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Office of Innovative Instruction and eLearning (OIIE)

The Office of Innovative Instruction and eLearning (OIIE) collaborates with schools within Concordia University Irvine to identify and develop academic programs, innovate instructional strategies based in research and learning theory, and support faculty in the design, development, and delivery of learning experiences that foster wise, honorable, and cultivated citizens.

Dr. Jason Neben

Executive Director


Dr. Jason Neben grew up in Orange County, California, where he attended St. John’s Lutheran School and Orange Lutheran High School. Enjoying the Lutheran educational environment throughout K-12, he was called to the vocation of teacher in Lutheran education and pursued post-secondary studies at Concordia University Irvine.

Jason graduated from CUI with honors and was awarded the Mathematics Student of the Year award. Earning a teaching credential and Student Teacher of the Year recognition the following year launched the first phase of his professional journey in education as a middle school math and science teacher at his alma mater, St. John’s Lutheran School. After 10 years in elementary and middle school education, a call from his collegiate alma mater brought him back to CUI.

Now an Associate Professor of Educational Technology, Jason has previously served at CUI in multiple roles for Student Affairs, the School of Education, and the Provost’s Office. In his appointment as Executive Director for the Office of Innovative Instruction and eLearning (OIIE) he leads a dynamic team tasked with facilitating new academic initiatives and supporting instructional design and academic media development across all schools and disciplines.

Jason completed his doctoral studies in instructional technology and distance education at Nova Southeastern University where he studied instructional design, media development, and online administration. He completed the program with a doctoral dissertation titled Perceptions of College Regents Regarding Diffusion of Online Education in a Small Liberal Arts University. His research interests include diffusion of innovations theory, its implications for online education, and application at the institutional level. A part of his doctoral study work, "Attributes and Barriers Impacting Diffusion of Online Education at the Institutional Level: Considering Faculty Perceptions", was published as a chapter in the book Beyond the Online Course: Leadership Perspectives in eLearning.

More often than not, Jason is recognized as Amber Neben’s husband, and he wouldn’t want it any other way. Amber is a two time Olympic and three time World Champion cyclist for Team USA and much of Jason’s free time is spent supporting Amber’s cycling career as it has brought both of them to many different parts of the world. In his vocation as husband he has been a mechanic, soigneur, manager, counselor, attorney, accountant, travel agent, web designer, and sherpa; and loved every minute of it. In 2010 Jason and Amber founded The Dare To Be Project, a nonprofit 501c3 charitable organization that inspires and equips physically challenged children with adaptive cycles to actively DARE TO BE their dream.

Instructional Design and Development

The OIIE is committed to providing our faculty with the best available tools and resources to promote deep learning and meaningful experiences for students. In working with an instructional designer, you may develop new media for instruction, improve course organization, connect course activities that focus on student outcomes, or consider student situational outcomes when delivering course curriculum. Contact us to learn how our Instructional Designers can assist you.

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Seema Atalla

Director, Instructional Design


After studying comparative literature at UCLA, Seema Atalla began her career as a literary translator and community college professor. She taught in the English department at Mt. San Antonio College for nearly ten years, focusing mainly on developmental writing courses. She also initiated development of the Arabic language program for the Department of World Languages, writing curriculum and creating instructional materials, then becoming the first to teach Arabic classes at Mt. SAC.

Eventually she returned to graduate school to earn her M.S. in Instructional Design and Technology from Cal State Fullerton, completing a five-semester cohort-based program with honors. Her thesis project focused on high-impact practices that foster student engagement.

In 2015, Seema joined CUI as Assistant Director of Instructional Design. She served in that position for nearly three years, before her promotion to the role of Director in August 2018. As Director, she is tasked with managing online course development across all programs. She also continues to work one-on-one with subject matter experts to design and develop individual courses. At CUI, Seema appreciates the warm and welcoming community, and the chance to work with so many staff and faculty members across campus. She also enjoys the opportunities for Christian fellowship, and especially loves the traditional hymns at Tuesday-Thursday chapel.

Sarah Yoon

Instructional Designer


After studying history at UC Irvine, Sarah decided that she wanted to be a high school teacher. Shortly after graduation, she went on a 6-month mission trip to Japan that changed her life and her goals. During her mission trip, she saw how the English language could bridge gaps between cultures, so she changed her focus from history to English as a second language (ESL).

