Status message

COVID-19 Update: The University of Minnesota has suspended in-person instruction and will offer online, or alternative, instruction through the end of spring semester 2020. Read the latest CCAPS updates. For the latest information on the University’s response to COVID-19, please see the Safe Campus website.

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.

Developing Creativity in the Classroom

Thursday, March 26, 2020, 3:00–4:00 p.m. CDT

Creativity is a mental ability that can be enhanced and which is valuable to educators, designers, and institutions. This webinar is based on the lessons learned from teaching and researching in the field of creativity.

Workshop participants will learn how to evaluate creative potential, how to practice activities designed to encourage personal creativity in the class, and how to add creativity to one's work. Both experience (of the workshop presenters) and research tells us that creativity is a skill that can be taught. It requires extensive work by the learners, but the lessons, while not conveying traditional content, will change the learner in many ways. At our universities, while we look for our students to be creative, we don't work at developing those same skills, either in ourselves or in our students. Creativity is a skill that can be employed on a small or large project, but it must be developed and practiced.

This webinar presents classic and new techniques for developing creative problem solving and the integration of those techniques into the classrooms. Within this webinar, there are two goals: first to develop creativity in the workshop participants, and second, to help integrate the development of creative skills in instructional design courses.

Presented by: Brad Hokanson, University of Minnesota

Webinar Details

Link: umn.zoom.us/j/249632923

Date: Thursday, March 26, 2020, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. CDT

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


The Digital Divide: Providing Equal Access in an Era of Online Delivery

Thursday, April 23, 2020, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. CDT

This webinar will highlight important features of accessible curriculum; what fosters an accessible Learning Management System (LMS) and some things you can do right away to make them more accessible. Much of what you need to get most of the way there is simple and supports all learners regardless of ability. Accessibility supports all learners, simplifies navigation and meets legal requirements.

Presented by: Jon Fila, Intermediate District 287

Webinar details

Link: umn.zoom.us/j/249632923

Date: Thursday, April 23, 2020, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. CDT

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


What is Virtual and Augmented Reality's Role in Higher Education?

Thursday, May 21, 2020, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. CDT

Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) have been talked about for several years as a "next big thing." We hear how they will teach our students empathy, allow them to learn and interact with content in new ways and enable new types of distance education. While VR has had success in the entertainment area and there have been exciting use cases in K-12 and Higher Education, many of us are still waiting for a "killer app" in higher education. Are VR/AR just examples of overhyped technology in search of a problem? Where can VR/AR make a meaningful difference in teaching and learning? In this webinar, we will discuss the values and limits of VR/AR, how to support the creation of educational environments and software and critically examine VR/AR's role in higher education moving forward.

Presented by: Jonathan Koffel, Carolyn Bishoff, University of Minnesota; Scott Spicer, University of Minnesota Libraries; Dave Paschke, South Central Service Cooperative

Webinar details

Link: umn.zoom.us/j/249632923

Date: Thursday, May 21, 2020, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. CDT

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



Past Webinar Topics

SCRUM for Educators: How We Get Things Done, Accomplish More, and Stress Less
Presented by: Ben Drewelow and Mike Smart, Intermediate District 287 . February 20, 2020.

Are We Doing Enough to Help Faculty Teach Online?
Presented by: Elizabeth Harsma, Minnesota State University, Mankato. January 16, 2020.

Building Quality Online Experiences: Program Standards, Training, Design
Presented by: Nancy McGinley Myers, Lisa Abendroth, Kevin Henderson, Hannah Hedegard, University of St. Thomas. December 12, 2019. 

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