CELT Teaching Spotlight: Lesya Hassall

Lesya Hassall

Lesya Hassall, Ph.D., Instructional Specialist III, Quality Matters Coordinator, Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), has been an instructional designer at Iowa State University for 13 years at CELT and another four years with the School of Education. Hassall received the Excellence in Instructional Support COVID-19 Exceptional Effort Award for CELT’s Course Design Institute program’s effective leadership. This honor recognizes a faculty or staff instructor who has made exceptional efforts to support the creative and successful redesign of a course or curriculum for remote or hybrid delivery through instructor training or instructional support.

Hassall’s advice for teaching:

Have a question about ISU’s centrally-supported instructional technologies? Need advice on the design of your online or hybrid course? Considering an innovative teaching approach? Determined to implement inclusive teaching practices?

CELT is one phone call or email message away! CELT instructional designers will hear you out, explain the ins and outs of new technologies, help to connect you to your teaching peers and discuss many other ways in which they can support your teaching through CELT’s services and upcoming programs.   

When we help you, we also learn from you to pass your expertise onto others – it’s a win-win for ISU’s teaching and learning community!  

Hassall would recommend:

I am biased, but Course Design Institute (CDI) is my favorite CELT program! CDI gives time and space to busy faculty members to reflect on the different aspects of their online and hybrid courses: 

  • Is my course easy to navigate?  
  • Are my instructional objectives clear?  
  • How does required and optional coursework build up the learner?  
  • Is the learner’s journey chunked and scaffolded?  
  • Is the practice deliberate and meaningful?  
  • Are my assignment instructions transparent?  
  • How do I use Canvas’s basic and advanced tools to build my course?

CDI participants engage in online synchronous sessions led by ISU’s experienced teaching experts and complete self-paced work designing or redesigning their online and hybrid courses.  

I take enormous pride in this program because it was created to model a productive, intentional, inclusive, and participatory exchange between and among those who care about teaching and learning. Like what happens with thoughtfully designed courses, every iteration of CDI is continuously improved with the feedback from the past participants and session leaders.  

I owe it to the wonderful team of the CELT staffers, CDI co-leaders, such as Drs. Monica Lamm and Ann Gansemer-Topf, CDI presenters and participants who turn every CDI into a community-driven event where we all learn something new about our courses, students, and ourselves as teaching practitioners instructional supporters.