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Distinguished Course Awards

Description

The Distinguished Course Awards are part of FIU Online's commitment to quality. Faculty are able to self-nominate one of their fully online courses for a Distinguished Course Award in one of 5 categories. The categories are Student Engagement, Innovative Use of Open Content, Innovative Course Design, Creative Tool Use, and Top Score in Gamification.

A panel of faculty judges rates each nomination with a set rubric and selects the winners.

Categories

Student Engagement - recognizes a course that most effectively engages its students.

Innovative Use of Open Content - recognizes a course using open educational resources, including open textbooks or other content, to promote student learning.

Innovative Course Design - recognizes a course that uses unique design aspects as a means to effectively engage student learners and deliver quality course content either within or outside of the learning management system.

Creative Tool Use - recognizes a course that most creatively and effectively implements one or more educational technology tool, including but not limited to those within the learning management system.

Top Score in Gamification - recognizes a course that successfully implements gamification strategies and elements to promote student learning and engagement.

Past Winners

QM Certified Courses

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2016 Awards

Award Course Professor
Creative Tools Usage GEO3501 - Earth Resources Rodolfo Rego
PSB4002 - Introduction to Bio-Psychology Michael Chen
Innovative Course Design PAD5934 - Contemporary Issues in Public Administration Michael Brown
Student Engagement EIN5226 - Total Quality Management for Engineers Karen Schmahl
Use of Open Content IDS3336 - Artistic Expression in a Global Society Michael Rodriguez

QM Certified Courses

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2015 Awards

Award Course Professor
Student Engagement CLP4314 - Childhood Psychopathology Rachel Ritchie
PSY4931 - Senior Seminar in Psychology Rachel Ritchie
REL3308 - Studies in World Religions Erin Weston
Open Content EEC3315 - Play and the Development of Social Competence Daniela Foerch and Carolina Arbolead
Creative Tool Use NGR7769 - Patient Safety and Quality Improvement in Healthcare Derrick Glymph
NUR3821 - Professional Nursing Leadership: Concepts and Issues Elizabeth Azutillo
Innovative Course Design CJJ3010 - Juvenile Justice Rosa Chang

QM Certified Courses

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2014 Awards

Award Course Professor
Innovative Use of Open Content EEC3400 - Family Literacy and the Young Child Daniela Foerch
Top Score in Gamification ENT4113 - Entrepreneurship: New Business Development Kaihan Krippendorff
Creative Tool Usage MAR4643 - Decision Making and Negotiations Kimberly Taylor
Student Engagement NUR3821 - Professional Nursing Leadership: Concepts and Issues Elizabeth Azutillo

Rules

Rules

Submissions for the 2016 Distinguished Course Awards are due by Monday, February 29, 2016.

Course must have run one full semester (ex. eligible courses for 2016 are from Spring 2015, Summer 2015, or Fall 2015).

Courses that were previously submitted and won an award, are not eligible to win again.

Courses must be self-nominated by the faculty who taught the course.

Faculty are eligible to submit 1 course per category.


Use of Open Content Rubric

  Not Applicable (0) Developing (1) Proficient (2) Distinguished (3)
Instructions Instructions for open content (access, links to resources/downloads, verbiage in syllabus, etc.) are missing Instructions for open content (access, links to resources/downloads, verbiage in syllabus, etc.) are incomplete Instructions for open content (access, links to resources/downloads, verbiage in syllabus, etc.) is limited or not clear Clear explanations of open content (access, links to resources/downloads, verbiage in syllabus, etc.) are provided within the course
Expectations No guidelines provided to students regarding the desired quantity or quality of expectations. Students are not given a clear set of criteria for how activities will be graded. Expectations regarding the quality of assignment are included, but may lack detail or illustrative examples. Minimal information may be provided regarding grading criteria. A rubric or equivalent grading document is included to explain how participation will be evaluated.
Student Engagement Evidence of student engagement for the tool is not evident. Open content is not used to its full extent or not used when it would be appropriate to do so. Open content is made available to assist students, but could be organized or arranged for even greater usefulness or more creatively. Open content is used creatively in ways that transcend traditional, teacher-centered instruction and facilitates learning by engaging students with course content.
Design There are no objectives or expected outcomes for the use of open content assignment. Use of open content objectives and expected outcomes are not clearly described or are missing. Use of open content objectives and expected outcomes are described with minor gaps in the clarity or comprehensiveness. A clear and comprehensive description of the open content Assignment objectives and goals (desired end result) and expected outcomes (measurable results) of the assignment are made available in the syllabus and course content.
Open Content Use No open content (such as textbooks) outside of Blackboard Learn tools are utilized in this course. Use of open content (such as textbooks) is optional for assignments in this course or can be substituted by utilizing another Blackboard Learn tool. Open content (such as textbooks) is required in course, however only partially or very limited to assignment endproduct. Open content (such as textbooks) is required and thoroughly employed in order to complete the assignment.


