September 28, 2023

Distance Learning receives award for exemplary course development

A glass-like award

The award recognizes the work done to develop HIST 151: Early America – U.S. History for online students.

For nearly two decades, Anthology’s Exemplary Course Program has honored higher education instructors and course designers for excellence in online course design.

Schoolcraft College’s online course development of HIST 151: Early America – U.S. History for online students received a 2023 Exemplary Course Program Award from Anthology, an education technology services company. The Exemplary Course Program Awards applies “key characteristics of high-quality online courses within the framework of Course Design, Interaction and Collaboration, Assessment, and Learner Support” (Anthology, 2023). 

Spearheaded through the design work of Dr. Steven Berg, full-time English and History professor; Jason Kane, Lead Instructional Designer; and Rena Yuzon, Course Manager, the HIST 151 online course, which launched in its new format in the Spring 2022 term, added unique features, expanding and enhancing the Ready to Teach online teaching framework.

“In addition to quality standards we strive for with all of our courses, we embedded an additional layer of content focusing on intrapersonal skills,” said Jason Kane, lead instructional designer for Distance Learning who assisted in the development of the course. “This layer involves tying content in the course more deliberately to soft skills, reading strategies, research strategies, and student autonomy.”

While the previous version of the class was developed well, Kane said, the new version built on that development and pushed the boundaries in hopes of creating scalable strategies applicable to other developments as well.

An award glass in design
The award given for the development of HIST 151: Early America – U.S. History by Anthology’s Exemplary Course Program.

The content is also broken down to encourage a variety of reading strategies, another way to promote student-centered thinking.

“Some content should be read deeply, some can be skimmed, some can be read linearly. The assignments are all tied to strategies that match best with the expected student outcome,” Kane said. “Additionally, research strategies are built throughout the course encouraging students to become active historians.”

The award is just the latest award for Schoolcraft College’s Distance Learning program, which has received other awards for its course development, including two additional Exemplary Course Program Awards in previous years.

Schoolcraft College’s Distance Learning program has provided opportunities for learning off-campus for more than 40 years. Utilizing the latest technology, the college’s course development teams (i.e., a subject matter expert, instructional designer, and course manager) continue to forge innovative instructional approaches in delivering online educational opportunities for all students.

“This award is a collaborative and creative demonstration of the efforts Distance Learning and Schoolcraft online faculty make to continually serve our students through engaging learning experiences,” said Lori Timmis, Dean of Distance Learning. “Finding new, exciting ways to educate students in support of the college’s mission of transformative learning has been our goal since the beginning, and this award exhibits Schoolcraft remains on the cutting edge of quality online education.”

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