WORKSHOP: Active Learning Strategies for Online Teaching: From Lesson Plan to Program Development (90 mins)


  • Ioulia Rytikova George Mason University
  • Mihai Boicu George Mason University
  • Harry Foxwell Georg Mason University
  • Amrita Jose



Incorporating active learning strategies in online teaching involves several challenges both at the level of course development but also at the level of global program development. This session is co-organized by Dr. Ioulia Rytikova and Dr. Mihai Boicu and is building on the participants long-term successful experience in active learning, course and program development. In this roundtable/panel discussion we propose to analyze from various perspectives several challenges faced in this process, including: learning materials (from textbooks to open resources), classroom format (from mini-lectures to lighting talks), objective grading and personalized feedback (from detailed rubrics to automatic grading), student assessment (exams vs. quizzes), and assistive technology (from learning management systems to intelligent teaching assistants).

Author Biographies

Ioulia Rytikova, George Mason University

Ioulia Rytikova is an Associate Professor and an Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in the Department of Information Sciences and Technology. She received a B.S./M.S. degree in Automated Control Systems Engineering and Information Processing and her Ph.D. in Automated Control Systems from National University of Science and Technology.

In over 15 years of her career in higher education both in the US and Europe, Dr. Rytikova acquired significant work experience in providing leadership in the areas of innovative teaching and learning, instructional design, and distance education in a variety of STEM disciplines, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Dr. Rytikova designed and developed multiple interdisciplinary programs, concentrations, and courses in the emerging areas of data sciences and big data analytics, computer and information technologies, health information technologies, and statistical analysis.

Mihai Boicu, George Mason University

As an information systems researcher, Mihai Boicu knows that violent agents have plenty of places to hide in the tsunami of information flowing through digital communication channels. Intelligence analysts looking to halt the progression of violent extremism face a challenge of astonishing complexity in isolating potential threats. Boicu’s projects developed at the Learning Agents Center has made significant inroads into training intelligence officials in recognizing information patterns that indicate dangerous activity. Working with various US Department of Defense resources, Boicu has developed a novel web-based application, TIACRITIS, which helps agents practice and learn how to link evidence to hypothesis through abductive, deductive, and inductive reasoning to establish basic credentials of evidence. In doing so, analysts are better prepared to take action based on the data evidence’s relevance, believability and inferential force of weight. Boicu is the Associate Director of the Learning Agents Center, Co-director of the Laboratory for IT Entrepreneurship, and Co-director of the Personalized Learning in Applied Information Technology Laboratory. He engages with students in the IT 390 course, which teaches rapid development of scalable applications in a hands-on, team-focused environment.


Harry Foxwell, Georg Mason University

Harry J Foxwell, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Sciences and Technology.

Dr. Foxwell is a graduate of George Mason University, and taught at Mason for several years as an Adjunct before joining IS&T as a full-time Instructional Faculty member. He previously worked as a System Engineer for the Oracle Corporation and Sun Microsystems, specializing in Cloud Computing infrastructure and Operating Systems.

Dr. Foxwell earned his Ph.D. in Information Technology at George Mason University, an M.S. in Applied Statistics at Villanova University, and a B.A. in Mathematics at Franklin and Marshall College. He is also a Vietnam War veteran, having served in the U.S. Army’s First Infantry Division as a Platoon Sergeant.







TUESDAY 10:00am-11:30am