Digital Learning Initiative (DLI) Symposium Presenter Profiles

Digital Learning Initiatives and Innovation Throughout the UNC System

<<< Go Back to DLI Symposium website                                                                                                            Next Presenter  >>>

Transforming E-Learning Environments: Using a Digital Media Learning Tool to Enhance Engagement, Knowledge, and Peer Learning within a Birth-Kindergarten Program

Lori Caudle
Cathy Grist






Dr. Lori Caudle, Associate Professor, Birth-Kindergarten Program
Department of Human Services, Western Carolina University

Dr. Lori Caudle is an Associate Professor in the Birth-Kindergarten Program at Western Carolina University. She teaches a variety of early childhood methods courses, including authentic assessment, language and literacy, environments, curriculum, and mathematics and science. Her research focuses on the professional development of early childhood educators, with a particular focus on the use of digital tools and/or peer collaboration to develop contexts for learning. Her research is guided by a situated learning perspective.

Dr. Cathy Grist, Associate Professor, Birth-Kindergarten Program Director
Department of Human Services, Western Carolina University

Dr. Cathy Grist is an Associate Professor and Director of the Birth-Kindergarten Program at Western Carolina University. She has taught courses in assessment and intervention for young children with disabilities in a fully online program for the last 9 years. Online teaching strategies include both synchronous and asynchronous methods, such as VoiceThread, Zoom, and Panapto.

Research interests include preschool personality, assessment, social-emotional competence in young children, behavioral issues, and online teaching strategies and methods. She also provides psychological and behavioral assessments for preschool age children in a local school system.


Using web-based digital media learning tools in conjunction with course management systems strengthens the delivery of e-learning courses. Often, e-learning is too text-dependent and one-dimensional. This can be challenging and ineffective for students who need more interaction. Providing varied opportunities for learners to acquire information, represent knowledge, and engage in collaboration supports a Universal Design for Learning, which is particularly important when educating non-traditional students. The Birth-Kindergarten Program at Western Carolina University primarily serves non-traditional learners returning to school after many years in the field of early childhood education. Typically, these students have full-time jobs and families, thus making it difficult to attend in-person or synchronous classes. This session will explore how the Birth-Kindergarten Program has transformed e-learning with the integration of Voicethread, a versatile, multimodal learning tool. This transformation has enhanced non-traditional student engagement and collaboration through the integration of audio, text, images, and videos within virtual spaces.


How does VoiceThread compare to Voice Authoring tools?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>