a welcoming and interactive course. The Chinese delegation also received resources on development timelines, support models and quality assurance guidelines.
The delegation included faculty and administrators from multiple colleges; and, they were interested in a broad spectrum of the organization support necessary to fully support online teaching and learning initiatives.
The center is grateful to have the opportunity to engage in conversations with other higher education professionals on a variety of teaching and teaching with technology topics.
Online teaching PROGRAMS Continued
supporting instructional technology Integration in Teaching at NIU
During 2017-2018, center staff developed and delivered new workshops while continuing to offer workshops on popular technologies for assisting faculty with teaching and learning. These workshops covered a variety of topics, including advanced features of Blackboard and the following technologies:
» Project Management
» Multimedia Tools
» Online Collaboration
» Social Networking
» Mobile Technologies
» Personal Response Systems
» Project Management
for the Classroom
» Desktop Publishing
» Reference Resource Management
» Using Office 365 Groups» Mobile Technologies
Percentage of Course Sections
Special thanks to the Online Teaching Symposium steering committee members: 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 and Ursula Sullivan, Department of Marketing.
Number of Faculty
with Keynote speaker Michelle Pacansky-Brock
"I continued to gain confidence. I attended a great session on engagement, that I found very helpful with ideas from those who had been there."
- Online Teaching Symposium Participant
Online Teaching Symposium
BLACKBOARD LEARN UPGRADE
Blackboard Usage Figures for Teaching Credit Courses 2017-2018
Percentage of Students
Percentage of Faculty
The inaugural Online Teaching Symposium was held on June 1, 2018. Online education continues to grow at NIU, and is a critical element in achieving university goals as well as enhancing recruitment and retention efforts. Despite this new focus on online education, it is not a new instructional modality for NIU. NIU faculty and staff have been innovating with online courses and degrees for over 20 years.
The Online Teaching Symposium was an opportunity to showcase the achievements of outstanding faculty and instructors at NIU who teach online.
Recognized leader in higher education Michelle Pacansky-Brock, Ed.D., keynoted the Online Teaching Symposium. Sixty-eight participants attended the day-long event, which included 9 different panel sessions. Twenty-three panelists from across campus shared their online teaching experience with the symposium participants.
Along with the keynote and panel sessions, Jason Rhode, Executive Director for Extended Learning and Chief Online Learning Officer, provided a plenary address on the state of online learning at NIU.
Panel Topics included
Active and Engaged Learning Online (2 Panels)
Alternatives to Textbooks
Teaching Online STEM Courses
Communication and Collaboration Online
Instructional Materials and Content Online
Working with an Instructional Designer
Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning Online
Assessment of Learning Online
In May, NIU's instance of Blackboard Learn was updated to the latest version and was migrated from NIU's data center to the Blackboard's cloud-hosted service. The move reduced costs to the university and provided benefits typically associated with a more modern cloud architecture, such as zero or minimal downtime for updates, and easy scalability during periods of high usage.
web course management system used by NIU faculty and teaching staff
"Thanks for your continued expert and kind help. I hope NIU realizes the gem they have."
- Faculty Feedback
NIU's course management system, Blackboard, continues to be a mission-critical system used by faculty in their teaching efforts. The system allows faculty to post materials, deliver tests, hold online discussions, and manage many other course-related functions. All teaching faculty and enrolled students have access to Blackboard.
Use of the system has steadily increased during the past sixteen years. From spring 2002 to summer 2013, the use of Blackboard for teaching credit courses more than quadrupled at NIU.
During fall 2017, 97.0% of students and 88.9% of all those who teach used Blackboard for 72.80% of all course sections offered at NIU. On the average, students used Blackboard for 4.51 courses during fall 2017.
The increase in use of Blackboard would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of the Division of Information Technology working closely with center staff for administering and supporting Blackboard, training faculty and graduate teaching assistants on Blackboard by center staff, the support of technical staff from various academic departments, and the enthusiasm of faculty and students at NIU for using online technologies for teaching and learning.
