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 will have read-only access to Blackboard beginning October 1, 2022. Students will NOT have access to Blackboard beginning October 1, 2022. We will be communicating with students to let them know, but if you have students that ask, Sept. 30 is the last day they will have access. Faculty will have read-only access until September 30, 2023.


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

Introducing Canvas to Rush University

Rush University is pleased to announce the CTEI staff will begin transitioning from our current Learning Management System, Blackboard, to Canvas. The transition to Canvas is underway and will begin with our Summer Pilot to Canvas for Summer 2021. The next phase will occur during the summer term to train and migrate faculty for FA21 courses. Please see our FAQ section below for additional information. 

The Canvas LMS is a user-friendly, intuitive learning management platform that is extremely mobile friendly for faculty and students to access. Canvas allows faculty to build robust learning experiences designed towards student-centered learning for in person, online or blended courses.


Watch our workshop video for a First Look at Canvas

Visit our Canvas page for additional 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

What is the Timeline for the Canvas Transition?

Canvas Transition Timeline

NOTE: Rush University faculty will have read-only access to Blackboard beginning October 1, 2022. Students will NOT have access to Blackboard beginning October 1, 2022.

How do I become familiar with Canvas before I’m set to teach a course?

CTEI is offering several ways for faculty to become familiar with Canvas:

  • To learn more about Canvas, we strongly encourage you to take the Growing with Canvas self-paced course.
  • We have created Knowledge Base videos in our CTEI YouTube channel. These short (30 minute or less) on-demand videos on specific topics in Canvas are available to watch when it’s most convenient for your schedule.
  • Attend virtual Canvas Bootcamp workshops.
  • In addition, you can schedule one-to-one training appointments in our Open Lab Hours with our Instruction Designers. To book an appointment, visit our CTEI Open Lab Hours Bookings page. You will need to log into O365 with your Rush email and password to make the booking.

Visit our Canvas Learning Management System Updates page for additional information and links.

How do I compare tools and features in Blackboard to Canvas?

We created an easy reference guide that compares features & tools in Blackboard to what is available in Canvas.

Here is the link to access and download the Canvas to Blackboard Comparison Guide.

How do I migrate my course from Blackboard to Canvas?

If you have NOT received word from your Dean or Program Director on migrating your course(s), please contact Angela Solic.Otherwise, an Instructional Designer will be assigned to your course. If you have not received any communication regarding your Canvas course migration, please contact Angela Solic or email

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.

Want to know what the CTEI Staff is doing for Rush University’s transition to Canvas? Listen to our Teaching in the CTEI podcast: We’re Moving! How CTEI is Getting You Ready for the Big Move to Canvas. You can also find our podcast on Spotify.
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 and migrating your course from Blackboard.

Important Systems Updates

No upcoming system updates. Please check back regularly for updates. 

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

2022 OTCD Courses. Choose the date you want below to sign up.

June 6 - July 10

October 3 - Nov 6

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

The class is fully online and lasts 5 weeks. There are no scheduled meetings, but the course does require weekly interactions and engagement. 


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


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, 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


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