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analogue the magazine for UAF eLearning students

Learn anywhere: eLearning instructor Christopher Miles checks on his course in Blackboard while fishing on the Copper River.

welcome to analogue


We’re proud to release this inaugural edition of analogue—a new publication designed specifically for our online students.

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Art and the Fast Lane Meet Brant Schalk, cyclist, artist, alumnus and one of eLearning’s newest hires.

The Strange World of Latin

Professor Ben Strange took Latin by the horns in high school, and it’s been working for him ever since.

Living & Learning in Russian Mission

Christopher Evan is working on his degree while maintaining his subsistence lifestyle.

Program Profile: Justice

Learn what makes a successful and fully online program.

Alaskans are great at forming community. Our wonderland of extreme climate, terrain, and adventure just seems to draw people together. Our office is no exception. I wish you could sit in our conference room as we share a potluck or celebrate someone’s birthday; I know you’d join in and laugh with the rest of us! In that spirit, we wanted to create a place where you, our online students, can get to know staff, faculty, and other students. And so this publication was conceived. We plan to have fun with it, because humor aptly reflects the mood of our office on most days. We’re glad you’re here and we invite you to engage with the community of UAF eLearning.

Course Profile: Criminology Rekindle your burning longing for truth and justice.

Digital Beards

The podcast, the legend. What’s going on behind the closed doors of the eLearning Media Room?

Designer Profile: Heidi

Who is this Heidi Olson we’ve all heard so much about?

What Is Your Problem?

Sergeant Toughlove answers your eLearning questions. analogue // Summer 2014 Volume 1 // Number 1 Editor Marissa Carl Designer Brooke Sheridan Contributors Chris Malmberg, Christen Bouffard, Chris Lott,

Jennifer Moss, Janene McMahan, Dallas Budden

Enjoy this first edition of analogue. I’d love to hear what you think of it!

-Carol Gering

Executive Director, UAF eLearning & Distance Education

Write to us! Have a question or comment about what you see in analogue? Send letters to the editor to UAF eLearning & Distance Education 2175 University Avenue South Fairbanks, AK 99709

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. UAF is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution.

analogue 1

Art and the

Brant S Brant Schalk was speeding through the course at nearly 40 miles per hour. The fastest he’s ever gone has been 43 mph.

The first time he raced the Sadler’s

Ultra Challenge, advertised as “the longest, toughest wheelchair and handcycling event in the world,” he used a seven-speed recreational recumbent bike. The lack of aerodynamics was something he regretted, but not something that kept him from finishing the 267-mile race from Fairbanks to Anchorage. “That race about killed me because it was like trying to complete a road race on a BMX bike,” he says. The bike he uses now (and the one he reached 43 mph with) is designed to allow him to get as close to the ground as aerodynamically possible.

Schalk, born and raised in Fairbanks, has completed the challenge three times and was the first Alaskan to finish in 2011, earning second overall. “Being the ‘fastest Alaskan’ is a great reward for all of the time and training,” he says. analogue 2

Brant in the Sadler’s Ultra Challenge, the world’s longest wheelchair race.

“We only get to live once. So when I hurt my back, I decided I wasn’t going to waste it.” When he’s not racing or training (the next Sadler’s Ultra Challenge is scheduled for July 2015), you can find Schalk Nordic skiing or printmaking—the passion that brought him

Fast lane:

chalk back to UAF classrooms after earning an associate degree in information technology and then working for UAF’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) for five years. Around the same time he transferred from OIT to UAF eLearning, Schalk applied to the College of Liberal Arts and began pursuing his bachelor’s degree in printmaking.

“Fallout,” original print/sculpture by Brant Schalk.

(l-r) Buster, Brant, Ben.

“Printmaking requires a different approach to what I was used to, which was painting,” he says. “There are so many techniques to explore and each encompasses its own set of rules within the process.” Schalk’s medium of choice is linoleum relief because “I can’t instantly manipulate the piece to achieve the desired effect, but instead have to come up with a game plan that will hopefully have a positive end result.” Schalk is on pace to earn his degree in the fall of 2014 and is currently working on a linoleum reduction print that will portray a scenic view of Alaskan gold miners at the turn of the 20th century. Learn more about Brant’s printmaking here:

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eLearning’s Latin 101 & 102 instructor Ben Strange tells us about making Latin work for him— himand for his students.




World of

Ben Strange failed ninth-grade Latin. “It hurt my pride,” he says, however, he saw the outcome not so much as a failure but as “a challenge that had gone unmet.” So what did he do? “I met it—with a C sophomore year, a B as a junior, and an A as a senior.” It didn’t come easy for him, but Strange found that Latin “yields to persistence and reason,” and his persistence paid off. “I sounded exactly as I wished to sound, expressing just what was on my mind. Much of this, it was clear even then, came from Latin.”

Professor Strange’s journey progressed from loving to learn Latin to loving to teach it, and it shows in the feedback he gives students. He saw the opportunities Latin offers to “do for them some of the things it had done for me, continues to do for me.” One of Latin’s lessons: As students compose Latin, they use rules of evidence, cite precedent, or make a case for breaking free of both.

