Award winners display ingenuity, creativity and collaboration to create fulfilling learning journeys for students
Desire2Learn Incorporated (“Desire2Learn”), a leading provider of innovative learning solutions, today announced the winners of the 2013 Desire2EXCEL Awards at FUSION 2013, the company’s annual users conference being held in Boston.
Originally founded in 2005, the Desire2EXCEL Awards are given to individuals, groups, or organizations that have displayed exemplary ingenuity, creativity and collaboration in empowering students to achieve their academic goals. The number of nominations for the 2013 Desire2EXCEL Awards tripled from 2012. Three new award categories — Student, Accessibility and Pioneer — highlight noteworthy work from the world’s brightest educators, administrators and students.
“This year’s Desire2EXCEL Award winners capture the spirit of innovation and collaboration that are critical to educating the world,” said Desire2Learn Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Jeff McDowell. “Desire2Learn clients are performing amazing feats with our solutions and this is our way of both applauding and encouraging their ongoing commitment to better the world through innovative learning techniques.”
Desire2EXCEL Innovation Award Winner: Fanshawe College
The Desire2EXCEL Innovation Award is given to the organization that leverages creative methods or technologies to address important student needs. This year’s winner is Ontario-based Fanshawe College who combined two important educational trends — MOOCs and gamification — to achieve fantastic results.
Fanshawe is currently running its first MOOC, “Applied Sustainability,” on the Desire2Learn Open Course platform. The course is gamified by offering four levels of achievement that mimic the LEED Certification levels — Green, Silver, Gold and Platinum — for learners that perform specific tasks such as a garbage audit or Sketchup home design.
Finalists for the Desire2EXCEL Innovation Award included:
- Georgia Online Virtual Instruction Enterprise Wide (GoVIEW), Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia
- ENG4Um, Virtual High School
- PS268, Drugs and Behavior Online Course, Wilfrid Laurier University
Desire2EXCEL Collaboration Award Winner: University of Wisconsin System
The Desire2EXCEL Collaboration Award winner must display creative synchronous or asynchronous collaboration within a course, department, institution, external agency or corporation. The University of Wisconsin System took home this year’s award for its College Readiness Math MOOC.
The University of Wisconsin System’s Math MOOC is an international course with participants from nearly every state and more than 40 countries. This diverse group of learners ranged in age from thirteen to eighty-five. Rather than dictate the dates and times students needed to congregate to discuss course materials, the University of Wisconsin System gave its learners options. Students could follow the instructor-led, seven-week structure or work through the MOOC at their own pace. This asynchronous approach to the curriculum created a flexible environment to satisfy student schedules.
Finalists for the Desire2EXCEL Collaboration Award included:
- Peer Review of my Online Teaching Experience (PRomOTE) Program, Anoka-Ramsey Community College
- Prepare2Succeed, DePaul University
Desire2EXCEL Impact Award Winner: University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee’s U-Pace instruction, using Desire2Learn technology, showcased an initiative that reflects an extraordinary impact on teaching and learning and the repeatability criteria inherent to the Desire2EXCEL Impact Award.
U-Pace is a technology-enabled instructional approach developed at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee using Desire2Learn. The U-Pace instructional approach combines self-paced, mastery-based learning with instructor-initiated Amplified Assistance in an online learning environment. The U-Pace instructional approach is freely available, can be applied across multiple disciplines and can be implemented in virtually all colleges because it does not require additional resources beyond a learning management system.
Finalists for the Desire2EXCEL Impact Award included:
- Quality Matters Template for Desire2Learn, Minnesota State University, Mankato
- Student Academic Learning Services, Durham College
Desire2EXCEL Student Award Winner: Katie Lashlee, Georgia Southern University
The inaugural winner of the Desire2Excel Student Award is Georgia Southern University’s Katie Lashlee for her work as a Desire2Learn Folio Ambassador. In this role, Lashlee served as a strong Desire2Learn evangelist and was a catalyst for the Georgia Southern campus embracing the company’s technology.
Desire2EXCEL Pioneer Award Winner: Umm al Qura University
Umm al Qura University is a prestigious public institution based in Saudi Arabia. More than 50,000 students access Desire2Learn Learning Suite at the university, making it one of the largest eLearning implementations in the region. The Desire2EXCEL Pioneer Award was given to Umm al Qura University because of the school’s commitment to broadening the reach of its academic offerings by improving its user experience through a partnership with Desire2Learn and Naseej.
Desire2EXCEL Accessibility Award Winner: Ohio State University
The Desire2EXCEL Accessibility Award honors the institution that is wholly committed to educating all of its students, regardless of physical or mental challenges. Ohio State University Web Accessibility Center Director Ken Petri is this year’s recipient, having demonstrating excellence in online course material and curriculum accessibility.