The Council for Online Learning Excellence (COLE), an initiative of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Online Education Task Force, recognized two faculty members and a university team for their outstanding work during today’s State Regents meeting.

Dawn M. Pearce, EDU-Innovator and instructor of educational leadership at the University of Central Oklahoma, was honored with the Oklahoma Online Excellence Award for Teaching. The Oklahoma Online Excellence Award for Innovation was presented to the Institute for Learning Environment Design at UCO. Marci Grant, director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, was presented with the Oklahoma Online Excellence Award for Individual Leadership.

“Online education has become an integral part of higher education in our state,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “As a state system, we strive to provide Oklahoma students an innovative, coordinated and academically rigorous approach to online learning that reduces college access barriers.”

Pearce has been described by her colleagues at UCO as having effective, innovative and pedagogical practices. She has been honored at UCO as an EDU-Innovator, where she led advances in online and blended learning for her department and college.

The Institute for Learning Environment Design at UCO provides learning strategy and development planning and implementation solutions that help organizations in the education, business, non-profit and government sectors create effective learning environments. The institute uses its proprietary Learning Environment Modeling visual planning technique to help education and training organizations develop clear and actionable strategies that move ideas to action.

Grant was described by her nominator as a “treasure” of the university and state. Among her accomplishments, she led the implementation of a new learning management system on SWOSU’s campus, created a system of online instructor training and a course rubric development training for online courses, secured federal grant funding for the purchase of equipment for concurrent enrollment partners, and oversaw a 75% increase in online enrollment at SWOSU.

The State Regents created the Online Education Task Force in 2012 to review the delivery of online education throughout the state system and to determine the extent to which the delivery of online education was accessible, efficient and effective. COLE, formed by the task force in 2016, is comprised of faculty, staff and administrators representing each tier of Oklahoma’s public and private colleges and universities, as well as other entities connected to online learning technologies.

The 2019 Oklahoma Online Excellence Awards nominations were submitted by peers and judged by a committee of COLE members. Nominees were scored using a standard rubric based on the metrics of leadership, innovation, collaboration and results.