Educational Programming

Spring 2023 Webinar Series

Hear from experts in the field as they discuss the use (and challenges) of AI, assessment strategies for engaging faculty and closing loop, and what the future of learning holds in higher education.


  • Friday, May 12 (12:00-1:00 p.m. PDT): AI in Higher Education – Marc Watkins and Robert Cummings, University of Mississippi
  • Friday, June 16 (12:00-1:00 p.m. PDT): Best Practices in Assessment – Lydia Gillespie, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Multnomah University


  • Per webinar: $50.00
  • Webinar series (May and June webinars): $75.00 *You must register for both webinars at once to receive this discount.*

Registrants will receive a copy of materials covered throughout the webinar and a link to the recording for future viewing.

Register Here


Friday, May 12 (12:00-1:00 p.m. PDT)

AI in Higher Education

In Fall 2022, the Department of Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Mississippi initiated a pilot program using AI writing and research assistants in their courses. The faculty aimed to gather insights on how this emerging technology affects students’ writing. This session will cover the initial findings of the pilot program, the pedagogical strategies employed while using AI, and the students’ feedback on their experience with the technology.


Robert Cummings serves as Executive Director of Academic Innovation and Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Mississippi. In 2006 he earned the PhD in English from the University of Georgia, with a focus on the connections between rhetoric, composition, and digital technology. His first book was the co-edited volume Wiki Writing: Collaborative Learning in the College Classroom with Matt Barton, (U of Michigan P digital culture books: 2008). His most recent book is Lazy Virtues: Teaching Writing in the Age of Wikipedia (Vanderbilt UP, 2009), which won the 2010 MLA Mina Shaughnessy award. His research focuses on Open Educational Resources and on teaching with Wikipedia in Higher Education as an Open Educational Practice.


Marc Watkins is a Lecturer of Writing and Rhetoric and serves as the Director of the AI Summer Institute for Teachers of Writing at the University of Mississippi. He co-chairs the AI working group within his department and serves as a liaison with other departments on campus, exploring generative AI’s impact on teaching and learning.




Friday, June 16 (12:00-1:00 p.m. PDT)

Best Practices in Assessment

Accreditation and assessment are inextricably linked, yet assessment is a consistent concern for many institutions. This webinar will enhance staff and faculty’s ability to engage their institutional community in assessment processes. Participants will learn the fundamental principles of assessment and strategies for overcoming traditional barriers to assessment practices to engage constituents. Topics will include an assessment framework, cultivating a culture of assessment, and tactics for leveraging assessment data.


Lydia Gillespie, MPS, has served in higher education administration and faculty roles for the last eight years. Lydia is the Director of Institutional Effectiveness at Multnomah University in Portland, OR. Before that, she was an Instructional Quality Coordinator and Manager of Accreditation and Assessment for Moody Bible Institute. Passionate about advancing learning experiences, Lydia also serves as an adjunct faculty member for leadership courses and as an assessment consultant. Lydia believes in the power of high-quality educational experiences and advocates for assessment as a critical catalyst for improving student learning and institutional effectiveness. She has led the institutions she has worked with through the transformative process of successfully redesigning a streamlined assessment process that allowed for the cyclical, efficient, and effective use of assessment data.

Lydia holds a BA in Global Studies from Colorado Christian University and an MPS in Organizational Leadership from the University of Denver. Lydia adores getting lost in a good book, sipping strong coffee paired with dark chocolate, and exploring the PNW with her family.