What is next for ANGEL Users?


Last week I attended my first Blackboard World conference (BbWorld 2011). Avila University was a recipient of a Catalyst Award under the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program and I had the pleasure of representing the university in accepting the award. This was one of the best conferences I ever attended.  The opening keynote presentation by Steven Johnson […]

Blackboard Exemplary Course Program

Exemplary Course Winner

Since October 2010 I have been blogging my thoughts on how to improve online learning courses. These included things like increasing instructor presence, managing & grading discussion forums and preparing the learner. Most ideas that I have are not my own but rather a collection of recommendations that I draw from the literature and others […]

Preparing the Learner…Revisited

Self-Directed Learning

In an earlier post I discussed how Knowles added a sixth process step in Andragogy called Preparing the Learner. I referred to my Fall 2010 graduate leadership course where each week students applied different leadership theories to case assignments. Other than providing a grading rubric, I did nothing to prepare these adult learners in completing the assignments. I […]

Preparing the Learner

Self-Directed Learning

There is an interesting paper in the Spring 2007 edition of the Journal of Interactive Online Learning by Song & Hill where they present a conceptual model for Self-Directed Learning (SDL). It is interesting because it gives a historical perspective of several models before presenting their own and they introduce how context may affect the […]

Instructor Presence


The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) puts a lot of weight on substantive interaction between faculty and students. The presence or absence of this interaction is one of the factors that differentiates distance learning (education) from correspondence education. Smith et al. (2002) published an article in eLearn Magazine on the challenge of instructor presence. The title sets the tone: […]

The Beginning…


I just recently joined Avila University as full-time staff. I have been with Avila as an adjunct in the Master of Science in Organizational Development (MSOD) program since 2006. Avila asked me to join full time as an instructional designer to assist faculty who are beginning their quest to teach online. Prior to joining Avila I spent a couple of […]