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Center for Teaching Excellence

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It’s Still Your Classroom: The Art of Facilitation in Distributed Learning Courses


Have you been wondering how to chime the bell that class has begun in a distributed learning course? Are you worried that students in an online course aren’t paying attention or participating as much as they should? This workshop will cover how to assist your students in connecting with you and their peers, focusing on how to get a rich quality of discussion and participation from everyone in an online course. Sher Downing leads participants through a series of exercises and examples to help grow their facilitation skills in a virtual environment. 

About the Facilitator

Sher Downing is vice chancellor, e-learning for the University of South Carolina Palmetto College. She serves as part of the chancellor's leadership team, oversees strategic leadership and direction for online offerings, supports academic personnel in development and execution of online courses and programs, and provides leadership in the coordination of technology resources. She also serves as an associate professor at the Extended University.

Sher brings more than 25 years' experience as an experienced executive in the post-secondary and education technology field in the divisions of academics and student services in public, private and for-profit institutions. She most recently served as chief learning technology officer for the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. In 2012, her team helped boost the school's online MBA program to No. 2 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's first-ever rankings of online MBA programs; in 2013, online graduate programs in multiple disciplines were again rated No. 2.

Her experience includes leading teams of IT and instructional design staff in the development and delivery of online-, hybrid-, blended-learning and classroom activities for undergraduate, graduate and corporate training programs. She has served at senior administrative levels at several institutions, including private, community college and university campuses. She has spent the last 16 years launching online schools and programs, and overseeing the design and development of academic, administrative and student services in a virtual environment. She has also served as senior online faculty and curriculum development specialist for several colleges and universities, and as a private consultant for specialized degree programs in higher education and the private sector. 

This event is sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence.

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