Stritch Collaborates with Schlitz Audubon; Free Anthropology Microcourses available.

Posted by David Pacifico at 12/19/2017 2:11:35 PM

December and January are going to be good months here at the School of Continuing and Online Learning. Just this month we've had a couple of free online microcourses launched that are meant to provide you – the public – with the opportunity to explore the field of anthropology. Anthropology is the most holistic of social sciences. It incorporates elements of STEM, humanities, political science, regional studies, etc. It's highly interdisciplinary and is especially suited to helping us understand and act in an increasingly globalized world where the local counts just as much as the international.

Check out those courses at You'll find the anthropology courses under the 'free courses' and the 'community partners' tab. 

Speaking of 'community partners'…. David Pacifico, SCOL Research Coordinator and Schlitz Audubon's Marc White will present preliminary results of historical and archaeological explorations at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. These explorations are part of a community-centered archaeological project aimed to involve the public in all stages of research. The public is encouraged to attend the lecture and discussion on January 20th, 2017 at 2pm at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. In addition, a free and optional online component is available to all people near and far who wish to collaborate. Online collaboration opens January 6th, 2017 and will run through February 20th in order to maximize access and participation in the project. Online registration is free and is not required to attend in person on the 20th.

To participate online visit: and select the red 'community partners' to sign up for the online component. 

Please also come out on January 20th to participate in this ongoing, collaborative archaeological project. The lecture and discussion is free to all students with valid ID, adults paying admission to or members of Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. Schlitz Audubon Nature Center is located at 1111 East Brown Deer Road, Bayside, WI. 

We are very enthused for this, our first collaborative public event with Schlitz Audubon. The School of Continuing and Online Learning (SCOL) has been developing a collaboration with Schlitz Audubon Nature Center since autumn 2017 to explore the long term environmental and social history of southeast Wisconsin. Our institutions' shared missions of public outreach, education, and scholarship make this partnership one of great potential. 

For questions about the lecture and online component, contact David Pacifico: 

For questions about visiting Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, contact Jill Macek: 

Download, print and share: 

Lecture Flier 

Lecture Handout 

Instruction Video for Free, Optional Online Component 


You Can Learn Anything!

Posted by Ed Price at 12/7/2017 3:12:54 PM

“Most people are held back not by their innate ability, but by their mindset. They think intelligence is fixed, but it isn’t. Your brain is like a muscle. The more you use it and struggle, the more it grows.”

This quote from Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy, is telling of the mission at Khan Academy.  “A free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” Talk about a loty goal for something started in a closet by one guy, using one computer, and Youtube in 2006. Well 11 years later his vision has grown to over 10 million users worldwide and available in over 8 languages. So one might wonder, how can I use this in my classroom, with my students, to help them grow?

We have an answer for that ! The School of Continuing and Online Learning at Cardinal Stritch University is developing a day of professional development for Milwaukee area teachers looking to come learn about the “coaching tools” in Khan Academy and how to use Khan Academy with their students. This spring (stay tuned for the date), we will hold a one day, in person event where participants will become acquainted with Khan Academy, learn how to enroll students, create classes, make assignments, navigate the site, and explore implementation strategies. Participants will also have time to collaborate with other participants and build a professional network of like users.

The support does not end with the day of learning. The School of Continuing and Online Learning will also give participants access to the free Canvas Course which will have support materials and resources for use.

So, stay tuned for an announcement in the first part of 2018 with a date, time, and location!

SCOL Welcomes Dr. David Pacifico

Posted by David Pacifico at 3/10/2017 9:27:20 AM

We are happy to announce that David Pacifico has joined our team. David brings to SCOL extensive experience in the field and classroom at home and abroad. Here at SCOL he’ll be taking the reins as our Research, Policy, and Evaluation Coordinator as we expand SCOL’s academic programming and community partnerships. Check out David’s bio page for more information about his teaching, research, and expertise.

The School of Continuing and Online Learning

Posted by Hope Liu at 10/26/2016 9:45:53 AM

Welcome to the School of Continuing and Online Learning at Cardinal Stritch University!

In June 2016, the Board of Trustees approved the proposal to create a School of Continuing and Online Learning. The proposal was over a year in the making. Initially drafted by the Office of Instructional Design, the proposal underwent many revisions based on feedback by many at the University. We are very excited to see the proposal come to life.

