2022 UW Flexible Option Faculty Symposium

Monday, May 23, 2022

9:00 am – 3:30 pm

Welcome to the Flex Faculty Symposium!

There are so many reasons that I’m excited about this year’s program, and the first of these is that after three years apart, our community can meet again in person. I have missed the opportunity to share conversations with you and gain inspiration from the energy in the room when we have all been together.

We have a great day planned for the symposium.

I am delighted to announce that Deb Bushway will kick off our day with an engaging keynote session. Deb is one of the thought leaders of modern Competency Based Education in higher ed and is always insightful and generous. I look forward to introducing you to her as she joins us from Northwestern Health Sciences University where she is President and CEO. Get prepared to be challenged and inspired!

Sue Stalewski, Academic Director for Flex UW-Milwaukee’s College of Health Sciences, will be leading us in a hands-on workshop to integrate the TILT framework into our Flex course assessments and beyond. In addition, we have practical breakout sessions offered by our Flex instructors, academic directors, and instructional design team. And Ryan Specht-Boardman and I will be sharing updates and resources with all of you.

I can’t wait to see you at the Flex Faculty Symposium, 2022 Edition!

Kim Kostka
Academic Director
UW-Flexible Option

Our 2022 Speakers

Deb Bushway - Keynote Speaker

Deb Bushway currently serves as the President and CEO at Northwestern Health Sciences University, a private, not-for-profit institution in Minnesota. With experience leading in the public, for-profit and not-for-profit environments, Bushway brings a broad perspective regarding the balance of access, innovation and quality in higher education. She has expertise in policy regarding distance education and its surrounding technologies, including financial aid delivery.

In the past, she has worked closely with the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN), as Senior Advisor in the Office of the Undersecretary at the US Department of Education in Washington, DC, as a consultant to the Lumina Foundation regarding CBE, at the University of Wisconsin – Extension, as a founding Board Member for Quality Matters, as Vice President of Academic Innovation, Provost and interim President at Capella University and as a full professor at Metropolitan State University in Minnesota.

She pioneered the development and implementation of a successful competency based, direct assessment program. She co-authored the book “A Leader’s Guide to Competency-Based Education: From Inception to Implementation”.

She believes that the higher education ecosystem must continue to create space for collaborative leadership to leverage educational technology in support of our nation’s most pressing higher education needs: equity, achievement, access and quality.

Sue Stalewski - Workshop/Breakout Speaker

Susan Stalewski, MBA, MLS ASCP cm, is the Director of Academic Initiatives and Planning for the UW Milwaukee College of Health Sciences. She has facilitated online and competency-based programming, student success, and equity initiatives and has served as the Academic Program Lead for the three Flex initiatives in the College for eight years. Susan has been recognized as a leader in teaching and learning and instructional technology strategies within the UW Milwaukee and extended communities.

Breakout Speakers

Jessica Hertig:

Jessica Hertig is a Clinical Instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she has taught in the undergraduate, graduate, and RN-BSN programs since 2018. She aspires to assist her students to be successful nurses and colleagues. She received her BSN from Alverno College in 2004 and her MSN with an emphasis on Leadership & Management from Western Governor’s University in 2014. Her clinical practice specialty is acute care case management.

Kim Kostka:

Kim Kostka assists UWEX in managing the Flexible Option degree programs and certificates and is also a Professor in the chemistry faculty at the College of Integrated Studies at UW-Whitewater.

Eileen Horn:

Eileen Horn is a Senior Instructional Designer with the University of Wisconsin Extended Campus. Eileen has been with the Flexible Option program from the beginning. She was instrumental in helping to define design standards and processes for CBE development, including high-impact practices. With the program up and running she continues to work with faculty to design, develop, and deliver CBE courses offered. Eileen earned her Certificate in Distance Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education and her M.S. degree in Administrative Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Terry McGovern:

Terry McGovern earned two doctorates, his Doctorate of Business Administration from the University of South Florida’s Muma School of Business and a Doctorate of Management from the University of Phoenix’s School of Advanced Studies. He also holds an M.S. from the University of San Francisco, an M.H.S. from Providence University, an M.S. in Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and a B.A. from the University of Iowa. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Management and Business at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Dr. McGovern’s areas of expertise include leadership, strategy, organizational behavior, and professional ethics.

Nicole Simonson:

Nicole Simonson DNP, RN is the Director of RN-to-BSN Completion Programs and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing. She received her Baccalaureate in Science of Nursing degree from Columbia College of Nursing, Master’s in Science of Nursing with an emphasis in Nurse Education at Kaplan University, and Doctoral in Nursing Practice- Nurse Executive Track at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.

