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Oregon State faculty honored for online teaching engagement, innovations

By Heather Doherty  
May 6, 2019

At Oregon State University Ecampus, student learning and success is at the core of everything we do. And key to that core is the expertise, innovation and engagement of the faculty who teach online.

To show our appreciation, recognize their contributions and celebrate a few of the great partners we’ve worked with over the past year, the annual Ecampus Awards honor outstanding faculty partners who go the extra mile to develop meaningful and innovative online learning environments for Oregon State’s distance students.

Each honoree is a change-maker in the lives of distance students and a leader in the field of online education.

The Innovation Award recognizes innovations in online courses pertaining to design, pedagogy and/or media development.

2019 Ecampus Innovation Award winner Mike Lerner, chemistry professor.

The 2019 Innovation Award goes to Mike Lerner, chemistry professor in the College of Science.

Mike served as the primary lead in launching the new OSU chemistry lab project with a learning design studio that allows chemistry faculty to utilize virtual simulations that enhance the student learning experience in place of in-person lab experiments.

Not only is this partnership providing Oregon State students with a high-quality online lab experience, but it is also being licensed to be made available to chemistry students at other universities.

Additionally, Mike currently serves as an Ecampus Research Unit fellow, where he’s working with a colleague to evaluate hybrid lab delivery in a general chemistry course for pre-engineering students.

Congratulations to Mike Lerner for winning the 2019 Innovation Award.

The Ecampus Appreciation Award recognizes an outstanding campus partner who has worked with Ecampus to make a positive impact on our programs and students.

The 2019 Ecampus Appreciation Award goes to Raven Chakerian, Spanish and Italian instructor in the College of Liberal Arts.

2019 Ecampus Appreciation Award winner Raven Chakerian, Spanish and Italian instructor.

Raven exemplifies what it means to be an advocate – for faculty who teach online and for students who learn online.

Raven is always willing to share her knowledge with other faculty members as a regular presenter at many Ecampus-sponsored professional development events and as a member of the Online Education Committee.

Raven has redeveloped multiple online Spanish courses, where she incorporates individualized feedback via video that helps her students better learn the language.

One student says, “Raven uses many different forms of learning in her class to make sure all students can understand and learn the material. She is always there for students & feedback is timely and good. I have never felt so part of a class and received so much help from an instructor before.”

Congratulations to Raven Chakerian for winning the 2019 Ecampus Appreciation Award.

The 2019 Excellence in Online Teaching and Student Engagement Award recognizes faculty members who exemplify excellence in online teaching and student engagement.

Current Ecampus online students were asked to nominate instructors who made an impact in their learning experience, and for this inaugural award, seventy faculty members were nominated and three were selected as the 2019 recipients.

The 2019 Excellence in Online Teaching and Student Engagement Award goes to Marita Barth, chemistry instructor in the College of Science; Christopher Kargel, anthropology graduate student and instructor in the College of Liberal Arts; and Kok-Mun Ng, counseling professor in the College of Education.

Marita Barth was nominated for her excellent balance of course rigor and encouragement of student success.

2019 Ecampus Excellence in Online Teaching and Student Engagement Award winner Marita Barth, chemistry instructor.

Several students pointed out her creativity by using personalized videos to teach complicated course content that added to their learning experience and understanding of complex topics.

They say she sets clear standards and expectations and collects metrics at the beginning and end of the term to assess student learning and improve upon her methods.

One student said, “Never for a moment did I believe that my learning was anything other than of utmost importance to her. A lifelong student, I can assure you that her skills as an educator are a rare and precious gift for students.”

Marita’s students noted her true passion for the discipline and her focus on student success and engagement in the coursework.

Another student said, “Dr. Barth took a subject as intimidating as chemistry and explained it in a way that made it easy and fun to learn…She made me love chemistry!”

Congratulations to Marita Barth for winning the 2019 Excellence in Online Teaching and Student Engagement Award.

The next recipient, Christopher Kargel, was nominated for his dedication to be present in his classes, offering valuable feedback that amplifies the course content and adds to student comprehension.

2019 Ecampus Excellence in Online Teaching and Student Engagement Award winner Christopher Kargel, anthropology instructor.

One student noted, “He truly seems to enjoy teaching, which really bolsters the classroom participation. He engages with us actively, commenting with interest and guiding us to think further on a topic rather than simply having us post and move on to the next topic.”

Another said, “Even if another student does not respond to your post, you can be sure to have the continued support of Chris Kargel, there with his critical thinking cap on, ready to illuminate your post with new perspectives and helpful critique.”

In addition to Chris’ active participation and his desire to create community in his class, students point out his constant enthusiasm and drive to create meaningful online classroom activities that effectively mirror a traditional on-campus classroom environment.

Congratulations to Christopher Kargel for winning the 2019 Excellence in Online Teaching and Student Engagement Award.

The final recipient, Kok-Mun Ng, was instrumental in advocating for counseling education to move online – and the difference he’s made in the lives of online counseling graduate students since its launch has been echoed by students who nominated him for this award.

2019 Ecampus Excellence in Online Teaching and Student Engagement Award winner Kok-Mun Ng, counseling professor.

The student nominations focused on several key areas, including his direct engagement with students and his passion for increasing student learning of complicated theories.

One student noted, “Dr. Ng’s interest in pushing student understanding, making space for student growth, and offering his personal authenticity form a perfect storm for felt teaching presence and care within the online classroom.”

Another student pointed out his unique teaching methods – such as encouraging students to record their own videos instead of writing down their reflections – inspires them better engage with each other and the course content.

Kok-Mun is known to students as much more than their instructor. He’s their collaborator, their biggest supporter and he’s fully invested in their success.

Congratulations to Kok-Mun Ng for winning the 2019 Excellence in Online Teaching and Student Engagement Award.

Thank you to all of our 2019 Ecampus Award winners. You all continue to inspire us with your dedication to making a difference in the lives of Oregon State’s online students.

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