GVSU hosts the ETOM 2019 “Active Teaching – Active Learning” Fall Conference


Introducing the… 2019 ETOM Fall Conference Attendees

After 4 years, the ETOM 2019 Fall Conference returned to Grand Valley State University! 

The event was held on Friday November 8 in the Kirkhof Center on GVSU’s Allendale Campus. There were over 90 administrators, faculty, and staff in attendance from 22 institutions, and the conference included 12 breakout sessions and a keynote. GVSU faculty Robert Talbert, Lissa Brunan, Sherry Johnson, and Jeremy Robinson shared their expertise by providing presentations at the conference.

Missed all of the action? Here is a recap post with all of the highlights:


Eric Kunnen, Associate Director of eLearning and Emerging Technologies, GVSU and President of ETOM welcomed attendees to the Fall Conference

Eric Kunnen, Associate Director of  eLearning and Emerging Technologies, currently serving as President of the Executive Board of ETOM provided a short description of the history and work of ETOM throughout the year.

The Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM), is a non-profit that has been around since 1980 – always focused on expanding the use of instructional technologies in teaching and learning.

The following photos are from the earlier days of ETOM, as leaders from colleges across the state came together to collaborate and partner to combine resources and to spur on new ideas to improve education.

As with many organizations, the momentum is spurred on by the ETOM Executive Board. made up from online learning administrators from colleges and university’s across the state.


Sue Korzinek, Associate VP and CIO, welcomed attendees to GVSU.

GVSU’s Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Sue Korzinek, provided a brief welcome on behalf of Grand Valley.

In addition to the fall conference, ETOM provides a spring retreat geared toward distance learning  administrators as well as online meet ups that are held every other month focusing on a variety of trends and important topics connected to online teaching and learning.

Finally, ETOM provides a Teaching Certification course for faculty new to teaching online. ETOM.ORG is the place to go for more information.

Before kicking off with the keynote, Garry Brand, Executive Director of ETOM and Business Law professor at GVSU, provided a special presentation and recognition of Ronda Edwards, Executive Director of Michigan Colleges Online, who is retiring from her position this year.

ETOM presented Ronda with a lifetime membership for her years of advocacy and promotion of the use of technology to support education.


From left to right: Garry Brand, Executive Director of ETOM, Stacy Whiddon, Associate Dean of Distance Learning at Schoolcraft College, and Ronda Edwards, Executive Director of Michigan Colleges Online

The conference theme this year was Active Teaching and Active Learning.  The highlighted keynote was provided by Robert Talbert, who is a leader and author in the area of flipped learning. His talk was entitled: “Active Learning: Three reasons to embrace it, three reasons to avoid it, and three questions to consider”

  • Robert Talbert is a Professor of Mathematics in the Mathematics Department at Grand Valley State University. He holds a B.S. degree in Mathematics from Tennessee Technological University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mathematics from Vanderbilt University.

Watch Robert Talbert’s ETOM 2019 Keynote Presentation



Thank you to our presenters and attendees for an amazing event, pioneering the future for active learning and active teaching to support student success!

Call for Proposals – ETOM Fall Conference hosted by GVSU


Call for Proposals

The Call for Proposals is now available for the ETOM 2019 Fall Conference! 

Held every year in the Fall, this event focuses on best practices in using technology to enhance teaching and learning.

    Grand Valley State University
    Russel H. Kirkhof Center
    1 Campus Drive, Allendale, Michigan 49401
  • WHEN
    Friday, November 8, 2019

“Active Teaching – Active Learning!” is the conference theme and the event will focus on strategies to make the teaching/learning process more dynamic and interactive – from furniture and room configuration to synchronous and online strategies.

Sessions will address ways to promote active learning in both an online format as well as within the campus classroom.

You are invited to share your active teaching and learning strategies by submitting a proposal to present. Conference breakout sessions are 60 minutes (including time for questions).

To submit a proposal, go to the ETOM conference page at:

The deadline for proposals is September 13, 2019.

Also be sure to follow ETOM on social media (@ETOMConnect) for the latest updates!

GVSU attends ETOM Summer Retreat & connects eLearning to Online Learning Accreditation


Recently, on June 10 and 11, Eric Kunnen, Associate Director of eLearning and Emerging Technologies attended the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM) Summer Retreat. This event was held at the Kettunen Center in Tustin, Michigan.

Bringing together distance learning administrators, staff, faculty, and instructional designers, this retreat focused on online learning as it meets the Higher Learning Commission accreditation from the view of 2 reviewers, Dr. Karen Solomon, Vice President for Accreditation Relations of the Higher Learning Commission and Dr. Marius Boboc, Professor of Education and Vice Provost for Academic Planning at Cleveland State University. Dr. Solomon and Dr. Boboc presented HLC/C-RAC distance learning guidelines and what reviewers look for from an evidence perspective.

The ETOM Summer Retreat is always a great opportunity to meet with other institutions around the topic of distance education, compare notes around the campfire and share best practices.

IMG_3001[Photo by Carl Weckerle, Director, Instructional Technology & Online Learning, Macomb Community College]

This year, Eric was elected ETOM President of the Executive Board with the passing of the ETOM hat and Kettunen Center “bell”.


Eric also captured some highlights on his #EdTech with Eric blog post entitled: “#ETOM19 – Evaluating Distance Education: Are you ready?”

Connected most directly to the work of the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team at GVSU are the following C-RAC Distance Education Guidelines:


See you next year for another amazing retreat!

Can’t wait that long?
Join us at the ETOM Fall Conference, hosted by GVSU on November 8, 2019!