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Spring 2021
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Dr. Parker's Corner

Dear Colleagues,


As NU continues to work to deliver an exceptional student experience, I am excited about our transition to the new Brightspace learning management system. Brightspace is an interactive and collaborative tool that will help to create innovative and engaging learning experiences for our students. It is an intuitive and less cumbersome learning management system compared to other LMSs; it is accessible through your desktop computer or a mobile-friendly app and provides reliable student participation analytics. The processes

for setting up groups as well as built-in options for providing audio and video announcements and feedback on coursework in Brightspace are simple and streamlined.

The Center for Innovation and Learning has created extensive training and support services for faculty during this transition. As your program gets closer to moving to Brightspace, look for an email invitation to your orientation sessions!

Dr. Durrel Parker

Director, Adjunct Faculty Services

Featured Topic: Brightspace Training Plan

Here at NU, we have a lot of great changes with the integration of our new LMS: Brightspace. While change can sometimes cause angst and worry, there has been extensive work behind the scenes to address any concerns and ensure that faculty and students have the resources they need to be successful.

Currently, there two programs of over 20 courses running in Brightspace, and more than 20 faculty members and 140 students that are successfully using Brightspace! To find out when your program will move to Brightspace, check out NU’s Migration Calendar here. For new faculty that may be teaching their first course with NU, be sure to check with your APD to find out if you need to complete training for the Blackboard or Brightspace LMS.

NU’s Center for Innovation in Learning team has been developing a great training curriculum to support faculty and students migrating over to Brightspace in the most agile way possible. About a month before your course starts in Brightspace, you will receive an email inviting you to register for Brightspace training. Once you get access to your course in Brightspace, you will have your choice of multiple training opportunities and Q&A sessions to help you settle in and gain confidence navigating and using Brightspace. And of course, the Faculty Concierge team will continue to be available to offer direct assistance.

As you wait for your invitation to attend the official Brightspace training, we are also now offering Brightspace Preview* sessions for faculty members interested in learning more about this LMS, regardless of your program launch date. No registration is necessary, just click on the link to the session you want to attend in the Brightspace Training Calendar. We look forward to seeing you at a future session!

* Please note that Preview sessions are not equivalent to required Brightspace training.

From Your Teaching and Learning Team

Inform, motivate, and connect with your students by posting effective announcements in your course. This self-paced learning module presents strategies for creating effective announcements in your online courses. Get some inspiration on how to construct and deliver announcements that will engage your students and help guide them along their learning path.

Here are some additional resources your Teaching and Learning Team have curated for you on engaging students with announcements.

Adjunct Faculty Perk: Nationwide Pet Insurance

All NU Adjunct Faculty have access to a variety of discounts and special offers. This month we are featuring Nationwide Pet Insurance!


Get some peace of mind and check out some great pet insurance plans from Nationwide here.


Dr. Steven Brownson is an adjunct faculty member in the Teacher Education Department and has been with NU since 1992. During that time, he has mentored over 15,000 higher education students, predominantly K-12 teachers, in teacher education for Masters and Doctoral Programs. His experience with K-12 students in Bilingual Education and Integrated Technology has spanned 25 years and three continents!

In addition to a Doctorate in Instructional Design and Online Learning, Dr. Brownson has earned MA and MBA degrees, as well as six credentials in multiple subjects. His doctorate examined the impact of Wikis and Blogs for higher levels of interaction (student-student, student-instructor, and student-content), as well as improving retention and student satisfaction for virtual learning environments. Regarding the transition to the new Brightspace LMS, Dr. Brownson states, “I’m looking forward to using the new multimedia tools and easier navigation to enrich learning and motivate my students.”

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Steven Brownson (PhD, MBA, MA)

Dr. Brownson has concentrated his research in online learning with a two-year hybrid-online study at CSUDH where he planned and provided training for online pedagogy/methodology for 500 professors. His research also includes literacy development projects in Los Angeles and Peru. He has written articles about Online Adjunct Professional development and technology reviews of Perusall and Flipgrid; and is co-writing a book on eSports.

As a National Board-Certified Teacher, Dr. Brownson has focused on supporting at-risk and second language learners with the usage of multimedia, gamification, and project-based learning connected to real-world experiences. He is seeking to open a non-public STEAM school for homeless and foster kids, creating a diverse student population that will connect to college and the workforce.

Currently, Dr. Brownson is working with the Peru Virtual Academic Program which helps to create an accredited online learning environment for K-12 teachers in that country.


Want to be featured in an upcoming Faculty Spotlight?

Share your accomplishments by visiting the Academy Insights webpage and filling out the faculty spotlight form today!

From Our VP

NU's decision to move to Brightspace is in direct alignment with our NU2023 Strategic Plan.  Affordability, access, innovation, workforce alignment, and human capital are part of the NU2023 core values.

The Brightspace learning management system offers new and exciting features, including enhanced options for faculty/student engagement, access to study groups, improved mobile experience, and increased access

to audio and video tools, which will contribute to realizing NU2023. The use of intelligent agents, awards, and personalized widgets will enable instructors to improve outreach and personalization to ensure we are driving towards our vision – an exceptional student experience.

The live sessions and asynchronous trainings we will be providing you will help you to have a smooth transition to our new LMS. Keep an eye out for these important communications.  We are excited to support you during this transition and encouraged that this evolution will improve student success!

Dr. Shannon McCarty

Vice President, Teaching and Learning