jason rhode, Executive director of extended learning and chief Online Officer, accepts award at OLC Accelerate Conference
Center staff provided professional development opportunities to faculty and supportive professional staff through the following activities and services during 2017-2018:
» Arranging mentors for new faculty who request such
» Offering professional development opportunities to
» Serving as a referral resource to faculty for their
» Assisting the Office of the Provost in hosting the New
» Conveying faculty needs to the Provost’s Office and
fostering faculty development
» Providing limited funding for faculty to attend
outside professional development programs
During 2017-2018, center staff coordinated and arranged a number of development programs for faculty, staff, and administrators. The professional development programs offered during 2017-2018 include:
» Fall 2017 New Faculty Forum
» Online Learning Consortium Accelerate 2017 Virtual
» Preparing for Tenure and Promotion,
» Online Learning Consortium Innovate 2018 Virtual
The center offered professional development opportunities not available at NIU during 2017-2018, funding registration fee and travel expenses for the "Faculty Summer Institute" workshop on May 18-17, 2018 at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign for:
» Jie Chen (School of Nursing)
» Gibson Cima (School of Theatre and Dance)
» Richard Grund (School of Theatre and Dance)
» David Gunkel (Department of Communication)
» Matt Timko (College of Law Library)
effective practice award
providing professional development opportunities for faculty and Teaching staff
"Because of this . . . I was able to be confident that my online course was following best practices and what I planned was 'doable'."
- Self-Assessment Respondent
The NIU Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center was selected as a recipient of an Online Learning Consortium Effective Practice Award. The center's Designing Personalized Online Teaching Professional Development Through Self-Assessment practice was recognized for its focus on the OLC five pillars of quality in online education: access, learning effectiveness, faculty satisfaction, student satisfaction and scale.
The Effective Practice Awards were established in 2002 to encourage members to share techniques, strategies, and practices to help quality online education accessible and affordable for anyone, anywhere, at any time. Effective practice submissions are peer-reviewed by a selection committee of online education experts.
Jason Rhode, Executive Director of Extended Learning and Chief Online Learning Officer, said "We are proud of our work in supporting faculty who teach online and we felt now was the time to share our practice with the greater online community." Rhode accepted the award, on behalf of all the center staff, at the OLC Accelerate conference in November, 2017.
The center developed an Online Teaching Readiness Self-Assessment for faculty who are developing or teaching courses in new online programs. The self-assessment instrument provides an opportunity for faculty to reflect on their readiness to develop and teach online courses. "We recognized the NIU faculty have a broad range of experience with online teaching," said Stephanie Richter, Director of Faculty Development and Instructional Support. "A one-size-fits-all approach was not going to work." Following the completion of the self-assessment, a personalized framework is sent to each faculty member who completes the self-assessment, based on their individual results.
The personalized frameworks are customized to the individual and contain suggestions for professional development and resources that support the faculty in their development to deliver successful and engaging online courses. Richter said, "the personalized framework is just the start of a rich discussion with individual faculty about their development in online teaching.
The center has administered the self-assessment to over 140 faculty from four colleges at NIU. The response from faculty has been very positive.
offering graduate teaching assistant awards and certificates of distinguished participation
1,620 consultations with 622 unique faculty, teaching staff, and graduate teaching ASSISTANTS
Apart from offering programs and resources, center staff offer consultations on a range of issues for faculty, academic supportive professional staff, and graduate teaching assistants. A majority of the consultations were on teaching with technology issues, especially on the use of Blackboard web course management system for teaching purposes.
One of the center's primary services is to offer consultations to faculty, instructors, staff, and graduate teaching assistants about teaching practices and integrating technology into teaching. During the 2017-2018 academic year, center staff conducted a total of 1,620 consultations to 622 unique faculty, instructors, staff, and graduate teaching assistants from 104 academic and support units.
Many of the personalized consultations are one-on-one, with some offered to groups. Center staff can be reached for a consultation through phone, email, web-conferencing, or face-to-face. Meeting one-on-one for a consultation provides a unique opportunity to ask specific questions, explore new educational technologies, or to troubleshoot problems.
In addition to one-on-one consultations, center staff also offer confidential teaching observation and small group instructional diagnosis, which are included in these values. The charts summarize the consultations offered by college as well as by classification.
Note: The figures are not normalized based on the number of personnel in each classification or college
In spring 2004, center staff established the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award to recognize the contributions of graduate teaching assistants to the teaching mission of NIU. The award review subcommittee of the Faculty Development Advisory Committee reviewed the nominations for the awards and selected the following four recipients for 2018 (pictured above):
Yan Chen (Educational Technology, Research and Assessment
Nicole Dressler (History)
Zack Pesata (Communication)
Elyse Sawka (Art and Design)
Each recipient of the award was presented with a plaque and recognized at the Graduate Student Reception sponsored by the Graduate School on April 24, 2018.
Apart from the Outstanding TA awards, the center also awarded the Graduate Teaching Certificate to 21 graduate students from 14 academic departments for completing the certification requirements during 2017-2018.
