UC Berkeley Extension Online Fiction Instructor Awarded for Excellence
UC Berkeley Extension Online instructor Mary Ann Koory has been honored with a prestigious teaching award from the Sloan Consortium for her excellence and innovation in her Extension Online courses “Shakespeare” and “Mystery Fiction.”
“Dr. Koory has mastered the art of combining high academic standards, enjoyable learning techniques and stimulating intellectual discussion to create courses that meet the highest academic standards of the University of California, Berkeley,” says Kathleen Rose, Director of Curriculum and Instruction at UC Berkeley Extension Online, in support of Koory’s nomination for the award.
In the “Shakespeare” course, Dr. Koory aims to strike a balance between the grave, academic study of the Bard’s plays with Shakespearean references in popular culture. Dr. Koory has taught the course both in the classroom and online, making it easy to compare results. The award was bestowed in part because the outcomes of the online course were “as good as or better than those in the face-to-face course,” according to the Sloan announcement.
In addition to the “Shakespeare” course, Koory also teaches an innovative “Mystery Fiction” course online, in which students move through a mansion room by room, studying various themes in mystery fiction along the way.
“I have found that artistic and intellectual developments can be covered more effectively with this creative approach than by a traditional chronology,” says Dr. Koory (who admits that with her background of traditional academic literary study, mystery fiction is a guilty pleasure).
The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C), an online education alliance sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan foundation, aims to improve access to quality education through online learning, and recognizes individuals who set the standard for online instruction. The Excellence in ALN (Asynchronous Learning Networks) Teaching Award distinguishes individuals with creative approaches to asynchronous learning networks—networking technologies that enable any time, any place learning. The recipient of the award must have designed and taught an ALN course with an imaginative approach, well-designed course materials and instructional strategies and a demonstrated rapport with course participants. The award will be conferred at the Consortium’s annual international conference in Orlando, Florida, on November 8.
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