Inside DELTA: 5 Questions with Jill Anderson

Jill Anderson smiles in front of mountains.

Jill Anderson joined DELTA as an instructional technologist in January. She is pictured at the top of Zugspitze in the German Alps in 2017.

Jill Anderson is DELTA’s newest instructional technologist, but she’s called NC State home for 13 years. 

Prior to joining DELTA in January, Anderson was the coordinator of advising in the Department of Biological Sciences. Pursuing her graduate certificate in teaching, training and educational technology in 2019, she started looking for opportunities to learn more about the field and found herself taking a lot of DELTA Workshops. Soon after, she became part of the team. 

“It was a natural choice to look at DELTA first when I was ready to make the shift into a new area of work.”

Anderson’s passion for education grew out of her experience as a teaching assistant in graduate school. She originally attended Texas A&M University to study wildlife but became hooked on the idea of teaching, especially on how people learn and how to teach well. Following this interest, she earned a Master of Curriculum and Instruction. 

Now Anderson gets to explore her passion every day with DELTA. While most of her time spent with us has been remote, she has become a valued member of the team as we respond to the increased reliance on remote teaching and learning technologies prompted by COVID-19. We caught up with her to discuss her whirlwind time with DELTA. 

How would you describe your position to someone unfamiliar with DELTA?

Jill and her family pose at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah
Anderson visited Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah in 2019 with her daughters, Azaria (left) and Maya (right), and her husband, Scott.

“I am part of the Instructional Technology Training team. Our team develops and delivers workshops for faculty and others on appropriate use of instructional technology — from a technical angle as well as a pedagogical angle.”

Day to day, Anderson develops and facilitates DELTA Workshops, most commonly pertaining to Zoom, the tool she works most closely with. She assists and supports training team members as they lead workshops and work with DELTA-supported learning technologies, such as Moodle, Mediasite and Top Hat. Anderson also serves the Course Quality Program at NC State as an advisor to faculty in DELTA Grants programs related to Quality Matters. Some days, she consults one-on-one with faculty members who need specific help on different aspects of course design. 

What has been your favorite experience at DELTA?

Anderson joined DELTA in January, so her primary focus has been helping NC State faculty move their courses online in response to COVID-19 and responding to the need for instructional technology support. 

A dog wearing a harness.
Anderson’s dog, Maggie.

“It’s certainly been rewarding. While it may not be what any of us expected or chose to be doing, it’s been a rewarding experience. I’ve also really enjoyed the work with the Course Quality team and being able to develop professionally through that program. I’ve earned a couple of Quality Matters certifications so I’m able to teach Applying the Quality Matters Rubric,” she says. 

Even though she has enjoyed working from home alongside her husband, Scott, daughters, Maya and Azaria, and dog, Maggie, she looks forward to eventually coming back to campus. 

“Being a very new employee, I’m looking forward to being there with the people I work with and getting to know them in a non-virtual way.”

What is your area of expertise?

Anderson’s previous work with NC State students has impacted how she approaches her role at DELTA. 

“Moving into this position was a career shift for me — I advised students in the Department of Biological Sciences for 12.5 years before coming here in January. So, I bring some expertise in just knowing our students really well! I am particularly interested in student engagement in learning, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles and student-centered teaching.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?

“I find that my job allows me to be creative in developing workshops and resources or trying to figure out how to help a faculty member solve a problem that they’re having, and I really enjoy that. That’s what I really like. That’s what’s energizing to me.” 

Anderson also enjoys working on a team and collaborating with others. 

“I also really enjoy the people I work with … both in DELTA but also the NC State community in general.”

What do you like to do in your spare time/outside of work?

Anderson and family pictured on a green, hilly landscape.
Anderson and her family on a backpacking trip to Elk Garden, Virginia, earlier this year.

“During the week, I spend as much time being active as possible because I do not like to sit still, despite having chosen a job that requires me to be on the computer all day! On the weekends and vacation time, I love to spend time outdoors — hiking, backpacking, birding.”

The southwest is one of Anderson’s favorite places to visit. Although she’s from Sanford, North Carolina, she says the area is like a second home. 

“Part of my heart is in the southwest. My first ever adventure west of the Mississippi was when I was 21 and spent a summer volunteering at a research station in the mountains of southeastern Arizona. I met my husband there, developed a strong love of birds (and eventually was a TA for an ornithology lab in graduate school) and have traveled back whenever I get a chance.”

People at DELTA may not know that Anderson is learning to speak German. She is currently reading the Harry Potter series in German, and she studied the language in high school and college, but her interest was renewed when her daughters each participated in exchange programs to Germany in middle school. 

As NC State enters another season of online instruction, DELTA is thrilled to have Anderson on the team not only as a skilled technologist but as a part of the DELTA family.