Most recently, Dr. Simonson has been working on OER for RN to BSN transition to practice. Additionally, Dr. Simonson’s special interests include interprofessional collaboration, education, and leadership. She has taught within the undergraduate, direct entry MN, and RN-to-BSN completion programs. Dr. Simonson’s clinical experience includes acute care in cardiac stepdown, intensive care unit, cardiac cath lab, and administrative nursing supervision.

Helen White:

Helen White is a Media Strategist at UW Extended Campus in Madison, where she produces digital content to support teaching and learning for the Flexible Option programs, the Collaborative Degree Programs, and Independent Learning.

Kristin Woodward:

Kristin Woodward is the Teaching and Team Lead for the Golda Mier Library at UW-Milwaukee.

Time Event
8:30 am - 9:00 am


9:00 am - 9:30 am

Welcome - Dr. Aaron Brower, Executive Director of UW Extended Campus

9:30 am - 11:00 am

This opening session will offer participants an opportunity to reflect on their motivations for serving as Flex Faculty, contextualize the innovative work of Wisconsin’s Flex program within a national framework, and re-energize for the future of Flex.

11:15 am - 12:00 pm

Presenters: Jessica Hertig and Nicole Simonson

Open Education Resources (OERs) are part of a growing global movement to provide students with more inclusive ways to access course content in higher education. A wide variety of high-quality books, courses, activities, and other scholarly materials are available for free that can provide students with more access to needed information as well as interactive experiences that help with comprehension.  OERs are a convenient and appropriate tool for FLEX students looking for affordable, high-quality, and easy-to-access education.  A FLEX team began the process of writing an OER of their own in 2021 with the intent of integrating it into the nursing program in the coming year.

This discussion will explore the benefits of using OERs, detail the experience of the speakers in writing their OER, as well as provide an opportunity for guided exploration of OERs available in the audience’s different subject areas.

Presenter: Terry McGovern

Faculty discussion regarding some standard FLEX rubric items such as items addressing professional writing and APA format / style for written reports.

12:05 pm - 1:00 pm

Lunch and Flex Updates

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

Presenter: Sue Stalewski 

Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TILT) strategies facilitate learner-centered teaching and assessment. Using a TILT framework can support equitable assessment experiences for students in competency-based courses and the application of these strategies demonstrates evidence for facilitating student efficacy in learning. These strategies are useful for all assessments but most importantly for those that are high stakes and significant.  Participants will evaluate an assignment for TILT principles using guides provided by the presenter. Participants are invited to bring their own course assignments for evaluation.

2:30 pm - 3:15 pm

Presenters: Eileen Horn

Research suggests that High Impact Practices (HIPs) are helpful for online students. The self-paced nature of Flex creates some unique challenges for implementing some of these practices.  In this session we will focus on how HIPs can be implemented in Flex, with several examples of how HIPs have been used in our programs.

Presenters: Kim Kostka, Nicole Simonson, Sue Stalewski, Helen White, Kristin Woodward

The internet is a significant part of the student learning experience and often used for finding supplementary information, study guides, and academic support. Syndicated cheating sites are a part of the landscape, challenging academic standards for ethical behavior by requiring students to upload assessments or papers in order to receive assistance. To support students facing these growing challenges, collaborators from the University of Wisconsin Flexible Option Program will demonstrate tutorials that were developed to address academic integrity in online sharing platforms. In these modules, students will encounter several cases, learn to identify ethical pitfalls, and are directed toward appropriate solutions. The tutorials are available as open educational resources and were developed to facilitate equitable education for students, interpreting academic conduct policy for internet-specific challenges.

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Closing Session


The meeting will be held at the Madison Marriott West. Blocks of rooms are being held at the hotel for Monday, May 23. Rooms will be held until Thursday, May 12 (NEW DATE).  If you will need a hotel room please call the hotel or use the reservation link below to make a reservation before the cutoff date of Thursday, May 12. UW Extended Campus will cover the hotel cost. If your plans change and you are not able to attend or do not need the room please be sure to cancel your hotel reservation.

Reservation Information 

Book your hotel for UW Extended Campus 2022 Collaborative Program Faculty Symposium

800-228-9290 (please identify yourself as part of the 2022 UW Collaborative Faculty Symposium when making your reservation)

Rate: $90/night


There is no fee for parking.


All Faculty Symposium event costs are supported by UW Extended Campus. There is no fee to attend.

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED.  If you have questions, please contact Lindsey Conklin, lindsey.conklin@uwex.edu.


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