What are we doing to do differently? Well, not a whole lot actually. We will still continue to support the Colleges as they explore online possibilities. We will still work with Faculty to support their use of technology or other active teaching strategies in their classes. We will still continue to blog (because we know you'd miss us if we didn't!). We'll still produce the free courses that you love. But, we will also be overseeing more strategic online efforts at the University, doing a lot more work with our friends in Marketing, and exploring continuing education online.We'll be working more across the community we live in, but also across the nation as we seek partners for some of these efforts. We welcome your involvement!

Clearly we are still working out some of the nuts and bolts of the new School, but first - a celebration!

Please join us on October 13, 2016 from 5:30pm-7:00pm and learn how the School plans to tackle the "Unfinished Business of Education."Click the link to learn more and register!

Can't come in person, leave us a note telling us you love us anyway:


We had a wonderful launch event and thanks friends, colleagues and supporters from around the United States for all the warm wishes and congratulations! If you missed it, here is the video of the presentations

Urgent - Time Sensitive...or not?

Posted by Hope Liu at 7/21/2016 9:58:04 AM

The role of time continues to be a topic of discussion in education circles. When it comes to learning – does time matter?

Time has played a historic role in education for quite a long time. Our K12 school calendar was based on the importance of time in an agrarian culture. School was discontinued during the summer because summer was the time for farming and crops. Further, the whole system of education has been heavily influenced by the idea of the Carnegie unit. Let’s explore a little more about the Carnegie Unit, shall we?

The Carnegie unit, actually evolved out of the need to create a pension system for college professors in the US. For college professors to be eligible for the pension, the college needed to standardize their entrance requirements by requiring 14 units, with each unit being a course lasting five periods each week throughout the year. (You can see where this is going…) However, the Carnegie unit was then re-purposed as a common metric mostly for administrative purposes and evolved into today’s credit hour. The credit hour was used to quickly expand education in the US because it was easily understood, transferable, and measurable. ( Currently, one credit hour is defined as one contact hour per week over a standard 15 week semester. Indeed, the currency of education is credit hours. The number of credit hours, which is derived from the number of hours you spent in the presence of your instructor, dictates your progress in education, which impacts your financial and vocational success.

As successful and important as it is to establish some sort of measuring stick for education, it’s time to re-think time.

How many classes did you skip in college? Did you pass those classes? What about attending a class that you KNEW was a total waste of time? Did attending help you learn? My daughter goes to a Montessori school (surprise, surprise). Montessori allows students to move in their own time through their own learning. Time is not important, but outcomes are. She has to demonstrate that she can perform the skill flawlessly before she can move on. Consider a freshman student taking math – math builds upon previous skills – if a student doesn’t master a foundational skill, he won’t be successful in the next. In that sense, the importance of time – I have to get through all 15 chapters of the textbook in 15 weeks – can be viewed as a detriment to learning. Similarly, that deadline of midnight for a term paper may prevent a student from one last editing round. I wrote my dissertation on Keller’s Personalized System of Instruction which focused on mastery learning and self-pacing in higher education in the early 1970s, so the debate about time and mastery learning and outcomes is clearly an old one.

While I may argue that the time to learn something is less important than the actual learning of something, I will also argue that we need to balance that with the application of the learning. While it may be ok to take 12 hours to learn how to direct traffic, no one wants to wait 12 hours in traffic while you figure it out. As educators, we have to consider carefully when time does matter. For example, a term paper due at midnight may teach students the importance of deadlines and submitting quality work before the deadline. This is a valued skill in the workplace. However, as educators, we also have to consider the timeline of learning. Are the students beginning, intermediate or experienced creators of term papers? What do we want to emphasize for the students in their learning?

As educators, our role is to judge what is important for students to learn throughout their learning process and that will always stand the test of time.

The Importance of Context

Posted by Eric Ludwig at 7/1/2016 10:04:11 AM

Recently my daughter announced that she had made the winning goal at her first soccer game! The initial excitement was great. Grandparents proudly sharing the news of my almost 6 year old daughter's amazing feat. Within 3 hours, my uncle asked me on Facebook where were the soccer pictures? I had to reply that I wasn't even at the first soccer game and I hadn't seen the winning goal.


