The Northwest eLearning Community

Our Goals

  • Share best practices in pedagogy, instructional design, system and program management in electronic environments.
  • Collaborate on use of learning technologies.
  • Provide feedback and ideas for improved functionality to product developers.
  • Gather participants for face-to-face collaboration, learning, and support in an annual conference.

How We Started

In 2005, a group associated with the Washington Community and Technical College eLearning Council (eLC) formed the Washington Blackboard Users Group. WABUG aimed to create a community of users involved in online teaching and learning. With the rapid growth of online, hybrid, and web-enhanced instruction in our institutions, we responded by creating a conference/community to share best practices, tips, and new technologies to enhance our colleges and universities.

At the inaugural meeting in December 2006, attendees elected a committee representing WABUG and a sister organization, the Pacific Northwest Blackboard Users Group, with the charge of determining how the organization could best serve the similar goals of the two groups.

The committee announced a new name for the conference, NWeLearn, in 2007 and they developed the mission statement and governance protocol. Attendees voted to accept the recommendations.

Since then, the Northwest eLearning Community has hosted yearly conferences, rotating to various locations around the three states of WA, OR, and ID. NWeLearn also promotes regional and topical microconferences and has provided webinars to support eLearning.

Meet The Board


Tim Chase


Tim Chase began teaching in 1997 at a university in central China and then moved to beautiful central Oregon where he lives with his wife, Janet, and their three teens. Tim is certified for high school language arts and technology in several states and is currently director of program development with Impact Virtual Learning, an online course-provider for high school students.

Passionate about infusing technology into his own teaching and providing opportunity for his students to learn with technology, Tim is an enthusiastic promoter of classroom edTech, institutional change, and eLearning. Tim Chase is an eLearning Designer, EdTech Professional Development provider, and Event Coordinator. His favorite current projects involve virtualizing/digitizing classrooms with LMS and Google power!


Dr. Weiwei Zhang

Chair Elect

Dr. Weiwei Zhang has worked in higher education for over 10 years. She is currently the Product Manager for Bridge, an LMS used for non-credit learning and training at Oregon State University. Prior to working at OSU, Weiwei worked at Western Oregon University and Reed College. Weiwei was the instructional technologist for the Foreign Languages at Reed. At WOU, she was the LMS administrator, and provided support in instructional design for academic courses and programs, as well as created, delivered, and organized many of WOU’s faculty development workshops and events. She has also taught courses such as Designing Information in the MSEDIT program at WOU.

Weiwei is actively researching and exploring new ways to implement and leverage eLearning in higher education. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, painting, doing activities with her husband and two young children, and hanging out with her cat who believes he holds the wisdom and secret of the universe.


Ana Thompson

Past Chair

Ana Thompson has worked in higher education for the last 16 years in IT, digital learning, and instructional design. As a Learning & Access Designer at the UW Bothell Office of Digital Learning & Innovation, Ana enjoys working with faculty and staff to streamline the use of technology tools, increase inclusive teaching, and promote digital fluency.

Ana has extensive experience with Learning Management Systems, adult learning, WCAG 2.0, document accessibility, Copyright and Fair Use, Universal Design for Learning, and finding innovative ways to use old and new tools. Currently, she is the lead of the Universal Design for Learning campus initiative, co-chairs the Accessibility Planning Project committees, and is a member of the Campus Access Guide workgroup and the UW IT Accessibility Task Force.


Jerry Lewis


Jerry Lewis has been working at Columbia Basin College for about 24 years, starting out creating audio/visual materials for instructors, and later becoming the WebCT and distance learning admin. This evolved into his current position, Director for eLearning & Virtual Campus, where he provides support and guidance for online and other technologies.

Jerry has a BA in Communications/Broadcast Journalism from UW and an MBA from WGU. He is interested in French, speaking it passably, and Japanese, not so much. Until recently, he’s been a fairly regular bicyclist.


Dr. Velda Arnaud

Board Member

Dr. Velda Arnaud has a long history as a dedicated undergraduate instructor within 2-year, 4-year, and career/technical programs. Her foci are leadership, education, and service. She is committed to helping others identify their passions.

Velda is currently the Business Administration Department Chair at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon.


Geoff Cain

Board Member

Geoff Cain is the founder of GBC Education Consulting, focusing on online and face-to-face course design that promotes student success and retention and faculty development. He is also an instructor in Adult Basic Education at Green River College where he teaches language arts/social studies and language arts/science.

Geoff’s professional and consulting interests include instructional design, online course and program development, ePortfolios and alternative assessments, open education resources, online quality assurance, change management, and faculty professional development.


Nina Fox

Board Member

Nina Fox has been in higher education for over 13 years. She is a passionate promoter of active learning and the use of educational technology within the physical and virtual classroom environments.

Based currently within the UO Libraries Center for Media and Educational Technologies at the University of Oregon, she is in constant pursuit of excellence and strives to increase student success through the use of educational technology in its many forms.


Nadine Lemmons

Board Member

Nadine Lemmons has been one of Lower Columbia College’s pioneers with online, hybrid, and flipped model teaching; always looking to try something new to better engage students in learning. Nadine also works closely with the LCC Student Athletes, helping with student success and the Athletic Study Tables. Being affectionately coined “Gym Mom,” Nadine is often found lifting weights, helping with homework, and advising simultaneously in the campus Fitness Center.

Nadine is an LCC Alumni and holds a BS in Information Technology from George Fox University and an MBA from Marylhurst University. Nadine loves bodybuilding, running, books, nachos, and craft beer.


Dr. Kristine Medyanik

Board Member

Dr. Kristine Medyanik has been actively involved in various roles in higher education for 10 years. She fell in love with helping students bridge the gap between academics and applied ideas. Kristine’s classroom focus has primarily been in business management, but she has recently branched out into workplace psychology after completing her doctorate with a specialty in industrial psychology.

Kristine lives in Salem Oregon with her husband and 3 boys, but travels to tropical scuba destinations as often as possible in her free time.


Amy L. Munger

Board Member

Amy L. Munger has a passion for bringing education to life, creating environments that are dynamic, engaging, and meaningful. She is dedicated to both experiential education and instructional design, daring students to define and develop into their best selves. Having worked in both K-12 and higher education settings, she loves working with students and faculty to enrich learning with technology.

Amy has an MSEd in Information Technology from Western Oregon University with a certificate in Instructional Design. She received her undergraduate degree from Regis University in Peace and Justice Studies with a minor in Spanish. Amy’s hobbies include family, board games, hiking, soccer, ultimate, stand-up comedy, eating, and occasionally margaritas.