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eLearning Team

Devon Cancilla

Devon A. Cancilla, Ph.D., a national leader in online higher education, has been appointed to the new post of Vice Provost for Online and Distance Learning at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Cancilla had been serving as Dean, Business and Informatics, at American Sentinel University, an all-online college in Colorado, since June 2011. He previously served as Director, Scientific Technical Services at Western Washington University in Bellingham. There, he led the development of WWU’s Integrated Laboratory Network, a system allowing remote access to advanced scientific instrumentation for teaching and research activities. He also served as a tenured faculty member in the department of environmental science at WWU, teaching environmental chemistry and toxicology.


Molly Mead

Molly Mead, Ph.D., has been an Instructional Designer for UMKC since March 2011.  Molly has Quality Matters and Online Learning Consortium certification in online teaching and learning.  Prior to that, Molly worked for the UMKC School of Education and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for over 20 years in a variety of roles related to the educational use of technology.  Molly has researched and provided instruction in the use of tools such as electronic whiteboards, student response systems, learning management systems and social media applications.  Molly teaches several online graduate courses for the School of Education related to the selection, use and assessment of educational technology.  Molly is also the co-founder and past President of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area Educational Technology Network, serving over 32 school districts, universities and other organizations.


David Ta

David has been with UMKC since July 2012. His research interest is includes gamification and emotion/motivation in eLearning. He is doing his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri in Information Science and Learning Technologies where he will focus on assessments and gaming in his dissertation. His publications focus on identity issues, media, and higher education. His latest publication examines how racial stereotypes are cultivated from chronic video game exposure and what that means for offline attitudes toward certain racial minority groups.

He is responsible for building the UMKC Online website and various technology workshops at UMKC. He works with a wide range of software such as the Captivate and Camtasia build interactive, web-based lectures. Here is what he has to say about online learning:

Online learning is for everyone if it is built from the student’s perspective and not the instructor’s perspective. It requires the instructor to take a step back and question how certain content fits with the overall picture and whether it is needed to help the student learn. Learning valuable skills is the overall goal of the education system. Higher education is currently adapting in the vast wasteland of online education and it will need to do so in order to survive. Students depend on that piece of paper that says they are a graduate from college, but they should focus on what is in the classroom that make the piece of paper worth that cost.

He considers himself an early adopter of technology and is ready to dive head first in the latest innovations. In his spare time, he works on home improvement projects and trains for marathons. You will often find him at home playing video games in his spare time. He has two cats and one dog.

Brandie Elliott