More than 53% of MU students took at least one online course in academic year 2018 (Mizzou Online Annual Report, AY18). As this number climbs year over year, online instructors at Mizzou continue to set the pace for distance education nationwide.
At the 2019 Celebration of Teaching event, the MU community had the opportunity to gather and engage with colleagues from all disciplines. Among these faculty members were four instructors honored for their efforts in facilitating and designing high-quality online courses.
After recently celebrating the commencement of more than 660 Mizzou students who earned their degrees online, we recognize the faculty who make it all possible.
Excellence in Online Class Facilitation Award
This award honors faculty members who excel in facilitating an online learning experience.
Amy Simons, an associate professor in the School of Journalism, was awarded for her excellent facilitation of The News Media: Journalism and Advertising in a Democratic Society, an undergraduate online course.
Simons brings the long-recognized Missouri Method (learning by doing) to life. Students in Simons’ online course have noted a newfound appreciation for the field of journalism due to engaging group projects and thought-provoking assignments. In fact, one student noted that the course “changed their perspective on journalism.”
Lauren Arend, an assistant professor of early childhood education in the College of Education, was awarded for Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, a graduate online course for practicing teachers.
The course engages students in content that can be uncomfortable. Facilitating online dialogue around issues of equity, race, privilege and identity poses a challenge, but Arend creates a safe environment for students to discuss. Students call the course “life-changing” and recommend that “every teacher should take this class in order to better understand our society.”
Outstanding Online Course Design Award
This award honors an outstanding online course supported by Mizzou Online that was delivered in the previous academic year with the instruction mode of online or e-learning.
Tom Warhover, an associate professor in the School of Journalism, was awarded for Language, Thought and Journalism, an undergraduate online course.
Warhover sought to create an intentional class that both motivates and interests students, and he’s accomplished that by engaging students in the course content. Beyond technical components of the course, Warhover’s passion for fostering relationships with other students has been instrumental to student success. Students call Tom the “epitome of an educator” and have noted that he is easy to connect with online.
Kerri McBee-Black, an instructor in the Department of Textile and Apparel Management in the College of Humane Environmental Sciences, was nominated for her contributions to the redesign of Basic Concepts of Fashion Design.
Throughout the course redesign project, McBee-Black demonstrated a dedication to ensure students’ learning experiences were noteworthy, exciting and engaging. The new course content mirrors the reality of teamwork present in the fashion industry, and prepares students for real-world application. In the words of her nominator, McBee-Black’s work on this course “raises the bar for other course designers in the future.”