Teaching & Learning Center


Morton College ‘s Teaching and Learning Center was established to help its full- and part-time faculty (as well as relevant staff) to continuously update their pedagogical and related academic skills. The TLC’s purpose aligns with the College’s central mission: To enhance the quality of life of our diverse community through exemplary teaching and learning opportunities, community service, and life-long learning. It is also linked to several of the College’s strategic goals, including “Maximize the College's resources to support student learning” and “Develop responsive curricula and programs to serve community needs.”


The original version of this manual was produced about in 2016 by a workgroup consisting of faculty and relevant staff/admin (including the Dean & instructional technologist) and organized via the TLC. It was approved by the Faculty Assembly by way of the Academic Standards committee. In academic year 2021-22, via a process mirroring the original one, the manual was revised and was approved by the Faculty Assembly in Spring 2022. Below is the manual in PDF form.


Faculty are notified of all upcoming speaker events, discussions, roundtables, programs, discussion groups, seminars, etc. via announcements that are sent via their College email. As a rule, all events are announced with two notices sent prior to the event.


The TLC organizes and presents ongoing professional development activities in a variety of different formats, including speaker events, panel discussions, roundtables, mentoring programs, discussion groups, online seminars, etc. Events are presented in-person and/or virtually, depending on needs and circumstances. The Center also supports faculty members who are interested in participating in relevant external professional development opportunities. Responding to the circumstances of 2020, the TLC increased its focus on topics related to online and hybrid teaching and learning, with a seminar in The Pedagogy of Online Teaching and Learning offered for faculty through 2021. Beginning in 2022, primary responsibility for online learning moved to the newly-created office of the Director for Online Learning, and the TLC returned its focus to more general pedagogical concerns.


Revision of the college’s Online Learning Policies & Procedures Manual (ongoing meetings throughout AY21-22; work completed in April, revised manual approved in May)

Moving to Blackboard Ultra: Perspectives from Faculty in the Pilot Program (April 12 & 13): Roundtables featured panels of instructors who were in the middle of making the shift to Ultra, giving them a chance to talk about what they've learned so far, and giving others a chance to ask questions about it.

Planning for Assessment & Overview of Classroom Assessment Techniques (April 8 & 11): How to create an assessment plan including choosing an SLO, evidence, and criteria. Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) that can be used as evidence in assessment plans. Workshops organized by the Dean of Arts & Sciences.

Helping Diverse Students Succeed through Learner-centered Coursework (April 5): Neuroscience researcher and professor Robert Morrison (Loyola University) talked about using assignments that encourage creativity to ensure academic success in college. A recognized expert on cognition & creativity, Dr. Morrison teaches a popular course titled "Psychology of Creativity" at Loyola.

A Deep Dive into Universal Design: Framework, Strategies, Examples (Feb 1): Learning designer Krissy Wilson (Northwestern University) presented on the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework, a set of concrete guidelines that can ensure that all students can participate equally in meaningful learning opportunities.

Innovations & Best Practices for Online Learning roundtable (Nov 30): Morton faculty panelists Mihir Dharwadkar, Myeisha Grady, Audrey Styer, & Prairie Markussen exchanged ideas with participation of faculty & others from across the college.

Storytelling as Pedagogy (Nov 10): Digital Arts professor Tyler Bush and Media Communications professor Mark Cassello from Calumet College of St. Joseph, described how to use storytelling to strengthen the general ed curriculum & empower disadvantaged students.

No Going Back: The Lessons of 2020 (Oct 26): 2020 was both annus horribilis & a watershed moment for higher education. Among the major changes are the shift in how we – both teachers & students – view traditional vs. online instructional modes, and how spending a year and a half online has changed our expectations. By unpacking what happened, hopefully we can be better prepared going forward in whatever modes we choose to work in. Presentation by TLC director Mark Litwicki, PhD.

Seminar: The Pedagogy of Online Teaching & Learning in Times of Transition (Sep 7 – Oct 29): Seven-week online course for Morton faculty who wish to be better prepared to teach different types of online, blended/hybrid, or convertible (online-ready) courses.

Online Teaching Policies: Revise, Update, Re-invent? (Aug 19): Morton’s Online Learning Policies & Procedures Manual – produced by faculty volunteers in conjunction with the dean’s office & instructional technologist, & managed via the TLC’s online pedagogy workgroup – was approved in 2016 by the Academic Standards committee & Faculty Assembly. We’ve all learned a lot & online instruction has evolved since then; in this working session we reviewed the manual & mapped out a revision process for AY 21-22.

Revision of Online Learning Policies & Procedures Manual (May 4): Organizing meeting for upcoming full revision of the college’s Online Learning Policies & Procedures Manual (OLPPM).

Writing the Assessment Report (Apr 12 & 13): Workshops provide an overview of how to complete the assessment report including analyzing data, summarizing results, and planning for future semesters.

