Sure, We’ll Be the Guinea Pigs...Taking on a Personalized Learning Environment for the Online Classroom

Amy LimBybliw

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Sarah Keene

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Emily Matson

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Keywords: cogbooks, course authoring platform, authoring, learner analytics


In the fall of 2017, the Rothenberger Institute (RI) at the U of MN contracted with CogBooks (CB), a cloud-based course authoring platform, to house and deliver the content of their online, undergraduate wellness curriculum.

CB licenses their platform to educators, allowing them to develop and deliver what could be considered a flexible, media-rich online eBook; the platform features options to integrate videos, interactions, just-in-time learning assessments, discussion boards, and other communication tools. The platform also includes personalized learning pathways and robust analytics, which hold the promise of maximizing student learning outcomes through early, ongoing, and targeted student interventions and evidence-informed opportunities for course design improvements.

While the CB tool markets well, has the time and investment been worth it? Is a tool like this really transforming learning outcomes for students or is it just creating more work for the sake of flashier technology? With a pilot launch in the Spring of 2018, members from the RI team will present preliminary findings and discuss initial thoughts on their experience transitioning two courses into this tool.

Author Biographies

Amy LimBybliw, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Amy LimBybliw, MA, M.Ed (she/her/hers) is an instructional designer and Asst. Director of the Rothenberger Institute at the U of MN Twin Cities. She works with course teams to design, develop, and deliver high quality, online wellness courses in the School of Public Health. She's a strong advocate for universal design and believes in the value of fostering inclusivity in online education.

Sarah Keene, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Sarah Keene, M.S.Ed., M.Phil.Ed. (she/her/hers) is the instructor of Success Over Stress and Sleep, Eat & Exercise at the U of MN School of Public Health, Rothenberger Institute. In this role, she maintains relevant course content and supervises undergraduate teaching assistants to deliver these online courses to over 2500 students per academic year.

Emily Matson, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Emily Matson (she/her/hers) is an instructor in the Rothenberger Institute at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health and has been working in the field of college health promotion for 15 years. She teaches online academic wellness courses and a course to prepare future licensed teachers for substance-related situations in educational environments. Emily’s academic interests include sexuality education, substance misuse prevention, and peer health education.