Katie Nelson, of Riverland Community College, will speak  on “Web-Design Principles and Personalization to Maximize Online Learning” at the Digital Learning Forum’s monthly presentation Monday, May 14.

The presentation and discussion will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Room 117, McNeely Hall. Guests can arrive at 6:15 p.m. to network with other professionals in the Twin Cities area. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

Quality standards for online courses in higher education (such as Quality Matters) are essential for the design of successful, learning-centered online courses. These standards, however, often overlook two important elements that can improve dramatically students’ successful completion of learning outcomes: the consistent use of graphic and Web-design principles and the injection of the instructor’s personality into the course.

The goals for this program are twofold and include the elements listed above:

  1. Address how certain Web or graphic-design elements can be incorporated into the design of online courses.
  2. Discuss the benefits of injecting elements of the instructor’s personality into online courses, something that is especially important for lower-division and introductory courses.

Nelson’s presentation will:

  • Outline the common quality standards for online courses
  • Provide examples of certain graphic and Web-design principles best suited for online courses
  • Discuss why and how to personalize an online learning environment

For those who do not teach online in a higher education environment, this session will provide some fresh ideas, tips and tools that can benefit everyone involved in designing and delivering digital learning opportunities.

About the presenter

Nelson designs and teaches online, hybrid and face-to-face courses in anthropology and student success strategies at Riverland Community College, Austin, Minn. She is trained in the Quality Matters peer-review process and also serves as webmaster for the Digital Learning Forum.

She received her B.A. in anthropology and Latin American studies from Macalester College, an M.A. in anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an M.A. in learning technology with a Graduate Certificate in E-Learning from the University of St. Thomas.

Nelson is a doctoral candidate through CIESAS (Institute for Research and Higher Education in Social Anthropology) based in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she was awarded a full doctoral fellowship from CONACYT, the prestigious national science foundation of the Mexican federal government.

The Digital Learning Forum’s monthly presentation and discussion is sponsored by the Master of Arts in Technology for Learning, Development and Change, and the Graduate Certificate in E-Learning program in the Department of Organization Learning and Development at the University of St. Thomas.