Moderator for the series

Brad Zdenek

Brad Zdenek

Brad Zdenek is education strategy and planning manager for the Center for Online Innovation in Learning at Penn State, responsible for initiating, directing, conducting, analyzing, and reporting on the center’s projects, research, and evaluation activities. He earned his BA in secondary education at Flagler College in Florida and taught middle school social studies in North Carolina prior to joining the Penn State family. While at Penn State, Brad worked with the Regional Educational Laboratory program leading a team in developing and delivering professional development opportunities online and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region focused on bridging scientifically valid research, policy, and practice. Most recently, he worked with the DIY STEM initiative in the College of Education directing instructional design and assessment development and leading the development and coding of a game theory based digital badging infrastructure to support learner engagement and facilitate learner persistence in the STEM fields.

Brad is currently a PhD candidate in educational leadership at Penn State with a projected completion in spring 2014. His research interests include professional development and adult learning, educational ethics, and the integration and diffusion of educational technology.

MOOC Planning Session Graphic

Session 1: Planning

Matt Meyer (Session Lead)

Matt MeyerMatt Meyer is the manager of the instructional design and development team within the Teaching and Learning with Technology unit at Penn State. He has over twenty years of experience in online and technology-based education including design, development, management, and assorted leadership roles. He came to Penn State in January 2009, making the jump to higher education seeking to combine his experience in the private sector with the rapidly emerging learning solutions that Penn State continues to cultivate and offer. His primary role is working with faculty and developers in the redesign of strategically selected large enrollment courses throughout the entire University. He has become an active leader in the MOOC initiative at Penn State, providing his experience in the management and development of online education to help the University further its exploration of this disruptive technology.

Matt has a master of science in instructional technology from Bloomsburg University’s Institute for Interactive Technology and a bachelor’s degree in business administration/marketing.


Ann Taylor

Annie TaylorAnnie has worked in the field of distance education since 1991 (at  Penn State since 1993), focusing on learning design and faculty development. In her role as institute director, Annie is responsible for guiding the College of Earth and Mineral Science’s strategic vision and planning for online learning. She works with faculty, administrators, stakeholders, and Institute staff to plan and implement online programs that are tailored to the needs of adult professionals worldwide. She serves on University committees focused on strategic planning, policies, and procedures related to the University’s distance learning initiatives and has been an active  member of the University Faculty Senate since 2007. While serving as a University administrator, Annie still likes to have a hands-on aspect to her work. She regularly works with University colleagues to create resources for faculty teaching online and shares her work as a  frequent public speaker.

MOOC Design Session Graphic

Session 2: Design

Kate Miffitt (Session Lead)

Kate MiffitKate Miffitt is the director of digital media, pedagogy, and scholarship in the College of the Liberal Arts. She is an instructional designer by training, and comes to this position with experience supporting faculty on pedagogically-sound uses of technology in teaching and learning in online, hybrid, and resident courses.

She holds an MA in education in instructional technologies from San Francisco State University and a BA in English from Stonehill College.


Gary Chinn

Gary ChinnAs the interim director of the e-Learning Institute, Gary’s primary responsibility is oversight for the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of e-Learning courseware for the College of Arts and Architecture. Before joining the College in 2013, he worked as eLearning Initiative Project Manager in the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education for five years. Recently, Gary led the instructional design and development team creating the “Introduction to Art: Concepts & Techniques” Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) offered via Penn State’s partnership with Coursera.

Gary holds a BS in Film from the University of Texas- Austin, and an MS in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University-Bloomington.


Crystal M. Ramsay

Crystal RamsayCrystal M. Ramsay is a Research Associate and Instructional Consultant at the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests and consulting background include faculty development, assessment, instructional strategies, reading in the disciplines, interest and motivational constructs.

