Hi! My name is Robin Bunnell and I live in Coos Bay, Oregon. I graduated from Willamette University in 1989 having completed a major in Political Science. I was an on again off again distance learning student at Portland State University (PSU) for 13 years and finally completed the eMBA program at PSU in 2002. I walked at graduation with two other students – across the stage at Southwestern Oregon Community College (Southwestern) as part of a program supported by the University Center. The University Center serves students on the south coast of Oregon by providing support and guidance to achieve their educational dreams through distance learning opportunities.

In my current position as Institutional Researcher at Southwestern, I have developed a data warehouse of all state required common data elements which was combined with institutionally identified elements to support data requests and reporting requirements. The use of technology allows me to perform multiple job duties which would have taken several employees pre-technology. The use of the Tableau Software to produce data utilizing visualization software as well as Entrinsik’s Informer product to extract real-time data from the Enterprise Resource Planning system, Colleague, are critical to perform my job duties. I administer both of these products for the campus and provide end-user training and support. Nearly all surveys conducted on campus, with the exception of national or state surveys, are produced locally through the use of the Survey Select software which I administer and provide end-user support. I was responsible for the migration of the planning and assessment processes from paper to electronic format. Southwestern adopted and implemented the TracDat system in December of 2009 and I administer this system as well as provide end-user training and support.

My first experience with online instruction was as a student at PSU when I used the WebCT platform for all of my courses in the eMBA program and prior to my online experience I participated in distance education courses by watching videos of classes taped the prior week. I have been a part-time instructor at Southwestern for six years teaching face-to-face courses as well as online. Southwestern initially used the WebCT learning management system for online instruction so the transition from student to online faculty was easy. In the fall of 2009, Southwestern migrated to the Angel learning management system. I believe this system is easier to use than WebCT and the quality of support for the system administrator is better. The portal is the latest endeavor at Southwestern and the use of open source systems are now the focus of the e-Learning administrators.

My goals are to (a) enhance my skills to design and facilitate effective online discussions, (b) develop techniques to properly assess and evaluate online discussion activities, (c) develop skills to assess the role of reflection in the online environment, and (d) identify issues and recommend strategies that affect the success of online learners. I plan to be an online instructor for courses at the undergraduate and graduate level when I complete my degree.