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UMassOnline Announces Dr. Jeannette E. Riley Recipient of Sloan Consortium's Excellence in Online Teaching Award 2008

UMass Dartmouth Professor Recognized for Innovative Development of Learner-centered Strategies for Online Teaching

SHREWSBURY, Mass., Oct 27, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- UMassOnline today announced that Jeannette E. Riley, UMass Dartmouth Associate Professor of English and Director of the Women's Studies program was awarded the Excellence in Online Teaching Award by the Sloan-C, a national consortium of institutions and organizations committed to quality online education. The award recognizes Dr. Riley "For innovative development of learner-centered strategies for online teaching that promote intellectual inquiry, critical analysis, and self-reflection, and inspire students to pursue life-long learning."

The award focused on Dr. Riley's Women's Studies and English literature online classes, which use a mix of instructional delivery modes ranging from traditional text-based lectures to audio files to video, along with the use of voice boards for student oral presentations and wiki pages for individual and collaborative student projects, to synchronous live classroom sessions. The courses deepen students' understanding, help them reflect critically, learn to communicate effectively, and build knowledge through interactions with each other, not just the instructor.

Catherine Houser, Chairperson of the UMass Dartmouth English department writes "Dr. Riley has set the standard for online teaching at UMass Dartmouth. Her innovative and highly effective use of a broad range of technology to achieve a rich and rewarding online course serves as a model for effective online instruction. As testament to her success, students routinely rate her and her courses as 'excellent.'"
Dr. Riley's work at UMass Dartmouth is supported by Instructional Development team of Computer Information and Technology Services, whose goal is to assist instructors in the evaluation and utilization of instructional technology to achieve their teaching and learning objectives as well as test and promote effective practices that increase student engagement with learning. This team and the work of Dr. Riley are supported by UMassOnline through the provision of the online learning management system and ongoing technical assistance and training.

Commenting on this award recognition, UMassOnline Chief Executive Officer David Gray said, "This tribute by Sloan-C for Dr. Riley's innovative development of learner-centered strategies for online learning at UMass Dartmouth, in combination with a similar tribute announced previously for UMass Lowell's Online Graduate Behavioral Intervention in Autism Program -- also a Sloan-C national award winner this year -- speaks directly to the educational, technological, and topical diversity and programming excellence coming from the UMass campuses and faculty for online implementation. Programs such as these, enriched by an experienced faculty and enhanced by the appropriate use of advanced technology, are continuing to distinguish the University of Massachusetts for its world class online curriculum."

Dr. Riley has helped develop the Women's Studies Program online minor for undergraduates and is currently developing the Women's Studies major and the Liberal Arts major for online delivery as degree completion programs. The Women's Studies online degree completion program will begin in Fall 2009.

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About UMassOnline
UMassOnline, the online learning division of the University of Massachusetts, provides the highest quality education offered by the UMass system in a flexible, online format enabling students, professionals, and lifelong learners to take courses anywhere, anytime. With 80 undergraduate and graduate degree, certificate and professional development programs and more than 1,500 courses, UMassOnline offers one of the largest accredited online programs available. Programs span the disciplines for which the University is best known: liberal arts, education, management, nursing, public health, information technology, and other disciplines. For more about UMassOnline, go to or visit our blog at

About UMass Dartmouth
Located on 710 acres on the South Coast of Massachusetts, UMass Dartmouth enrolls more than 8,700 students in more than 40 undergraduate and 25 graduate degree programs, including four at the doctoral level. Programs are offered in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Charlton College of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and the School for Marine Science and Technology (located on the waterfront in New Bedford). The campus is among the fastest growing in New England with its overall student population increasing from 6,500 to 8,700 over the past decade, its on-campus student population increasing 33 percent in five years, and its research enterprise expanding from $4 million to $20 million over the last decade.
SOURCE: UMassOnline

Author:  "John Hoey"
Date:  28-Oct-2008
Department:   Women'S Studies

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