Here's what was missing - the context. It was my daughter's first soccer game at her first day of soccer camp. It wasn't a competitive game -scrimmage may even stretch the truth. Without the context, this accomplishment was misconstrued. (None of this is to say that this was not a big deal. I was quite the proud mom, but maybe it's not on class with World Cup notoriety.)

Context counts in story-telling and in learning.

In educational psychology, I learned that where you study influences your success on an exam - the more similar the environments, the more likely you would perform well. In instructional design, I learned the importance of learning context analysis and performance context analysis. The learning context is where you are learning the new skill or knowledge and the performance context is where you are actually applying that new skill or knowledge. Again, the more similar they are, the easier it is to transfer the knowledge from learning to performance.

Which brings us to course/program design. What context are you designing for?

When I taught K12 teachers, many of them designed solely for the classroom - that is, after all, where they had to do the majority of their work and what they could control. Indeed, many K12 skills, knowledge and attitudes are easily transferable to a performance context (reading for example. You may teach it in the classroom, but the reality is that the kids are surrounded by opportunities to read and motivated to read in those situations - dessert menus for example).

However, we need to prepare our college and graduate students for a real-world context - a global context. When you think about your course, are your assessments, activities, projects designed for the learner when they leave the classroom? Are you thinking about where they will apply that skill beyond the controlled classroom? Are you creating opportunities for your learners to learn embedded in a context outside of the classroom?

Before you get too worked up, I am not criticizing assessments like quizzes, tests, or 20 page papers. I view those as necessary to support the eventual goal of the learner working outside of the classroom. In order to be successful outside of the classroom, learners need to know content information or how to critically think and communicate those thoughts. Just don't stop there.

It's hard. You may try to organize some sort of community learning project or internship and then find yourself thinking - where will the learners go? who will work with them in a meaningful way? how will I know? how do I get this approved? what about transportation? how do I measure learning? 

Even if you just move your thinking that the endpoint of learning/assessment is not within your control, you will start thinking about your course differently. Is it super important that they know the capital of Wisconsin is Madison? Or is it super important that they know how to find the capital of Wisconsin - or, for that matter, any capital? How can you bring the outside world into your course and take your course to the outside world?

At Stritch, we're going to try and do it with online programs. So wherever our learners are, that's where we want them to find an opportunity to apply what they've learned. We will be thinking all of those same questions but also things like - what about time zones? how do I know the partner is a legitimate partner? what about documents or legal issues? what about language barriers?

It's daunting, but it's important because we want our learners to be successful - at Stritch and outside of Stritch. Join us as we do this.

Organize your learning (and life) with Google Apps

Posted by Ed Price at 5/27/2016 10:19:40 AM

Better teaching and learning comes from collaboration and highly interactive teaching. Engaging teaching leads to engaged learners. While it sounds simple, it is not that easy. Better living can come from organizing your life and finding efficient ways to connect and communicate with others.

How can you accomplish this?

Well… Google it! No, not the search engine, but with free Google Apps! Google provides anyone with a Google account access to many useful and FREE tools. “Generally referred to as Google Apps (or the Google Suite), these web-based programs can help you create a more collaborative, engaged learning environment.”

What are they?

Google has many apps (like traditional software programs) for word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, survey tools, webdesign, and more! Because all of these are cloud-based, you have access to your files from anywhere you can connect to the internet. No more worrying about what computer or jump drive they are stored on. Your files are always available and accessible.

The power of Google can help teachers and learners connect in ways they were unable to in the past. Here are some benefits to using Google apps in your classroom:

  • Increased collaboration between students and instructors
  • Device neutral programs – PC, Mac, tablet, phone, Chromebook
  • Google Apps are always up to date – no more updating versions of software
  • Integrates with many LMS (Canvas and Blackboard)
  • Free

Not a student or an instructor? These Google tools are still available to you. Use them to save time, stay in touch, and stay organized.
Speaking of free!

Sign up for the first of our Google Apps courses. Out first course covers Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Docs. Stay tuned for more!

