UNI Distance Education Conference Slated for Nov. 5-6

2019 Distance Education Conference, Nov 5-6

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Continuing Education & Special Programs at the University of Northern Iowa will host its seventh annual Distance Education conference, “Expanding Pathways for Continuous Improvement in Distance Learning,” on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 5-6, in the Maucker Union on UNI’s campus.

New this year is a special pre-conference session, "Dynamic Lecturing: Research-Based Strategies to Enhance Lecture Effectiveness” to be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5 from 3-4:30 p.m., with dynamic keynote speaker and past conference presenter, Todd Zakrajsek, associate professor and associate director of fellowship programs in family medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and director of Lilly Conferences on College and University Teaching. Dr. Zakrajsek’s presentation will explore how to create engaging lectures that push beyond the boundaries of the traditional lecture style. Those attending will receive a copy of a handy Pocket Guide of learning activities created by Educational Blueprints to assist instructors with engagement in their courses. The event is sponsored by Continuing and Distance Education, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and IT-Educational Technology & Media Services. 

The full-day conference will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will include breakout sessions, lunch, and keynote by Dr. Zakrajsek. UNI Continuing Education staff are excited to welcome back Dr. Zakrajsek as he shares current research in cognitive neuroscience and learning. Provost Wohlpart will provide remarks at 12:15 p.m.

Conference attendees will have the opportunity to hear from UNI faculty and staff experts on topics related to student success in distance education. Session themes and presenters include:
  • Engaging Students with the Hypothes.is Annotation Tool: Promoting & Critical Reading, Interactive Reading Discussions, and Understanding Checks - David Grant and Amy Osatinski, UNI faculty
  • Updates and Tips on Open Educational Resources (OERs) - Ellen Neuhaus, UNI faculty
  • Small Teaching Online: Applying Science in Online Classes - Madalina Tincu and Anne Woodrick, UNI faculty and staff
  • Voices of Experience: Strategies and Techniques to Foster Student Learning and Success in an Online Environment - Larry Escalada, Tim Gilson, Cindy Juby, Joyce Milambiling, and Karen Cunningham - UNI faculty and staff
  • Online Discussion Boards Blah? Reboot! - LeAnn Cushion, Caran Howard, and Gulsum Kucuksari, UNI faculty and staff
  • Improving Your Online Program: Mission-Driven Program Evaluation and Assessment - Chris Larimer and Scott Peters, UNI faculty
Held annually, the Distance Education conference aims to bring distance educators (including faculty, staff, and administrators) together to explore best practices, new technologies, and resources related to enhancing student success in online courses.  Sessions are designed to be both informative and dynamic, with time built in for meaningful discussion with participants. The conference strives to promote camaraderie among UNI’s Distance Education faculty and staff, and provides a venue for them to share valuable first-hand experience designing and teaching online.

There is no cost for attending the sessions or lunch. Participants are encouraged to attend individual sessions as schedules allow.

For more information or to RSVP for lunch, visit continuinged.uni.edu/rsvp-2019-distance-education-conference.