National Distance Learning Week

The theme for NDLW 2022 (15th Anniversary Edition) was leadership across all aspects of distance learning.

Nov. 7–10, 2022

Alamo Colleges Online partnered with Faculty Development and hosted week-long instructional development workshops, activities, and discipline discussions. It culminated in an exciting capstone event—the yearly Alamo Colleges EduTech Conference.

National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) ran from November 7–10, 2022, and promoted activities that:

  • Shared effective pedagogical methods in online learning
  • Discussed current issues and emerging trends
  • Discussed best practices in online course design specific to your discipline
  • Discussed how you encourage leadership in your online courses


Monday, November 7

9–9:50 a.m. | Leap into Student Engagement with Padlet

Finding quick and effective ways for students to interact both virtually or in-person can be tricky! Learn how to set up and use Padlet – a free online platform that provides a place for student discussions in a more interactive way. Students can view posts in real-time, make comments, like/up-vote responses in one simple platform. In this session, participants will be given examples of how to use Padlet in the classroom, practice posting and responding in Padlet, and create their own Padlet.

Facilitated by Amanda Harrison

10–10:30 a.m. | Democratizing In-Demand Skills with Digital Badges

The hiring landscape is changing and students' need to speak the language of skills to stay competitive in the job market. Join this session to learn how the Alamo Colleges Online Skills Lab is bridging the skills gap with micro-credentials and digital badges.

Facilitated by Dr. Eryn Berger and Amber O'Casey

2–2:50 p.m. | Starting Strong: First Impressions Online

This workshop will encourage participants to share best practices for creating first impressions with online students. This session will include strategies for what works with online students. From “brave statements” in the syllabus to Social Identity Wheel discussions, the facilitator will guide a discussion and provide guidance on how to start off with a strong first impression.

Facilitated by Mark Farris

Tuesday, November 8

9–9:30 a.m. | Oral Presentations in Online Learning: Exploring the Options

This discussion will focus on comparing the advantages and disadvantages of My Media, Canvas Studio, Youtube and uploading direct media files to Canvas. Best practices of instructions for using each platform will be covered.

Facilitated by Susan Cunningham and Kyle Hodyc

10–10:50 a.m. | Emerging Trends in Online Higher Education

What's new and upcoming in online higher education? This session will explore emerging technology tools, best practices for online course design, and how to encourage and facilitate student engagement in online courses.

Facilitated by Dr. Meagan Sanders

1–1:50 p.m. | Using UDOIT 3.0 in Canvas

Scan your Canvas course faster with UDOIT 3.0 to identify and repair accessibility issues.

Facilitated by Barbara Wong

2–2:30 p.m. | Remote Learning & Face to Face Learning: A Look at PGR & Retention Data

In Spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced educational systems to transition into an emergency remote learning modality due to the health concerns brought on by the pandemic. Prior to this transition, remote learning was widely unfamiliar and little academic research had been published regarding student academic performance in this modality. This quantitative study compares retention and productive grade rate of two 16-week academic semesters that utilized different learning modalities. The semesters being compared are fall 2019 which utilized face-to-face instruction and fall 2020 which utilized remote instruction. The study population is drawn from the courses History, English and Speech at San Antonio College. These courses are populated with first time in college students who are considered a vulnerable population in regards to persistence. Additional variables were also compared to determine if they were predictors of success. The variables included gender, veteran status, first generation status, and socio-economic status. The findings suggest that students had similar productive grade rates in both face-to-face and remote semesters but had stronger retention in the face-to-face semester. The findings also suggest that females outperformed males in both modalities but no other variables were significant in predicting student success. Given these results, further research should be conducted on student academic performance in remote learning. This data is needed for higher education institutions to determine the future of the remote learning modality at their institution. Also, higher educational institutions should consider different approaches to measuring student success with their own unique student population in mind.

Facilitated by Dr. Ashley Click

Wednesday, November 9

9–9:50 a.m. | Fall in Love with Canvas Gradebook

Want to learn more about the electronic grading system in Canvas? This workshop is perfect for new faculty, adjuncts, and those wanting a refresher on Canvas Gradebook. This session will provide a live demo on navigating through, setting up, and using your gradebook to help you have a successful semester. Techniques for providing effective feedback to students will also be reviewed.

Facilitated by Abigail Garcia

10–10:50 a.m. | Strategies for the Big Three Distance Learning Modalities

There are three major Distance Learning modalities: online, hy-flex, and remote. This session is designed to discuss strategies for successful implementation of each.

Facilitated by Jerryl Lowe and Reese Hearn

2–2:50 a.m. | Major Change Coming to Canvas Quizzes in Fall 2023

Get ready for "New Quizzes!" This session will provide Canvas users a timeline and product overview for transitioning to New Quizzes, the successor to Canvas “Classic Quizzes” (what you use now!), by Fall 2023. Participants will learn how to access this new LTI tool within their courses, build an assessment using new question types and item banks, apply appropriate quiz settings to meet student accommodations and preserve academic integrity, and preview a New Quiz from the learner's perspective. Steps for migrating your current Classic Quizzes, question banks, and question groups to New Quizzes will also be covered, including how to copy these assessments into other sections--and share them with other instructors--at your college.

Facilitated by Cesar Hernandez

Thursday, November 10

9–9:30 a.m. | Creating Accessible Word Documents

Word processing documents are part of our digital DNA. We create them without thinking by starting on a blank page, and typing. Ever wonder how readers who can’t see your document read the page? In this session, learn easy tips that you can incorporate today, to make your word processing documents accessible. We’ll also be providing handy resources you can use!

Facilitated by Amy Gates

10–10:50 a.m. | Online Learner Student Profile: Learn About Who We Serve

Who do we serve? This session will review the demographics of our online student learner profile, along with other immediate needs. Also learn about the change of instructional modalities and how online learning is gaining more interest for our students, including data from our recent Priority Survey for Online Learners (PSOL).

Facilitated by Monica Rogers

2–2:50 p.m. | DesignPLUS Basics

Learn how to enhance your course navigation and organization using DesignPLUS. You will learn how to add icons, navigation bars, popup content, and more!

Facilitated by Jen-Beth Ball, Barbara Wong, Dr. Meagan Sanders, and Amy Gates

Friday, November 11

7 a.m.–3:30 p.m. | EduTech 2022

EduTech 2022 Live is a one-day in-person event designed to provide full-time and part-time faculty and Instructional Technology staff from the local San Antonio area with important information about the use of technology dedicated to advancing quality digital teaching and learning. This one-day professional development and networking event features two keynote speakers, a multitude of fifty-minute break-out sessions, a technology showcase and a closing reception.

For more information:


For more information

About National Distance Learning Week, contact:

Diana McCurtain-Talbert
Instructional Designer

Barbara Wong
Instructional Designer


About Alamo Colleges Online Instructional Designers

Instructional Designers provide one-on-one consultations with faculty, deliver specialized workshops to a group of faculty, and conduct in-depth course reviews. Additionally, Instructional Designers offer support for college-directed initiatives to build and strengthen the College’s capacity to deliver premier, quality digital learning experiences for students. 

Schedule a consultation today!

You can also contact your Alamo College's Instructional Designer:


Northeast Lakeview College
Barbara Wong,


Northwest Vista College
Diana McCurtain-Talbert,


Palo Alto College
Dr. Meagan Sanders,


St. Philip's College
Can Cui,


San Antonio College
Amy Gates,