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.

Teaching Remotely

Visit CTEI’s Teaching Remotely site for resources and best practices on teaching and learning continuity during the COVID-19 response

This webpage is a companion to the Blackboard resource called RUTR: Teaching Remotely. Access RUTR through Blackboard; it will be listed under courses that you are taking as all faculty members are students in this resource. 

For additional information or assistance please reach out to

Important Systems Updates

Blackboard Transitioning to SSO
Beginning Thursday, June 25, faculty and students will use their Rush username and password to log into Blackboard. Because of this update, individuals may need to sign in again to access Blackboard on their devices.
This change is a part of a larger enhancement by the Information Services and Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation teams to transition more educational technology tools to use Rush authentication. Contact or dial (312) 563-2527 for assistance.
New Blackboard Feature is Available: BB Annotate
Blackboard replaced the New Box View inline assignment grading tool with a new tool called Bb Annotate for Inline Assignment Grading. Bb Annotate offers a more robust feature set to provide customizable feedback to learners, which includes a sidebar summary view, freehand drawing tools, various color selections, and much more. All existing assignments should already be converted to Bb Annotate. If not, please reach out to
For instructions, view this short video Bb Annotate Walkthrough.
Please direct any questions or concerns to


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 class

The next OTCD is October 26 through December 6 with a week off from November 23 through November 29.

If you have any questions about OTCD, please email

NEW: Beginning Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - Drop In with an Instructional Designer Virtual Open Office Hours

Beginning September 15, the CTEI Instructional Designers will rotate through a schedule to provide Drop In with an ID Virtual Open Office Hours weekly from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Please visit our calendar link below. 
Instructional Designers can assist faculty with course design and instructional methods, answer your questions about online or face to face course design and development, and assist with applying new technology to facilitate teaching. This time would be especially beneficial to faculty in getting feedback for best use practices in Blackboard or any burning questions on Blackboard that you need answered.


To access the Drop In with an ID Virtual Open Office Hours, click on our recurring Zoom meeting link.


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 Blackboard 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.

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, B.S.
Instructional Designer
(312) 563-0587
Peg ChecchiMargaret (Peg) Checchi, M.Ed.
Instructional Designer
(312) 563-0917
Brandon TaylorBrandon Taylor, M.S., M.O.T.
Instructional Designer
(312) 942-8304
Laura SmithLaura Smith
Instructional Designer
Phone TBD


Matt WestMatt West, M.S., M.A.
Instructional Technologist
(312) 942-3328