Top Score in Gamification Rubric

  Not Applicable (0) Developing (1) Proficient (2) Distinguished (3)
Achievements No type of achievement recognition exists. Simple text is used to notify students of their achievement, but no icon or badge is used. Students receive an iconic notification, but there is little to no differentiation between "weight" or "levels" of achievement (i.e. one generic badge for multiple levels of performance, as opposed to bronze, silver, or gold) Students receive visual or iconic notification, and there is a marked differentiation between levels of achievement (i.e. bronze, silver, or gold badges)
Presentations Course Content is not presented using sets of challenges, levels, etc. which promote learner engagement and progression (i.e. Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc) Content is labeled using some game related titles, but does not imply any order of progression. Content is labeled using game related titles, but progression through levels of content may only relate to singular aspects of the course, and not the overall or course-wide scope of content (i.e. vocabulary challenge 1 - 3 is found in Quest 1, but Quest 2 has no vocabulary challenge, or vocabulary challenges 1 and 2 are of equal difficulty level.) Content is labeled using game related titles, and progression through all content reflects the learner's progression through concepts shown by increasing difficulty, detail, or required effort (i.e. Vocabulary Challenge 1 from Quest 1 is easier than Vocabulary Challenge 2 from Quest 2)
Maps No course map is present The course map contains no details more definite than level 1, level 2, level 3, or some similar system. The course map contains the various levels of the course (i.e. level 1, level 2, level 3, etc.) and lists the paths from one level to the next (i.e. complete Vocab challenge 1, Concept Quest 1, and Skills Arena 1 in order to progress to Level 2). The map does not list all available course achievements. The course map contains the various levels of the course (i.e. level 1, level 2, level 3, etc.) and lists the paths from one level to the next (i.e. complete Vocab challenge 1, Concept Quest 1, and Skills Arena 1 in order to progress to Level 2). The map also lists all available course achievements.
Progression  This should apply to all courses, as each component will be more or less difficult than the last. The course contains various levels of difficulty or cognitive complexity, though order of progression is random or does not promote any increase in concept comprehension. The course moves through a logical order of progression in required cognitive complexity. The course is set up with progressive levels of difficulty or reqiured cognitive complexity. The completion of basic levels encourages and promotes the completion of more advanced levels (i.e. concepts mastered at basic levels aid in the mastery of advanced concepts)


