The Distance Learning Association of the United States (USDLA), the leader in distance and digital education, awarded Clarkson University the recipient of the 2021 Teaching Excellence Award under the International Program of rewards. This award honors the accomplishments of the Clarkson Teaching and Learning Corner team for their work in advancing the development of the faculty workforce during the COVID pandemic, notably demonstrated by the team’s efforts to create and teach the RISE (Reframing Instruction for Success Everywhere) workshop provided to all university professors. 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 based on Quality Matters principles; and in an effort to equip faculty with the skills and resources, they needed to move from emergency distance education when the pandemic first hit to thrive with specially designed and effective online and hybrid education. This unique experience allowed professors to engage one-on-one with each other and with RISE instructors, gaining cross-departmental information and advice.
This is the third award received this year to honor the Teaching and Learning Corner and the RISE Workforce Development Initiative. Previous awards include the 2021 OLC Effective Practice awarded by the Online Learning Consortium and the 2021 Phalanx Distinguished Service Award from Phalanx, Clarkson’s highest honorary society.
Each year, the USDLA recognizes innovators and leaders in the distance / digital learning industry through the International Award program. These coveted awards are presented annually to organizations and individuals who compete in multiple categories of excellence. The USDLA International Distance Learning Awards are created to recognize major achievements in distance learning and to highlight distance learning instructors, programs and professionals who have achieved and demonstrated extraordinary achievements through the use of technology. online, video conferencing and satellite / video broadcasting to the world.
The United States Distance Learning Association was founded in 1987 and is based on the premise of creating a powerful alliance to meet the growing education and training needs of learning communities through new concepts of fusion of communication technologies. with learning in broad multidisciplinary applications. USDLA was the first nonprofit distance education association in the United States to support the research, development and practice of distance learning in the comprehensive field of education, training and communications. The learning communities that USDLA caters to are: pre-K / 12, higher education, continuing education, corporate training, military and government training, home schooling, and telehealth. Their mission is to support the development and application of digital and distance learning by focusing on legislation having an impact on the community and constituencies.
The RISE Workshop was designed using the Quality Matters Standards, the Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, Retrograde Design and Active Learning Methodologies, all of which are deeply rooted in many years of research. and best practices. Not only did the 6th Edition of the Quality Matters Higher Education section inform the workshop content, but the workshop itself is built to specific QM section exam standards which ensure that a course is focused on the student, organized, varied for diverse learners and interactive.
The participants came with a wide range of experiences in online education. Some were brand new adjunct professors, 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 diverse audience, we used a lot of collaboration and discussion so that participants could learn from each other. This helped level the playing field as everyone could find someone who was on par with theirs as well as someone to use as a mentor. This setup worked extremely well and many participants noted how much they learned and enjoyed working with faculty members from other programs and with varying levels of experience.
This workshop was designed for every participant to succeed. Participants were given as many opportunities as needed to complete the assessments and were very guided by feedback from peers and instructors throughout the process. Each evaluation was graded on a non-complete-review-complete scale, avoiding percentages or pass / fail in order to keep the experience positive. All but one of the ratings were manually scored by one of the instructors, and participants had many opportunities to receive individual and constructive feedback. There were additional opportunities for student-instructor interaction through optional webinars and help sessions held during the workshop.
About quality issues
Quality Matters (QM) is the leading global organization for quality assurance in innovative digital online teaching and learning environments. It provides a scalable quality assurance system for e-learning and blended learning used within and between organizations. When you see QM certification marks on courses or programs, it means that they have passed QM course design standards or QM program review criteria through a rigorous review process.