Awards

4 Instuctors Win Online Education Awards

Instructors at Drexel University, Ryerson University, Mohawk College and the Berklee College of Music have been selected as Pearson's 2015 online learning excellence awards recipients.

Divided into categories for online administration and online teaching, the awards come with a $1,500 donation to the scholarship fund of each winner's choice.

Kristen Betts, a clinical professor in Drexel University's school of education, won an award in the administration category for her work in student engagement and retention. "She works collaboratively with practitioners and doctoral students in the areas of online student success, active learning, credit hour equivalency, e-advising, e-student affairs, online human touch, faculty development and online program design," according to a news release.

Naza Djafarova, director of digital education strategies at Ryerson's G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, also won an administration award. Djafarova Helped to create an online course development process designed to ensure consistency and quality and has developed administrative tools that track online course deliverables and provide analytics.

Mohawk College Sociology Professor Shaun Iles won a teaching award for his development of fully gamified online spaces. Students in the environment are able to move through course content at their own pace. Iles "has moved his course to a fully online environment where he engages students using tools like intelligent agents, simulators, blogs and virtual conferences," according to information released by Pearson. "Shaun has pushed the limits of online learning by creating a simulator that allows students to put into practice the theoretical material they learn in class. Shaun’s course has been used to show educators how they can use custom grading formulations, module gating, bonuses, peer evaluation and gaming to increase retention rates and grades in their classes."

Niel Diercks, and adjunct professor at the Berklee College of Music, won a teaching award for his four online songwriting and lyric writing courses. Diercks promotes community and engagement in his online classes by providing detailed video feedback for every exercise and assignment and requires students to do the same for each other.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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