Designing Online Resources to Enhance In-Class Interactions

4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT September 20, 2012

We encourage faculty, instructional technologists, librarians, and others from the NITLE Network who are interested in effective design for blended learning methods and open educational resources at liberal arts colleges to attend this seminar. Attendance by institutional teams is encouraged; individuals are also welcome to participate. (Times EDT)

As the terms “flipping the classroom” and “blended learning” continue to garner attention, liberal arts institutions are evaluating the role that these frameworks can play on residential campuses. While the buzzwords are novel, the goal of enhancing student engagement during in-class meetings has long been a staple of our work. Effective classroom teachers are designers who strive to create environments—whether physical or digital—that set the stage for rigorous, robust, analytical, and dynamic in-class interactions leading to deeper learning. Simply putting students in groups after they’ve watched a lecture online to solve poorly designed problems is a recipe for failure and frustration.

In this session, our presenters will share information about two projects to create open educational resources for blended learning (funded by the Associated Colleges of the South) and discuss the instructional design principles that guided their development. Analyzing and Creating Maps involved a collaboration between Furman and Trinity Universities to develop self-contained modules usable in any course in which mapping plays an important role. A similar collaboration between the University of Richmond and Furman University resulted in the development of Beyond the (Online) Handbook: Writing Resources Designed for the Digital Environment, an online resource designed to support writing-intensive courses. Both projects produced resources designed to support in-class activities, rather than replace classroom interactions. Beginning with feedback on these projects, participants will discuss useful design paradigms for maximizing the effectiveness of in- and out-of-class assignments at liberal arts colleges.

  • Jeremy Donald. Mr. Donald serves as Faculty Technology Liaison at Trinity University, where he works in tandem with instruction librarians and faculty to design and implement assignments that utilize technology to achieve information literacy-related learning outcomes. He also supports Geographic Information Systems and development of the library website. Recent projects include overseeing the redesign of the library website and co-teaching PLSI 3329: GIS & Demographics, an upper division GIS course for social science majors. Mr. Donald completed his Master of Science in Library Science at the Catholic University of America’s School of Information and Library Science in 2004.
  • Mike Winiski, Associate Director for the Center for Teaching and Learning at Furman University. Mr. Winiski collaborates with Furman faculty to design courses and assignments, as well identify and develop technologies that support learning goals. He teaches courses such as “E-merging Learning Technologies,” “Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS),” and a first-year seminar about the planet Mars. Mike holds masters degrees in science education and GIS from Wake Forest and Penn State University. Prior to his work at Furman University, Mike taught high school chemistry, physics, and technology courses and developed data-driven websites and programs using Java, Python, and PHP.  
  • David Wright. Mr. Wright is a Writing Specialist at the Center for Teaching and Learning at Furman University. He teaches writing classes at Furman in addition to his work in the CTL, where he consults with faculty and students about any and all aspects of their writing and teaching of writing. He holds a B.A. in English from Furman University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. He is A.B.D. in Composition and Rhetoric and is currently writing a dissertation on the rhetoric of 20th-century Southern humor.

Registration for this event is closed. (Participation in NITLE Shared Academics events is open to all active member institutions of the NITLE Network as a benefit of membership and as space allows. No additional registration fee applies.)


For more information about this event, please contact Rebecca Frost Davis, program officer for the humanities, at