University Technology

About uTech Online Teaching and Learning


To deliver customer-focused services and resources that empower our faculty in designing, creating, and implementing the finest online teaching experiences. Our commitment is deeply rooted in furthering Western Illinois University's mission. We aim to provide services that ensure consistent student-centered, high-quality courses, with exceptional user experiences in an environment that fosters excellence and achievement for all.


  • Online Course Development and Approval

    All new and redesigned online courses must go through the Online Course Approval Process before they are offered. The online course approval process is a shared responsibility between the faculty member, uTech's Online Teaching and Learning instrcutional design team, and the faculty member's department chairperson or director. Learn more about this process and review the online course approval checklist on our Online Course Approval Page

  • Best Practices in Teaching Online (BPTO)

    BPTO is a 6-week online course that prepares online faculty to apply best practices in teaching online to your own course or subject area resulting in (1) an online course syllabus that meets or exceeds WIU Online Course Standards and (2) a sample online instructional module. In this course, you will explore both the opportunities and the challenges of teaching online. You will experience online learning as both a student and an educator, building empathy for both roles. The course is facilitated by our Instructional Design and Technology Specialists and includes weekly discussions, individual and small group activities. All faculty are required to successfully complete this course before teaching an online course. If extenuating circumstances prevent this, the course can be taken in tandem or as soon as possible. Learn more about Best Practices in Teaching and Learning and register for an upcoming session by visiting our Best Practices in Teaching Online page.

  • Instructional Design Consultations

    Our Instructional Design and Technology Specialists are available to meet with you one-on-one to discuss the design and development of your online and blended courses. To set up an appointment, complete our One-on-One Consultation form.

  • Webinars focused on Online Teaching and Learning

    OTL provides a variety of webinars and workshops throughout each semester to assist you in learning new pedagogies, best practices, and tools as they relate to online, and blended course delivery. Visit our Workshops page and to review our current offerings and sign-up to attend!

  • Just-in-Time Assistance

    OTL provides just-in-time assistance on your most common questions related to the tools used for online learning at Western. Due to our limited staff we always recommend that you refer to the documentation published on our website to find your answer. If you are unable to find your answer, or need technical assistance please contact the  University Technology (uTech) support center  via email at, or phone at 309.298.TECH(8324).

    Our team provides instructional support on the tools involved in the delivery of online and distance education as well as instructional design and best practices. To request a one-on-one consultation complete our One-on-One Consultation form.

  • OTL Website

    Our website provides abundant information in the form of step-by-step tip sheets, video overviews, and descriptive information on all of the tools, processes, and practices you will use at Western in your online or blended teaching. Please consult this site any time you need a quick answer to your question! The website is organized by tool, topic, and service. Use the navigation to the left of every page or the topic boxes on the front of the main page to navigate through all of our resources with ease.


Dawn Sweet
Dawn Sweet, Instructional Design and Technology Manager


Dawn Sweet has served as an Instructional Design and Technology Specialist and Manager at ODES/CITR since December 2017, previously working as the Instructional Development Services Manager within the College of Education and Human Services at WIU for 16 years. Dawn received her B.S. in Instructional Technology and Telecommunications in 2001 and her MS Ed in Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Adult Learning and Instructional Design from Western in 2006. Her areas of specialty and focus include instructional design, technology integration, blended learning, and distance learning. You can learn more about Dawn's professional experience at

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Joan Nkansaa Nkansah, Graduate Assistant 


Joan  serves as our Instructional Design GA while she pursues her MAT: Alternative Teacher Licensure and PBC: Instructional Design and Technology at Western.  She holds a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with specialization in Administration and Leadership Studies and an Education Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Her expertise is in educational research, curriculum design, online teaching and learning, instructional design, and technology integration.    Joan   ’s work at ODES and CITR involves providing instructional design, course development, and technology integration support services.

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