National Distance Learning Week

The theme for NDLW 2021 was Life in a hybrid world—learning how to flex.

Nov. 7–10, 2021

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 8–12, 2021, and promoted activities that:

  • Generated greater awareness and appreciation
  • Shared ideas and methods
  • Discussed current issues and emerging trends
  • Discussed discipline-specific best practices


Monday, November 8

11 a.m.–12 p.m. | Collaborative Assignments

Do your students dislike group projects? Learn how to design effective collaborative assignments that enhance the online learning experience.

Facilitated by Jen-Beth Ball and Tanji Moon

12–1 p.m. | Zoom Recording to My Media

This training will introduce you to the My Media site, and provide steps for setting up your Zoom recordings to upload to My Media automatically.

Facilitated by Mark Farris

1–2 p.m. | DesignPLUS

Want to make your Canvas course more navigable, accessible, and cohesive? The DesignPLUS toolkit includes a powerful set of tools to provide a quality learning experience for your students. With these tools you can build accordions, self-check questions, pop-ups, and more right into your Canvas pages! Come learn how DesignPLUS can elevate your course design and increase student engagement.

Facilitated by Dr. Eryn Berger

3–4 p.m. | To Badge or Not to Badge?

This session will provide an introduction to marketable skills badges, an overview of the Course+ Badge Initiative, and a Course+ Badge tour by a faculty Badge Specialist. Join this session to learn about integrating marketable skills badges into credit courses, our community of practice, and other exciting updates.

Facilitated by Amber O'Casey, Angie Hager, and Dr. Adrianna Sherman

Tuesday, November 9

11 a.m.–12 p.m. | The Positive Impact of Instructor-Created Videos on Student Learning Outcomes

In this session, we will discuss how instructor-created videos over course assessments can enhance student learning outcomes. The presenter will cover best practices of creating videos, offer various mediums for recording and uploading, review the role analytics play, and demonstrate sample videos used in past courses. A step-by-step walk though will guide participants over how-to quickly utilize assessment videos in the college classroom.

Facilitated by Dr. Meagan Sovine

1–2 p.m. | Introduction to Canvas New Analytics

Ever wish you had a bird’s-eye view of how students are doing in your online course? Come learn how to use the New Analytics tool to better track student participation and performance.

Facilitated by Barbara Wong and Jill Gomez

3–4 p.m. | Online Journey: From Inquiry to Student

Ever wonder about the journey a student took before entering your class? Learn how enrollment and marketing teams from Alamo Colleges Online partnered to enhance the online student experience.

Facilitated by Monica Guerrero and Dimona Esparza

Wednesday, November 10

1–2 p.m. | LearnHow2Learn

This presentation will provide an overview of free online student training that is available to all enrolled students via AlamoEXPERIENCE. Attendees will gain insight to how we took these videos from Columbia University and incorporated them into this existing platform. LearnHow2Learn is a set of videos that aims to help students build foundational academic skills, discover learning strategies for navigating college culture, time management, reading, writing, math & science, and gain confidence to succeed in college courses.

Facilitated by Benjamin Romo and Ruth Prieto

3–4 p.m. | The 4 ACES of Creating Good Online/Hybrid Courses (Part 1)

The purpose of this two-part workshop is to deal with the 4 ACES of creating good online/hybrid courses. They are (1) Active Teaching Strategies; (2) Instructional Design; (3) Online Course Development, and (4) Instructional Technologies. Part 1 will cover Active Teaching Strategies and Instructional Design.

Facilitated by Jerryl Lowe and Reese Hearn

4–5 p.m. | The 4 ACES of Creating Good Online/Hybrid Courses (Part 2)

The purpose of this two-part workshop is to deal with the 4 ACES of creating good online/hybrid courses. They are (1) Active Teaching Strategies; (2) Instructional Design; (3) Online Course Development, and (4) Instructional Technologies. Part 2 will cover Online Course Development and Instructional Technologies.

Facilitated by Jerryl Lowe and Reese Hearn

Thursday, November 11

11 a.m.–12 p.m. | Using Groups in Canvas

Manage collaborative assignments in your online course with Canvas Groups. This workshop will demonstrate the benefits of group work as well as how to use the Groups tool in Canvas.

Facilitated by Jen-Beth Ball and Tanji Moon

12–1 p.m. | The Road to Quality Course Design—A year in Review

Join us as we celebrate faculty achievements in Quality Course Design across our 5 Colleges. After a year into our Quality Design Challenge and Course Peer Review Challenge, over 200 faculty participants have completed one or both of the Challenges bringing their online course designs to a new level of student engagement and success and gained expertise in their peer review of online course designs. Join us for a Year in Review!

Facilitated by Rudy Lopez and Dr. Eryn Berger

1–2 p.m. | Accessibility Basics – Leveling the Playing Field

Want to learn how to make meaningful changes in your online course for your diverse student population? Explore some basic accessibility concepts and easy changes that you can integrate into your online courses right away to set all of your students up for success. We’ll also provide helpful resources and college support services that you can utilize as you begin your accessibility journey!

Facilitated by Amy Gates and Jill Gomez

2–3 p.m. | TidyUP

This workshop will show you a simple tool that identifies inactive content in your Canvas courses and allows you to delete them easily.

Facilitated by Tanji Moon and Amber O'Casey

3–4 p.m. | Instructor Presence

Using Canvas for effective feedback and personal touches

Facilitated by Susan Cunningham

4–5 p.m. | Micro-credentials

Our future with Micro-credentials

Facilitated by Dr. Luke Dowden and Austin Baker Wiese

Friday, November 12

7 a.m.–3:30 p.m. | EduTech 2021 Live

EduTech 2021 Live is a one-day virtual 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 contact Usha Venkat and Scott D'Amico


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,