ION | Illinois Online Network


Terry Fencl

Work Phone: (708) 456-0300, ext. 3325
Work Email:
Office Location: Triton College, River Grove, IL


Since 1980, I've been a full-time instructor of speech and theater at Triton College. I teach in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department which offers interdisciplinary packages of general education courses in communications, fine arts, social and behavioral sciences and humanities. Department members collaborate in curriculum and lesson planning, assignments and exams, the assessment of learners, team teaching, etc. In 1998, we moved our learning community to an online format preserving the interdisciplinary mandate and connecting the virtual community of online learners to the classroom community of on-campus learners. I teach online theater courses in this Community Of One model. Additionally, I teach what is somewhat of a rarity -- online public speaking courses.

Teaching online has been a rejuvenating, fun, and incredibly rewarding experience. I've seen my online speech students better prepared for their presentations than my on-campus learners. And I experience significantly more insightful and substantive discussions in my online theater courses. I'm convinced that key factors are the high level of interactivity, collaboration and sense of community that can be achieved in the virtual classroom. A common theme among my students in course surveys is that they have never experienced in traditional classes as much communication with other learners and the instructor as they have in their online experience.

I have a Ph.D. in communications, an MA in speech & performing arts, an MS in organizational behavior, and a BA in English. Currently, I'm working with my department colleagues and with faculty from other colleges to develop an innovative, inter-institutional, team taught series of online humanities courses (under an ILLCO grant).


Outstanding Triton College Faculty Member Of The Year (2010)

Nominee -- Illinois Community College Trustees Association Outstanding Faculty Member Award (2010)

National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award recipient for outstanding contributions to teaching (2008)

National Council Of Instructional Administrators Award for Most Exemplary Community College Distance Education Initiative in the Nation (2001)

WebCT Exemplary Course Project, 2000: WebCT theater course selected as one of the 15 most exemplary WebCT courses in the nation (2000)

Outstanding Triton College Faculty Member Of The Year (2000)

Presentations and Workshops:

Managing Online Discussion. Triton Brown Bag Lunch (2009)

Interdisciplinary Learning. Triton Non-Tenured Faculty Workshop (2007)

Cross-Curricular Workshop. Triton Faculty Workshop (2007)

Collaborative Teaching and Learning in Virtual Spaces. Illinois Online Network Faculty Summer Institute (2006)

Using WebCT to Enhance Your Traditional Class. Triton Faculty Workshop (2006)

Service Learning. Triton Faculty Workshop (2005)

Blended Learning. Illinois Online Network Faculty Summer Institute (2004)

Teaching Online Acapella (Without Pre-Packaged Course Management Systems). Illinois Online Network Faculty Summer Workshop (2003)

A Learning Community of One: Online and On-Campus Students as Classmates. Illinois Online Conference (2003)

Communication And Collaboration In The Virtual Classroom. Illinois Online Network Faculty Summer Workshop: Plenary Session (2002)

Keynote Presentation: Diary Of An Online Instructor: What I learned On My Way To The Virtual Classroom. Illinois Distance Learning Conference (2002)

Keynote Presentation: Best Practices In Online Teaching. Illinois Virtual High School Summer Training Workshop (2002)

Keynote Presentation: An Interdisciplinary Approach To Online Teaching. Illinois Valley College Faculty Development Day (2002)

Integrating Electronic Discussions Into Your Classes. Rock Valley College Faculty Workshop (2002)

A Community Of One: Using Technology To Bridge On-Campus And Online Learning Communities. Beyond 2001: Learning Communities Conference (fall, 2001)

Fostering Student Success Online With A Little TLC. TechEd
Conference (upcoming/fall, 2001)

Teaming For Success: A Highly Interactive Learning Community. Illinois Online Network Faculty Summer Workshop (2001)

Teaming for Success: Collaboration In Cyberspace. Educators Online 2001 Interactive Videoconference (2001)

Faculty/Student Collaboration In Cyberspace. TechEd Conference (2000)

Online Learning Communities. Triton Faculty Workshop (2000)

Collaborative Teaching And Learning Over The Internet. League For Innovation Conference On Information Technology (1999)

How To Design Online Courses. WSPSC Teaching And Learning With Technology Teleconference (1999)

Building A Virtual Community Of Learners. Triton Training &
Technology Center Workshop (1999)

Teaching And Learning At A Distance. Triton Adjunct Faculty
Workshop (1999)

Retreat Facilitator: WSPSC Planning Retreat (1999)

Co-chair, WSHEC Task Force On Curriculum (2000-present)

Co-chair, WSPSC Programming And Scheduling Committee (1999)

Mentor for new faculty, Triton (1999-present)

Additionally, presenter on topics such as best practices in teaching and learning, the effective use of media in the classroom, and applications of teletraining (training with technology) in the fields of business, education and prevention at over 50 regional, state, national and international conferences sponsored by organizations such as: U.S. Department Of Education, U.S. Office Of Substance Abuse Prevention, World Council And Assembly On Cooperative Education, National Community College Center For Cooperative Education, Governmental College Relations Council, Food And Drug Administration, The State Office Of Instruction, and the World Cooperative Education Conference.