By combining the convenience of online workshops with the proven strategies of today’s expert educators, Optimize Learning offers instructors, instructional designers and administrators the opportunity to participate in faculty development that really makes a difference in the classroom. Giving teachers strategies and tools to better engage and educate students is the heart of what Optimize Learning does.
Optimize Learning, founded and directed by Linda Jacoby, provides online professional development workshops to faculty, staff and administrators from colleges and universities worldwide. Our mission is to provide online support to faculty, administrators and staff in their efforts to improve teaching and learning in higher education. We desire to partner with institutions to support and enhance their existing professional development programs and also offer workshops to individual faculty or institutional groups who are seeking new or additional learning opportunities.
Optimize Learning began in June, 2015 offering Dee Fink’s course, “Designing Courses for Significant Learning,” authored by Dee Fink and based on Dr. Fink’s book, Creating Significant Learning Experiences. (Jossey-Bass, Updated Edition, 2013). Linda and Dee worked together for several years through Dee Fink & Associates and when the opportunity to offer his online course through Optimize Learning became possible, both Dee and Linda agreed that it would make an excellent centerpiece and “core course” for Optimize to deliver and to which other course offerings might be added.
In 2016 Fink and Optimize expanded his original course into two sequential parts— now known as Significant Learning by Design-I and Significant Learning by Design-II. Optimize Learning also added a workshop titled, “Getting Started with Team-Based Learning,” designed and delivered by Jim Sibley and based on the book Getting Started with Team-Based Learning by Jim Sibley and Peter Ostafichuk (Stylus Publishing 2014).
In 2017, Optimize Learning added a fourth workshop, “Promoting and Assessing Significant Learning,” authored by Elizabeth F. Barkley and Claire Howell Major, based on their book, Learning Assessment Techniques, A Handbook for College Faculty (Jossey-Bass, 2016).
This past February, Optimize Learning began offering a new workshop, “Teach Students How To Learn,” authored by Saundra Yancy McGuire, based on the book Teach Students How to Learn by Saundra Yancy McGuire with Stephanie McGuire (Stylus Publishing, 2015).
Each workshop is delivered completely online and is facilitated by a coach with experience in higher education, online learning and facilitating online courses and workshops. Coaches guide participants through the workshop, review participant work, provide ideas and personalized feedback on application activities throughout the learning experience and answer participant questions.