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4 Island University Faculty Recognized for Excellence in Online Teaching

November 10, 2017

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – With more students taking online courses every semester and more courses being offered by Universities, online classes have become a staple part of college life. To show gratitude for all of the hard work that goes into teaching online courses, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Office of Distance Education and Learning Technologies (ODELT) recognized four faculty members on Nov. 8 during a special awards ceremony.

“Today we honored faculty members who have displayed excellence in distance education,” said Dr. Lauren Cifuentes, Director of Distance Education and Learning Technologies and Professor of undergraduate and graduate students for design and developmental research. “All of the faculty we are honoring stand out because they are particularly attentive to their students and are excellent at creating classwork that is just as rigorous, or maybe even more rigorous, as face-to-face classes.”

The following faculty were recognized during the ceremony with a $250 check:

  • College of Science and Engineering: Dr. David Bridges, Associate Professor and Director of the Unmanned Aerial Systems Program;
  • College of Liberal Arts: Dr. Susan Garza, Professor of English;
  • College of Business: Dr. Karen Loveland, Assistant Professor of Marketing;
  • College of Education and Human Development: Dr. Kimberly Reinhardt, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education.

“Online education is extremely important for students who are full-time workers, full-time parents or who just want the flexibility within their schedules,” said Loveland. “I hope that more faculty members will recognize the importance of online classes to students who can’t always make it to campus.”

According to Online Learning Consortium, one in four students are enrolled in online courses within higher education, and the numbers have consistently increased for the last 13 years, which is why professors like Bridges are making a difference on and off campus.

“I recently created an Introduction to Unmanned Aerial Systems online course,” said Bridges. “What’s interesting about this class, is that I get to teach students from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Teaching online allows me to work with students throughout the Coastal Bend and beyond.”

In addition to recognizing outstanding faculty, ODELT provides faculty support in developing online courses, professional development and training, Blackboard workshops, and video production services. Implementing a “servant leadership” approach, the mission of ODELT is to provide leadership, coordination, management, and support to all of the e-learning activities at Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

“I hope that these kinds of events will show faculty that they’re valued and that they’re doing important work,” said Cifuentes. “We really want to emphasize this message!” 

For more information on ODELT and the services provided, visit https://iol.tamucc.edu/about_us.html.