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Preparing for the Fall with the OTL

It is hard to believe that the fall term is almost here! Welcome back to Sturm College of Law and to the students and faculty whose classes started Monday, August 15. For those on the quarter system, courses start on September 12. The Office of Teaching and Learning is here to support you as you prepare for and begin your fall classes.

The OTL has many resources to support you as you develop your course content. The OTL created a Canvas template that you can import to help you get started. You can also visit our OTL Canvas web page for tips and resources, our Canvas Knowledge Base and the Canvas Help guides for step-by-step instructions, and contact Canvas Help for 24/7 support. Visit our Sample Syllabus Statements web page for statements you can use to communicate course requirements to your students.

Need help building course content? You can book 1:1 time with the OTL Instructional Designers! You can also visit our OTL Staff Page to learn more about the expertise across our office and schedule a consultation with us.

Hellos and Goodbyes in the OTL


It has been a busy summer at the OTL as we welcomed new members of our team and said goodbye to others.

We are excited to welcome our new Director of Academic Assessment, Dr. Stephen Riley!


Stephen (PhD, Southern Methodist University, 2015), the new Director of Academic Assessment, comes to us having taught in religious studies for the past eleven years in Idaho. His expertise and research is primarily in ancient Hebrew linguistics and rhetorical interpretation of ancient Near Eastern sacred texts. At his previous institution, Stephen led the General Education Council for six years as they revised and expanded their curriculum, including their intercultural capacities. He has also worked in leading assessment for the online graduate program in religion with outside accreditation, helping his institution reaffirm their accreditation status at their last mid-cycle review. Stephen has also been a fellow at Eboo Patel’s Interfaith Youth Core Summer Faculty Institute focusing on interfaith leadership. Dr. Riley states, “Assessment, at its core, is the process of articulating what we want to accomplish and then figuring out ways to learn from our journey toward accomplishing our goals.” When not working, you can find Stephen enjoying a cinnamon vanilla latte, learning to play guitar, doing woodworking, practicing card illusions, watching the latest movie, listening to 80’s hard rock, or relaxing at home with his family.

We are also excited to have a new Instructional Designer, Kellie Ferguson!


Kellie has a BA and an MA in English from San Diego State University and is currently working towards an MA in Learning Design and Technology at the University of Colorado, Denver. She spent 5 years working as an English Instructor in California and Colorado and spent a year abroad teaching English and American Studies in Romania as a Fulbright ETA recipient. She has experience in designing and teaching both in-person, synchronous courses, and fully online, asynchronous courses, and is currently teaching online English courses with the Community College of Denver. Prior to her work at DU, she was employed part-time with CU Denver’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, where she facilitated workshops to support faculty in their teaching, and worked with faculty to design and develop courses, integrate UDL and inclusive practices, and set up and organize their Canvas course shells. 


We have had the bittersweet experience of saying goodbye to some of our teammates as well. Megan Haskins, Faculty Developer of Integrative Learning and High Impact Practices, Tracy Debellevue, Instructional Designer of Inclusive Teaching Practices, Dr. Vince Tango, Instructional Designer, and Paula von Kretschmann, Instructional Designer, have all moved on to new and exciting opportunities outside of the OTL (though you will continue to see Paula at DU in her new role as Learning Consultant for the Human Resources and Inclusive Community department!). They have been invaluable members of the OTL, and we wish them all the best of luck!

Upcoming Events

We are hosting several events throughout the next two weeks. Join us to learn more about teaching strategies and academic technology, and visit the OTL Events Calendar to discover other upcoming events this term!

Teaching for Inclusion & Equity Badges Introduction

Thursday, August 25, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.



Tools for Advancing Workload Equity: Creating Faculty Work Activity Dashboards

Friday, August 26, 12:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Gregg Kvistad Special Events Room (AAC 290)

Teaching with Video (Zoom and Kaltura)

Monday, August 29, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.


Equity Workshop #1: Designing an Accessibility Survey

In-person session:

Tuesday, August 30, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

OTL Conference Room (AAC 345)

Online session:

Wednesday, August 31, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


Every Term Needs a Plan

Thursday, September 1, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Tentatively hy-flex - more information will be provided to participants closer to the event date.

Creating Amazing Instructional Videos

Thursday, September 1, 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.