MOOC Development Session Graphic

Session 3: Development

Megan Kohler (Session Lead)

Megan KohlerMegan Kohler is an instructional designer with a passion for technology, education, and communication. As a member of the Teaching and Learning with Technology instructional design team at Penn State, her role varies from providing design consultations with faculty to exploring educational technologies, developing online education, and researching pedagogical strategies.

She has presented concepts such as blended learning and rubrics at several international venues. While the vast majority of her work is focused to resident faculty and students, MOOCs offer the opportunity for her work to be viewed by the mainstream population.

Megan received both her master’s degree in instructional technology and her bachelor of liberal arts, with a dual major, from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.


Claire Gysegem

Claire GysegemClaire Gysegem is a Producer/Director at WPSU, Penn State Public Media. Since starting her career at Penn State, she has produced a variety of educational videos with topics ranging from campus safety to oil and natural gas.  Claire has a passion for visual storytelling and its influence in educational media.

In the summer of 2012, she released her independently produced film “Abandoned,” bringing awareness to the blight in her hometown of Warren, Ohio.  Throughout her collegiate career at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, she worked as a producer and technician for her school’s television studio.  Claire also held internships with KDKA-TV, The American Red Cross, and WQED Multimedia.  She graduated in December of 2012 with a degree in Television Broadcasting.


Hannah Williams

Hannah WilliamsHannah Williams is a Multimedia Specialist within Penn State’s Education Technology Services (ETS), a unit of Teaching and Learning with Technology. She has over twelve years experience working with both digital and print media, solving creative problems in the areas of high performance computing, gravitational wave physics, and materials research. Hannah is now focusing her time on design for educational initiatives.

Hannah holds a BA in Integrative Arts from The Pennsylvania State University.


Audrey Romano

Audrey RomanoAudrey Romano is a web strategist and designer for the Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) Studio, focusing on unit-wide Web and content strategies and user experience. She works with administrators, stakeholders, faculty, instructional designers, and technologist to plan and implement over-arching organizational websites and education technology initiatives. She has conducted full site redesign projects such as the TLT Web site, as well as design for university-wide Web services such as WebAccess. She strives to be a standards evangelist, a champion of social media, and innovative design approaches, and actively participates in establishing a collaborative work environment. Audrey is passionate about innovative and emerging technologies, social media and productivity apps.

Audrey holds a BS in Environmental Resource Management from Penn State. In addition to her work at Penn State, Audrey’s portfolio features a variety of freelance design, including work with a local design studio, Firebrand Tribe. Her previous promotional website work has received recognition as notable as an aired interview on NPR’s Morning Edition

MOOC Delivery Session Graphic

Session 4: Delivery

April Millet (Session Lead)

IMG_1546 - 2014-03-01 at 02-37-16 (1) 2April Millet is a learning designer in the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State. As a member of the Dutton Institute staff, she works in close partnership with the college’s academic units to design, develop, and manage online courses and programs that use the latest research in education and technology to develop cutting-edge online educational resources that are unparalleled in their quality. She has over twenty years’ experience working with faculty to design, develop, and deliver course materials, information technology training, cocurricular learning modules, and online courses for both undergraduate and graduate students at Penn State.

April is most interested in ensuring that technology is integrated into courses in a sound pedagogical manner to ensure that students have the best possible experience. In the past twenty years, April has presented on a wide range of subjects including copyright clearance in higher education, blended training, mandatory online cocurricular learning programs, the instructional design process, and various education technology tools.

April earned both her master’s degree in instructional systems and her bachelor of science in education from Penn State.

Anthony Robinson

Anthony Robinson
Anthony C. Robinson is the lead faculty for Online Geospatial Education for the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute and assistant director for the GeoVISTA research center in the Department of Geography at Penn State.

Anthony’s research focuses on the science of interface and interaction design for geographic visualization software tools. He has developed interface design and usability assessment methods for integrating geographic visualization tools with work in epidemiology, crisis management, and homeland security. Anthony’s recent research projects have focused on the design of map symbol standards, developing tools for collecting and adding meaning to geographic information, and eye-tracking to design new geovisualization techniques.