The Faculty Contract & Our Professional Responsibilities as Educators (Apr 6): How provisions in the faculty contract influence what we must do and what we can do when it comes to the design, development, scheduling, and presentation of our classes, as well as the responsibilities we have as faculty outside the classroom.

Using Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) (Apr 5 & 6): Overview of Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) that can be used as evidence in assessment plans. Workshops organized by the Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences for new, tenured-track faculty.

Planning for Assessment  (Mar 16 & 17): How to create an assessment plan including choosing an SLO, evidence, and criteria. Workshops organized by the Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences for new, tenured-track faculty.

Teaching & Learning in a Post-Pandemic World (Mar 9): What are our concerns for summer and fall teaching this year? These might encompass questions of risk management and well-being, campus and classroom conditions and protocols, scheduling, and course design itself.

Seminar: The Pedagogy of Online Teaching & Learning (Feb 1 – Mar 19): Seven-week online course for Morton faculty who wish to be better prepared to teach different types of online, blended/hybrid, or convertible (online-ready) courses.

Panel Discussion: The Presence Principle (Nov 24): Online teachers should maintain “regular and substantive interaction” with students, according to the Dept of Ed & HLC. What have you found effective for this, either within or beyond Blackboard? How much interaction counts as “regular and substantive”?

Panel Discussion: Keeping Everyone Honest (Nov 10): Methods to ensure the integrity of student work in online courses, including issues of copying, plagiarizing, and test security.

Panel Discussion: Engagement & Retention of Students in Online Classes (Oct 13): What strategies have you found effective for keeping students engaged with the course and reducing barriers to success?

Seminar: The Pedagogy of Online Teaching & Learning (Sept 8 – Oct 24): Seven-week online course for Morton faculty who wish to be better prepared to teach different types of online, blended/hybrid, or convertible (online-ready) courses.

Pilot Online Course: The Pedagogy of Online Teaching & Learning (Jul 13 – Aug 7): In response to the Covid crisis, this initial offering of the pilot online course was created for Morton faculty who wished to be better prepared to teach different types of online, blended/hybrid, or convertible (online-ready) courses.

Online Course Conversions in Special Circumstances (Apr 8): The focus is on pedagogical issues (rather than technical concerns) surround the emergency conversion to online learning. Guiding questions: What has been working well? What has been the most helpful for you? What has been the most challenging? What do you wish you had known when you started? What do you need to be successful? What more can the college be doing? How can we help each other?

A New Tool from Blackboard for Online Accessibility (Mar 5): In this session of the TLC Online Pedagogy group, we’ll learn about ALLY, a tool designed to help faculty make their digital course content more accessible by integrating with Blackboard and performing an analysis of course content.

Flipped Learning In Higher Ed Online Course (Feb 11): Roughly 30 Morton faculty members completed the Higher Ed Flipped Learning Master Class, an online certificate program offered via the Flipped Learning Global Initiative (FLGI). This information/orientation session provided an overview of the course, as well as detailed information on the content, mode of delivery, and expectations.

On Writing Your Own Textbook (Nov 20 & 21): Morton instructor Bonnie Miculinic, author of Latin American Culture & Civilization (2019) discussed the process of textbook creation, from concept to publication.

Verifying Online Student Identity (Nov 18 & 19): Verifying student identity to ensure integrity in online coursework. Review of other colleges’ policies on the topic & work toward drafting a proposal of such a policy for Morton to be in compliance with federal & HLC requirements.

Perspectives on Nursing Education in the Netherlands (Oct 23): Oncology nurse Jolanda Witte teaches at DaVinci college in Dordrecht, Netherlands. She spoke about the Dutch education system overall and nursing education in that country.

The Finnish Model for Career & Technical Education (Oct 16): Faculty member and international racing mechanic, Jyrki Repo, discussed his automotive program in Finland and Finnish career and technical education in general.

Chicago Area Faculty Development Network 2019 Kickoff Meeting (Sep 20): The Teaching & Learning Center hosted the Chicago Area Faculty Development Network (CAFDN, a consortium of 2- and 4-year colleges and universities dedicated to promoting the improvement of college teaching).

Oakton Community College’s experience with Guided Pathways (Sep 12): Guided Pathways is a nationwide movement that involves redesigning policies, programs, and services to better support student success. Morton College has recently begun the first phase of this initiative. Speaker: Dr. Katherine Schuster, Oakton College Student Success Team.

Online Pedagogy Roundtable: Checklists for Online & Hybrid Courses (Feb 20): Examine examples of checklists for appraising online and hybrid courses and look at ways that other institutions handle the issue of observations and evaluation of such courses.

PowerPoint Bootcamp (Feb 14): Hands-on computer workshop to explain the click-reveal principle & show how to implement this technique in customized PowerPoint presentations.

Tiznao presented by Rey Andújar (Feb 11): Inspired by the literary and performative universe of Morton College instructor Rey Andújar, Tiznao is a short film set in the streets of Havana, Cuba. Andújar discussed the film and his work as an author, performer, and teacher.

