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July, 2020

wed22Jul11:00 AM12:00 PMVirtual EventMini Sessions3 Topics11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pacific Time


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Wednesday 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pacific Time


Online via Zoom



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Session Description

11:00 – 11:15 a.m. Global Outreach in Africa through MOOCs (Dr. Kristin Palmer)

At the University of Virginia, we have been doing a research study with the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework in MOOCs. In this study, we have looked at the relationship to the learner’s perceived presence with retention and how different learner characteristics effect social, cognitive and teaching presence.

Data from the last four years will be summarized including:

  • Data from learners evaluating each presence.
  • Ethnicity, age and education affecting presence.
  • How customizing content might lead to higher improved presence.

11:15 – 11:30 a.m. Create Your Own Open Source, Scalable, Affordable Podcast Hosting (Benjamin Kahn)

Podcasting is arguably the most transformative new storytelling and informational medium of the 21st century, with listenership and revenues on the rise year after year.

As educators and IDs explore podcasting, we often are able to successfully produce and edit recordings…but then what? How do we get our stories out into the world of Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, and “wherever you get your podcasts?” Free options for hosting and distribution are seriously limited, and the monthly cost for premium options adds up fast.

This session will showcase a very affordable, robust, scalable podcast solution built with cheap cloud hosting and powerful Open Source software that anyone with a little bit of technical knowledge (or an adventurous spirit) can run.

11:30 – 11:45 a.m. Synchronous Zoom Classes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Stephen Shwiff and Todd Meislahn)

Sometimes synchronous classes are like spaghetti westerns, with themes of cunning, irony, and heroism. Come find out how the good guys win in the end.


Benjamin Kahn, University of Portland

Ben works as a learning systems administrator, systems architect, instructional designer, and technologist at the University of Portland, managing Open Source tools for learning, including enterprise Moodle and WordPress installs.

Dr. Kristin Palmer, University of Virginia

Dr. Kristin Palmer is the Director of Online Learning Programs at the University of Virginia (UVA). In this role, she is responsible for massive open online courses (MOOCs), facilitating pan-university eLearning needs assessments, and conducting research. She represents UVA on the Networked Learning Collaborative of Virginia (NLCVa), is a member of the Accessibility Task Force, Online Education Advisory Committee, Teaching and Learning with Technologies Committee, Bicentennial Committee, and the President’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee (2012-2014). She co-created the annual the Innovation in Pedagogy Summit at UVA. Prior to UVA, Dr. Palmer worked in both education and business on complex technology projects. She has worked at Hewlett-Packard (HP), eBay, Disney, Intuit, and the Children’s Health Council.

Stephen Shwiff, Columbia Gorge Community College

Stephen Shwiff has recently retired as Dean of General Education at Columbia Gorge Community College. As a long time Business and History instructor, Stephen moved into the administrative role working on the college’s Business program. After consulting with students about barriers in their education goals, he decided to offer every Business course at the college synchronously on Zoom beginning in 2018. Without any guidance or examples to follow, the Business instructors learned many lessons from the process: good, bad and ugly.

Todd Meislahn, Columbia Gorge Community College

Todd Meislahn joined the Business & Entrepreneurship program in 2019 and is now a full time instructor in the program. Todd has over 40 years experience in entrepreneurial enterprises and serves as a counselor for the Small Business Development Center. Todd jumped into synchronous teaching in his first class with CGCC and has now taught over 20 classes with Zoom with great innovations and progress.