Keynote Speakers

​​Picture of Dr. Maria AndersenMorning Keynote Speaker: Dr. Maria Andersen​


Dr. Andersen has spent most of her career teaching at the college level and developing digital products for learning. She built iPad games to teach algebra, launched the Canvas Network MOOC platform, designed adaptive learning platforms used by McGraw Hill, and worked as the Director of Learning Design for WGU (a fully-online CBE institution). Currently Maria is the CEO of Coursetune, a software platform that helps educational institutions to design and manage their curriculum. Maria is a professor, a software designer, a CEO, and a learning futurist. She holds degrees in Math, Chemistry, Biology, Business Administration, and Higher Education Leadership.

Keynote Address: Facing the Future of Technology and Learning

In the last decade, technologies like adaptive learning, smartphones, learning analytics, OER, and MOOCs have been chipping away at the corners of traditional education. In the near future we'll be dealing with even more disruptive technologies like bots and artificial intelligence. Technology-enhanced learning is here to stay and it is altering formal education, like it or not. This is a guide to successfully navigating and thriving in this new world and preparing yourself and students for what is to come.

Breakout Sessions 1&2​ (Double Session): Preparing for the Careers of Tomorrow

In the next decade, we're going to see a lot of careers disappear and many careers we can't imagine will take their place. On top of simple technology displacement of careers, we are also faced with the modernization of existing careers because of the ubiquitous access to information. We will look at the modernization of curriculum through a new lens which accounts for access to information. We will also execute a hands-on strategic futuring activity designed to give you some immediate practical take-home actions for your classes, department, or institution.

Picture of Dr. John WhitmerAfternoon Keynote Speaker: Dr. John Whitmer


Dr. Whitmer is the Senior Director for Data Science and Analytics for ACT, Inc. In this role, he leads a team of data scientists, psychometricians, and learning analytics researchers to conduct foundational research and to develop operational algorithms. These algorithms are embedded within ACT products and also power partner institutions and application. Prior to joining ACT, John led learning analytics research and development at Blackboard, the educational technology company and also led large-scale educational technology initiatives for the Chancellor’s Offices for the California State University and California Community Colleges. Underlying this technology work is a commitment to serving underserved and marginalized students. John holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from UC Davis and a Master’s Degree in Sociocultural Anthropology from UC Davis.

Keynote Address: Using Learning Analytics to Improve Student Success: A Perspective from Research & Practice

As instructors increasingly use academic technologies in their classes, student use of these systems creates ‘data exhaust’ that can provide surprising insights into student success, technology adoption, and instructional design. In this presentation, Dr. John Whitmer will discuss large-scale research conducted with data sets exceeding 1,000 institutions and millions of students. This research has direct implications for faculty seeking to improve student success. We will also discuss questions related to ethical implications of this data and tools available in existing systems available to faculty in Iowa.

Breakout Sessions 3&4(Single Sessions): Student Intervention Workshop: Using Existing Data for Early Alerts & Actions

Building on the keynote session about Learning Analytics, in this hands-on workshop faculty will identify potential interventions and data that they could use to improve student learning in their courses. We will discuss an example from a campus that currently uses a multi-stage intervention strategy, then discuss how that might be adapted by faculty for their courses. We will discuss perceived barriers to student success, how those barriers might be identified with existing data sources and potential interventions (or resources) that might be available to help students. This will be a working session that will result in a plan for faculty to use in their courses.