River City Six – Analisa McMillan

Meet Analisa McMillan, Director of Educational Innovation and Design at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). She’s also a teacher and student advisor for the Integrating Technology into Health Professions Curriculum for the Health Professions Teaching and Technology, MHPTT program at UNMC.

Tell us a little about yourself and your profession.

My passion is designing and teaching courses that engage students and transform their learning in non-traditional ways. Education should be flexible enough to meet the needs of all students enrolled while ensuring they leave with a solid educational experience. As an online student, an instructional designer and a teacher, I can attest to the fact that online courses can give students an optimal learning experience. I’m lucky to work with online faculty who also believe in the power of an education in any environment. When designing an online course, we focus on what students need to know and be able to do upon completion.

What is your goal in your position?

Our students’ success is the ultimate goal. I want them to walk away knowing that they have not only mastered the material, but they can apply it in real life. I work hard to support my students from the first day of class by letting them know that I’m available to help, to mentor and to teach them. I have an open door “email inbox” and respond in a timely and respectful manner.

Do you have any secrets to success when working toward this goal?

Designing the courses in a way that promotes students’ success, giving them the tools to succeed and believing in them.

What is one thing you tell potential students who are thinking about going back to school online?

Jump right in and take a class! You never know if you’ll like it until you try. The beauty of online learning is you can make it fit in your schedule and not have to fit your schedule around a traditional class time.

Tell us about an online student who has made an impression on you. What made their story stick out?

When I work with the College of Public Health (COPH) online master degree students getting ready to present capstones from other states and countries, I can see the effect an online program has on them. Not everyone has the opportunity to attend a brick and mortar higher education program. One of my students was presenting her capstone to a live audience at COPH from Tanzania. She was a bit skeptical at first, but we used a web conferencing system, and she was super excited about the practice run to see that it worked and she could do it. I felt her excitement as did the audience. She presented and graduated with a master’s without ever stepping foot in our building.

Tell us more about the program in which you teach.

The Health Professions Teaching and Technology, MHPTT program is a great choice for all health professionals that want to or are teaching. The program gives the pedagogical and technology tools to practitioners, instructors, administrators and anyone who wants to teach in healthcare related fields. It’s the integration of technology into pedagogy that differentiates the MHPTT from similar programs. We don’t just teach you about teaching, we teach you about teaching and using technology purposefully to teach and engage learners in all classroom settings.

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?

Information on UNMC programs is available at www.unmc.edu. Also, the University of Nebraska Online website provides information and a pathway for students interested in the online programs from NU’s four campuses at online.nebraska.edu.