DACA Ally Training For Faculty (Nov 29): Learn effective strategies to support undocumented students in and out of the classroom. This session is part of Morton’s goal to create a campus that is welcoming to all students regardless of their immigration status and serve students with concerns about their status in the US.

Open Textbook Workshop (Nov 28): Presenter Micheal Kott (Assoc. Dean, Learning Resource Center) introduced faculty to the Open Textbook Network (OTN) of the University of Minnesota; the OTN currently lists 480 textbooks available for free use.

Safe Space Training (Nov 16): This training in support our LGBTQIA student community was provided by James Thomas from Loyola University Chicago”s Department of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

Nursing Education in the Netherlands (Oct 23): Visiting educators Moniek Ailars and Karin Vermeulen presented on the topics of the education system in the Netherlands and on nursing training in that country.

Class Contracts for Student Success (Sep 19): Whether implicit or formal, every classroom has contracts in place. This session looks at the formal approach to this, such as grading contracts, classroom conduct contracts, anti-plagiarism contracts, etc.

Online Pedagogy Roundtable (Sep 12): Continuing work on process for approving new online or hybrid courses, how online and hybrid courses are described in the course schedule, how online and hybrid courses are supervised.

Form & Function of Developmental English Program (Apr 26): English faculty discuss our developmental English program and the kinds of writing that students are expected to produce at each level, as well as upcoming changes to the program.

Facilitating Success of Latina/o Students in STEM (Apr 18): An overview of the status of Latin@ students in the STEM fields, pertinent research on the factors for success of these students with a focus on the field of engineering, and strategies for facilitating success of these students in STEM. With Dr. Renata Revelo, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the Univ. of Illinois Chicago.

Online Pedagogy Roundtable (Feb 28): Continuing work on process for approving new online or hybrid courses, how online and hybrid courses are described in the course schedule, how online and hybrid courses are supervised.

News Literacy and Civic Engagement Seminar (Oct 27): Basics of News Literacy from the Center for News Literacy, one of the leading organizations that has been arming educators with the tools they need to bring crucial critical thinking skills to help students navigate our new information age. Presenter: Michael Spikes

Orientation for Online Learning (Oct 26): Roundtable discussion covering ideas for rolling out an orientation for students preparing to engage in online learning.

Adult Education in the Netherlands (Oct 16): Dutch ICISP Exchange Visitor, Sonja Van den Berge, presented on the current status of adult education in the Netherlands.

Disability 101: What Faculty and Staff Need to Know (Oct 10): Ashantá Marshall, Director of the Disability Access Center at Daley College reviewed common misperceptions faculty and staff have about serving students with disabilities and covered advising students with disabilities, learning appropriate disability etiquette, ADA law, and strategies for making classrooms accessible using the Universal Design model.

Kahoot Clickers App for Classroom Interaction (Oct 5): The Kahoot application allows for participation, in-class quizzes, & immediate feedback.

Assessing Global Learning: Methods, Metrics, & Meaning (Apr 27): Learn best practices and gain a more comprehensive picture of student learning through the application and interpretation of various methods and rubrics for the meaningful assessment of global learning outcomes.

Student Retention in Online vs. Traditional Courses (Apr 12): Reviewed past 5 years of retention & grade data for Morton courses offered online or hybrid as compared with face-to-face (traditional) delivery methods. Aggregate retention rates and retention by course, followed by open discussion of implications. Presenter: Magda Banda, Institutional Research

History Uncovered and the Art of Research Writing (Mar 28): Arnie Bernstein, Morton College faculty and published author, discussed the process of conducting an extended history research writing project.

Open Educational Resources at Morton (Mar 1): Reviewed the concept of Open Educational Resources and discussed roles these have and could have at Morton College.

CAFDN Network Meeting & Book Discussion (Feb 24): The Teaching & Learning Center hosted the Chicago Area Faculty Development Network meeting for discussion of the book “Faculty Development and Student Learning: Assessing The Connections.”

Writing to Learn Workshop by Bard College’s Institute for Writing & Thinking (Dec 9): Writing strategies that help students gain a better understanding of complex ideas, historical documents, literary texts, and mathematical problems. Participants explored how writing-to-learn practices invite us to reconsider how we teach.

Orientation for Online Learners (Dec 6): Instructional technologist Courtney Griffin presented on a new online orientation session for students who elect to take an online course. Faculty feedback ensued.

Curriculum Mapping (Sep 20): Roundtable on curriculum mapping for program efficiency and student success.

SAT Testing Trends (Sep 12): Mike Barrett from the College Board presented updates on SAT testing and the uses thereof.

How to “Globalize” a Course (Mar 23): Dr. David Comp, Associate Director of the Booth School at the University of Chicago, discussed how faculty have approached the idea of internationalizing classes and describe some implementation strategies, with the goal of assisting faculty in generating ideas on how to internationalize their classes.

ADA Law As It Applies to the College Classroom (Mar 16): Cynthia Basten, Esq., discussed of ADA law, providing attendees with an overview of the applicable statues and regulations and then have a discussion using recent case examples.