UW-L online course wins national award for collaboration

Image of several of the MOOC’s primary contributors holding the award at the conference in Boston.

Several of the MOOC’s primary contributors traveled to Boston to accept the award. From left, Cari Mathwig Ramseier, UW-L learning management system administrator; Maggie McHugh, UW-L associate lecturer in the mathematics and director of UW-L’s Murphy Learning Center; Lorna Wong, director of learning technology development for UW System; and Jennifer Kosiak, UW-L associate professor of mathematics.

A UW System College Readiness Math MOOC — a Massive Open Online Course developed by faculty and staff at UW-La Crosse — has won a national award for collaboration. The 2013 Desire2Excel award is given to individuals, groups or organizations that display exemplary ingenuity, creativity and collaboration in empowering students to achieve their academic goals.

Desire2Learn (D2L), an online learning management system used by colleges and universities across the country, unveiled the winners Tuesday, July 16, at the company’s annual users conference in Boston.

“It was an honor to be nominated and we were proud to be named as finalists, but this news is amazing,” says Bob Hoar, UW-L associate vice chancellor of academic affairs. “It’s a testament to all of the hard work of faculty, staff and students from various UW-L departments and the UW System who wanted to innovate and make this new learning option possible for students of all ages across the world. We have a great team.”

A MOOC is a free course open to anyone with an Internet connection. UW-L’s course, the first MOOC in the UW System, was designed to prepare students for college level math and science courses so they can enter college and graduate in higher numbers, in less time and at lower costs. Various groups at UW-L and beyond collaborated to make the MOOC possible, including UW-L’s students, faculty, staff, the Information Technology Services Department, UW System and D2L. UW-Milwaukee students and staff also joined in to help offer online tutoring throughout the course.

Image of Bob Hoar.

Bob Hoar, UW-L associate vice chancellor of academic affairs

“It is gratifying to hear that UW-L and UW System have been honored with this collaboration award,” says Mark Nook, UW System’s Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. “The successful development and launch of this MOOC is the result of a real team effort — one that will yield broad, rich benefits.”

D2L is the platform used for nearly all online courses in the UW System. The MOOC was a special form of online course and D2L, as the platform, helped make it accessible to the world.

Desire2EXCEL Awards were presented to other universities at the conference including: Fanshawe College, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Katie Lashlee of Georgia Southern University, Umm al Qura University and Ohio State University.

“This year’s Desire2EXCEL Award winners capture the spirit of innovation and collaboration that are critical to educating the world,” said Desire2Learn Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Jeff McDowell.

The UW System Math MOOC, which was first offered in January 2013, was delivered with support provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The course is an extension of the very successful Fast Track project that was funded by an Institutional Change Grant, part of the University of Wisconsin System’s Growth Agenda for Wisconsin Grant Program in 2012.

Watch a UW-L video all about MOOCs

Sign up for UW-L’s MOOC

Another session of the UW-L’s MOOC, which helps prepare people of all ages for college level math and science courses, will start up again at the end of July. Sign up now.