In addition to research efforts, Anthony directs Penn State’s Online Geospatial Education efforts, including its Master of GIS and post-baccalaureate GIS Certificate programs. Penn State’s award-winning Online Geospatial Education programs have served over 4,500 students since 1999.


Richard B. Alley

Richard AlleyDr. Richard Alley is the Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Penn State University.  He has ranged from Antarctica to Greenland to help learn the history of Earth’s climate, and whether the great ice sheets will fall in the ocean and flood our coasts.  With over 225 scientific publications, he has been asked to provide advice to the highest levels of government, and been recognized with numerous awards for teaching, research and service including election to the US National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Alley hosted the recent PBS miniseries Earth: The Operators’ Manual, and has been compared to a cross between Woody Allen and Carl Sagan for his enthusiastic efforts to communicate the excitement and importance of science to everyone.  He is happily married, with two daughters, two cats, two bicycles, and a pair of soccer cleats.


Angela Dick

Angela DickAngie is an instructional designer with Education Technology Services in Teaching and Learning with Technology. She supports faculty in the implementation of technology and development of online, hybrid, and resident courses. Recent projects include the development of Penn States first MOOC offering, experimentation of iTunes U as an online course platform along with many additional technologies to support faculty teaching and student learning. She is also very involved in planning and execution of many professional development opportunities for faculty and staff. Before Penn State, her experiences in the corporate arena include developing online and hybrid education for many state agencies throughout the U.S. which now influences her current work.

She holds an MA in Adult Education and Communication Technology and a BA in Communication Media focusing on Instructional Design and Political Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

MOOC Evalutation Session Graphic

Session 5: Evaluation

Bart Pursel (Session Lead)

Bart PurselIn his role with Teaching and Learning with Technology, Bart Pursel works with a network of faculty in order to connect points of intelligence, insight, energy and knowledge-sharing across the Penn State community around teaching and learning with technology. Bart is also an affiliate faculty member in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, where he teaches video game design and development. As a codirector for the Center for Online Innovation in Learning (COIL), Bart participates in the management and direction of the center, with the goal of establishing COIL as a nationally-recognized research center in the future. Coming from a diverse background of instructional design, teaching, and research, Bart’s interests reside at the intersection of technology and pedagogy, examining how technology impacts teaching and learning. Bart’s current projects focus on areas such as learning analytics, digital badges, and MOOCs.


Larry Ragan

Larry RaganDr. Lawrence Ragan serves as the Co-Director for the Center for Online Innovation in Learning at Penn State University where he helps direct the Center’s mission of research, scholarship, technology innovation, and leadership development programming. Dr. Ragan has been a part of the creation and management of Penn State’s World Campus since it’s inception in 1998. From 1995 through 2008 Dr. Ragan served as Director for Instructional Design where he provided leadership in the design, development, and delivery of courses via the World Campus. Since 2008, Dr. Ragan has lead the design and development of Academic Outreach Faculty Development, which offers a range of professional development programming for World Campus and Penn State faculty preparing for online and continuing education teaching success.

Since 2009, Dr. Ragan has served as the Co-Director of the Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL). In partnership with the leadership at Sloan-C, IELOL addresses the operational and strategic leadership on the design and development and preparation of the next-generation of leadership in online learning. Dr. Ragan has served in leadership roles as co-director and faculty of the EDUCAUSE Learning Technology Leadership program (2005-2007). He is also active in the design and delivery of international leadership development institutes.

Dr. Ragan has taught online from 2001 through 2007 as an Affiliate Faculty in the College of Agriculture, and as part of the IELOL program. Dr. Ragan maintains research and publication activities focusing on a range of topics including the definition of competencies necessary for online teaching success, quality of instruction in online learning, and a framework for quality assurance in faculty development programming.