From the series President's Awards for Excellence 2018

Spirit of Innovation

Center for Teaching and Learning Distance Education

Center for Teaching and Learning Distance Education staff members.

The Center for Teaching and Learning Distance Education team received the 2018 Spirit of Innovation Award for its philosophy and attitude of thinking big and helping to create high-quality, interactive and student-centered online courses.

Rachel Sturm, associate professor of management, commends the Distance Education (DE) team on its hard work and new ideas. She especially appreciates the staff’s help to ensure her online class maintains the integrity of a face-to-face class.

“My impression was that the DE team could help me achieve my vision,” she said. “They sure did — especially under the wire. I still can’t believe we did it!”

Along with their hardworking nature, Distance Education team members have the courage to move past their comfort zone and explore new technologies that will improve courses and enrich students’ learning experience. For example, the team helped the Boonshoft School of Medicine develop an online team-based learning program that Sturm said she plans to adapt for her face-to-face classes.

“Wright State was founded on transformational change and DE is ushering the institution into the digital era,” Sturm said. “They practice humanity, temperance and accountability. They also display humility by being respectful of all those they help. I can honestly admit that my online course would not have happened without their help.”

Burhan Kawosa, senior lecturer in the Department of Finance and Financial Services, said the Distance Education team demonstrates innovative spirit by “lifting the quality of our online classes — be in development, delivery or continuous improvement.”

“The impact of this group’s work in expanding Wright State’s online footprint is well documented,” he said.

Many faculty members in the Raj Soin College of Business praise the Distance Education team for assisting with online classes, especially at the graduate level. The efforts of the Distance Education team have helped increase the quality of online classes taught by Charles Gulas, professor of marketing.

“Online enrollment has been a rare bright stop in the enrollment picture for the university and would not be possible without the support of the Distance Education group,” Gulas said.

Distance Education staff have also played an instrumental role in developing cutting-edge, interactive, video-based online courses and programs to improve the student experience. Over five years, Distance Education has created no fewer than 65 online courses offered in several colleges, including several for the Wright State Core. Faculty who work with the Distance Education team have high regard for their services and assistance.

The team has established itself as a leader in innovative teaching. Colleagues highly trust staff members’ judgment, depend on their innovative course development program and enjoy working with them.

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