Designing Personalized Online Teaching Professional Development through Self-Assessment

TechTrendsMany institutions use a one-size-fits-all approach to faculty development for online teaching, which does not meet the needs of faculty who often have different levels of experience, skill, and self-efficacy in online teaching and learning. To address these issues, the Northern Illinois University Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center designed and implemented an online teaching readiness self-assessment. The instrument was developed based on key attributes and skills needed for proficiency in online teaching, in three areas: online teaching experience and attitudes, learning management system proficiency, and access to technology. The self-assessment was distributed through a web-based survey tool to faculty who were identified to develop new online courses. Individual results were used to create personalized frameworks of professional development offerings (workshops, institutes, videos, and consultations) and just-in-time resources to support faculty in their development process.


Rhode, J., Richter, S., & Miller, T. (2017). Designing personalized online teaching professional development through self-assessment. TechTrends, 61(5), 444-451.

Essentials for Preparing to Teach an Existing Online Course on Short Notice

Presentation Title Slide

In this presentation at the 2017 Distance Teaching & Learning Conference at UW-Madison, we explored questions to consider when preparing faculty to teach a developed online course at the last minute. Through our presentation, paper, and resources we shared a diagnostic framework for identifying the key elements of online teaching readiness, including technology proficiency, to fast-track preparedness to successfully facilitate an online course.


Rhode, J., & Miller, T. (2017, July). Essentials for preparing to teach an existing online course on short-notice. Paper published in the proceedings of the 33rd Annual Distance Teaching & Learning Conference, Madison, WI.

Building a Sustainable Quality Matters Community of Practice Through Social Network Analysis

ajdeThe growth of distance education has necessitated strong evidence of quality for institutions of higher education, and numerous standards and principles of quality have been developed, such as Quality Matters™ (Quality Matters). These systems are often considered only at the course level to guide design and improve student outcomes, but they can also help to pull the institution together and galvanize advancement in online development. Adopting online quality standards can be a complex process that requires changes to institutional culture. This article describes how the use of the Community of Practice (CoP) framework engaged a campus-wide network of individuals in adoption of the Quality Matters training, rubric, and review process to advance distance education support and online course development. Using Social Network Analysis, researchers were able to identify the strengths and weakness of the CoP during the early adoption phase of Quality Matters to quantitatively measure the connections among members of the community. View article »


Cowan, J., Richter, S., Miller, T., Rhode, J., Click, A., & Underwood, J. (2017). Building a sustainable Quality MattersTM community of practice through social network analysis. The American Journal of Distance Education, 31(3), 160-172.

Promise and Perils of Mobile Streaming Video Using Periscope

Jason Rhode, Ph.D. @jasonrhode

During this presentation at OLC Accelerate 2016, learn about one online instructor’s quest to implement live online video presentations and discussion using the mobile video streaming app Periscope. An overview of the opportunities, lessons learned, and tips for other educators interested in implementing similar online video streaming apps in their online teaching will be shared. Slides area available here and links to additional resources and samples mentioned during the session are provided below.

Resource Links

Educators / Academics to Follow on Periscope

Asst./Assoc. Professor of Instructional Technology Opening at NIU



The Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment (ETRA) at Northern Illinois University is seeking qualified applicants for one anticipated (tenure track) faculty position as an Associate or Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology with a primary area of expertise in interaction design and data analytics. Applicants should demonstrate a proven record of excellence in research through peer-reviewed scholarly publications, ability to improve teaching and practice in information/interaction design, data analytics, and performance technology, and collegiality and experience working with diverse groups. Candidates are expected to take a leadership role in academic research, teaching, and curriculum development. Responsibilities will primarily include conducting and publishing academic research, teaching three courses per semester, assisting in the service mission of the Department/College, and providing leadership and support for our new Bachelor of Science in Applied Management – Instructional Technology, Training, and Evaluation.

One of six units in the College of Education, the ETRA department’s mission is to advance the development and use of technology, research methodology, and assessment in a variety of settings to enhance teaching, learning, and scholarship. Degrees offered in the department include a M.S. in Educational Research and Evaluation, a M.S.Ed. in Instructional Technology, endorsement and certification (initial and advanced) in the areas of Technology and Library Information Specialist, a Ph.D. in Instructional Technology and a bachelor completion program, Bachelor of Science in Applied Management – Instructional Technology, Training, and Evaluation.


The qualified candidate will have a terminal degree (Ph.D., Ed.D.) in Instructional Technology, Informatics, or a closely related field; experience in developing and teaching courses in information architecture, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), interaction design, usability evaluation, and data analytics; experience developing and delivering online learning in educational/training settings; an active research agenda in instructional/information technology; and a demonstrated ability to work well with diverse constituencies both internal and external to the university.


Highly desired: We are especially interested in candidates who have one or more of the following: experience as an interaction designer or performance technologist in diverse settings; experience in securing external funds; experience consulting in business/industry; skill and knowledge in developing and authoring applications for distributed learning; and project management experience.


Interested individuals should send a letter of application; current vita; names, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses of five or more professional references; copy of transcript(s) showing highest degree earned; and a statement of research and teaching interests. Applications should be submitted on paper or as email attachment to:

Ms. Angela Camp
Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment
208 Gabel Hall
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115

The desired contract starting date is August 16, 2017. Review of applications will begin on December 12 2016; however, applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.