Online Learning Consortium Announces 2015 Effective Practice Awards Honoring Innovation in Online Education

Awards will be presented at the 8th Annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium, April 22-24, in Dallas

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (March 17, 2015) — The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), formerly The Sloan Consortium, today announced the winners of its 2015 Effective Practice Awards. This year’s effective practices offer approaches to a diverse set of challenges, including: full-access video, experiential learning through multi-media and blogging, attention and multi-tasking, language learning with tablet video, community practice, increasing faculty satisfaction through community, and access to experiential labs.

“We are proud to honor the outstanding commitment and accomplishments of this year’s field of nominees,” said Kathleen S. Ives, D.M., chief executive officer and executive director, Online Learning Consortium. “Through innovative practice, they have demonstrated their dedication to advancing online education.”

Through the Effective Practice initiative, the OLC community shares techniques, strategies, and practices in online education that have worked effectively in their school or program. Effective practices are peer reviewed and evaluated against OLC’s five pillars of quality in online education: access, learning effectiveness, faculty satisfaction, student satisfaction, and scalability.

The recipients of OLC’s 2015 Effective Practice Awards are:
  • David Miller and Larisa Olesova, George Mason University, for “Designing and Implementing Experiential Learning though Multimedia-Based Activities and Blogging”
  • Sandra Connelly, Rochester Institute of Technology, for “Implementing Full Access Videos to Engage All Students in a Large General Education Biology Course”
  • Michelle Miller, John Doherty and J. Richard McDonald, Northern Arizona University, Rhizome Learn LLC, for “Attention Matters! A Freestanding Module for Teaching About Attention and Multitasking”
  • Brian Renshaw and Ryan Baltrip, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, for “Using Tablet Video Technology to Enhance Language Learning”
  • Laurel Vaughan Newman, Emily A. Boles and Carrie L. Levin, University of Illinois Springfield, for “Community of Practice for E-Learning”
  • Nancy LaChance, Karen Evans, Zoaib Mirza and Stephen Grigalunas, DeVry Education Group, for “Sidebar: Enhancing faculty satisfaction through an integrated online faculty community”
  • Amy Skyles and Angie Hammons, Missouri University of Science and Technology, for “Delivering Experiential Labs to All”

The winning practices were selected for recognition based on their ability to provide evidence of innovation and replicability. The OLC Effective Practice Awards selection committee members are:

  • Bucky Dodd, Executive Director of eLearning and Innovations, University of Central Oklahoma
  • Jaya Kannan, Director, Office of Digital Learning, Sacred Heart University
  • Angela M. Gibson Professor, Core Learning and the School of Arts & Humanities, American Public University System
  • Laurie G. Hillstock, Senior Customer Success Advocate, Blackboard, Inc.
  • Melanie Shaw, Director of Research and Strategic Advancement, Clemson University
  • Renee Aitken AVP for Educational Effectiveness & Institutional Accreditation, Wright State University
  • Witt Salley, Executive Director of Clemson Online, Clemson University

The awards will be presented at the 8th Annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium (ET4Online), jointly presented by OLC and MERLOT, April 22-24, in Dallas.

Details about the awards are available at

Information about the ET4Online Symposium is available at    

About Online Learning Consortium

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), formerly The Sloan Consortium, is the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide. The member-sustained organization offers an extensive set of resources for professional development and institutional advancement of online learning, including, original research, leading-edge instruction, best-practice publications, community-driven conferences and expert guidance. OLC members include educators, administrators, trainers and other online learning professionals, as well as educational institutions, professional societies and corporate enterprises. Visit for more information.  


Media Contact:
Eileen Pacheco