The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a catalyst for advances in digital learning. Over the past two years, WVU faculty have developed new and innovative practices to enhance their students’ digital learning experience.
To celebrate excellence and innovation in digital learning across the University, the Provost’s Office and the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative announced the fourth annual faculty Digital Learning Awards.
Recipients will receive a professional development honorarium of $500.
The 2022 Digital Learning Award winners include:
Erin Brock-Carlson, Assistant Professor at Eberly College of Arts and Sciences: In addition to helping plan the “Amplifying Appalachia” Wikipedia Edit-a-thon in the spring of 2021 – which enhanced the online encyclopedia by increasing the visibility of tories, people and events often overlooked in the region – Carlson incorporated the edit-a-thon into its English 303 class to develop students’ editing and writing skills. As a result, students have improved the quality of many Wikipedia articles and helped diversify its writing. During the spring 2022 semester, Carlson integrated this year‘s edit-a-thon into its undergraduate and graduate courses.
Jennifer Murray, Extension Specialist with WVU Extension: Through a variety of digital platforms, Murray organized efforts among colleagues to create 46 virtual and hybrid workshops for West Virginia youth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 800 attendees statewide. These programs aimed to develop life skills, increase knowledge, and improve workforce readiness through 4-H learning experiences.
Justin Wartella, teaching assistant professor at the College of Human Kinetics and Sport Sciences: Wartella has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic by using Flipgrid, Adobe Spark, Zoom and other digital learning tools to create real-world experiences for its students. He also consciously used discussion forums during his online and hybrid courses to encourage interaction and a sense of community in the “classroom” and to learn more about his students.
Thomas Zeni, Associate Professor of Teaching at John Chambers College of Business and Economics: Zeni’s course in International Labor Relations 522 usually concludes with a trip abroad to various European countries. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he has instead worked with overseas continuing education programs to incorporate a “virtual travel” experience into the course. The course now includes live synchronous and asynchronous presentations from international collaborators, as well as cultural immersion workshops with guest speakers from China, Germany, France and others to provide students with international perspectives. Upon completion, students are better prepared to begin their careers as human resource professionals.
The WVU Faculty Digital Learning Awards are inspired by National Digital Learning Day, which was created in 2012 by the Alliance for Excellent Education and inspired by a digital learning challenge day at the Mountainview Elementary School in Morgantown, WV. Digital Learning Day celebrates instructional practices that effectively use technology to enhance a student’s learning experience, with a focus on high-quality instruction and access to engaging content to ensure that all students reach their full potential for success in college and careers.
WVU is the first official higher education supporter of Digital Learning Day, an event sponsored by the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative, which is committed to advancing public schools from early childhood to higher education .