Instructors Supporting Instructors

October 9, 2023

Digital Learning Strategist Spotlight

As Clemson has expanded its focus on quality hybrid and online courses, the team of Digital Learning Strategists (DLS) at Clemson Online has grown. We aim to support all instructors using online tools for teaching, whether their course is fully online, fully face-to-face using online tools, or somewhere in between.

As experienced instructors of online and hybrid courses, we recognize the benefits and challenges of engaging students in these environments. It is this experience that grounds us as we work in cooperation with the many Clemson instructors working hard to improve the student learning experience. 

4 Clemson Online Digital Learning Strategists on a Zoom call with 3 other team members

Who we are

Digital Learning Strategists support Clemson instructors through individual consultations, group trainings, and instructional resources. We also conduct Quality Matters course reviews and facilitate workshops. We hope to make online instruction more efficient and engaging for those teaching and learning.  A recent addition to the team, Millie Tullis, has enjoyed “developing workshops, Quick Hit tech demonstrations, and beginner and advanced topics in Canvas with Clemson instructors’ needs in mind.” We both respond to questions as needed and anticipate the kind of training that would be most helpful.

“Drawing from my experience as an instructor also helps me to provide faculty support. I often ask questions, trying to learn what their goal for a particular assignment is or how they want a tool to work and why.”

Leslie Fuller

Each DLS has advanced degrees and experience teaching in a range of modalities. With backgrounds from various institutions and research disciplines, we are grounded in solid pedagogy practice. At the root, we are instructors helping other instructors. We are constantly evolving as we see new courses and instructional methods.

“I get new ideas of things to try or ways to communicate with learners. It’s fun to see so many types of online courses and subjects!”

Sharyn Emery

Benefits of Online Learning

Ultimately, DLS support intends to improve the student learning experience. Facilitating and developing an online course that successfully engages every student is a challenge, but we do see major advantages to teaching with online tools. They include:

  • Online Accessibility: Designing courses for accessibility ensures that all students have access to all of the components in a course. Online tools have improved and allow for instructors to provide materials in many different formats. Accessibility awareness has been a major focus for Sharyn, who has realized that lack of training in this topic is a common issue that must be addressed in the ever-changing online learning community. We are currently developing additional accessibility training and resources which will make sure instructors know their responsibilities for text, image, and video accessibility. 
  • Building Learning Communities: Online learning enables instructors to create an asynchronous learning community across locations. Leslie has been trying out ideas for how to establish that connectedness between learners totally asynchronously. Her goal is to build an intentional learning community to facilitate student relationships among one another.  One example of these adaptations is creating group projects that span the full term. Instructors can improve their approachability by setting zoom office hours for students to drop in and ask questions or collaborate face-to-face. 
  • Increased Adaptability: Online learning allows for increased adaptability as changing interests, technology, and institutional priorities shift. From working as a digital learning strategist, each instructor has improved their understanding of when to revise assignments, to offer more information, or to improve overall course alignment. As the tools continue to develop, it is exciting to develop new trainings and resources based on frequently asked questions and Canvas features. 

Beyond the Canvas Course

The impact of the DLS team goes beyond the classroom to help the Clemson faculty support learners in any issues they may face by directing them to resources whether it be mental health, academic support, or professional development. 

Faculty are the first points of contact for students, so the importance of the education and information that we provide has a direct impact on student results. Support comes from the entire Clemson community. Through supporting faculty and staff, Clemson Online sees that “we’re all in the service of improving student experiences.”

“While faculty are not typically the ones to help solve any issues learners face, they are the ones who can get them plugged into the services provided and the professionals who are here to help.”

James Butler

If we can be of support to you, please feel free to Contact Us or schedule a consultation. 

Upcoming Events

Quick Hit – Course Accessibility for ScreenReaders

Thursday October 12th, 3:30-4:00 PM

Join this training to have your questions on course accessibility and screenreaders answered. Whether you have a specific question or want an accessibility topic demonstrated, this training opportunity is your time to work with our accessibility coordinator. When registering, choose whether to have a specific topic covered, enter your question, or both. 

Facilitated by Michelle Tuten, Accessibility Coordinator.   

Modality: Virtual and synchronous—an Outlook Calendar invite, with the Zoom link, will be sent.
Registration: Quick Hits: Course Accessibility for Screenreaders on October 12th 

Applying Accessibility Principles

Wednesday, October 18, 1:30-2:30 PM

Providing alternative means of accessing course materials is essential for learners who require accessibility support; they are also entitled to it under the law. Join this presentation to learn about basic principles of accessibility you can start using in your course today. This presentation will discuss the accessibility guidelines in General Standard 8 of the Quality Matters rubric.

Facilitated by Sharyn Emery, Ph.D., Digital Learning Manager

Modality: Virtual and synchronous—an Outlook Calendar invite, with the Zoom link, will be sent.
Registration: Applying Accessibility Principles October 18th .

Clemson Online Fall 2023 Events Calendar

calendar for Fall with woman fashion fall accessories.

Review our Fall 2023 Events Calendar to see what Online Instruction Development opportunities await!

We have a robust Summer lineup of topics and live training formats to support your use of Canvas and other e-learning tools. Topics cover demonstrations of using Kaltura, presentations on inclusive practices for online education, and workshops to get your Canvas site ready to teach!

All of our live training is recorded. Registrants will automatically receive a link to that day’s video after it has been processed.

Contact James Butler with any questions regarding these sessions. 

Clemson Online – Where Tech and Teaching Meet

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