Five optional pre-conference workshops are being offered for the morning of Wednesday, May 16, before the conference officially begins. These hands-on, specialized workshops will run from 9:00-11:30 am and have a registration fee of $25. All will take place at the I Hotel and Conference Center, and you can register for them here.

W1. Engaging Students with Course Content through the Online Discussion Forum

Presenter: Allison Alcorn, Illinois State University

The Discussion Forum is not only a crucial tool through which to assess student assimilation of reading and lecture material but is also an essential online tool through which students collaborate to create meaning out of course content. Yet, little has been written about discussion forum best practices. This workshop considers the role of the instructor, how to design discussion forums creatively, and how to foster robust discussion.

Attendees should bring a laptop or tablet that can connect to Wi-Fi.


W2. Accessibility in the Trenches

Presenters: Dr. Vance Martin, Michele Gribbins, Tammy Craig, Emily Boles, and John Freml, University of Illinois Springfield

This workshop will provide a faculty member the foundational skills they need to create accessible digital materials, as well as provide a strategy for approaching this sometimes daunting task. Participants will actively practice creating accessible materials -- formatting Word documents, checking PowerPoint reading order, writing ALT text, and captioning a video. Plus, we'll cover the newest requirements for creating accessible videos and demonstrate the Adobe Accessibility Checkers for PDFs.

Attendees should bring a laptop with Windows or Mac OS.


W3. Instructional Design 101: Exploring the Basics of Course Design

Presenters: Cheryl Hitosis McKearin and Thomas J. Okon, University of Illinois at Chicago

Have you been tasked with converting your face-to-face course to an online course? Join us as we use instructional design methodologies to inform and plan for an online course. We will be using Blackboard, but any LMS will work for this workshop. In this workshop, you will: (1) Create measurable objectives, (2) Identify best practices for building a course menu, and (3) Work with IDs to identify successes as well as areas of improvement in your course.

Attendees should have access to a course in their LMS.


W4. Strategies for Increasing Student Engagement in Any Discipline

Presenter: Claire C. Lamonica, Illinois State University

We all have theories about why students aren’t engaged in our classes: too many technological distractions, underdeveloped attention spans, too much partying, too little intellectual curiosity, and so on. But what does the literature say? In this session, we will explore the notion of student engagement, identifying contributing factors, utilizing a case study approach to apply what we’ve learned, and exploring strategies for (re)engaging the disengaged.

Attendees do not need to bring anything for this workshop.


W5. Problem-Based Learning In Action

Presenters: Olivia Coiado, Roberto Galvez, and Sol Roberts-Lieb, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Carle Illinois College of Medicine, the first to infuse engineering and medicine, presents a problem-based learning (PBL) experience to enhance the curiosity and creativity of students. This session will provide an introduction to PBL and active learning. As an attendee, you, in small groups, will engage in a PBL session; first participating as a student, to gain a better understanding of the process, and second as a facilitator, to practice leading a session.

Attendees do not need to bring anyrthing for this workshop.