Sarah earned her M.A. Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) degree from Biola University. She started her teaching career at a small college. Then, she began teaching at a private school in Anaheim where she remained for the next six years. After her 7 ½ years in education, she began pursuing a career in instructional design.

Sarah completed her certification in eLearning Instructional Design from UCI. Prior to joining CUI, she worked for Orange County, creating multiple courses for its employees in OCPW. She is excited that she can use her knowledge, experience, and passion for education in her role as an Instructional Designer at CUI.

Academic Media Development

We love to share our expertise in support of academic media initiatives by incorporating media-based methods of instruction and interactivity into courses, seminars, speaking engagements, workshops, and trainings. In addition, we can create video lessons and animations to augment your on campus, online, or hybrid course. We would love to collaborate with you - please contact us.

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Alex Ray

Director, Academic Media Development


After earning his B.S. in Aquatic Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Alex Ray worked as a field scientist conducting subtidal marine surveys with the PISCO Lab at the northern Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara and Ventura. The purpose of the surveys was to monitor and assess the effectiveness of marine protected areas in supporting wildlife populations and biodiversity. Some of the results and conclusions can be found at CINMS After 10 Years.

Alex ultimately left fieldwork to return to school to obtain his single-subject teaching credentials in biology, chemistry, and geosciences from the University of California, Irvine. His work in the credential program eventually led to a master of science degree from UCI in Biological Sciences and Educational Media Design. This in turn led to his work on a multiyear National Science Foundation grant tasked with investigating the effects of arts-science integrated curricula on student achievement in earth, life, and physical sciences. Publications of results are pending.

In 2016, Alex came to Concordia University Irvine to join the Office of Innovative Instruction and eLearning where he currently serves as Director of Academic Media Development. Although his responsibilities vary, his academic and research interests are focused on efficient leveraging of media to support student learning in ways that weren’t readily accessible during his own undergraduate and graduate school education. Of particular interest to him is the concept of tailoring asynchronous design to meet students’ spatial and temporal limitations through the use of intentional versus opportunistic learning opportunities and matching them to appropriate instructional media.

Alex and his wife, Jess, live in Dana Point with their two children. When he can get the time, he enjoys free diving and spearfishing off the California and Baja coastlines and, after a good day on the water, feeding his family freshly caught treats from the deep.

Brent Inga

Instructional Design Media Specialist


Starting out as a musician and sound engineer, Brent fell in love with the creative process. He went on to study film production and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinematic Arts from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2010.

After graduating, Brent started his own production company in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he spent many years creating digital content for leaders in the fashion, fitness, medical, real estate, and hospitality industry. He’s also been involved in the creation of several independent films; one of which received a nomination for best short-film in the prestigious Eurocinema Film Festival and Hawaii International Film Festival.

In 2018 Brent relocated to Southern California and now is a part of the CU Irvine family as an Instructional Design Media Specialist.

Brent is currently involved in music and media ministry at the church where he attends. He’s passionate about transmitting his knowledge and passion for music to younger generations.

Faculty Training and Development

The Department of Faculty Training and Development (FTD) is part of the Office of Innovative Instruction and eLearning. FTD (formerly CELT) facilitates the creation and support of diverse learner-centered teaching environments. Request individual or group training on educational technologies.

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  • Dr. John Randall Dr. John Randall
  • Senior Director, Faculty Training and Development
  • (949) 214-3358
Dr. John Randall

Senior Director, Faculty Training and Development


Dr. John Randall has been helping others use technology in educational settings since 1994. His professional career began as a corporate instructor who trained employees on various software applications. In 1998, John accepted the position of Technology Coordinator at Abiding Savior Lutheran Church and School in Lake Forest, California, where he taught computer classes, managed the network, servers, and website, as well as helped teachers use technology in a sound pedagogical manner. In 2004, he began teaching for Concordia University Irvine as an adjunct professor in the School of Education. In 2007, he took a full-time position with Concordia Irvine as a professor of Instructional Design as well as the Senior Director of Faculty Training and Development. In 2016, John earned his Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Learning Technologies from Pepperdine University.

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