ARCS Model of Motivation

Posted by Christine Dereberry at 5/27/2016 10:16:38 AM

Four Actions to Gain and Keep Students Engaged

Every facilitator who works with students knows how difficult it is to keep their attention. In reading about various methods for increasing student motivation, my favorite technique was written by John Keller and is called the ARCS Model of Motivation. The model is very effective and is divided into four categories: Attention (A), Relevance (R), Confidence (C), and Satisfaction (S).

Attention: Effective planning, participation and variety throughout the lesson will increase focus and motivation.

  1. Active participation of all students.
    Applying active teaching strategies including collaborating with their peers, students are encouraged to become active throughout the learning process.
  2. Using humor.
    Including short humorous stories, videos, images during the session can assist with keeping the attention of the students.
  3. Introducing conflict.
    Presenting statements or facts that may conflict with the common beliefs will encourage discourse.
  4. Adding variety.
    Employ a variety of different strategies when starting a session, when introducing a new topic, when transitioning to a new topic or when you want the students to review or practice what was covered. Examples are virtual guest speakers, case studies, visuals, graphic organizers, videos, student response systems, Web 2.0 websites/apps and humorous trivia games.
  5. Practical application.
    Inform students of the practical use of the material in their daily lives by including real life stories or examples.

Relevance: Facilitators who work with students are encouraged to link new learning in multiple ways so students can relate to and make connections to the new information.

  1. Relate the learning to their previous experience.
    Assist students in establishing connections to new information and relating it to what they already know from previous experience.
  2. Immediate application.
    Motivation increases if students see a direct connection of how the information will equip them with new skills to resolve their current issues or to complete a task.
  3. Future application.
    Facilitators should communicate the WIIFM or the What’s In It For Me idea in every session.
  4. Model what you want them to learn.
    Setting an example and offering presentations by those who have successfully applied the particular piece of knowledge or skill presented will motivate students.
  5. Include student choice.
    Giving students’ choice upon their own learning path is recommended because students have an opinion on how they like to learn and process new information.

Confidence: Facilitators should employ various techniques to help students feel successful.

  1. Track progress.
    Provide a checklist where students can mark off what steps they have completed shows progress towards their goal.
  2. State objectives and prerequisites.
    Communicate expectations, objectives and how exactly they are going to be evaluated.
  3. Include constructive feedback.
    Feedback is essential in order for students to confident about the progress they are making with the content and what steps they should take to improve their skills.

Satisfaction: Students should feel a sense of accomplishment after completing the session.

  1. Well done.
    The learning process must present students with a sense of achievement and recognition of their efforts.
  2. Try out your new skills.
    Encourage students to use their new skills to solve real problems that the students value.
  3. Student feedback. Encourage students to provide feedback on how the session went by asking the students to complete an exit slip or a session evaluation. Be sure to include questions on the exit slip that elicit feedback on each of the four parts of the ARCS Model. Use the data from the results to improve the session for future groups of students.

This content was adapted from various websites related to the ARCS Model. For additional information on ARCS visit

Additional information about learning theories can be found at

Partnering with Faculty for Student and Community Success!

Posted by Dr. Hope Liu at 5/27/2016 10:09:03 AM

As any instructional designer in higher education will tell you, the most rewarding project is the project where you are partnering with faculty to make the student experience amazing. OID had one of the most rewarding instructional experiences this Spring, working with faculty in Math/Computer Science and Art to create an interdisciplinary, service learning course for Juniors and Seniors. This was a face-to-face experience, but we still had a fantastic time doing it!


“The JMM was excited to be selected as the partner in this project. We have enjoyed working with the Stritch faculty and learners throughout the semester and their research, recommendations and work will enhance our Museum experience for guests throughout the greater Milwaukee area.” Ellie Gettinger, Director of Education, Jewish Museum Milwaukee

The resulting learner projects will provide a better experience for museum guests and also allowed learners to experience what it was like to work for a client and work in a team with diverse skills. 

“I learned how to communicate technical concepts to non-technical people.” Stritch senior learner

According to Suzanne Caulfield, Chair of the Stritch Math and Computer Science department, they plan to continue this work next year and use it to build more experiences like this for learners. Instructors Bryan Cera and Jonathon Magana said the support provided by OID was critical to the success because OID reduced the burden on the instructors such that creating this different experience was not extra work for them. 