Strange notes that “every Latin teacher takes understandable pride from a sort of inheritance.” In 1971, Strange was sitting in Ruth Ninestein’s Latin class, wondering whether this language would be as tough as some claimed. In 1928, Ninestein was at her desk in Newberry High School in South Carolina, likely wondering the same thing. And today, students who log into Blackboard in Soldotna or Chattanooga are the new generation of Latin learners. “We are part of a continuum,” Strange says, “and that is a living source of energy, pride, and satisfaction.”

That the old still works, and works well, is extraordinarily satisfying to me.

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The Strange World of Latin

That sense of continuation has shaped his life in many ways. “When I read Horace, for example, I encounter him not as a relic, a curiosity of a bygone time, but as a living presence who only technically is not my contemporary. Thus when he exhorts me to delight in this hour, without pining for a past or future one, I take it directly to heart.” Strange reminds us that teaching online is about fostering connections with people. “I miss the live interaction,” he says, “but I feel rewarded when a student in a far-flung place—Tok or Tokyo, Indiana or Iraq—starts to feel confident about reading ancient Latin, translates a motto in a church for her family, or decides to expand a line of inquiry into the Medieval period because he is no longer intimidated by Latin.

ED 431 Web 2.0 Summer

Every week, I am aware that I actually do have a live classroom, though they are not all together. One student’s morning is another’s evening; one shovels snow, another hears monsoon rains banging on corrugated steel roofs. It is a little classroom flung across the globe, and it is humbling to be a part of it.”

“One student’s morning is another’s evening; one shovels snow, another hears monsoon rains banging on corrugated steel roofs.”

NRM 595 AK Master Gardener Summer

CAFE eLearning HOT courses!

TTCH Tech 301 nolo gy & Soci e Sum ty mer

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ED 432 entals m a d n Fu Design a i d e M of r Summe

ANTH 40 3 Political Anthropo logy Summer


Living Learning in Russian Mission

Alaskans live different kinds of lives than most folks in the Lower 48—that’s why we need different approaches to education.

Christopher Evan with a prize catch.

Russian Mission

UAF student Christopher Evan lives in Russian Mission, Alaska, and is taking advantage of the benefits of eLearning: He is working towards a bachelor’s degree in computer science while maintaining a subsistence lifestyle. Distance learning is especially important in Alaska, where so many people rely on hunting and fishing to feed themselves, their families and often their dogs, too. “There’s more freedom in online learning to complete required assignments on my own time,” says Evan, “and more control over my time means I can still do subsistence work, and can help my family.” In a town of about 300 people, you might think connectivity is a prohibitive factor in doing online work, and there are still some some parts of the state where bandwidth is a problem. Earlier last year, however, the connectivity around Russian Mission was upgraded, and Evan says that he hasn’t had any problems since then. He is able to keep up with online work, has created a course-related blog, and can even play online video games.

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Featured Department: Can you name the program that pioneered the first online master’s degree at UAF more than 10 years ago? Hint: It’s the only program at UAF in which a faculty member has been Tasered for the entertainment—I mean education—of their students. Still not sure? OK, a few more clues: It’s the same program whose alumni include superintendents of prisons, police chiefs and commanders, Alaska State Troopers and FBI agents. If you guessed ceramics, let’s just say 1) so close! and 2) your Sherlock Holmes impression might benefit from enrolling in UAF’s Justice program, one of the few at UAF offering both master’s and bachelor’s degrees to face-to-face and online students across the US and Canada. The program’s emphasis on rural justice and opportunities for working professionals results in graduates who are in high demand inside and outside of Alaska.

Boasting more than 160 majors, the second largest in UAF’s College of Liberal Arts, the Justice program is committed to meeting the needs of its students, which means offering Maymester and hybrid courses, finding internships, collaborating with rural justice providers in remote communities and placing students directly into the police academies.

If you’re on campus, the program regularly hosts chili feeds where students can eat free, fiery chili and learn from guest speakers including Alaska magistrates and other justice professionals. If you’re not in Fairbanks—or just don’t feel like putting on clothes— keep an eye out for the debut of the department’s new course materials and investigate your options for getting your degree online.

Learn more at or contact Mike Daku, UAF Justice Department Director at or 907.474.5717.

Featured Course

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Criminology a f

d h k

JUST F251:

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Battling the forces of evil and upholding the law may have inspired you as a child to become a superhero. Maybe you put that dream on the back burner when you realized you had to become a responsible adult—but it’s not too late. As one of the critical foundation courses to the Justice degree offered here at UAF, now wholly available via eLearning, the Criminology course (JUST F251) investigates the relationships between deviant behavior and society, law, and law enforcement. This course is your gateway to becoming a lawful upholder of good, without having to masquerade around in a mask and tights. In addition to covering the conventional criminology curriculum, students also engage with current events related to crime, policy, dispute resolution, and administration. Map your moral landscape, investigate crime causation, and challenge the status quo by sharing your thoughts on contemporary issues. Throughout the semester, articles featuring current criminology events are shared by the course’s instructor, Dr. Rob Duke, on a site called! This site is best described as a social curation tool where community members post and comment on articles they find on the web. You will be encouraged to push the envelope and challenge the instructor’s and your classmates’ ways of thinking. This course flies in the face of conventional distance-delivered courses by peppering in multimedia resources and poignant case studies that crack the realm of criminology wide open. Be prepared to wield your newfound skills to inflict considerable damage to homework assignments using your new arsenal of knowledge bombs, incendiary thought grenades, and mental mindfields. At the end of this course you will be one step closer to commanding your degree in Justice. Even if you are already on the streets fighting for the good of humanity, you can complete the Justice B.A. online. UAF eLearningmade this program flexible to fit your busy and unpredictable schedule.

