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The Learning Academy is the hub for employee professional development at Lindenwood.

The Lindenwood Learning Academy’s mission is to provide for the professional and personal success and wellness of Lindenwood employees from the time of application through retirement. Our vision is that faculty and staff feel equipped and motivated to positively impact student learning and the student experience, and to pursue their full potential.


Spring Course Catalog

Professional Development

LinkedIn Learning

The Learning Academy’s Innovative Pedagogies Series

How’s it Going in Your Courses? Now’s a Good Time to Ask

Giving and Receiving Feedback

D.E.I. Reading Challenge

Staff Feature: Scott Mellring

Learning Academy Inaugural Course Catalog

In case you missed it – take a look at our spring course catalog

Please carefully review the contents of the spring 2021 Learning Academy catalog. This catalog is designed to serve as a primary guide for our employees who seek professional growth opportunities. Through the resources, opportunities, and support offered by the Learning Academy, our employees continue to expand their capacity to positively impact the student experience at Lindenwood University. Dr. Porter challenges each of us to engage in 40 hours of intentional professional development annually, for the purpose of continuous improvement and growth. The Learning Academy is investing in our most valuable resource, the faculty and staff. Please join us on this development journey!

40 Hours of Professional Development

We know that meeting your 40 hour professional development goal is important to you and we are doing everything that we can to get your Workday profiles up to date with the most accurate data. At this time, IT is working diligently to setup an integration with the Learning Academy calendar and Workday so that every event you attend that is hosted on the Learning Academy calendar will automatically show up on your Workday profile. We appreciate your patience as we work through this process. For more information on the professional development goal, check out the Learning Academy webpage. If you have any questions, please contact Brittany Gutermuth.

LinkedIn Learning: Lindenwood curated content

The Learning Academy now hosts development opportunities and event recordings in LinkedIn Learning. If you miss an event, the recording may be offered in LinkedIn Learning. For example, Employee Fellows, Casey Whalen and Dr. Peter Weitzel hosted a Business Intelligence course that can be viewed here. The Learning Academy will continually update and add content to this site. Go to your LinkedIn Learning account, sign-in using your Lindenwood login credentials, and then click browse to find Lindenwood curated content.


The Learning Academy’s Innovative Pedagogies Series

This semester, we are using the Innovative Pedagogies series to spotlight things faculty are doing in course design, assignments, classroom strategies, or use of teaching technologies in order to facilitate unique learning experiences for students. We hope that hearing about what your colleagues are doing will inspire you to try something new or to share your own innovative pedagogical approach!

This month, we feature Amy Estlund, Assistant Professor of Public Health, and her use of Problem-Based Learning. 

What's the problem?

Amy Estlund, Assistant Professor of Public Health, was a part of a group of six Lindenwood faculty (full and part time) who attended the University of Delaware’s Problem-Based Learning (PBL) workshop in January. According to the University of Delaware’s Institute for Transforming University of Education, “in a problem-based learning (PBL) model, students

engage complex, challenging problems and collaboratively work toward their resolution. PBL is about students connecting disciplinary knowledge to real-world problems—the motivation to solve a problem becomes the motivation to learn”. As the workshop facilitators reviewed the what, why, and how of PBL, Amy realized that she already uses this approach in a way, but was able to refine her thinking about the use of “real-world” problems in her courses. Specifically, she now plans to make this approach more intentional, to create less structured problems for students to work on, and to design problem-based learning activities with more follow-through. 

Amy is using the problem-based learning activity she drafted for the workshop in her online Global Health course this semester. She plans to write a brief scenario about a young person living in Brazil who sells watches and purses in the town square to help his family with money. He is approached by somebody else to go into business together; he is lured by promises of big money and opportunities for his family. He agrees but later finds out it's a scam for forced labor. He is forced to work long hours, to live in unsanitary conditions and without adequate food or water, and to endure physical and mental abuse. Via discussion boards, students will work in groups and use this prompt to learn more about forced labor. Amy will provide some questions to prompt their work, but generally it will be up to the students to learn about the problem of forced labor in the world and in Brazil today and to determine what information they would need to know and understand in order to intervene not only on behalf of this one boy, but on a national scale. For example, students might seek information on who is most at risk for forced labor, what policies and laws are in place in Brazil to prevent or respond to forced labor, what has already been done to prevent forced labor, and what cultural context should be considered in designing interventions. Amy believes that by taking this approach to facilitating students’ learning about forced labor, they will guide themselves through the learning process, ask important and necessary questions along the way, and have a deeper understanding of the issue.

PBL is an engaging and effective approach to learning because it centers student inquiry and provides some measure of authenticity, putting course content into a realistic context. If you want a quick read on PBL, check out this Faculty Focus article that outlines 6 steps to design, implement, and assess PBL. If you want to explore this and related approaches in a bit more depth, see Harvard’s Teaching through Problems webpage. Here, you can also learn more about using simulations, the topic of last month’s innovative pedagogy feature. Finally, visit the University of Delaware’s PBL Clearinghouse to find open-source PBL activities for a variety of disciplines.

