2017 Digital Learning Innovation Awards

The 2017 class of DLIAward recipients demonstrated innovative approaches in addressing important challenges and barriers, including: improving student outcomes; altering instructional approach and pedagogy; minimizing costs of textbooks and tuition; targeting bottleneck courses; improving learning efficiency; enhancing student support; and decreasing time to course credit and degree completion.

The 2017 Award Winners

Institution Recognition

The following three institutions were awarded $100,000 for their innovative and creative programs, dedicated to accelerating the adoption of digital courseware for general education or gateway courses.

National Louis University Logo

National Louis University

Title: NLU’s Harrison Professional Pathways Program (Pathways): Transforming Curriculum and Instruction to Ensure Student Success

Impact: NLU’s Pathways program offers a rigorous, professionally focused, supportive bachelor’s degree for $10,000 per year and is designed to get thousands more first-generation, low-income, underrepresented students through college through its innovative academic and student support model. Launched in Fall 2015, early results are encouraging, with Year 1-2 retention of 75% (surpassing local and national benchmarks), and enrollment growing rapidly (85 students in 2015-16, 390 in 2016-17, and 800 projected in 2017-18). Pathways’ approach to curriculum and instruction is at the center of the model and sets rigorous standards, offers engaging instruction, and personalizes support to drive student success.
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Press Release

Acrobatiq Press Release


Southern New Hampshire University Logo

Southern New Hampshire University

Title: Enhancing FYE With Integrated Courseware

Impact: In 2016, academic staff in SNHU’s College of Online and Continuing Education (COCE) collaborated with two digital courseware providers, MindEdge, Inc., and Soomo Learning, to develop four First Year Experience (FYE) courses with a specific focus on intentional integration of courseware with design. The goal of this collaboration was to streamline learning pathways and provide support for first-year students. In addition, an altered instructional and pedagogical approach was established that could be replicated across multiple General Education courses.
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Press Release


Western Governors University

Title: Implementation of a specialized online course to develop undergraduate nursing students’ affective skills to enable them as active co-creators of their learning.

Impact: A specialized online course focusing on the development of affective skills for adult learners was designed and implemented with a very large population of undergraduate nursing students. Implementation required students to engage synchronously many times via a computer/video platform with course facilitators and in small groups. Over a thousand students enrolled in the required course during the first month of implementation; six months later, 6,843 students have completed the course. Evaluation measures included pre- and post-course surveys, focus groups, and post-course self-assessment tools.  The results show significance in affective skill development, student learning, and student progression measures.
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Press Release

News Release

Acrobatiq Press Release


Faculty-Led Team Recognition 

The following faculty-led teams were awarded $10,000 for their innovative and creative programs, dedicated to accelerating the adoption of digital courseware for general education or gateway courses. 

Cal Poly Paloma Logo

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Title: Enhancing Student Success in a Bottleneck Engineering Course Using a Flipped Classroom Pedagogy and Adaptive Learning Courseware

Impact: Since January 2016, the fluid mechanics videos alone have accumulated over 600,000 views by students all over the world. It is hoped that the videos also can be used by other instructors to supplement or completely flip their courses. 
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College of the Sequoias Logo

College of the Sequoias

Title: Improving Learning Outcomes for Millennials: Using digital technology to increase assignment completion, understanding of material, and overall success for underprepared students

Impact: After one semester, exam scores of Fresno City students improved from an average of 67% to 83%. Classes now have increased class engagement, assignment completion, and course rigor, and have implemented flipped classroom techniques.
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Press Release


Glendale Community College Logo

Glendale Community College

Title: Using Adaptive Learning Software to Improve Academic Persistence in First-Generation Community College Students

Impact: Implementing adaptive learning in our astronomy curricula has produced a significant (chi-squared = 6.751, p = .009) increase in student persistence.  We continue to conduct experiments with the platform to further increase the success of non-science students in our science classes.
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Merrimack College LogoMerrimack College 

Title: Increasing undergraduate student success in gateway mathematics through pedagogical innovation: Implementing an Emporium model, mobile integration, flipped strategies and adaptive technology

Impact: Research led the group to select an “Emporium” style classroom coupled with the adaptive platform, MyMathLab and leveraging mobile technology. Pearson’s MyMathLab is an online solution with a flexible approach that uses self-learning, adaptive technology. Pearson’s technology acts as a student’s personal tutor, updates assignments in real time based on performance, and gives students the opportunity to practice and gain mastery.

