About UCLA Online Teaching and Learning

UCLA launched its Online Teaching and Learning Initiative in 2016 as a response to the growing awareness and need to leverage educational technologies into instruction. Beginning in 2018, the Online Teaching and Learning unit added instructional design and production teams.

OTL’s instructional design team provides campus faculty and academic leaders with the experience, knowledge, and support to incorporate educational technologies into courses. This can take the form of individual consultations, public workshops, and other sessions in promoting and advising on the use of existing, experimental, and new technologies. The instructional designers are available for appointment! Please reach out to a Team Member.

In coordination with the designers, the production team utilizes the OTL production studio in Slichter Hall to help faculty record, edit, and produce content ranging from short introductory material to full lecture content.  For faculty looking to self-produce content, the production team can also provide consultative support.

Meet the OTL Team

We are a team of dedicated professionals, ready to support UCLA faculty and departments

Ava Arndt

Ava Arndt

Interim Director & Senior Instructional Designer

Before joining the OTL team at UCLA, Ava taught at UCI where she started using technology in her own classes and experimenting with online learning tools and practices with her students. Following this she worked for UCOP’s Innovative Learning Technology Initiative (ILTI) where she designed and built online and hybrid courses across all campuses within the UC system. When not teaching or designing or playing with technology she enjoys being outside, traveling the world, reading books, walking her dog and playing with her daughter.

A UC Berkeley graduate, Ava received her Ph.D. in Eighteenth Century Literature and Culture at Queen Mary University of London. She also holds an MPA in non-profit management from CSU-Northridge.

Barry Bishop

Barry Bishop

Producer/Director

Barry is a Producer/Director in the Online Teaching and Learning team. While his passion is in cinematography he has a deep technical knowledge within the areas of live and post production. Barry’s expertise with technology is instrumental in keeping the OTL studio and post-production workflows as functional and up-to-date as possible. Prior to joining UCLA, Barry worked in the San Francisco Bay area, producing media content for over a decade for multiple tech companies that include Cisco, Facebook and Dolby. In his spare time Barry enjoys programming and 3D modeling in Cinema 4D.

Serge Chenkerian

Serge Chenkerian

Unit Coordinator

Serge is the primary administrative contact for the unit and coordinates Online Teaching and Learning‘s activities and events. He is often the first contact members of the campus community have with the group. His responsibilities include HR functionality, fund management, strategic planning and implementation, event coordination, procurement, and budgeting, just to name a few. Having obtained an MBA in Management and Marketing from the University of Houston, Bauer College of Business, his early career at UCLA led him to a position as the MSO for UCLA’s Academic Senate. Serge’s other interests including fishing in any form and spending time with his family, especially his two boys.

Kim DeBacco

Kim DeBacco

Senior Instructional Designer

Since coming to California in 2008, Kim worked as an Instructional Design Analyst at UC Riverside (2018-19), as an Academic Program Director in Extension, and an Instructional Consultant (2008-2015) at UC Santa Barbara. Prior to that in Australia, Kim was a tenured lecturer in Flexible/Online Teaching & Learning in the Institute for Teaching and Learning at The University of Sydney (2001-2008), and in the Academic Development Unit at La Trobe University, Melbourne (1998-2001).

Originally a foreign language teacher and language teacher educator, Kim is proficient in 6 languages and is also interested in educational technologies and language learning. Kim’s research interests center around blended teaching and learning, and ethics and reciprocity in ID/developer-faculty and faculty-student relationships.

Mark Kayser

Mark Kayser

Instructional Designer

Before joining the OTL team Mark was at the University of Minnesota where he designed online and blended courses with a primary focus on STEM courses and the unique challenge these domains pose to online learners. For the last 10 years he has also taught a Mathematics course at the collegiate level.

Paul Kimball

Paul Kimball

Managing Producer/Director

Paul is the Managing Producer/Director for UCLA OTL. He oversees the department’s studio in Slichter Hall as well as all aspects of production for the studio’s creations. He also coordinates regularly with other production units on campus that create video content for UCLA classes. As a key member of the TFT Online team, he shot, edited, and/or oversaw the video production for that program and for the other campus courses built with them. Before starting work at UCLA in instructional media in 2013, he worked in broadcast television and feature film. In his free time, Paul is also a professional screenwriter.

Kate Schaller

Kate Schaller

Instructional Designer

Kate joined UCLA in 2021 as an instructional designer on the LMS Transformation team. Before this, she was a graduate student, instructor, and teaching assistant at Vanderbilt University, teaching German language and film studies courses in-person, hybrid, and remotely. During graduate school she also worked in language teaching centers on projects exploring innovative uses of technology in the foreign language classroom, and served as a teaching assistant on study abroad programs.

Agustin Rios

Agustin Rios

Instructional Designer

Agustin is an Instructional Designer on the LMS Transformation team and joined OTL in August, 2022. Prior to joining the LMS Transformation team in 2021, Agustin was an Instructional Designer at UCLA School of Dentistry where he used his previous 7 years of experience as a Visual Effects artist in the movie industry to create multi-media content for faculty.

