MnLC Monthly Professional Development Webinars

The Minnesota Learning Commons offers free monthly webinars. These are hand selected by members of the Minnesota Learning Commons Coordinating Committee and include highly rated presentations from the past year’s Summit, presentations on special projects by educators from around the state, and more.

Building Quality Online Experiences: Program Standards, Training, Design

Thursday, December 12, 2019, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. CST

We launched the first cohort in the Online MBA at the University of St. Thomas in Spring 2019. With student experience in mind, we identified three areas where the program needed consistency: program standards, faculty training, and instructional design. We will share our experience of developing program standards (covering course design and delivery, media, and more), onboarding faculty to the instructional design process and to online teaching, and their course design timeline. We’ll share “lessons learned” throughout the presentation.

Presented by: Nancy McGinley Myers, Lisa Abendroth, Kevin Henderson, Hannah Hedegard, University of St. Thomas

Webinar details


Date: Thursday, December 12, 2019, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. CST

Use this link to register to receive a reminder regarding this webinar:

Are We Doing Enough to Help Faculty Teach Online?

Thursday, January 16, 2020, 3:00–4:00 p.m. CST


A recent survey of public colleges and university provosts on online education reported that even as institutions' expectations for online learning capacity and quality grow, training, and support for those who teach online is lacking. Based on the findings, four recommendations were offered:

  1. mandatory or incentivized training 
  2. ongoing professional development 
  3. feedback cycle for ­­­­­instructor evaluation, including peer feedback 
  4. uniform standard components of an online course.

This facilitated group discussion will evaluate, assess, and seek ways to apply these four recommendations for addressing this preparation gap.

Presented by: Elizabeth Harsma, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Webinar details


Date: Thursday, January 16, 2020, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. CST

Use this link to register to receive a reminder regarding this webinar:

SCRUM for Educators: How We Get Things Done, Accomplish More, and Stress Less

Thursday, February 20, 2020, 3:00–4:00 p.m. CST

Educators frequently find themselves overwhelmed with workloads and caseloads. Teachers report that they feel pulled in a thousand directions. Simply put, we have too many directions, too many initiatives, too many needs to meet, and not enough time in the day. Enter SCRUM, a project management process widely used in the software development industry. This highly effective methodology for managing work can be adapted to personal workflow, administrative initiatives, staff or student projects, professional committee work, teaching and learning, and more.

This session answers the often unasked question in education: How? How do we get things done? How do we achieve our desired results? How do we break out of the endless cycle of clarifying and analyzing challenges (talking), and into a pattern of developing and implementing solutions (doing)? You'll leave this hands-on session with an overview of SCRUM, be able to apply practical SCRUM techniques immediately in your work, and have knowledge of free and open-source tools for managing SCRUM.

Presented by: Ben Drewelow and Mike Smart, Intermediate District 287

Webinar Details


Date: Thursday, February 20, 2020, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. CST

Use this link to register to receive a reminder regarding this webinar:

Future 2020 Webinar Dates

Save the date for our future webinars featuring presenters from the Minnesota Learning Commons community and the Minnesota Summit on Learning and Technology:

  • March 26, 2020, 3:00–4:00 p.m. CDT
  • April 23, 2020, 3:00–4:00 p.m. CDT
  • May 21, 2020, 3:00–4:00 p.m. CDT

Past Webinar Topics

Think Your Way Out of the Problem
Presented by: Pamela McGee, Denise Gorsline, Joshua Behl, Minnesota State University, Moorhead. October 17, 2019.

Recipes for Effective Online Teaching: Curated Videos Plus Activities
Presented by Susan Tade, University of Minnesota; Nima Salehi, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota. September 19, 2019.

What Makes a Question Effective?
Presented by Treden Wagoner.

Infuse Spatial Thinking into Your Curriculum (link to YouTube)
Presented on February 21, 2019.

Six Ways to Engage Students Online (link to YouTube)
Presented by Karen LaPlant, Hennepin Technical College; Dr. Sheri Hutchinson, Minnesota State College and University System. January 17, 2019.

Creating Multimedia Discussion Boards to Increase Student Engagement 
Presented by Mary O'Brien, Winona State University. October 18, 2018.

Can Creative Problem Solving Be Trained Online?
Presented by Justin Baker, University of Minnesota. September 20, 2018.

A to Z: Techniques to Leverage Learning
Presented by: Dihanna Fedder on May 3, 2018

Creating Academic Technology Competencies and a Faculty Development Curriculum
Presented by: Nima Salehi, Christina Petersen, Peg Sherven, Sara Hurley, and Christiane Reilly, University of Minnesota on April 5, 2018

Beyond Captioning: Tips and Tricks for Accessible Course Design
Presented by: Jenessa Gerling and Karen LaPlant, Hennepin Technical College on March 1, 2018

Inclusivity: Universal Design Strategies for the Online Classroom
Presented by: Sarah Keene, Rothenberger Institute, University of Minnesota on February 1, 2018

Designing for English Language Learners in Your Online or Blended Course
Presented by: Nancy McGinley Myers, University of St. Thomas, on January 4, 2018

Creating a Culturally Proficient School System by Leveraging Technology as a Catalyst for Change
Presented by: Stacie Stanley, ISD 191 and Rachel Gorton, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Public Schools, on December 7, 2017

Getting Frogs to Market in a Wheelbarrow: Strategies for Managing eLearning Projects with Faculty-Driven Teams
Presented by: Mary Katherine O’Brien and Kelly Vallandingham, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota on November 2, 2017

Authoring Open Textbooks
Presented by: Melissa Falldin, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, on October 5, 2017

Web Writing for Online Courses
Presented by: Ann Fandrey, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, on September 7, 2017

Gentle Project Management: Shepherding Pedagogical Change
Presented by: Sara Schoen and Annette McNamara, University of Minnesota, on May 4, 2017

Creation and Adoption of OER: A Sustainable Statewide Model
Presented by: Jon Fila, Intermediate District 287 on April 6, 2017

Online Learner Discussion Self-Grading: Sharing of an Innovative Teaching-Learning Strategy
Presented by: Dr. Nancyruth Leibold, Southwest Minnesota State University Mankato and Dr. Laura Schwarz, Minnesota State University Mankato, on March 2, 2017

Exploring the Flipped Side: Inside and Out the Flipped Classroom
Presented by: Caroline Hilk, Kate Borowske, Gina Erickson, and Nicole Nelson, Hamline University on February 2, 2017

Engaged Brains: Strategies for Mastering Learner Engagement
Presented by: Tracy King, InspirEd, on January 5, 2017

Making Accessibility Accessible: Engaging Instructors Empathetically
Presented by: Cynthia Sarver, University of St. Thomas, on November 3, 2016

They Aren’t Wrong, We Are: Designing Online Courses for How Students Actually Use Them
Presented by: Ellyn Buchanan, Sara Hurley, and Audra Kerlin, University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, on October 6, 2016