Student Engagement Rubric

  Not Applicable (0) Developing (1) Proficient (2) Distinguished (3)
Achievement of Learning Objectives Clear achievement of learning goals is not present in the course. Course activities sometimes allow for the achievement of learning objectives although their relationship is not always clear. Objectives may not be written from the learner perspective. Course activities often allow for achievement of learning objectives but their alignment is not always clear. Objectives are written from the learner’s perspective. Course activities clearly and consistently encourage the achievement of listed learning objectives. Objectives are written from the learner’s perspective.
Student Interaction Limited or no student interaction required. The course provides limited opportunities for student interaction. Synchronous and/or asynchronous activities are evident and provide limited opportunities for student interaction. Activities provide ample opportunities for synchronous and/or asynchronous student interaction.
Assignment Expectations Assignment expectations are not listed. No use of rubrics or sample works. Assignment expectations are not always clearly stated or may be difficult to find. Grading rubrics or sample assignments are not provided. Assignment expectations are listed, but grading rubrics or samples assignments are not always provided or may be found but provide limited guidance. Requirements, grading rubrics and/or sample works are consistently provided to make assignment expectations clear.
Varying Usage of Tools Limited or no variety in learning tools. Few instances are available for student interaction. Limited use of tools for higher order thinking. Tools used encourage interaction but may be limited in encouraging higher order thinking. Varying use of tools are available that encourage higher order thinking and interaction.
Instructor Presence Limited or no instructor presence in the course. Communication and course feedback is sparse. The instructor is sometimes present in course interactions and provides occasional feedback. The instructor is an active presence in the course (announcements, discussion posts, assignment feedback).
Course Organization Limited or no course organization structure present. Course organization is difficult to follow and material is difficult to locate. Course organization follows a pattern. Most course material is found easily though some may take more time to find. Course organization follows an organizational pattern (ex: modules). Course material is properly labeled and easy to find.
Course Communication Information about how to reach the instructor is not present. Instructor availability is difficult to find in the course or syllabus and may be unclear. Instructor information is present and easily located in the course or syllabus but response time and availability may be unclear. Instructor availability, preferred contact information, and expected response time is stated and easily located in the syllabus or course.


Creative Tools Usage Rubric

  Not Applicable (0) Developing (1) Proficient (2) Distinguished (3)
Originality No differences in the way the tool is used compared to the way it has been used in the past. Minor differences in the way the tool is used compared to the way it has been used in the past. Some differences in the way the tool is used compared to the way it has been used in the past. Substantial differences in the way the tool is used compared to the way it has been used in the past.

Effective use of Tool

The tool is rarely used and does not improve student success.

The tool is used occasionally and improves student success. 

The tool supports student engagement and guides the student to become an active learner

The tool is required, used occasionally, and improves student success. 

The tool supports student engagement and guides the student to become an active learner
The tool is required, used often, and improves student success.

The tool supports student engagement and guides the student to become an active learner

The tool greatly benefits both instuctor and student.
Learning Outcomes This tool does not promote the achievement of learning outcomes for the course. The tool promotes the achievement of learning outcomes. The tool is required and promotes the achievement of learning outcomes. The tool is required and promotes the achievement of most if not all learning outcomes.

Tool Usage Support

The requirements for this tool are not available to the students.

The tool requirements are mentioned but not clearly explained.

The tool requirements are clearly explained.

The tool is easy to use.
The tool requirements are clearly explained.

The tool is easy to use.

Tutorials and additional support information can be easily found.

The tool is well-incorporated with the design of the course.


Innovative Course Design Rubric

  Not Applicable (0) Developing (1) Proficient (2) Distinguished (3)
Originality No differences in the way the course is designed compared to the way others are designed. Minor differences in the way the course is designed compared to the way it has been designed in the past. Some differences in the way the course is designed compared to the way it has been designed in the past. Substantial differences in the way the course is designed compared to the way it has been designed in the past.

Effectiveness of Innovative Design

The innovative design/component is rarely used and does not improve student success.  

The innovative design/component is used occasionally and improves student success.

The innovative design/component supports student engagement and guides the student to become an active learner.

The innovative design/component is required, used occasionally, and improves student success. 

The innovative design/component supports student engagement and guides the student to become an active learner.
The innovative design/component is required, used often, and improves student success. 

The innovative design/component supports student engagement and guides the student to become an active learner.

The innovative design/component greatly benefits both instuctor and student.
Learning Outcomes This innovative design/component does not promote the achievement of learning outcomes for the course. The innovative design/component promotes the achievement of learning outcomes. The innovative design/component is required and promotes the achievement of learning outcomes. The innovative design/component is required and promotes the achievement of most if not all learning outcomes.

Submit a Course

Thank you for your interest in the 2016 Distinguished Course Awards. At this time, the deadline to submit has passed. We look forward to your submission next year.