KSU to receive Sloan Consortium award for excellence in online education

University recognized for program training faculty to develop online courses   KENNESAW, Ga. (…

Georgia (Sep 27, 2010)

KENNESAW, Ga. (Sept. 27, 2010) –– A 12-week course designed to train Kennesaw State University faculty to develop new online and hybrid courses will receive one of seven awards recognizing excellence in online teaching and learning, the Massachusetts-based Sloan Consortium announced last week.
The “Build a Web Course” training program offered by the university’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences will receive the Excellence in Faculty Development Award on Nov. 4 at the Sloan Consortium’s 16th international conference in Orlando. Sloan-C, as the consortium is also known, is an association of institutions and professional organizations working to integrate online education into the mainstream of higher education.
Since the training program was introduced in 2009, 75 KSU faculty members from the humanities and social sciences, education and nursing have developed 71 new online or hybrid courses that combine online and face-to-face sessions. 
“This is an especially gratifying honor because of Sloan’s prestige and the caliber of the other institutions being recognized, and it comes at a time when the university has recommitted itself to the potential of online learning,” said interim provost Ken Harmon, noting the recent creation of a Center for Distance Learning at KSU. “As enrollments have increased and the pressure for classroom space becomes more acute, the development of more online courses is a necessity.”
In 2009, KSU offered 330 online sections of courses. The number of online or hybrid courses is expected to growby 22 percent by spring 2011 as a result of the “Build a Web Course” initiative.
This outstanding program ensures that faculty can pick and choose from the latest technology to maximize student opportunities for online learning,” said Richard Vengroff, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “At the same time, students benefit from flexible scheduling and excellent courses.”

Two of the courses developed last spring by the first group of 47 professors who completed the training were offered during the 2010 summer semester and 15 more are being offered this fall. 
Tamara Powell, director of distance education for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and an associate professor of English, designed and implemented the program. She said it will take a little time to get all the new courses fully online because each must undergo a quality evaluation and peer review by the university’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
“The course design is based upon secondary research into adult learning and 10 years of grant-supported primary research in professional development instructional technology,” Powell said. “It is designed to take potential online/hybrid instructors from curious to comfortable to competent in three months.”
The faculty development program, which itself is a hybrid course with four online and eight face-to-face sessions, covers a wide range of topics, including vocabulary, issues of pedagogy and copyright, interactive content, developing Wikis, blogs and podcasting, assessment, and online cheating. 
In announcing the Sloan-C awards this week, selection committee chair Burks Oakley said: “A distinguished group of leaders in online education was responsible for evaluating the nominations … The competition for this award was particularly strong this year. The committee felt the Kennesaw State faculty development program was exemplary.” 
Other institutions receiving 2010 Sloan-C awards of excellence include Hunter College, the University of Central Florida, the University of Illinois, Springfield, Boston University, Drexel University, and the University of Massachusetts Boston/Online.
For more information on the Sloan-C awards, please go to http://sloanconsortium.org/2010awards
Contact: Sabbaye McGriff, 678-797-2550 or smcgrif1@kennesaw.edu


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu