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October, 2022

10Oct9:00 AM9:50 AMKeynoteOnline Learning: Then, Now, and What May Be NextDr. David Wicks, School of Education, Seattle Pacific University9:00 AM – 9:50 AM


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October 10, 2022


Monday 9:00 AM – 9:50 AM Pacific Time


Online via Zoom


Part of 2022 Conference

Session Description

The 2022-2023 academic year will be my twenty-fifth year of teaching online. What started as an attempt to help Education and Health Science colleagues address a perceived need for adult learners has resulted in what is now my primary mode of instruction and main area of research.

During this time, I have collaborated with colleagues to apply online learning and adult learning theories to the design, facilitation, and instruction of online and blended courses. We have attempted to create and teach classes that promote social presence by experimenting with a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous interactions to maximize opportunities for student voice. Inquiry-based instructional models have been implemented to increase cognitive presence in online learning spaces.

This work seemed pretty straightforward, with gradual improvements until the last three years. But then the “blinders” started to come off, and shortcomings that were always there revealed flaws in our work.

First, we finally realized that our faculty and students from marginalized communities face discrimination and implicit bias in how learning management systems and other digital tools are designed and implemented.

Second, we learned about true challenges of scale when all faculty were forced to modify course modalities, not for greater flexibility or improved learning outcomes, but because of a global pandemic. Third, digital equity became a priority when inflation and other economic challenges, caused not just by COVID but also by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, impacted our ability to provide equitable online learning opportunities for all students.

This presentation will share successes and failures of online courses and programs I have participated in during the past twenty-five years. There will be opportunities for members of the NWeLearn community of inquiry to share expertise and insights as we examine where we have been, where we are, and what may be next.


Dr. David Wicks

Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, School of Education, Seattle Pacific University

Dr. David A. Wicks is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Chair of the Digital Education Leadership program in the School of Education at Seattle Pacific University. He has served within the educational technology community in numerous positions throughout his career including high school technology teacher, university computer science lecturer, school district technology facilitator, multimedia author and project manager for an educational technology company, and director of instructional technology for SPU.

His research interests include global education, electronic portfolios, online and blended learning, learning spaces, and active learning. He is particularly interested in exploring how students and instructors perceive their experiences in digital learning environments.

Dr. Wicks participates in the Northwest eLearning Community (NWeLearn), the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium (NWACC), the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), and the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE). He serves as the Higher Education Representative on the Board of Directors for the Northwest Council on Computers in Education (NCCE), on the editorial board for the Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository (TOPR), and as the editor-in-chief for the International Dialogues on Education (IDE) Journal.