The 2009 Online Learning Awards celebrated the best educational technology users at this year’s Exemplary Online Faculty and Student Awards, Sept.29.
“This year, 83 faculty were nominated for the exemplary teaching award,” says JoeAnn Humbert, director, academic technology, Wallace Center. “Although we chose only one winner, in the eyes of their students who nominated them, 83 were thought of as exemplary and deserving of the award.”
Lisa Greenwood, lecturer, civil engineering technology/environmental management and safety in the College of Applied Science and Technology, was named the 2009 Exemplary Online Faculty. In her nomination she was recognized for her ability to instill a desire to learn and provide relevant professional direction to students.
“I’m flattered and honored today to be receiving this award,” says Greenwood who thanked her peers who supported her when she began teaching online. “I’d also like to thank my students. I have been blessed with an amazing, interesting group of individuals. They have elevated the course to more than I could have orchestrated myself.”
Also recognized at the ceremony was John Kuhnle, a student in the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies, who was given the Exemplary Online Student Award based on positive interaction with peers and faculty online, a cumulative 3.0 GPA and a personal essay where he acknowledged that the online medium serves working students well.
“It’s great as an online student to meet everyone today. I would not be able to go to school without the online option. This has been the most rewarding experience. Education does not take away from your life, it enhances it,” says Kuhnle, who will complete his bachelor’s degree in applied arts and sciences this year and continue on to a master’s program starting winter quarter.
Several new awards were added to the event this year. The Staff Choice Awards were presented to Richard Doolittle assistant provost for undergraduate education, and professor, School of Biological and Medical Science, College of Science; Joseph Geigel, associate professor, computer science, Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences; and Steve Boese, adjunct professor, hospitality and service management, College of Applied Science and Technology. Each winner found ways to make technology integral to the coursework, learning and interaction among the class.
“RIT is a place where use of new technologies is not only supported but encouraged,” Geigel says. The first-time online faculty developed a platform in Second Life for his Computer Animation and Algorithms class and used real-time, open captioning in the setting where it had not been used before.
“Online learning has transformed the way we can do education,” says RIT President Bill Destler, who addressed the group of faculty, students and staff assembled for the annual recognition awards. “Today, we are celebrating people who have broken new ground, set best practices in terms of how they use this learning environment. If RIT can’t do this, then who can? We are that kind of university. We ought to be able to make online education work, finding new ways to use technology more effectively for our students.”