“Without OID’s support, we would not have been able to create such a great learning experience for our students.” Jonathon Magana, Computer Science Faculty 

OID hopes to continue to partner with Math/Computer Science/Art and also identify new interested faculty next year to create similar projects to enhance learner’s academic experience outside of the classroom and further raise awareness in the community of the skills and talents of the Stritch learners.

What does an instructional designer do?

Posted by Hope Liu at 4/22/2016 10:15:45 AM

In 2000, I told my parents I was enrolling in a doctoral program in Instructional Technology at Virginia Tech. (I believe an earthquake registered a 10 on the Richter scale in Virginia that day because of their surprise. You see, I was one year away from a doctorate in another field!)


My dad immediately started asking what can you do with that degree? What do people with that degree do? Can they get a job? Being brand new to the program, I didn’t have an answer, but now I can say, with over 10 years of experience, “Yes, I know what you can do with that degree, I know what people do in that job, and yes, you can get a job.”


In fact, the US Department of Labor states that instructional designers or technologists have a Bright Outlook. A Bright Outlook means that these occupations are “expected to grow rapidly in the next several years, will have large numbers of job openings, or are new and emerging occupations.” (source:


If you’re contemplating making a career switch to instructional designer and are curious about what we do, read on!


But what do you do as an instructional designer/technologist?


Corporate employers are looking for a jack of all trades. Can you write a training program collaboratively with people that don’t understand what training is or value it? Can you write a training program for online? Can you help them achieve better compliance outcomes? Can you help the bottom line by creating better sales force training? Can you troubleshoot a technical question? Can you communicate effectively with diverse groups? Can you project manage? Can you use technology to create elearning? In a corporate setting, you must show the value and impact of training, so don’t forget the importance of evaluation!


Non-profits are similar to corporate employers except, rather than focusing on the bottom line, they are looking at what helps them achieve their mission. Non-profits may be looking for instructional programs that focus on community outreach or educating the folks that use their services. Can you attract more people to the museum? Can you improve patient outcomes at a hospital? Can you take an existing undergraduate course and put it online? Can you teach teachers how to incorporate technology into their classrooms? Evaluation matters here too. How are you helping achieve the mission?


Do you like it?


I love it! I don’t regret for one second my switch! I’m lucky because my vocation and avocation are identical. I’m an educator at heart and my focus is always on the learner and their experience. When I create an educational piece that the learners benefit from, that’s my fulfillment – whether it’s simply learning how to use Excel or whether it’s a leadership course. I’ve been fortunate to work in finance, health care, non-profit community education, and higher education. I’ve enjoyed every position as I progressed upward in my roles and responsibilities. I keep on learning from my colleagues, but most of all, from the learners themselves!


Are you interested in pursuing a Master’s degree that allows you to become an instructional designer? Drop us a note and let us know! We’re thinking of offering an online degree program and would love to hear your thoughts!


Cheers and keep learning!


Hope, Director of Instructional Design


Summer – the perfect time to get ahead!

Posted by Ed Price at 3/21/2016 10:18:00 AM

Summer – the days are longer, the nights are shorter, time passes more slowly. Here in Milwaukee, we LOVE summer. No snow, no ice. Just warm, breezy days on the shores of Lake Michigan.

But you know what else we love about summer? Summer classes.


Students get to focus on their learning without so many distractions. For example, if you’re a high school student, you don’t have the demands of a full time academic schedule with all those extra curricular activities or jobs that fill up after school hours. If you’re already enrolled in a higher ed program, summer is a great time to knock out some of the more challenging course work or take some required or elective courses so that you can reduce your courses when you get more busy.

What are you going to do with your summer? Why not get ahead of the game?

Sign up for an online summer course and earn credits to apply to your current degree! Planning to enter school in the fall, why not knock some credits out of the way during summer?

Imagine how much less stressful your life will be in the fall if you don’t have to take so many credits at your University. Better yet – imagine accelerating your time to graduation by taking some credits now!

We are offering a special price for undergraduate courses this summer only! Go ahead – take a long sip of iced tea and get ready to experience the Stritch difference this summer!