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

Kristi Karber, professor of mathematics 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 liberal arts division at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City. Tim Boatmun, vice president for enrollment management at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, was presented with the Oklahoma Online Excellence Award for Individual Leadership.

“Online education continues to play an integral part in higher education in Oklahoma,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Our students are afforded the opportunity for an innovative, coordinated and academically rigorous approach to online learning that reduces college access barriers and ultimately, leads to a college degree.”

Karber is in her 15th year of teaching courses ranging from introductory math for general education to calculus, and developed and has taught two courses entirely online for the first time. She has earned accolades from her peers, receiving the 2019 Oklahoma-Arkansas Mathematical Association of America Section Award for Distinguished University Teaching of Mathematics.

The liberal arts division at OSU-OKC fosters engagement among online students and the liberal arts. Collaborative innovation is demonstrated in the efforts to offer team-taught courses within the honors college on subjects such as the philosophy of good and evil, popular culture, and issue advocacy. The interdisciplinary courses create intersections of faculty expertise focused on a single subject area, allowing students to gain the diverse perspectives necessary to gain a fuller understanding of global society.

Boatmun was recognized for serving as a champion of high-quality online education in a variety of impactful capacities for the past 20 years at Southeastern. Most recently he led the redesign of the Master of Business Administration to better fit the needs of fully online students, resulting in a three-year growth of the program from 70 to 800 students. He also has been instrumental in the formation of the Online Consortium of Oklahoma established by the State Regents in 2018.

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 2020 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.