An instructor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has been nationally recognized for his efforts to instruct over the internet.
Mickey Gee, with the UAB School of Business, was awarded the seal of recognition from the Quality Matters Program (QM) for his Basic Marketing class.
"It is a great honor and it is nice to see the UAB School of Business recognized for taking the lead in doing online learning right," Gee says. "Our staff recognizes that access to education online is becoming more and more important and to do it right means a major commitment in time and resources."
QM holds 40 quality standards that are reviewed by a team of three. The standards focus on objectives, learning activities, course materials and engagement.
"Online courses without interactivity and engagement with the instructor and other students are really just correspondence courses," says Elizabeth Fisher, Ph.D., is the instructional design manager for the UAB School of Business and a certified QM peer reviewer. "We work hard to make sure students receive the high quality education and experience online that they expect from the UAB School of Business."
Fisher has designed 40 online courses with 35 faculty members and plans to increase the online offerings. Her role is to ensure quality standards and best practices in online instruction by providing design and pedagogical support to faculty.
Gee has been an Executive-in-Residence and a full-time instructor with the UAB School of Business for a decade. In his first career he owned a Birmingham-based retail chain for 40 years. While others with his knowledge and experience might shun advances in methods of teaching, Gee has been as eager as his students to learn.
"I'm not the youngest guy around here, but in my business career I figured out early on that to be competitive you had to embrace technology," said Gee. "When I joined the faculty at UAB my thoughts on that did not change because any time you can use technology to make something better – why not?"
Fisher agrees, and says using the internet in the classroom goes beyond using technology just for technology's sake. "Online learning expands the access to knowledge for those who want to further their education, but are unable to attend in a traditional classroom setting."
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