Loyola University Chicago

Loyola Online


For one Quinlan Management Professor, Online Learning is an Opportunity for Connection and Interaction

For Andy Kaufman, in-person and online instruction is more similar than not: they are different mediums with the same goal in mind, providing students with a robust learning experience that equips them with skills that can be immediately used in the work environment.

Andy teaches Project Management in person and online to employees of private corporations and students in Quinlan’s Executive MBA, Healthcare Management MBA, and Next-Generation MBA programs. His courses are designed to meet industry standards and are delivered in an interactive format that allows students to learn by doing.

Last year’s swift move to online instruction provided Andy an opportunity to work with Loyola’s Office of Online Learning (OOL) to refresh his courses and explore the use of a variety of tools and techniques. OOL helped Andy maximize the use of Sakai, including the checklist feature. Andy uses the checklist to provide students with an organized approach to each week’s learning objectives, resources (e.g., pre-readings, recorded lectures, videos, model answers, etc.), forum questions, and assignments. During a season filled with uncertainties, this small gesture was greatly appreciated. 

Genuine cura personalis appears to be one of Andy’s secret ingredients to creating a learning environment that is rich and engaging. Each class begins with the random pairing of students for 5-6 minutes to share a professional or personal update: something good or perhaps challenging from the previous week. On asynchronous weeks, he invites students to email him their updates, which helps him stay in touch with them. This is a great way for students to network and instructors to get to know their students.  

Technology and feedback are other tools in Andy’s repertoire. Pre-assigned videos with forum questions prepare students for class discussion. Zoom breakout rooms are used for tactile learning. Students are also encouraged to use the chat box during in-class lectures. Andy monitors the chats and uses them to draw students into the discussion. While students are learning by doing, the real essence of learning is constructive, individual feedback, which is provided throughout the term.