Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation


We are located on the 9th floor of the Armour Academic Center, in what was previously METC space. You can contact us any time by emailing


The Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation, under the division of Academic Affairs, supports and enhances teaching at Rush University by promoting teaching excellence and innovation, and student engagement throughout all learning experiences at the university. This is accomplished through faculty education and consultation, program consultation on curricular and programmatic enhancement, and support of the university’s mission regarding strategic teaching initiatives.

What do we do?

Provide support for all teaching modalities

The center provides workshops on various subjects that provide new skills or enhance current skills related to teaching, and one-on-one support for faculty to improve their face-to-face, blended, or online courses. Additionally, the center offers regular training for online teaching through the Online Teaching & Course Design class (OTCD) at least 3 times per year in Fall, Spring, and Summer.

Assist colleges and programs

Center staff members provide services for colleges and/or programs that are considering changes to their curriculum or pedagogical practices. Those services can include support for new teaching modalities or assistance with curriculum development, mapping and alignment of content with objectives and assessments. The center assists colleges and/or programs with student learning outcomes and assessments by using student performance data to make decisions on curricular or pedagogical change to improve outcomes and assessment performance.

The hub of innovation

CTEI is a department focused on the use of technologies to enhance teaching and course experiences. The staff members provide primary faculty support of the university’s learning management system (LMS), as well as initiate and support educational technologies used in courses and programs. CTEI staff members regularly explore new and more innovative ways of teaching and remain current on the most up-to-date advancements in the educational technology landscape.

Ensure quality online learning experiences

The center works with faculty members to ensure their online courses meet or exceed Rush University standards for online course design and online teaching. Center staff members work with colleges to provide support as requested, by college administrators and work in partnership with the units to ensure online courses are of the highest quality possible. The center is also involved in Quality Matters reviews of certain courses.

Are you Rush University Faculty? If so, find out how our faculty is involved in what we do and how you might be able to get involved as well.

Blackboard Logo

Retirement for Blackboard

NOTICE: Rush University faculty have read-only access to Blackboard beginning October 1, 2022. Students no longer have access to Blackboard as of October 1, 2022. September 30 was the last day students had access. Faculty will have read-only access until September 30, 2023.

Canvas and Canvas Logo that is similar to a red starburst.

Canvas at Rush University

As of Fall 2022, all Rush University College of Health Sciences, College of Nursing and Graduate College courses are utilizing Canvas for course management. 

Visit our Canvas page for information regarding the transition and training opportunities, Canvas Learning Management System Updates.
Also, you can visit the Rush University LMS website for additional information. 

Canvas FAQ’s

Can I use Canvas on a mobile device?

Screenshot of the Canvas Teacher app


  • Students can download the Canvas Student app on any iOS or Android device.
    • For Android devices, download from the Google Playstore
    • For iOS devices, download from the Apple App Store 

Screenshot of the Canvas app for Students

What Canvas training is available to students?

Please let your students know the following Canvas resources are available to them:

Students will need to log into O365 with their Rush email address and password to view the resources.

Our friendly Instructional Designers are available to get you ready for Canvas. Please reach out to any one of them for questions or assistance with Canvas.

Important Systems Updates

System update for ExamSoft users:

ExamSoft will update our Examplify license to Examplify version 3.3 for Windows and macOS on June 6, 2023. Information on how updates affect lab devices is available here. Additional information on Examplify 3.3 release notes is available on their website. 

As part of ExamSoft’s effort to continue to deliver Next Generation NCLEX® question types to our nursing clients, Examplify 3.3 supports the following question types:
•    Drag and Drop 
•    Matching* 
•    Ordering* 
•    Matrix* 
•    Bowtie* 

*To enable these question types or for additional information, please reach out to our Instructional Technologist Daniel Martin or reach out to


Teaching in the CTEI Podcast Image
In 2021, under the guidance of instructional designer Laura Smith, CTEI created a Podcast called Teaching in the CTEI
Some episodes you’ll find on the Podcast include discussions with Rush Faculty members Kathryn Osborne, Jenny Popova and Bridget Hahn as well as interviews with other faculty members across the US on their own experiences transitioning to Canvas! Check it out, new podcast episodes added each month. If you would like to be featured in a podcast, email

Important Information Regarding Panopto Videos

Auto Archiving of Panopto Videos

Beginning December 21, Rush will implement a retention policy for Panopto recordings. Any recording that has not been viewed by either students or faculty in more than three years will be removed automatically. Once removed, the recordings will no longer be accessible by either faculty or students and will not be recoverable.

