After a very detailed review of each of the finalists’ projects and/or courses and a very thoughtful discussion we had based on the evaluation instruments and rubrics, it's with great joy that we would like to inform you the recipients for the 2015 Excellence in Online Teaching Awards.

Excellence in Online Teaching: 2015 Innovative Teaching With Technology WinnerWinners of the Innovative Teaching with Technology Award:

A group project submitted by Dr. Marco Shappeck and Dr. Katie Welch
School of Education
Teacher Education & Administration Department
Courses Spring 2015 (Hybrid):

  • LING 2050: The Language of Now
  • LING 3060: Principles of Language Study
  • LING 4030: Acquisition of English as a Second Language

Brief description of the project’s impact:
In all three of their hybrid linguistics courses, Dr. Welch and Dr. Shappeck have thought carefully about which technologies to use for specific learning objectives. LING 2050 is part of the Core Curriculum and is typically enrolled with first-year students who are coming to UNT Dallas from area high schools. For this reason, they require these students to analyze their own language use in different media (texting, twitter, voice activation technology, email, etc.) in order to identify their own patterns of language and compare it to the results from other research on similar topics. The method is very student-centered and implements inductive learning through technology.
Since LING 4030 is an upper-level education course where students will need to learn about ESL classroom techniques, their use of technology is quite different than what they have designed in LING 2050. For example, they develop activities that (a) convey the content of the course (second language acquisition) as well as (b) model activities they could potentially use in their elementary school classroom. Their “fakebook” project is an excellent example of meeting this two-fold learning objective.

Comments made by their former students when nominating them for the awards include:

“They make everything very simple for us to reach while we cruise through Blackboard.”

“There was a lot of group activities, and it was really engaging. Especially when we used google docs to work on an assignment all together.”

Excellence in Online Teaching: 2015 Outstanding Online Course Winner

Winner of the Outstanding Online Course Award:

Dr. Amy McCortney – School of Human Services, Counseling and Human Development Department
• COUN 5765: Appraisal in Counseling, Summer 2015 (Online)

Brief description of the online course design:
The principle outcome of the course is to teach students how to utilize qualitative and quantitative assessment tools and skills to analyze the mental health needs of counseling clients.

Specific objectives of her course are aligned around CACREP accreditation requirements, and focus on familiarizing students with knowledge and skills related to various concepts, methods, skills, and assessment tools in counseling of children, teens, and adults.

The course is formatted in 10 learning modules, an initial “small” project, and a comprehensive 3-part final project that requires students to administer, score, and interpret a full biopsychosocial assessment battery (multiple assessment engines) of a volunteer, which is videotaped and ultimately combined into a full written report, including self-evaluations of student work.

Even though this course is based on PowerPoints and quizzes provided by the textbook publisher, Pearson Education, the syllabus and assignments were recognized by the review subcommittee as demonstrating all the principles of good practice, conveying a clear structure to foster interaction, time on tasks, and high standards.

Comments made by her former students when nominating the course for the award are:

“Dr. McCortney's online lessons and resources made it feel as if I was face to face with her because of the richness of her lectures. Her examples of assessment in the field of counseling were so valuable and engaging. The online lecture voiceovers paired with her PowerPoint's, and activities were engaging and well done. Everything in her online course was straightforward and structured well, which was so appreciated during a five week course. I felt that she built a strong online learning community which was helpful in retaining information.”

“It was the most organized and user-friendly online course I've ever taken. It was so thorough, and it had all lectures recorded. Dr. McCortney's style of lecture (even recorded) was very inviting and seemed effortless (like I was in a physical classroom).”

“Out of the many online/hybrid classes I have taken as an undergraduate and graduate student, Dr. McCortney's courses have held my interest the most. Instructions are very easy to follow and the voice over lectures and PowerPoint allow me to get the same experience as the classroom set up at the comfort of my own home. I look forward to taking many more courses with Dr. McCortney and I would also highly recommend her to my cohort.”


Please join us in honoring the recipients of these awards.

We want to thank all of our online instructors who strive to make learning at UNT Dallas an exceptional experience for our students.

Arturo Cole, M.S.
Excellence in Online Teaching Awards Committee Chair

Lois Becker
Provost, Sr. Vice President for Academic & Student Success
University of North Texas at Dallas
UNT Dallas
Office of the Provost
7300 University Hills Blvd
Dallas, Texas 75241