The Graduate Teaching Certificate recognizes the participation of graduate teaching assistants (GA/RA/TAs) in the development programs offered by the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center. The certificate acknowledges these individuals' commitment to effective teaching and can enhance their academic credentials. To quality for this recognition, a graduate teaching assistant must have attended the full-day Teaching Assistant Institute or one other day-long teaching effectiveness program made available to teaching assistants and at least five programs of shorter duration offered by Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center. More information about the Graduate Teaching Assistant Certificate is available at go.niu.edu/tacert
The Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center is excited to announce that the Effective Writing Practices Tutorial has been reviewed and updated by the University Writing Center staff.
This tutorial was designed to help students review common mistakes in English grammar, organization and writing styles, following American Psychological Association (APA) and Modern Language Association (MLA) guidelines. It is intended for self-paced learning by students. While it is not meant as a comprehensive resource on writing practices, faculty can use it as an educational resource to supplement their classrooms on effective writing practices.
This tutorial was funded by the Committee for the Improvement of Undergraduate Education and the Faculty Development and instructional Design Center at Northern Illinois University. The tutorial is available at https//www.niu.edu/writingtutorial. Many thanks to the University Writing Center staff for their assistance with this project.
In addition to the Effective Writing Practices Tutorial, the center has also recently released or updated tutorials on Effective Presentation Skills and Academic Integrity.
The Effective Presentations Skills Tutorial prepares students to develop and deliver oral presentations. The tutorial is available at https://www.niu.edu/presentations
Faculty can use the Academic Integrity Tutorials as part of their classroom discussions on academic integrity and encourage students to review the content and complete the activities as part of a course activity. Students who complete the student tutorial successfully can print a certificate of completion which can by submitted as verification of their completion. The tutorials are available at https://www.niu.edu/academic-integrity
Special thanks to the staff of the Student Conduct office for reviewing the tutorials and to the staff of Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center.
Center staff developed or acquired and made available during 2017-2018 numerous resources on various topics of interest to faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants in fulfilling NIU’s mission on teaching and scholarly activities. These include the following:
» Blackboard documentation with 84 tutorials
» 8 Quick Tips for Effective Instruction
» Teaching and technology tips on Twitter and
» On-demand, archived online workshops
» Tutorials on academic integrity, responsible conduct
of research, effective presentation skills, effective writing practices, and teaching effectiveness totaling 16 tutorials
Apart from the previously mentioned resources, center staff maintained the following computing facilities during 2017-2018:
» A eleven-station Windows-based Collaboratory with
various general-purpose software, Sympodium
Interactive Pen Display, scanners, and a projection
system for workshops, for faculty to experiment with
a variety of instructional technologies.
» A five-station Multimedia Studio with scanners where
faculty can experiment with multimedia content and
develop instructional materials on their own.
The center’s Collaboratory and Digital Multimedia Studio were regularly used by individual and small groups of faculty and supportive professional staff for experimentation as well as developing materials during 2017-2018.
Center staff moderated the New Faculty Network, a virtual environment in which faculty new to NIU can share ideas and ask questions about teaching, learning, and university resources.
Center staff also posted information on other campus listservs and social media to disseminate information about center’s programs and periodically issue news releases through NIU Today and other media resources at NIU. Notices of programs and news items were also posted on Facebook and Twitter.
New and Revamped Tutorials on effective writing, presentations skills and academy integrity
Numerous resources on Teaching for faculty, teaching staff and graduate teaching assistants
During 2017-2018, the center published two newsletters with issues released in fall and spring. The newsletters are:
» Spectrum newsletter for faculty and supportive
» TA Connections newsletter for graduate teaching
In addition, the center staff also published articles in academic journals and books. The staff publications from 2017-2018 include:
Cowan, J., Richter, S., Miller, T. , Rhode, J., Click, A., & Underwood, J. (2017). Building a sustainable Quality Matters community of practice through social media analysis. The American Journal of Distance Education, 31(3), 160-172. https://doi.org/10.1080?08923647.2017.1316154
Rhode, J., & Miller, T. (2017). Essentials for preparing to teach an existing online course on short notice. Paper published in the proceedings of the 33rd Annual Distance Teaching and Learning Conference, Madison, WI.
Rhode, J., & Krishnamurthi, M. (2018). From frameworks to practice: Selecting technology tools for instructional integration. Paper published in the proceedings of the 5th Annual International Conference on Information and Educational Technology, Tokyo, Japan. https//doi.org/10.1145/3029387.3029396
Rhode, J., & Krishnamurthi, M. (2018). Considerations for institutional instructional technology decision-making. Paper published in the proceedings of the 6th Annual International Conference, Osaka, Japan. https://doi.org/10.1145/3178158.3178179
Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center staff periodically assess faculty needs, obtain input from the Provost, and consult with the Faculty Development Advisory Committee to refine its mission, vision, and functions accordingly. The center develops short term plans for each academic year and carries out those plans that are feasible during each academic year.