Sirui Wang

Sirui Wang

Instructional Designer

Sirui is an Instructional Designer in the Online Teaching and Learning team. Prior to joining UCLA in 2019, Sirui was an Instructional Designer at Colorado State University where she collaborated with faculty members in producing online courses and non-credit programs. She earned her Ph.D. in Instructional Technology and Design from The University of Southern Mississippi in 2015.

Dan Weisman

Dan Weisman

Producer/Director and Video Production Specialist

Dan is a Producer/Director and Video Production Specialist for TFT Online and UCLA Online Teaching and Learning. He oversees the TFT Online studio in Melnitz hall, as well as all aspects of video production and editing for numerous online courses at UCLA. Prior to joining TFT Online in 2019, he worked as a key member of Life Sciences Core Media, helping to create instructional media for Life Sciences and other majors. In his free time, he is a freelance animator and graphic designer for a wide range of clients in the academic, entertainment, and biotech fields. He earned his MFA in Animation from UCLA TFT in 2013.

Jim Williamson

Jim Williamson

Director, Educational Technology Systems & Administration

With over 25 years of educational and technology experience, Jim‘s prior roles include Director of eLearning (CSULA), Manager of the UCLA Film and Television’s Archive Research and Study Center, System Engineer (Boeing Satellite), and Manager of the Teaching Enhancement Center (UCLA). His professional experience includes teaching college English composition and literature both in-person and online, digital archiving, copyright, faculty development, educational software, data analytics, database and web design, and e-learning research.

Our Office

In collaboration with the UCLA Library, OTL’s Instructional Design Studio is located in the Charles E. Young Research Library, room 21570. The administrative offices and conference room are located in room 21520.

Campus Partners

CAT Website

Center for the Advancement of Teaching (CAT)

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching fosters and champions effective teaching, grounded in sound pedagogy and enhanced by innovation, to promote successful learning for UCLA’s diverse student population. To realize this mission, CAT collaborates with faculty and other campus partners, drawing on its wide range of expertise in pedagogy, educational technology, assessment, learning spaces, and curricular research.

teaching.ucla.edu
310-825-9149
70 Powell Library Building

help@teaching.ucla.edu

CEILS Website

Center for Education Innovation & Learning in the Sciences (CEILS)

The Center for Education Innovation & Learning in the Sciences (CEILS) creates a collaborative community of instructors committed to advancing teaching excellence, assessment, diversity, and scholarship, resulting in the enhancement of student learning experiences in the Life and Physical Sciences.

ceils.ucla.edu
310-825-6695
251 Hershey Hall
612 Charles E. Young Dr. South

media@ceils.ucla.edu

DCP Website

Disabilities and Computing Program

The mission of UCLA’s Disabilities and Computing Program at the Office of Information Technology is two-fold. The first goal is to facilitate the integration of adaptive computing technology into the areas of instruction, study, research, and employment at UCLA. The second goal is to make information – including electronic text and multimedia – accessible to all students, faculty and staff.

dcp.ucla.edu
310-206-7133
Disabilities and Computing Program
4909 Math Sciences

dcp@oarc.ucla.edu

Library website

UCLA Library

The University Library, with its many locations, is central to all of UCLA’s research, teaching, and learning activities.  Online Teaching and Learning appreciates the continued support of the UCLA Library, its staff, and use of its facilities.

UCLA Library
310-825-1938

ask.powell@library.ucla.edu

In Memoriam

Prof. Jan Reiff

Prof. Jan Reiff

Professor Jan Reiff (1949-2021) was the inaugural director of UCLA Online Teaching and Learning as well as a faculty in the 1960s GE Cluster. After serving as Chair of the Academic Senate, she functioned for a year as the Senate-Administrative liaison for Online Instruction. Former EVC/Provost Waugh invited her to serve as a special assistant to him in areas connected to online, blended, and technology-enhanced learning. In that role, she has worked with individuals throughout campus to create UCLA Online Teaching and Learning. She was involved with the use of digital technologies in research, learning, and teaching stretching back to her graduate school days at the University of Washington and her first job at the Newberry Library organizing NEH-sponsored institutes on computing and history at the Library and in universities across the U.S. At Northwestern, she founded the Microcomputer Support Group for faculty before assuming a faculty position at Case Western Reserve University where she was the Jesse Houk Shera Assistant Professor of History and winner of the John S. Diekhoff Award for Graduate Teaching and Mentoring. She also served as Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Bremen (Germany) in its Labor Migration Center before coming to UCLA.

At UCLA, she specialized in urban, social, migration, and labor history, having taught and published in each area. A recipient of a Senate Distinguished Teaching Award and the 2015-18 holder of the Waldo W. Neikirk Chair for Undergraduate Education Innovation, she helped launch both the 1960s and Los Angeles cluster.

At the time of her death, Jan was serving as a member of UCLA’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force, Program Owner for the LMS Transformation Project, and as special assistant for online teaching and learning to Chancellor Gene Block and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Emily Carter.

Jan passed away peacefully in her home on May 4, 2021.