2016 Keynote: Re-Imagining Testing

Rhonda D. Blackburn, PhD
Vice President and Chief Academic Officer for LoudCloud Systems Inc., a Barnes and Noble Education Company

Over the past decade, change has been inevitable. What does this mean for testing centers and administrators? How does distance education impact this change? Join Dr. Rhonda Blackburn in re-imagining what testing should look like. Together we will look at the roles prior learning assessments, distance education, placement tests, proctoring, and more play in today's academic environment and what we all need to do to be prepared and to capitalize on these changes.

Dr. Blackburn has been working in academia for the pasts 20+ years as a teacher, administrator, trainer, and consultant. Now she takes that experience and applies that knowledge to make her clients successful in their eLearning goals and initiatives. As the Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, she helps clients create competency-based programs that allow the students to track their learning and move through a curriculum at a pace that meets the students' needs and learning experiences and enhances on-ground and online courses through the use of technology and learning outcomes assessment. She is also focused on developing a strong learning community and making sure all clients are positioned to be successful in their implementation and use of LoudCloud technology.

Prior to LoudCloud, Dr. Blackburn was the Associate Provost of Educational Enhancement at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her office covered faculty development, instructional technology, distance education, media/video services, and classroom experience. Within this capacity, she supported faculty on helping them develop well designed courses, both traditional and online. She also guided her staff in understanding technology and how it can be used effectively in a classroom setting. She spearheaded the redesign and integration of technology into the classrooms throughout the campus. Through research on the classroom experience, she was able to show how faculty development, the right technology and classroom materials, could improve student retention and learning. She conducted workshops, departmental trainings, and one-on-one consultations with faculty and support staff across campus and developed a Teaching Academy Certification, which helped faculty and teaching assistance understand the art of teaching.

Dr. Blackburn currently teaches a graduate online course at the University of Maryland University College. In addition to these courses, she has taught additional graduate, undergraduate, community college, continuing education, and high school courses since 1989 in face-to-face, hybrid, and online modalities. In all of her courses she utilizes technology to enhance the learning experience for the students.

Dr. Blackburn received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. She is also actively involved with numerous associations focused on lifelong learning including the Texas Distance Learning Association as past-president, United States Distance Learning Association as a board member, and National Universities Technology Network as chair-elect of the board.