This archiving will be a continuous process that is automatic by Panopto, so faculty members will need to be aware of the age of their videos, and they should download them when they are getting close to the three-year mark if they wish to keep a copy. Recordings that are more than three years old but are still in active use in courses will not be removed.

If you would like to keep any recordings that have not been viewed in more than three years from the dates of creation, please use these instructions to download them as MP4 files. For assistance, questions or concerns, please email

The next Online Teaching & Course Design classes

2023 OTCD Courses:

OTCD 1.0 Summer 2023 Session:

June 6 to July 9 - Open for registration until May 30

Fall 2023: TBD

OTCD 1.0 will be taught in Canvas, so anyone taking the course will get the learner’s experience of Canvas. The course will NOT cover how to use Canvas, but it covers the most effective practices of designing and teaching online courses.

OTCD 1.0 teaches you a lot about online and blended teaching. Many participants have also said it has helped them become a better face to face teacher, too.  The course does not have any set meeting times online or in person. It is a 5 week course and is completely online. The course does have required assignments, interactions and due dates. 

 Taking OTCD 1.0 is a requirement for anyone who teaches a course that is 50% or more online. Email Angela Solic with any questions about the class. 


Coming in July - OTCD 2.0

CTEI Offering FIRST OTCD 2.0 Course from July 10 to Aug. 20

OTCD 2.0 will be offered to graduates of OTCD 1.0 as well as those who have an exemption from OTCD 1.0. 

The course will be asynchronous and 6 weeks long, but will have 2 weeks “off” for time to work on the projects that are assigned in the class. Optional synchronous sessions will be offered. 

Content will cover more advanced skills in online teaching and course design, notably creating interactive learning objects, creating instructor videos, artificial intelligence, differentiating instruction, infographics and more. Email Angela Solic with any questions about the class. To save your spot in the inaugural CTEI 2.0 course, please register by June 30. 

Employees applauding at a meeting
Interested in learning new teaching skills or technologies? See what we offer and how to participate.
A man using augmented reality
Interested in the learning technologies offered at Rush University for our faculty? Check this link regularly for updates or to request a technology.
A teacher instructing a class
In this section, you will find a variety of helpful resources, such as Canvas tutorials, information about teaching strategies, dealing with student issues, educational research, and much more! Visit often as this will be updated regularly.
Two women looking at a tablet
Within this link you will find the Rush University standards, helpful resources for teaching blended and online, and information about training offered for online and blended teaching.

Quick Links

Rush University syllabus template for Canvas (updated 11/23/21)

Rush University College of Nursing Syllabus for Canvas (updated 11/23/21)

  • Syllabi require a email to access
  • Download the Syllabus template to edit

Rush University course codes and explanation

Helpful Videos

Canvas Information for Students

Helpful Information

For faculty members: Who do I contact for what? Should it be an instructional designer, 3-clas, or an instructional technologist? Find out on this handy, one-page handout

CTEI YouTube Channel - find workshops and more!




CTEI Staff and Contact Information

Angela SolicAngela Velez-Solic, Ph.D.
(312) 563-3740
Lynette WashingtonLynette Washington, M.S.
Instructional Designer
(312) 942-3152
Branka ManojlovicBranka Manojlovic, M.A.T, B.S.B.A.
Instructional Designer
(312) 563-0587
Peg ChecchiMargaret (Peg) Checchi, M.Ed.
Instructional Designer
(312) 563-0917
Laura SmithLaura Smith
Instructional Designer
Phone TBD


Emily Rush, PhDEmily Rush, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
Phone TBD


Daniel Martin, B.S.C.S., M.B.ADaniel Marting
Instructional Technologist
Phone TBD