eLearning Consultant




fit-learning designer consultant

Nancy Eder, distinguished Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art History at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Lecturer in the Education Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, wanted to increase the engagement of her students in her online courses.



Prof. Eder and I collaborated to assess the effectiveness of her existing learning programs. Then, we focused on two objectives:

1. Create opportunities for her students to interact online as they would in a live class.

2. Include multimedia in Prof. Eder’s presentations to make her online classes more engaging and exciting.


1. I provided feedback and recommendations for enhancing student engagement based on the Pelz Principles of effective online pedagogy.  Bill Pelz is a professor of psychology and the winner of the Sloan Award for Excellence in Online Teaching. He emphasizes the importance of interactivity and presence for effective online asynchronous learning.

2. To create community, I suggested that at the beginning of the semester, each person records a brief video introduction using their phones, providing opportunities for her students to get to know each other and interact on online as they would in a live class.

3. I also suggested implementing further interactivity by using tools such as VoiceThread, which allows varied ways to comment including audio, text. and video. Multimedia makes students more engaged than simply typing on a forum interface.

4. I applied proven principles of online learning design, based on the research of Prof. Kristen Sosulski, Ed.D, who underlines simplicity, clarity, and organization to support the learning experience. Some of my recommendations to Prof. Eder were:

  • Substitute slides filled with text for slides showing art history images to help students visually remember what they need to learn.
  • One concept per slide, following the highly effective “Steve Job’s style”
  • Use multimedia, including videos (no longer than 10 minutes) packed with art images, instead of lengthy articles, dense with text, describing the art works.
  • Page layout should be uncluttered, including a significant amount of white space to facilitate online readability.

5. I emphasized that course materials (text, audio, and video) need to be responsive and well designed for handheld devices. Also, they need to comply with Section 508 of Federal Standards for online accessibility.


At the end of our consultation, Prof. Eder was delighted and eager to implement the above strategies to make a difference in the learning experience of her online students.

Since her online courses belong to the State University of New York and are not available to the general public,  I leave you with a summary of her experience in her own words:

nancy eder

“I met with Pilar for a consultation regarding my online classes. I wanted my classes to be more dynamic and personal.

She gave me excellent ideas about using multimedia to engage the students and myself more. I am excited about implementing these strategies. Pilar is delightful to work with. I highly recommend her!”

Nancy Eder
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Fashion Institute of Technology



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