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Columbia College online course review specialist selected as presenter at distance teaching and learning conference

Columbia College Online Course Review Specialist Alicia Pigg has been selected as a presenter at the 28th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning held Aug. 8-10 in Madison, Wis. Actively involved in course development, syllabi review, course monitoring and faculty training at Columbia College, as well as an online instructor of art, Pigg will speak on, “Four Steps for Designing Successful Discussion Topics” for online courses.

Addressing the issue that online discussions face a unique set of challenges, Pigg’s presentation will focus on the characteristics of successful topic design for online courses. The presentation will take a basic discussion topic through four steps for redesigning and improving the topic: identifying the purpose, selecting the content, designing the topic and anticipating possible responses. Participants will learn how to develop a topic focused on course material that requires higher-order thinking skills.

Recognized internationally for quality and integrity, the Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning provides an exchange of current resources, research and best practices from around the world that are relevant to the design and delivery of distance education and training. Representing organizations from all regions of the United States and other countries worldwide, a wide spectrum of distance education professionals attend the conference each year. For more information, visit the conference’s website at

Columbia College first began offering online classes in 2000 and has gone on to become the college’s largest campus. Last year, more than 15,000 students took at least one online class. The Online Campus offers more than 800 classes and 23 associate, bachelor’s, and masters degrees.

Founded in 1851 in Columbia, Mo., Columbia College has been helping students advance their lives through higher education for more than 160 years. As a private, nonprofit, liberal arts and sciences institution, the college takes pride in its small classes, experienced faculty and quality educational programs. With more than 30 campuses across the country, 18 of which are on military installations, students may enroll in day, evening or online classes. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Columbia College educates more than 30,000 students each year and has more than 70,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit