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Our Latest Blog


Enhancing Course Design with AI: Insights from Testing the Blackboard Ultra AI Design Assistant

The Blackboard Ultra AI Design Assistant, from Blackboard Anthology, is a new tool in learning management systems (LMS) aimed at improving course design.

- Brianna Basanta

Two people doing sign language

November 2023

Pioneering Online Sign Language with a Senior Instructional Designer

There are many benefits to learning sign language, such as allowing one to communicate with people who exhibit disabilities, improved spatial reasoning, and acquiring an enhanced ability to interpret body language.

- Ron Rodriguez

Mindfulness in Online Learning

October 2023

Mindfulness in Online Learning

Online pedagogy showcases popular theories and practices for effective course design, including the Universal Design Model, the Backward Design Model, the ADDIE Model, and more. One topic that is rarely, if ever, mentioned in the digital learning space is that of mindfulness.

- Brianna Basanta

ChatGPT logo

September 2023

How Can Generative AI Tools like ChatGPT Transform Teaching &Accessibility?

Accessibility remains a pivotal concern in higher education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 20% of undergraduate and 12% of graduate students report having some form of disability (NCES, 2018).

- Brianna Basanta

Exploring AI Course Builder in Blackboard Learn

August 2023

Exploring AI Course Builder in Blackboard Learn

Anthology, a provider of educational solutions and services, recently announced a new collaboration with Microsoft to incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) into their educational offerings, including Blackboard Learn.

- Brianna Basanta

Finger pointing at words in a book

July 2023

"The Joy of Reading"

As instructional designers dedicated to enhancing online learning experiences, we frequently encounter a common query from faculty: How can we engage students effectively with course readings and materials?

- Cate Dowman

Unlocking the Voice: Strategies for Engaging Silent Learners

June 2023

Unlocking the Voice: Strategies for Engaging Silent Learners

Silent is not necessarily disengaged.

Silent learners may be highly motivated to learn but simply prefer to engage in a more introspective and thoughtful manner. Recognizing and valuing the unique characteristics of silent learners can help instructors create inclusive and supportive learning environments that cater to their needs and foster their active engagement. How can we engage silence? 

- Cate Dowman

Mind map image

May 2023

Developing Critical Thinking Skills with Mind Mapping

As educators, we strive to help our students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will serve them in their future academic and professional pursuits.

- Claudia Velasquez

touch screen computer

April 2023

Advancing Student Skills & Engagement through Emerging Technologies

I remember learning Statistics 101 in a big lecture hall with about 100 students. Our professor used acetate films and a projector to teach basic to complex lessons. To show proficiency, students took high stake exams using pen and paper. 

- April Macadangdang


March 2023

Knowledge Check One Two, One Two

Looking for ways to engage your students during your course? Here’s why knowledge checks should be your go-to solution!

- Maite Saco

Decorative image

February 2023

The Next Educational Challenge: AI Technology and Course Design

ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot from OpenAI, has hit the educational community like the proverbial ton of bricks. There is a sense of wonder and dread and concern permeating the faculty communities throughout the land. However, this is not the first-time technology has caused a stir and it will not be the last. 

- Dr. Johnny Orr

Bad case of the forgetsies

January 2023

A Bad Case of the "Forgetsies"

I am not a very organized person, I would fit the typical description of a creative, scattered mind person with many ideas and projects running simultaneously with their own illogical logic.

- Neri Garcia

Decorative image

December 2022

Looking to Improve Your Course? Start at the End

When I was a child, I remember one of the first times I noticed the maze on the kids’ menu. That’s when my parents decided to offer some advice. “Do you want to know how to get through the maze on your first try? Start at the end.”

- Nick Armas

Faculty tips ending the semester

November 2022

Ending the Semester with a Bang

This Faculty Tips interactive guide is packed with useful resources and ideas on completing the semester not just with success and a bang but also with your health intact.

- April Macadangdang

7 tips for better home-based video recording

October 2022

7 Tips for Better Home-based Video Recording

Videos are one of the main components of multimedia that will help boost the learning experience in your classroom. Research shows as long as the audio is comprehensible and the visual is in focus, students will watch the recording.

I'd like to share seven simple yet effective tips and tricks you can follow when recording a video at home. 

- Alexa Rimart

Person pointing to a globe on a tablet call

September 2022

Tips for Facilitating Regular Substantive Interactions in Your Course

Regular Substantive Interactions (RSI) are a key distinction between distance learning and correspondence courses. The regulations for RSI were updated in 2020 and apply to all courses that have an online component. So… What does that mean for us as instructors?

- Hanna Fife

C'est la rentree

August 2022

C’est la rentrée: The First Day of the Semester and the Importance of First Impressions

The French have an expression to describe the beginning of a new academic year, la rentrée. However, far from being merely a way to refer to this specific time of the year, the word carries a whole halo of excitement and new resolutions, an atmosphere of hope and preparation.

- Dr. Viviana Pezzullo

Person looking up in thought with graphic images displayed on the side

July 2022

Can Visual Design Make or Break your Course?

How to create visually appealing content that promotes learning without becoming a graphic designer overnight.

- Maite Saco


June 2022

Accessibility is Usability

Accessibility, one of the most talked about topics in learning and web design. It is also one of the more confusing topics. What do we mean by ‘accessibility’?

- Cate Dowman and Ron Rodriguez

Resources We Recommend 

Each month we search the internet to bring you the latest on tools, research, ideas, and learning.


1. The Synergy of Instructional Design and UX Design in Creating Effective Learning Materials

Check out this article that highlights the merging of instructional design and UX design principles to create more "user-friendly learning experiences" for online learners.


2. Embrace AI Tools to Improve Student Writing

This Times Higher Education Resource explores one instructor's reasons for incorporating AI tools in their writing classroom.


3. Using QR Codes to Design Engaging Learning Experiences

Listen to this podcast where Tolulope (Tolu) Noah speaks about building engaging learning experiences using QR codes and how this approach supports the Universal Design for Learning (UDL).


4. How will the E-Learning Landscape Transform in 2024

 As we wrap up the year, watch this video that details some popular trends to look out for in 2024 when it comes to e-learning.

Faculty Contributors Welcome!


Let's be honest. Getting students engaged involves hours of careful planning, the occasional pulling of teeth, or sometimes a simple smile.

Wouldn't it be easier if colleagues shared tips and best practices instead?

We welcome short stories or articles on how you go about teaching, planning and designing your courses regardless of mode. If your classes are noisy and buzzing with engagement or you meditate with students at the start of class, we want to hear from you!

For more details contact and