EKU Faculty and Staff Create Award-Winning Course for Future Teachers

Instructional Design Center > Posts > EKU Faculty and Staff Create Award-Winning Course for Future Teachers

“How do I become a teacher?” It’s a question many people ask when they are looking for a rewarding career. It starts with finding a respected degree program that fits your life.

The EKU Online Master of Arts in Teaching degree prepares future educators for success. One of the first courses aspiring teachers take with EKU has been recognized for excellence by Blackboard Inc. EGC 820 — Professional Studies I, an introductory course in the online MAT program won a Catalyst Award in Teaching and Learning.

The EKU program develops your talent as a teacher and leader while building your expertise in your chosen area. Our faculty and staff provide individualized attention. We are dedicated to your success.

How We Do It

The creation of online courses is an ongoing process at Eastern Kentucky University. Faculty and instructional designers collaborate to create highly engaging, effective learning experiences. Dr. April Blakely, director of online programs for the College of Education, and Instructional Designer Esther Tattershall worked together for several months outlining, sourcing and building EGC 820.

While the primary goal of the course is to orient future teachers to their chosen profession, the design team also wanted to introduce a variety of teaching tools and skills students could use in their own classrooms. First, however, they needed to build students’ confidence with the learning management system they would be using throughout their degree program.

They added an orientation to the first week of class – a video chat with Dr. Blakely answering students’ questions and giving a guided tour of the course. Students were given the option to log in to the live session if they were available or watch a recording at a more convenient time.

Other highlights built into the course:

  • Self-assessments and study tools such as self-checks and virtual flash cards to measure comprehension
  • Blogs, journals and discussion forums to increase student-to-instructor and peer-to-peer collaboration
  • Technology tools such as mapping software, webinar hosting and digital assessments to enhance learning and challenge students to become familiar with assets they can use in their own classrooms
  • Personalized audio recordings of instructor feedback related to specific assignments

Why We Do It

Students are top priority at EKU. They are invited to evaluate courses at the end of each semester. Future educators in EGC 820 praised the course for being easy to navigate, which saved them time when completing assignments. One of the most appealing aspects of the course was the inclusion of real-world topics. For example, a lesson on data mapping became an opportunity to discuss food scarcity, which has relevance for educators across the country.  They also noted that the professor’s expectations are clearly communicated and technology was used effectively throughout the course.

Thanks to our award-winning design team for preparing students for their careers in education with an engaging course that fosters a lifelong love of learning!

Blackboard Catalyst Award 2019 Winner

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