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About the Faculty Institute

Who We Are

Each year, the Faculty Institute for Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning gives UMS faculty and campuses a platform to share their ideas and advice about teaching with their colleagues. It is an opportunity to highlight your own successes and develop new strategies for dealing with educational challenges.

About Our Instructional Designers

Dr. Michelle D. Miller

Dr. Michelle D. Miller


About Our Keynote

It is with great pleasure that the University College Faculty Institute for Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning welcomes our 2017 Keynote Speaker, Dr. Michelle D. Miller. Dr. Miller is the Director of the First Year Initiative at the University College of Northern Arizona University and a President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Northern Arizona University.  She is also the author of the book, Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology, from Harvard University Press (2014), which is a definitive guide for online-teaching faculty that explores not only pertinent cognitive strategies for engaging distance learners, but also learning theory in practice.

Currently a Redesign Scholar with the National Center for Academic Transformation, Miller earned her doctorate from UCLA in Cognitive Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience in 1997 and was a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Rice University. She  specializes in memory, language, attention and decision-making, and her book expands on research in these areas in the technology-enhanced classroom.

In her review of Minds Online in the Library Orientation Exchange (LOEX) Quarterly Journal, book reviewer, Yvonne Mulhern of Tarleton State University, describes Miller’s work as “solidly grounded in research into various aspects of human cognition and the learning process” (3).  In the same review, Mulhern describes Minds Online as providing practical applications for engaging learners’ attention and motivation, and that each strategy Miller suggests is applicable both in the web-facilitated classroom and the face-to-face learning environment (2).

Additionally, Bonni Stachowiak’s interview with Minds Online author on Stachowiak’s podcast blog, Teaching in Higher Ed, explores in more detail the concepts and strategies of using goals to elicit specific outcomes from students using technology (whether that technology is a pencil or a learning management system). And James Lang’s review in the Chronicle of Higher Education explains that “What distinguishes her book from much of the research available on teaching with technology, and pushes it beyond arguments about improving access, is her emphasis on the ways in which online teaching tools can actually improve learning for all students—not just those who have no access to traditional face-to-face classrooms.”  Indeed, Miller’s book offers evidence-based, easy-to-implement, practical strategies for engaging all learners.  There’s something in it for everyone.

Dr. Michael Stevenson, Psychology faculty at the University of Southern Maine, describes Miller’s work as “Certainly useful in helping faculty understand the science behind learning on line!” and Institute Coordinator and UC Senior Instructional Designer, Araminta (Mina) Matthews, describes it as “A practical guide to finding and implementing technology solutions for effective learning, all starting with the learning goals of a course.”  Indeed, Miller’s work even references the esteemed research of USM’s own late Dr. John Broida around using frequent knowledge checks to improve learner retention.

Michelle Miller will be joining us to help kick-off the University College Faculty Institute for Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning on campus at the University of Maine at Augusta on May 18, 2017. Her keynote address will be followed by a large-group activity with all participants to further explore the concepts and practice of designing engagement for learning with technology. She has also expressed an interest in joining us for the full-day, and will join many of the break-out sessions offered by the presenters across the system.

The University College team is delighted for the opportunity to host Dr. Miller for this exciting professional development opportunity available at no-cost to all full and part time faculty in the University of Maine System. This event is made possible by the work of the University College Team, the sponsorship of the Adult Degree Completion group in the System-Office, and the University of Maine at Augusta’s host facilities.

Check out a copy of her book from our library catalogue. Copies are available in print and online from certain campus libraries. Copies will also be made available to presenters selected by the committee to lead break-out sessions at the 2017 event.

Works Cited

  • Lang, James.  “Educating Minds Online.” In Chronicle of Higher Education, 8 Dec. 2014. Web. http://www.chronicle.com/article/Educating-Minds-Online/150743/
  • Miller, Michelle D. Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology. Cambridge: Harvard, 2014.
  • Mulhern, Yvonne. “Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology by Michelle D. Miller (2014).” Loex Quarterly, Vol. 42. Book review.