January 2013 Sloan-C Featured Certificate Program Graduate - Paul Dexter

January 2013 Sloan-C Featured Certificate Program Graduate - Paul Dexter


Our Sloan-C Featured Certificate Program Graduate for January 2013 is Paul Dexter.


Paul Dexter is the coordinator for learning assistance services at University of Southern Maine's Learning Commons. He has worked at USM for over 14 years, first as a LCSW practitioner for University Counseling Services and later serving in leadership roles within student affairs, including Assistant Dean of Student Life. Over time, Paul has developed and taught online courses from career exploration to academic management and continues to with his institution to convert course offerings for online delivery.


In his current role with USM's Learning Commons, Paul coordinates both learning and technology assistance, research guidance, tutoring, and more. He considers himself a coach, noting "Wherever you need me, I'll go!" His interest in understanding workload management strategies for online educators and improving learning effectiveness for USM's students led him to enroll in the Sloan-C Certificate program.


Paul described the value of his experiences with Sloan-C Institute as "INCREDIBLY useful" and specifically identified improved content creation strategies and more manageable assessment methods improving the learning experience. He also explained that facilitator use of course announcements and media creations supported an increased instructor presence. Having experienced the benefit of these strategies as a learner, he noted that he was already regularly employing techniques modeled in the workshops within his courses.


During the course of his program, Paul completed three elective workshops: Improving Student Engagement in Online Courses; Building Effective, Interactive Presentations that don't end in .ppt; and Using Facebook in a Teaching Context. Exploring these additional online topics provided insight and the opportunity to explore new tools with other online educators.


In reflection, Paul described how the resulting exploration of technologies and engagement strategies allows him to work with course designers at his institution to identify courses where these methods can achieve the most benefit. In line with Sloan-C's five pillar paradigm for quality, Paul's experiences in the program support improved learning effectiveness within his courses and refined workload management strategies he can share as he works to scale quality online learning at USM.


Congratulations, Paul! We are proud to feature you as our Sloan-C Institute Certificate Program January 2013 Featured Graduate.


To learn more about the Sloan-C Certificate for teaching and improving online courses, visit: http://sloanconsortium.org/sloanc_institute#cert