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The Online Learning Consortium to Award Effective Practices at OLC Innovate 2016, April 20-22, in New Orleans
The awards recognize effective techniques, strategies and practices that are shared with the OLC community to advance quality and access to online programs.

NEWBURYPORT, Mass., March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide, today announced the first round of recipients of the 2016 OLC Effective Practice Awards.

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OLC's Effective Practice Awards recognize effective techniques, strategies and practices that are shared by members of the OLC community to advance quality and access to online programs. Effective practices are peer reviewed and evaluated within the framework of OLC's five pillars of quality in online education: access, learning effectiveness, faculty satisfaction, student satisfaction and scale.

"We are delighted to honor the outstanding commitment and accomplishments of this year's field of effective practice recipients," said Kathleen S. Ives, D.M., chief executive officer and executive director, Online Learning Consortium. "Their inspired practices reveal their dedication to advancing online education and exemplify the innovation taking place throughout the online learning community."

The 2016 OLC Effective Practice Awards recipients who will be recognized at OLC Innovate are:

  • Carla Thompson, Ed.D., Professor, Research and Advanced Studies, University of West Florida, for "Virtual Assistance Labs and Just-in-Time-Online Proactive Feedback: Reducing Statistics Anxiety in Graduate Students"
  • Heidi Wilkes, DLP, Senior Director, Curriculum and Assessment Development, and Kaitlin LeMoine, Assistant Director, Curriculum and Assessment Development, College for America at Southern New Hampshire University, for "Project-Based, Competency-Based Curriculum Design at College for America at Southern New Hampshire University"
  • Maurizio Costabile, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, School of Pharmacy and Medical Science, University of South Australia, for "Improving Student Learning of College Biochemistry Using Simulations"
  • Erin Blauvelt, M.Ed., Multimedia Instructional Designer, and Kimberly Barss, M.S., Instructional Designer, Center for Online Education, Learning & Academic Services, Excelsior College, for "Retrofitting and Proactivity for Accessibility in Online Courses"
  • Beth Nastachowski, MA, Manager of Multimedia Writing Instruction, Writing Center Contributing Faculty, Academic Skills Center, Walden University, for "Walden University Writing Center Interactive Modules: Student Writing Support Any Time, Anywhere"
  • Chelsea Barnett, M.Ed., Project Manager, Institutional Research, and Kurt Gunnell, Ph.D., Director, Institutional Research, Western Governors University, for "Building Hyper-Bonded Communities in a Virtual Environment and Its Relation to Student Persistence"
  • Laurie Bedford, Ph.D., Faculty Specialist, Faculty Initiatives and Center Support, and Laurel Walsh, MFA, Ed.D., Executive Director, Center for Faculty Excellence, Walden University, for "The Walden Junto Model: Supporting Faculty Communities of Practice"
  • Lee Ann Dickerson, Faculty, and Margot McGowen, Student Success Coach, Jefferson Community & Technical College, for "Log In to Learn—And Change the World"
  • John M. Long, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, School of Engineering, Deakin University, for "Online Learning in an Engineering Course"

Award recipients will be recognized at the upcoming OLC Innovate (#OLCInnovate) conference, presented jointly with MERLOT, April 20-22, in New Orleans. OLC Innovate features a series of hands-on workshops aimed at fostering organic interactions and collaborative cross-disciplinary problem solving. Work sessions will explore emerging technologies and adapted teaching behaviors aimed at informing policy, inspiring leadership, and evolving practice at all levels impacting institutions, universities and colleges. Complete conference information is available at

A second round of effective practices will be awarded in the fall and presented at the OLC Accelerate conference.

More information about the OLC Effective Practice Awards can be found online at

About Online Learning Consortium

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) 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, Online Learning Consortium, 508-888-7478,

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SOURCE Online Learning Consortium