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Center for Transformational Learning

Center for Transformational Learning


The Center for Transformational Learning is the Avila University center of excellence in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Its mission is to provide resources and support to faculty, students, and staff in their pursuit of life long learning and transformational growth through self-directed learning.

How to build successful students-faculty relationships remotely?

Today, the usage of online learning management system in schools, colleges and universities increased tremendously. It is essential for teachers to learn the strategies of effective online communication and interaction. At Avila University, faculty and students have opportunities to receive Instructional Technology Resources and consulting such as, Canvas LMS training, how to create a demo or video and share them in Canvas courses, how to lecture and share your desktop with the class remotely, and much more.

For more information, please contact Sima Tarokh at or 816-501-2484.

Online Programs

Designing Online Programs and Courses

Using video in an online course seems like a natural choice. It allows you to deliver content as you might have in a face-to-face environment, expose students to your personality and passion, and reuse the assets you create. But how difficult is it to put together a truly effective educational video? What equipment do you need? When is it best to use video? How does the use of video affect learning?

The effective use of video is grounded in several theories on how humans learn and process information. Cognitive load theory, for example, suggests that the way you structure the information you deliver to students is extremely important when it comes to their ability to retain and process it. Though the theory in and of itself doesn’t focus on the educational use of video, it does suggest that video can be an effective delivery mechanism. “Cognitive Load Theory: Structuring Learning Materials for Maximum Retention” covers this learning theory at a high level and describes the three components of cognitive load (intrinsic, extraneous, and germane).

While cognitive load theory provides valuable insight into knowledge acquisition, the best practices that emerge from it are fairly high level. With that in mind, “Principles of Multimedia Learning” provides more targeted suggestions when it comes to how to effectively design visual aids. After all, it’s likely that you’ll be using some sort of presentation software (such as PowerPoint or Keynote) to both assist in the presentation of your ideas as well as to break up the monotony of staring at your face. (Nothing against your face, by the way. I’m sure it’s lovely.) The article summarizes research on the synchronous presentation of visual and aural information.

Just because video can be an effective information delivery mechanism doesn’t mean that it should be used ubiquitously, however. “Universal Design for Learning: The Recognition Network” covers one of the three brain networks addressed by the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) pedagogical framework. The research behind this network asserts that students have a variety of preferences when it comes to the consumption of instructional materials, and accordingly video may not align with some learning styles. This indicates that one of the effective uses of video is as an equivalent alternative to existing instructional materials, rather than the primary medium of delivery. (Note that you can either read the article or watch the video – and that this embodies the instructional design principles embraced by the recognition network.)

Though UDL treats accessibility along a spectrum of learning preferences, accessibility for persons with disabilities should always be a concern when developing multimedia for online courses. “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines at a Glance” lists what you should keep in mind when including material into your course. Think of it as a handy list to have bookmarked in your browser when developing new multimedia content for your courses.

Videos for your online courses is an excellent use of the medium. In addition to providing instruction, they also serve to build community, enhance instructor presence, and provide much-needed context. “Creating Module Introduction Videos” addresses these benefits, provides suggestions for the content of these videos, and lists some basic logistical suggestions for filming them.

Courtesy of Galen Davis/The Learning House

Online Course Creation

When creating your courses it will be important to keep in mind that your students will learn best through the inclusion of multimedia representations of content. We suggest alternating how the course content is provided. We know you use all three medium in your face to face courses so why not work to ensure the same is happening online. You may be asking, "When do I use a specific medium to create the best learning climate for my students?". We hope the following helps you determine the selection of media based on your class make up. Take a look:


      Video creation can be used in the following ways.....

      • As an introduction- This is a 1-3 minute video that sets the climate for learning in your course. You will want to include a brief overview of your background in the content area, how the course is structures, and minimal expectations for your course. When creating these clips remember your:
        • Audience
        • Purpose and desire of
        • Engagement
      • For Instruction- This type of video would provide directions for an assignment or dissemination of course content.

      • For Learner Support- This is a great way to differentiate learning:
        • Tutorial
        • Enrichment
        • Just in Time Explanations


       Use audio creation or Podcasts in the following ways.....

      • As an Introduction- This is a 1-3 minute audio/pod cast that sets the climate for learning.
      • For Instruction- This use of audio would be effective for communicating directions, comments, or dissemination of course content in a (podcast).


      Text can be used in the following ways.....

      • As an Introduction- This is a 1-2 paragraph text that shares sets the climate for learning. You will want to include a brief overview of your background in the content area, how the course is structures, and minimal expectations for your course. When creating this text remember:
        • To Speak to Your Audience
        • Set a Purpose
        • Open Opportunities for Engagement
      • For Instruction- This use of text, diagrams, pictures or graphs would be effective for communicating directions, comments, or dissemination of course conten.
      • Learner Support-This is a written description that clarifies information.
        • Tutorial
        • Enrichment
        • Just in Time Explanations

Instructional Technology Resources

For any questions or concerns please contact Sima Tarokh at

Faculty Scholarship Information

Faculty Scholarship Information

To access forms simply click on the links below. Please use the Mozilla FireFox browser to open the form. Using this browser will allow you to save your completed form on your computer for submission purposes.

Due Dates for All Faculty Scholarship Grants

Second Monday in September
• Faculty Scholarship Support Grants (Round I)
• Faculty Sabbatical applications for the following academic year
Second Monday in October
• Faculty Scholarship Support Grants (Round II)
• Jeanne Lillig Patterson Faculty Innovation Grant
• Faculty Scholarship Release Time Grants for the following Fall semester
• Online Course Development Grants for the following academic year
Second Monday in February
• Faculty Scholarship Support Grants (Round III)
Second Monday in April
• Faculty Scholarship Support Grants (Round IV)
• Faculty Scholarship Release Time Grants for the following Spring semester
• Faculty Scholarship Summer Grants (those that take place after June 30 and before the first faculty scholarship grant deadline.)

General Guidelines for Faculty Scholarship Grants

Grants are only awarded to full-time faculty members. Each full-time faculty member is eligible for one grant (either $700 or $1300 per academic year) AND one release time grant (including online course development grants) per academic year. In the case of collaborative projects in which two or more full-time faculty members at Avila University present original research at a national conference (thus qualifying for the $1300 grant), the maximum award is $2600. Each member of such a collaborative research project remains, like all faculty members, only eligible for one faculty scholarship grant per year. Faculty should apply in the semester prior to that in which the activity will occur (although retroactive applications will be accepted.)

Applications must be completed and emailed as an attachment, first to the applicant’s dean, for approval, and then forwarded by the dean to Elise Hiatt ( Please write “Faculty Scholarship Committee application” in the subject line of the email.

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Welcome Class of 2023

All first-year students are required to attend one SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising and Registration) event.

Your next opportunity is May 24, 2019.

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The Unsinkable Molly Brown

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April 25, 26, 27 & 28, 2019


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MBA Week:
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