All programs and services offered by the center are regularly evaluated for quality according to a comprehensive assessment plan approved by the University Assessment Panel.
The center collects data using various methods such as:
» program evaluations by participants
» six-month follow-up program evaluations
» resource usage
» program attendance
» mentoring program feedback
» professional development opportunity reports
» unsolicited feedback from center clientele
To stay current in the field and share best practices with other institutions, center staff deliver many presentations at NIU, for regional organizations, and at n national and international conferences. In 2017-2018, center staff delivered 1 presentation at NIU, 2 webinars, and 7 presentations at conferences. The following is a list of presentations by center staff during 2017-2018:
Bergeron, C., Gibson, K., & Richter, R. (2017, August 17). 10 tips to use Blackboard Learning tools and features to engage students [webinar]. Presented for the Blackboard Innovation Teaching Series.
Richter, S. (2017, September 26). Online portfolio assessment and learning. Presented virtually for the Columbia Southern Education Group, Orange Beach, AL.
Rhode, J., Richter, S., & Subramony, R. (2017, October 23). Assessing learning outcomes using Blackboard technologies. Poster presented at the 2017 Assessment Institute, Indianapolis, IN.
Rhode, J. (2017, November). Reimaging institutional models for online program development and support. Presented at Online Learning Consortium Accelerate 2017, Orlando, FL.
Richter, S. (2017, November 3). Online Teaching Quality. Presented for the faculty of the Department of Psychology.
Richter, S., & Johnson, Y. , & Rhode, J. (2017, November 7). Using Blackboard Portfolios. Presented virtually for the College of Professional and Continuing Education at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA.
Richter, S., & Wills, C. (2017, December 6). Leading online sessions: Tips for engaging webinars. Presented for the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois.
Rhode, J. (2018, March). Approaching the bleeding edge: Possibilities and practices for learning technology integration. Keynote presentation at the 2018 Distance Learning Conference, Elgin Community College, Elgin, IL.
Richter, S., Miller, T., & Rhode, J. (2018, April 18). Visualizing online teaching community development. Presented at Online Learning Consortium Innovate 2018, Nashville, TN.
Miller, T., Richter, S., & Rhode, J. (2018, April 19). Preparing to teach an online course at the last minute. Presented at Online Learning Consortium Innovate 2018, Nashville, TN.
Rhode, J. (2018, May). Better together: Restructuring a teaching center with e-learning services. Presented at 2018 United States Distance Learning Association National Conference, Indianapolis, IN.
Cabrera, D. (2018, May). Expand your reach: Captioning for self-created videos. Presented at the Faculty Summer Institute, Urbana-Champaign, IL.
Richter, S., & Rhode, J. (2018, July). From self-hosted to SaaS: A roadmap to success. Presented at 2018 Blackboard World Educational Technology Conference, Orlando, FL.
Miller, T., & Alberts, D. (2018, July) Finding synergies: Uniting e-learning and faculty development for online programs. Presented at the 2018 Distance Teaching and Learning Conference, Madison, WI.
Poster Presentation at the Assessment Institute in Indianapolis, IN
ongoing commitment to excellence and systematic review of program quality
Engaged Learning, Teaching and Scholarship Event - March, 2018
During 2017-2018, center staff achieved professional recognition. Listed below is a summary of recognition received by center staff during 2017-2018:
» Stephanie Richter completed the Blackboard Learn
Administrator Essentials Certification.
» Online Learning Consortium Effective Practice Award
for the center's Designing Personalized Online
Teaching Professional Development through
» DDL Distance Education 2nd Place Best Practice
Award to Jason Rhode, Stephanie Richter and Tracy
Miller for Designing Personalized Online Teaching
Professional Development through Self-Assessment
from the Association for Educational Communications
» Cameron Wills became certified in ITIL Foundations.
» Rhode, J., Richter, S., Gowen, P., Miller, T., & Wills, C.
(2017). Understanding Faculty Use of the Learning
Management System, Online Learning Journal, 21(3),
68-86. Received the 2018 AECT Division of Distance
Learning Journal Article Award - Quantitative.
Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center staff served on numerous formal and informal committees, commissions, task forces, and groups at NIU and contributed their services. The following list shows a sample of committees that center staff served on during 2017-2018:
» Advisory Council, National Center for Online
Leadership, University Professional and Continuing
» BbWorld 2017 Program Committee
» Book Award Committee, Division of Distance
Learning, Association for Educational
Communications and Technology
» Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting
Proposal Review Committee
» Faculty Summer Institute Steering Committee
» NIU Adult Learner Workgroup
» NIU Blackboard Learn Support Team
» NIU Blackboard Learn Status Committee
» NIU Computing Facilities Advisory Committee,
Office of the Provost Representative
» NIU Engaged Learning, Teaching and Scholarship
» NIU ETRA Department of Curriculum / Academic
Research, Retention and Professionalism Committee
» NIU Higher Learning Commission 2018 Assurance
Review Committee, Criteria 3 Sub-Committee
» NIU Higher Learning Commission 2018 Assurance
Review Committee, Criterion 4 Sub-Committee
» NIU Faculty Development Advisory Committee
» NIU IT Steering Committee, Data Management
» NIU Outstanding Civil Service Award Committee
» NIU Outstanding International Educator Selection
» NIU O365 Governing Committee
» NIU Presidential Commission on the Status of
» NIU Strategic Enrollment Management Committee
» NIU Supportive Professional Staff Council
» NIU Web Steering Committee
» Peer Reviewer for To Improve the Academy
» Quality Matters Course Design Peer Reviewer
The following staff served at the center during 2017-2018:
Diane Alberts, Senior Instructional Designer (from, July 1, 2018)
Daniel Cabrera, Multimedia Coordinator
Amy Deegan, Office Support Specialist
Janet Giesen, Instructional Design Coordinator (through May 2018)
Peter Gowen, Online Analytics Coordinator (through January 2, 2018)
Scott Fleming, Senior Graphic Designer and Illustrator (from July 1, 2018)
Brenda Hodges, Assessment Coordinator
Jennifer Howard, Video Producer and Instructional Designer (from July 1, 2018)
Yvonne Johnson, Multimodal Teaching Coordinator
Tracy Miller, Assistant Director of Operations, Quality Assurance and Compliance
Christiane Ong-McCarthy, Senior Instructional Designer (from July 1, 2018)
Cynthia Paralejas, Senior Instructional Designer (from July 1, 2018)
Jason Rhode, Executive Director of Extended Learning and Chief Online Learning Officer
Stephanie Richter, Director of Faculty Development and Instructional Support
Michael Swope, Instructional Support Specialist (from July 1, 2018)
Michael Taylor, Instructional Support Specialist (from July 1, 2018)
Jason Underwood, Director of Instructional Design and Development (from July 1, 2018)
Cameron Wills, Research Associate
Below is a listing of those who served as graduate research assistants for the center during 2017-2018:
Andres Avila (5/16/18 - 6/17/18) Ben Mommer (05/16/18 - 08/31/18)
Silvia Ginting (07/01/17 - 08/15/17) Sreeraman Pattabhi (09/01/17 - 06/01/18)
Katlynn Klein (05/16/18 to present) Xiaoshu Zhou (07/01/16 to present)
Cassie McLaughlin (05/16/18 to present)
Kassandra McMillan (05/16/18 to present)
Xiaoshu Zhou (7/1/16 to present)
The Faculty Development Advisory Committee's support has been invaluable to the center. Committee members met four times during the academic year to review center accomplishments and provide guidance. Committee members also enthusiastically supported the center, participated in the programs offered by the center, and reviewed Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award nominations. Committee members during 2017-2018 were:
Maryann Abendroth, Associate Professor, Nursing
Therese Arado, Professor, College of Law
Amy Buhrow, Director, Accreditation, Academic Reporting, & Strategy, College of Business
Ann Dzuranin, Associate Professor, Accountancy
Paula Frasz, Professor, Theatre and Dance, Committee Chair
Jodi Lampi, Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction
Lichuan Liu, Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering
Wei Luo, Professor, Geography
Jessica Reyman, Associate Professor, English
Leanne VandeCreek, Associate Dean for Public Services, University Libraries
Jason Rhode, Executive Director, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center (Ex-Officio)
Murali Krishnamurthi, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs (Ex-Officio)
The information presented in this report was made possible by all of the staff at the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center. Data on programs and registration were recorded by Amy Deegan and Brenda Hodges. Program participation data and program evaluations data were collected and recorded by center staff, and web materials were posted by the graduate assistants at the center.
Center staff would like to express their sincere appreciation to administrators, faculty, staff, and graduate assistants at various units at Northern Illinois University for their support of the center during 2017-2018.