How’s it Going in Your Courses? Now’s a Good Time to Ask

You don’t have to wait until after the semester is over to get student feedback – or to make changes, for that matter. Just as student learning benefits from formative assessment and feedback, so can your course design and instructional approach. For ideas on how to solicit helpful student feedback as well as what to do with it once you’ve got it in hand, check out this Learning Academy Tip Sheet.

Thinking of making changes mid-course? Small adjustments can go a long way. In a study where students gave mid-semester input that led to minor changes (showing more movie clips to illustrate concepts, providing sample multiple-choice questions before exams, and including more real-world examples during lectures), students reported that changes improved the course. Additionally, when compared to the previous semester’s class where mid-semester feedback/changes did not take place, the instructor saw higher student exam scores and higher end-of-term course evaluation scores (McDonnell & Dodd, 2017). It might be that the three changes made a real difference in student learning or that the act of allowing students to influence the course enhanced their learning experience; either way, the results were positive.

This brief Faculty Focus article discusses why it’s a good idea to revise an online course that’s in progress and what things you might consider changing, if there’s a need. It also provides guidance for revising online courses more substantially after the term. If you’d to talk with someone about how to put student feedback into action or if you’d like peer feedback in addition to your student feedback, the Learning Academy offers consultations to support your needs. 


Giving and Receiving Feedback

April 9th, 2021, 1 – 2 PM

Facilitator: Brittany Gutermuth

Feedback is a necessary component of a well-functioning relationship. In this session, we will dive into the basics of 1) giving and receiving feedback and 2) what it takes to build a solid foundation to invite the exchange of feedback. No matter what your position is, you have the power to ignite a culture shift on your team by caring personally and challenging directly. We will look at frameworks provided by researcher and professor, Dr. Brené Brown, and Kim Scott, author of Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity.

Register today!

D.E.I. Reading Challenge: Hosting two speakers who use books and films to make a difference

Employee Development Fellows, Leah Rosenmiller and Lisa Young

As part of the D.E.I. Reading Challenge, we recently hosted two speakers to discuss the ways they are using books and films to make a difference in the world.

On Feb. 2, Jeffrey Blair, owner of EyeSeeMe African-American Children’s Bookstore, located in University City, chatted with the

D.E.I. Employee Fellows about the heart and story behind the bookstore. Seeking quality education for their four children and books that positively reflected the contributions of African-Americans, Jeffrey and Pamela opened EyeSeeMe in 2015. Watch the recording to hear more about Jeffrey Blair’s inspiring, community-minded mission to ensure that all children are represented in the books that they read and in the education that they receive.

On February 25th, Harleen Singh, award-winning filmmaker, joined us for a conversation about her documentary Drawn Together: Comics, Diversity and Stereotypes, which traces the fascinating journey of three comic creators who challenge the notion of race, appearance, and gender stereotypes through cartoons, comics and cosplay. Watch the recording to hear the heart and story behind the film and how Harleen’s films capture the unifying, common threads that unite us and help cultivate connections. As a member of the Lindenwood community, you can stream Drawn Together: Comics, Diversity, and Stereotypes through the Lindenwood Library website.

The D.E.I Reading Challenge runs through April 30 Sign up, log books, earn free prizes. If you need inspiration, see what participants have been reading during this challenge.

Staff Spotlight: Scott Mellring, IT Network Administrator

Transformation Tables by John Maxwell

Scott Mellring recently joined a movement called Change Your World hosted by the John Maxwell Team. This movement is free to anyone that wants to get involved to

change their world and grow both professionally and personally. It is a 6-week (one day a week) commitment. This is a round table experience or as they like to call it a Transformation Table as well as a ‘safe zone’ to share and learn from each other. John Maxwell and Rob Hoskins wrote the book Change Your World, however, it is not necessary to have the book to commit to this movement.


Scott said, “Each week we participate by taking turns reading about a different topic related to values. One of the values that has been discussed is HOPE and what jumped out at me is something that Jonathan Sacks stated, “Optimism is the belief that things will be better. Hope is the faith that, together, we can make things better. Optimism is a passive virtue; hope is an active one.”

In addition, John Maxwell stated, “Without help, there is no hope.” Scott said, “For me, my objective is show hope by doing what I can, looking for things to do to help others. Sometimes that may just be sharing an encouraging word or story, but it is also showing someone that they are valued as a person by intently listening without already having an answer or interrupting them because you have something more important to say.” He went on to say, “Though I am nowhere close to perfection, nor do I ever expect to reach it, as I believe there is always room for growth. My hope is that you who are reading this will take the opportunity to get involved in this movement and reassess your values, grow, and Change Your World!” If you would like to learn more, visit the website here

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