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Lessons Learned: Making the Leap Into Blended Learning

Making the transition from traditional classroom teaching to teaching in an online environment can sometimes be a challenging experience.  An adjunct lecturer in the UIC CUPPA MPA program became the first instructor in the program to "take the plunge" in terms of teaching an asynchronous, graduate-level course.  While planning out the course and during the process of teaching, he learned many valuable lessons on what to do and what NOT to do in terms of transitioning a traditional course into an online one, and staying connected with students (many also new to the e-Learning world) in the process. This presentation will provide tips, tricks, and lessons learned that will be valuable to any instructors preparing for their first online courses.  There will also be a discussion about ways to help new e-Learning students also make the adjustment to this new environment, as well as tips on how to maximize the opportunities offered through e-Learning.  Finally, there will be a discussion about the various tools and technologies that are available for e-Learning purposes, as well as the role that social media can play in terms of enhancing the learning experience.
Presenter:
Jeffrey Gawel
Jeffrey Gawel is the Director of Information Technology at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, a non-profit research and policy center focused upon improving the well-being of children and youth, families, and their communities.  Prior to joining Chapin Hall in May 2011, Mr. Gawel served as the Sr. Director of Information and Technology Services at the Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority (MPEA), a municipal corporation which owns the McCormick Place convention center and historic Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois. 
Since 2003, Mr. Gawel has served as an Adjunct Lecturer for the Master of Public Administration program at UIC, teaching both traditional classroom as well as online courses on project management; e-Government; the management of IT; and databases and data management. 
Mr. Gawel received his Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 1998, and his Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Liberal Arts and Science from UIC in 1996.  He also earned his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2003.  His main professional interests include: project management; e-Government; e-Learning; software and website design and development; data management; and the overall use of technology to improve business operations.