Center for Online Learning Cultivates a New Path in Instructional Design with Webinars

With the rigorous change in technology, obtaining knowledge in the most efficient way possible is essential to the learning process. Traditionally, learning has always taken place within classrooms and labs; then again, through the integration of online learning platforms, there has been a major revolution in the way the common student is learning today. From online learning platforms, the student is given the ability to still participate, all from the comfort of home.

For Christine Stricker, CATS’s instructional design specialist for online learning, utilizing Blackboard Collaborative, an online virtual classroom, has provided the Center for Online Learning the ability to reach EIU’s faculty from distances near and far; furthermore, Blackboard Collaborative incorporates the ability to communicate via video stream between both the students and instructors of the classroom.

The motivation for using an online learning method was derived from Stricker’s own use of online learning platforms. For Stricker, the functionality of Blackboard is versatile and appeals to users of each virtual classroom. Giving the ability to multitask, Blackboard allows both instructors and students to have control over their interactions with each other and balance that lecture with their everyday life.

“We wanted to make training accessible to many of our faculty who live in other towns and states,” said Stricker.

To fill this niche, Stricker came up with an initiative to support the concept of instructional design for the faculty on EIU’s campus. In return, this would provide faculty members an ability to view recorded webinars around their busy schedules and play back the recorded webinar at their leisure.

Prior to the construction of the Blackboard Collaborative classroom, Stricker desired to implement a program that would recruit more faculty members to attend the instructional design seminars. However, due to conflicting schedules, many cannot physically attend these seminars on a monthly basis; thus, Stricker collaborated Blackboard into her instructional design webinar to promote its use amongst the faculty of EIU.

She intends for the utilization of the initiative to continually expand into an exemplary foundation for instructors to better understand the learning platform’s functionality.

In the future, Stricker is hoping to expand to a variety of online learning platforms that she can utilize to assist faculty on campus in providing a dynamic, efficient method of learning that can be used to better investigate the activism of their students.

For more information regarding this story, please contact Ms. Christine Stricker at clstricker@eiu.edu.