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Andrea Leonard, a Master Instructor in the Department of Chemistry in the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences, has been selected as the Office of Distance Learning’s 2017-18 ULearn Faculty Fellow.

Mrs. Leonard becomes the first faculty fellow for the Office of Distance Learning. Serving as an extension of the Instructional Support staff, she will work closely with Dr. Claire Arabie, Instructional Support Manager for Distance  Learning. Arabie shared, “I am very excited about Andrea’s potential to expand our depth of understanding on the benefits and challenges of adaptive learning solutions and strategies.” During her one year commitment from August 1, 2017, through July 31, 2018, Mrs. Leonard will

  • Evaluate adaptive learning vendors, software, and services
  • Develop and propose a broad-based strategy for the Office of Distance Learning to increase faculty use of adaptive and active learning techniques
  • Implement a course-based, adaptive learning software enabled intervention
  • Broadly share her experience and findings

A committee of four faculty evaluated all submissions for the ULearn Faculty Fellow and ultimately selected Mrs. Leonard. “The feedback from our faculty committee indicated Andrea’s proposal held great promise for the Office of Distance Learning to learn more about adaptive learning technologies,” stated Dr. Luke Dowden, Director of Distance Learning. Dowden acknowledged that there were several high quality proposals submitted.

A recent NMC Horizon Report for Higher Education listed adaptive learning technologies as an important development in educational technology with a time to adoption horizon of one year or less. The Report defines adaptive learning technologies as “software and online platforms that adjust to individual students’ needs as they learn.”

Dowden noted the value of having a faculty fellow, “Because of the sheer volume of faculty served by the Instructional Designers and Technologists, it is difficult to spend dedicated consistent time on one major educational technology innovation. Andrea’s contribution will be a deep dive into a critical movement in digital learning.”