Instructional Design Center
Fall 2021

Welcome to this semester’s edition of Teaching with Technology, a newsletter from the Instructional Design Center. Here you will find the latest technology-related news and resources at Ramapo College.

Profile: Deb O’Connell

The IDC is thrilled to announce the hire of our new Assistant LMS Administrator, Deb O’Connell! Deb brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Ramapo related to LMS implementation, instructional design, and educational technology. Deb first began her career in this field while working at Pearson Education. There she created companion websites for textbooks and study guides. She then became a media editor at Pearson, creating digital content and products for history, sociology, philosophy, and other areas. As the trend moved toward online learning, Deb developed numerous online courses for Pearson’s Pegasus platform. After starting her own company, Deb worked with other major publishers to help them build their online content: McGraw-Hill, Wiley, and again with Pearson, this time for nursing courses. Before joining Ramapo, Deb worked for an ed-tech company focused on bringing Augmented Reality, or AR, to the classroom and science labs. (Deb promises to give us an AR workshop in the Spring!)

Some of you may have already met Deb in 2020 when the Provost hired her as an Instructional Design consultant during the transition to Canvas. Deb worked with programs like the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership to develop a Canvas “blueprint course” to serve as a template for the MAEL instructors. Deb also mentored individual faculty members as they created their courses in Canvas for the first time. Professor of Psychology Tilahun Sineshaw says, “Deb assisted me in navigating Canvas at a time when I needed it most. She successfully had me uncover the complexities of Canvas. Humane in her persona and approach, Deb is certainly an effective tech person and educator who can guide anyone through the technical maze. Thank you Deb and welcome to the Ramapo family.” Professor of Spanish Iraida Lopez says, “Deb helped me make the transition from Moodle to Canvas at the end of the Spring 2020 semester when I was getting ready to teach an online course during the Summer.  Being totally unfamiliar with Canvas, I’m sure I tested Deb’s patience more than once. Yet she guided me calmly through the process of setting up my course, rubrics included!  I have no doubt Deb will make a positive contribution.”

As Deb gets settled into her new position in the IDC, she is excited to meet faculty and learn about their technology needs. She says, “I like to keep current with the latest technology for higher education and how it’s effectively used for course delivery and student engagement. I look forward to sharing this knowledge with the Ramapo community.” Deb is also looking forward to reaching out to the schools and programs to understand their needs and support their use of Canvas and other technologies. Welcome, Deb!

We’re Moving…

The Instructional Design Center will be relocating into the new Learning Commons this month. We will be in room LC-201, conveniently located next to the Faculty Resource Center on the second floor. Stop by to visit our new location later this month!

Save the Date: October 20 — Faculty Development Day

Join us for Faculty Development Day, co-sponsored by the Instructional Design Center and the Faculty Resource Center, on Wednesday, October 20 from 1-4:30 p.m. Sessions offered virtually by the IDC will include: 

  • What’s New in Webex
  • Advanced Canvas Tips and Tricks
  • Introduction to Instructional Design

More details will be announced soon.

Meet our Student Assistants

Jennifer Laurard

  • Major: Communications with a concentration in Digital Filmmaking and a minor in Sociology
  • Favorite Tech Tool: Adobe Premiere Pro, or any social media platform
  • Things I Love Most about Ramapo: The fact that it’s a small school and you have the space to learn and be yourself

Merit Kayastha

  • Major: Bioinformatics
  • Favorite Tech Tool: Wondershare Filmora
  • Things I Love Most about Ramapo: Beautiful campus, and interdisciplinary study approach

Merit and Jennifer are available to assist you during drop-in office hours, which are listed on the IDC Web site:

TLTR Applications Due Nov. 19

The Teaching, Learning and Technology Roundtable (TLTR) awards grants every Fall and Spring semester to encourage faculty, librarians, and professional staff who teach to integrate innovative technologies into teaching and learning at Ramapo College. The Fall application deadline is Nov. 19. For applications and guidelines, visit the TLTR website:

Recorded Workshops

Did you miss a recent workshop? Would you like to review the material covered in a workshop you recently attended? The IDC records workshops, which you can access from the IDC Recorded Training link: Browse through the recorded workshops, click the Watch Recording link, and enter the password to watch any recording.

Upcoming Workshops

Be sure to check out all of the great workshops offered by IDC this semester. Upcoming workshop topics include Cybersecurity Awareness, Canvas Discussions: Enhancing Student Communication and Engagement, and more. To view the workshop schedule and register, visit our training Web site at: Upon registration you will receive an email with the Webex meeting information needed to join the workshop.

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