Results are encouraging with 10.6% of students receiving a DWFI in spring 2017 compared to 29% in spring 2016.
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Oakton Community College Logo

Oakton Community College

Title: ROAD Math: A path to success

Impact: Oakton Community College Mathematics Department underwent an extensive course redesign of their developmental math program using the Emporium Model in partnership with Pearson’s MyLabsPlus. The redesign of all developmental Math (ROAD Math) was implemented in 2010 thanks to a grant from the National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT). Utilizing funds and the expertise of NCAT, the program has proved effective in improving success rates and retention rates of Developmental Math students.
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Press Release


Oakton Community College Logo

Oakton Community College

Title: Bio Beyond: Gateway to Success

Impact: The Oakton Community College Biology Department implemented BioBeyond, an adaptive digital textbook program, in Fall 2016, thanks to a grant from Inspark/Smart Sparrow, in response to low success rates in Introduction to Life Sciences and concerns about textbook affordability. Initial results in course sections using BioBeyond indicate that student success has increased 12% in Spring 2017.
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Press Release


Quinnipiac University Logo

Quinnipiac University

Title: Closing the Gap: Personalized Learning and Meaningful Data in an Online, Undergraduate, Degree Completion Program in Business Administration

Impact: In fall of 2016, Quinnipiac launched an online, Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with the intention of accommodating students who wish to transfer credits and attend on a part-time basis. Completion rates are lowest for part-time students (National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 2016). These students are often working adults and less prepared than students directly out of high school. Addressing this challenge meant changing the learning model to one that would meet students’ individualized needs and help them demonstrate mastery. The technology, Acrobatiq, plays a vital role in making sure students reach their best outcomes and complete their program.
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Acrobatiq Press Release


Richard Bland College of William & Mary

Richard Bland College of William & Mary

Title: Improving student outcomes in developmental mathematics courses through adaptive learning at Richard Bland College of William & Mary (RBC)

Impact: Richard Bland College altered the traditional instructional approach to developmental math and implemented the use of ALEKS. The web-based interface, which is solution-focused and based on adaptive learning principles, provides students enrolled in developmental coursework with individualized learning pathways. Since implementation of the pilot in 2016, RBC has seen remarkable increases in first-time pass rates of students in both developmental math and gateway math (college algebra). 
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Salt Lake Community College Logo

Salt Lake Community College

Title: OpenStax Tutor at Salt Lake Community College: Transforming Pedagogy Through Courseware

Impact: Salt Lake Community College and OpenStax are committed to both affordability (OER) and effective instruction supported by high-quality courseware. This project integrates innovative courseware built around established principles in the learning sciences with professionally-designed open content to craft an accessible and effective learning resource for SLCC students.
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Press Release


University of New England Logo

University of New England 

Title: Implementation of Blended Pedagogy to Improve Student Learning Outcomes and Retention in a Large Restructured Gateway Anatomy & Physiology Course for Allied Health Majors: a Learner Centric Strategy

Impact: The project involves incorporation of digital technology to create a ‘blended curriculum’ to improve learning outcomes in an introductory anatomy and physiology (A&P) ‘gateway’ course for allied health science majors.’Connect’ courseware (McGraw Hill) has been adopted as a cost-effective, flexible way to improve student preparedness through out-of-classroom online activities, and make better use of in-class time. Pre-lecture SmartBook reading coupled with adaptive assessment/learning and post-lecture online interactive homework and quizzes engage students in self-assessment.

Collectively, these technological implementations within the context of a blended curriculum model have incrementally improved student success and retention in A&P over the years (as evidenced by lower attrition, increased % of high performers, and performance on national board exams).
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