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About the Author: Melissa A. Venable, PhD

An Education Writer for's Inside Online Learning blog and host of the weekly #IOLchat, Melissa's professional background in higher education includes work at private, public, and for-profit institutions.

Melissa is an experienced instructional designer, curriculum developer, online instructor, academic advisor, and career counselor who has experience with undergraduate and graduate students. She earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction – Instructional Technology from the University of South Florida, where she also completed faculty certification in online teaching. Melissa currently teaches instructional design and project management online courses at the University of South Florida and Saint Leo University.

More Recent Posts

February 27, 2015

online education challenges

How Do We Meet Today’s Online Education Challenges?

Online education is an expanding industry at all levels. From K-12 to higher ed we’re seeing the benefits of educational technology and Internet access, but not without a few challenges to continued growth and acceptance. Identifying the best possible strategies…

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February 20, 2015

vocational degrees

Vocational Degrees Combine Academics and Career Prep

One of the ongoing challenges of modern higher education is balancing a foundational, liberal arts education with student, parent, and employer expectations for career preparation. Most traditional academic programs, especially liberal arts subjects at the undergraduate level, aren’t designed with…

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February 13, 2015

writing apps

7 Top Writing Apps for Online Students

From research papers and projects, to discussion boards and email messages, writing skills are essential for college students. It’s not likely you’ll complete an entire academic program, or even a single course, without using written communication in some way. Writing…

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February 6, 2015

nontraditional students

9 Things Nontraditional Students Need to Know

A recent conversation with a colleague led to a tangent about what we know, but our students don’t know, about studying in the midst of endless other responsibilities. We also have the common experience of pursuing a graduate-level education well…

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January 30, 2015

online teaching burnout

6 Ways to Avoid Online Teaching Burnout

Job burnout is described by the Mayo Clinic as “a special type of job stress – a state of physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work.” Sound familiar? Burnout is…

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January 23, 2015

learn to code

Should You Learn to Code?

Last month’s Hour of Code campaign, held during Computer Science Education Week, asked everyone to “try an hour of code.” As almost every workplace integrates some kind of technology, learning about computer programming, even just a little, can be a…

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January 16, 2015

professional development for online faculty

5-Step Professional Development Plan for Online Faculty

Continued learning is as important for college faculty members as it is for any working professional. As we enter a new year, professional development resources in higher education continue to be limited in terms of the time and money available,…

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January 9, 2015

productivity apps

8 Top Productivity Apps for Online Students

It’s a new year and a new semester, a good time to review your overall approach to managing work, school, and other commitments. If you are like most online students, you’ve taken on a lot of responsibility, which can be…

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