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Fairbanks, Ken

Ken Fairbanks
  • Departments:Library, Testing Center, Moose Academic Resource Center (MARC), Distance Learning, IT Services
  • Divisions:Learning Resources Division
  • Title:Director of Learning Resources and Instructional Technology
  • Phone:(276) 739-2462
  • Email:
  • Office Location LRC 118

I'm currently the Director of Distance & Distributed Learning as well as the LearningPLUS+ Director at Virginia Highlands Community College.

I've worked in the distance learning field, since 2001. However, my early career started in radio and television followed by several years as marketing director for a full-service advertising agency before transitioning to higher education.

I describe my philosophy of online instructional design as a hybrid approach that combines the best practices in distance learning pedagogy with common sense marketing. Everything starts and ends with engaging online students and creating a relationship... then the learning can really begin!

Colleges and universities have been baptized by competitive forces in recent years, lifting marketing into the spotlight. On the community college scene, distance learning has been the most competitive with once-friendly sister colleges now immersed in a sibling rivalry - as they vie for online learners.

My marketing and technology skills allow me to inject a little marketing savvy into many aspects of online learning. My current focus is on social networking and multimedia development for delivering learning content, marketing the college and strengthening the engagement between online students, faculty, and the colleges as a whole.

Think: Customer Relationship Management targeting Generation Z and Millennials, who were raised on the Internet. I think you get the picture!

Looking ahead, I'm pursuing quality and accreditation initiatives related to distance learning, professional development, and instructional design. I'm also very interested in emerging multimedia technology & development using virtual and augmented reality.

When not working, I'm an avid fly fisherman and fly tier. I love to spend time outdoors, fishing on the South Holston River as well as the many smaller trout waters in southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. 


  • Instructional Design
  • Open Educational Resources
  • Curriculum Development
  • Instructional Technology Implementation
  • A/V Design and Implementation
  • Multimedia Design
  • Web Design
  • Audio and Video Production
  • Marketing and Public Relations
  • Online and F2F Instruction
  • Workforce Development Training
  • New Business Development
  • Accreditation Reaffirmation Process
  • Project Management


  • Master of Business Administration (MBA), King University, 2004
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Communications and Marketing, East Tennessee State University, 1993
  • Associates of Arts & Science (A&AS) in Education, Virginia Highlands Community College, 1987
  • High School Diploma, Abingdon High School, 1985
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