Dr. Rob Duke is a 27-year veteran of public service specializing in neo-institutional theory. He has a particular interest in how society improves when community members collaborate. His superhero codename, unsurprisingly, is Dr. Duke.

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Digital Beards Listen Anywhere, Anytime

I like to listen. Don’t you? Marc Maron with my hands in the sink, Slate Culture Gabfest when I walk my dog, Radiolab on long runs. Arguably, I’ve taken the whole listening thing too far; I struggle to get anything done, anymore, when I don’t have the cadence of one podcast or another to guide me through the process. I’ve considered cutting back. Isn’t it unhealthy to develop too much of a reliance on something? Before I was allowed to touch the stereo or the steering wheel, my father sometimes turned the volume all the way down so that the only sounds accompanying our drive were those mechanically produced by the drive itself—the wind, the asphalt, the creak of an old Volkswagen suspension. Good for you, he said. That would be nuts, now. Can you imagine it? Solid hours of the day accompanied’s natural environment? Try it yourself. Pull out your earphones and wait while the present seeps in. Stay strong. The falling sensation will subside, or you’ll catch up with yourself, or you’ll settle. Here, let me give you a line break, so you can really make familiar with the quotidian mediocrity paralleling our media-saturated obsessions. Don’t rush it. Read that empty line all the way across.

Pretty lame? Yeah, it is. I began Digital Beards (DB) because I loved the chatter and I wanted to join in. Also, I felt like there could afford to be a few more voices out there talking about higher education, storytelling, and our tech culture. Thus far, DB has been a fantastic opportunity for me to speak with some important voices both nationally and locally. I’ve spoken with MOOC professors who have thousands of students in their classrooms, educators who are in the national spotlight for bringing comics and comic-making into education, and local teachers who are innovating in the classroom right here at UAF. And as DB continues, I am looking for new ways and new guests to get at my original (if evolved) questions: What is projected to be (for good or ill) the future of education, what is good education, and how are educators navigating forward with those reference points in mind? So, if you find that you like to listen to some chatter when julienning onions, painting your shed, or walking Rufus, log on to, or find our podcast on iTunes.

Check out Digital Beards online at

Your host, Chris Malmberg analogue 10

top 9 things you need to know about

Heidi Olson instructional designer


Heidi took her first correspondence course from UAF in 1983—Frontier Literature of Alaska. After one year, she had finished all the reading, but only one of the assignments.


Heidi began working for the Center for Distance Education & Independent Learning [now eLearning & Distance Education] in 1990. She was equipped with experience in databases, graphic design and empathy for correspondence students.

Heidi is excited to see instructors creating courses where students are interacting with each other and with the content and producing artifacts of that understanding—moving past the “read the book, take a test” correspondence model. Heidi has been with eLearning as it evolved through the development of the Internet.




Heidi is a big fan of informal learning and just-in-time learning. She doesn’t hesitate to Google something that is unknown, and would like to see more of this on-the-spot learning incorporated into online classes.

Despite broadband issues, Heidi believes that being able to offer a full curriculum of course offerings to a small and diffused population makes online learning a perfect fit for Alaska.


Heidi loves being outdoors.

Heidi loves being indoors.



9 Heidi loves eating and the rodeo.

Heidi’s advice: Don’t be afraid to ask questions in a timely manner so that you can stay on task. Understand that an online class doesn’t mean you don’t have to spend time reading, researching, and thinking about the course topic. In exchange for the independence of taking an online course, you must make a weekly commitment of several hours.

visit Heidi’s blog at analogue 11

What is your PROBLEM?! You have issues. We’re here to help.

Dear WIYP,

Dear WIYP,

My dog ate my homework. No really, my dog ate my USB drive that I keep my homework on. What should I do?

Why isn’t my class showing up in Blackboard?



Don’t be a soup sandwich.

Dear WIYP, I know it’s the sixth week of the semester, and I haven’t done any of the coursework yet, but I was doing the math and figured if I do everything from now until the end of the semester, I can still get a C in the course. Is that OK? DON’T WASTE YOUR OR YOUR INSTRUCTOR’S TIME, AND DON’T TAKE THE SPOT IN THE COURSE THAT SOMEONE ELSE COULD HAVE HAD, IF YOU’RE NOT SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR EDUCATION. COME BACK WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHTENED OUT.

Do you have a question, and are you ready for some tough love? Email What Is Your Problem at

analogue, spring 2014  

The fun magazine for UAF eLearning students.

analogue, spring 2014  

The fun magazine for UAF eLearning students.