Clarkson University earns 2021 Excellence in Teaching Award | #education | #technology | #training | #education | #technology | #infosec



The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the leader in Distance and Digital Learning education, has awarded Clarkson University the winner of the 2021 Excellence in Teaching Award in the International Award program. This award honors the achievements of Clarkson’s Teaching & Learning Corner team for their work to advance faculty workforce development during the COVID pandemic specifically demonstrated by the team’s efforts to create and teach the Reframing Instruction for Success Everywhere (RISE) workshop provided to all university faculty. Credit goes to RISE co-creators and instructors Erin Blauvelt and Loretta Driskel for their work in designing the workshop experience to include learning objectives grounded in the Quality Matters principles; and with the goal of giving faculty the skills and resources, they needed to shift from delivering emergency remote instruction when the pandemic first hit to thriving with purposefully-built, effective online and hybrid instruction. This unique experience allowed faculty to engage one-on-one with each other and with RISE instructors, gaining cross-departmental insight and advice.

This is the third award received this year to honor the Teaching and Learning Corner and the RISE workforce development initiative. Earlier awards include the 2021 OLC Effective Practice awarded by the Online Learning Consortium and 2021 Phalanx Distinguished Service Award awarded by Phalanx, Clarkson’s highest honorary society.

About the USDLA:

Each year, USDLA recognizes innovators and leaders within the distance/digital learning industry as part of the International Award program. These highly coveted awards are presented annually to organizations and individuals who compete across several categories of excellence. The USDLA International Distance Learning Awards are created to acknowledge major accomplishments in distance learning and to highlight those distance learning instructors, programs, and professionals who have achieved and demonstrated extraordinary achievements through the use of online, videoconferencing, and satellite/video delivery technologies globally.

The United States Distance Learning Association was founded in 1987 and based on the premise of creating a powerful alliance to meet the burgeoning education and training needs of learning communities via new concepts of the fusion of communication technologies with learning in broad multidisciplinary applications. USDLA was the first nonprofit distance learning association in the United States to support distance learning research, development, and praxis across the complete arena of education, training, and communications. The learning communities that the USDLA addresses are: pre-K/12, higher education, continuing education, corporate training, military and government training, homeschooling, and telehealth. Their mission is to support the development and application of digital and distance learning by focusing on legislation impacting the community and constituencies.

About RISE:

The RISE workshop was built using the Quality Matters standards, The Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, Backward Design and Active Learning methodologies, all of which are deeply rooted in many years of research and best practices. Not only did the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric 6th Edition inform workshop content, but the workshop itself is built following the Specific Review Standards from the QM rubric which ensure that a course is student-centered, organized, varied for diverse learners, and interactive. 

Participants came with a spectrum of experience in online education. Some were brand new adjunct faculty, who had never taught online, let alone taught at all. Others had taught several online courses and had used our technology for years. To meet this varied audience, we utilized much collaboration and discussion so that the participants could learn from each other. This served to level the playing field as everyone could find someone that was at a similar level to their own as well as someone to use as somewhat of a mentor. This setup worked extremely well and we had many participants note how much they learned from and enjoyed working with faculty members from other programs and with different experience levels.

This workshop was designed for every participant to be successful. Participants were given as many opportunities as needed to complete assessments and were very guided by peer and instructor feedback along the way. Each assessment was graded on a scale of not complete-revise-complete, avoiding percentages or pass/fail in order to keep the experience positive. All but one assessment was manually graded by one of the instructors and there were many opportunities for participants to receive individual, constructive feedback. There were additional opportunities for student-instructor interaction through optional webinars and help sessions hosted during the workshop.

About Quality Matters

Quality Matters (QM) is the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. It provides a scalable quality assurance system for online and blended learning used within and across organizations. When you see QM Certification Marks on courses or programs, it means they have met QM Course Design Standards or QM Program Review Criteria in a rigorous review process.



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