Research Associate Position Opening

NIU is seeking a Research Associate to research faculty development-related teaching tools and technologies, acquire, and manage them for the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center.

POSITION: 12-month full-time, supportive professional staff position


  1. Research faculty development-related teaching tools and technologies, acquire, and manage them for the Center.
  2. Assist faculty development staff with special projects and programs such as teaching effectiveness institutes, teaching assistant orientation, teaching with technology institute, etc.
  3. Offer high-level individual and group training and consultations to faculty development staff on emerging faculty development tools and technologies to help them assist faculty.
  4. Oversee issues related to management and analysis of faculty development program and consultations data, and prepare progress reports.
  5. Facilitate interactions between the Center and other units on campus on faculty development needs, and identify opportunities for improving the operations of the Center.
  6. Research faculty development centers at other universities, develop peer benchmarks on programs, tools, and technologies, and assist the Center with implementing similar efforts.
  7. Assist faculty with unique faculty development needs related to teaching, technology integration, professional development, etc.
  8. Manage center’s specialized productivity tools and technologies, and develop tutorials and documentation to assist Center staff as necessary.
  9. Represent the Center in faculty development-related committees and groups within the university.
  10. Work closely with the Director and Center staff on various activities as assigned.


  • Master’s degree in computer science, instructional technology or related fields is required.
  • At least 1-year experience in managing and participating in multiple projects in both lead and support roles, and solving unique problems is required.
  • At least 1-year experience with instructional technologies and pedagogies in a higher education environment is required.
  • Ability to research emerging faculty development related teaching tools and technologies and train others is required.
  • Experience using Windows, Mac, office productivity tools, database tools, and online teaching tools for faculty development purposes is required.
  • Excellent communication skills, planning and organizational abilities, problem-solving skills, and ability to work collaboratively and collegially in a team environment are required.
  • Ability to diagnose and resolve problems related to range of teaching tools and technologies is required.
  • Experience designing and disseminating tutorials and informational materials is required.


  • Doctoral degree or experience teaching in a higher education environment is preferred.


Send a letter of application, resume, and names and contact information for three recent professional references related to the position by May 25, 2014 to

The position will remain open until filled. This is a campus search, but applications received from outside the campus will also be considered. Contact (815) 753-0595 or for more information.

In compliance with the Illinois Campus Security Act, before an offer of employment is made, the university will conduct a pre-employment background investigation, which includes a criminal background check.

In accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, NIU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and orders pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action. NIU recognizes Dual Career issues.

Simplified Experience in Blackboard

Blackboard LogoThe Blackboard User Experience Team is looking for feedback from faculty who teach using Blackboard on which features are used most for teaching purposes and how they might be simplified to most greatly impact teaching. If you teach using Blackboard, take 2 minutes and complete the survey here.

Honored to be Named Blackboard MVP

Blackboard MVPIt’s a honor to have been recently named an inaugural member of the Blackboard MVP Program, which recognizes individuals who have established themselves as thought leaders in educational technology by sharing their expertise in Blackboard platforms.

Blackboard MVPs are users who stand out as an expert in Blackboard technologies, share their expertise with other clients, demonstrate leadership in the education technology community, and actively share feedback with Blackboard. While the MVP program will be peer-nominated in the future, the inaugural class of 17 was selected by Blackboard.

Here’s a quick video intro I recorded for the program.

I look forward to continuing to share on my blog tips, how-to’s, resources, and best practices for teaching online using Blackboard. You can subscribe via RSS and also follow me on Twitter @jrhode

CFP Open for Emerging Tech for Online Learning Symposium: Submission Deadline Dec. 10

Emerging Technologies for Online Learning Symposium
As a member of the 2013 steering committee, I invite you to submit a proposal for the 6th Annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium, to be held April 9-11, 2013 at The Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas, NV. The Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium, a joint Symposium of Sloan Consortium and MERLOT, is designed to bring together individuals interested in the review and evaluation of online teaching and learning technologies. Proposals for presentations must be submitted by December 10, 2012 at

The ET4Online Symposium offers you an opportunity to study best practices, understand applications, discover new technologies, and connect to others who share a love for and belief in the promise of educational technology. In 2012 the symposium developed a new mission statement designed to emphasize the innovation and invention that is the focus of the conference: A conference devoted to the emerging and innovative uses of technology designed to improve teaching and learning online. Symposium tracks highlight and demonstrate research, application and effective practices and noteworthy technological tools in the following areas:

  • Learning Spaces and Communities
  • Open and Accessible Learning
  • Evidence-based Learning
  • Faculty and Student Development
  • Innovative Media and Tools

Faculty, students, instructional designers, instructional technologists and academic administrators are encouraged to submit proposals which are engaging, informative and interactive. These sessions can be targeted to all attendees or beginners, intermediates, or experts.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal for this conference, plan to join us for our FREE webinar “Five Tips on How to Submit a Successful Conference Proposal”. The goal of this webinar is to assist you in submitting a successful abstract to the Call for Presentations.

November 29, 2012 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm (Eastern Time)

For today’s educator, selection as a conference presenter is often required in order to attend a conference. For every online learning conference, educators submit and conference committees evaluate hundreds of proposals in order to create a robust program for conference attendees. The number of proposals accepted for a conference depends on program size, topics covered and quality of abstracts submitted. Join this free webinar to learn from experts on the Sloan Consortium and MERLOT Conference Team what they are looking for in proposal submissions. Topics covered will include the importance of topic selection, what reviewers look for in a proposal submission, and tips from track chairs on how final selections are made. Please login or register to sign up for this webinar.

Could Amazon Whispercast Make School Books Obsolete?

Kindle made a major play for the textbook market with the introduction of Whispercast for Kindle,” which could give schools and businesses a simple, scalable online tool for deploying Kindle devices and Kindle content.

The technology, from the world’s largest retailer, is designed to provide a single access point to allow users to easily purchase and distribute Kindle books and documents. This would include purposes of education of course, but could also be used for marketing and employee incentive programs.

The program isn’t just limited to Kindle ereaders, as it is software-based and could be used with the Apple iPad and iPhone, as well as Android devices, PCs and Macs.

More info about Whispercast is at

What are your thoughts about the new Whispercast service? Is it something your school, university, or business will explore? Will this kind of service provide the impetus for “bring your own device” initiatives to become more mainstream in K-12?