Joan B. Doolittle, professor of psychology at Anne Arundel Community College, was named a top national and state online educator in separate award ceremonies recently. In addition, the college received top state awards for a workforce development program and the design of an online course, solidifying the industry’s high regard for AACC’s online programs.
Doolittle received an e-Learning Faculty Award from the national Instructional Technology Council and the Higher Learning Distance Educator of the Year award from the Maryland Distance Learning Association (MDLA). Both cited her ability to design courses that meet national distance learning and online learning criteria as well as encourage students to interact with the instructor and fellow classmates in the online courses.
An instructor at AACC since 1970, Doolittle’s department chairs and fellow instructors say her creativity is a model for others, using different tools to appeal to auditory, visual and tactile styles of learning. In one course, she developed crossword puzzles, invented a baseball game for personality disorders, created memory tasks and challenged students to redesign the brain. In most cases, she uses streaming video, Elluminate and Skype to bring a personal dimension to her courses and created an avatar and entered Second Life to communicate with students who prefer working in virtual worlds. In addition, she is willing to share her techniques with colleagues.
AACC and the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA) received the 2011 MDLA Program of the Year, the top honor in its workforce development category, for the design of Bowling University’s Online Training and Management Certification program. The award credits the BPAA-AACC partnership for creating a program to help bowling proprietors around the world apply cutting edge technology to enhance the profitability of their centers.
The Online Training and Management Certificate program was conceived in 2007 when the BPAA’s Education Committee determined the industry needed higher education and certification for its members. Working with AACC, the Education Committee along with BPAA staff developed 36 modules that address the primary areas of work activity for the typical bowling center. These topic areas include: sales and marketing, food and beverage, facility maintenance, customer service, finance, human resources, supervisory skills, entertainment income and leadership. Through the program, proprietors, managers and bowling center employees meet in a virtual classroom. Since the official kick-off in August 2010, AACC has registered more than 250 participants.
AACC’s third MDLA award was the Distance Learning Course of the Year award for the design of “Intercultural Communications” (COM 200) by Sandra L. King, associate professor of English and communications at AACC. The course uses games such as “Jeopardy,’ interactive exercises and narrated PowerPoint presentations, videos, graphics and diverse resources to engage students to become active participants in the class. Support for online learners is woven into the course, which includes extensive self-check and practice work, allowing students to discover gaps in knowledge before being assessed. The course aligns with the college’s core competencies.
The MDLA, which hosts the Distance Learning Awards annually, is an association of learning professionals who advocate and promote the coordination and use of distance education in Maryland and throughout the region. The Instructional Technology Council is affiliated with the American Association of Community Colleges and works to infuse quality standards into online and distance learning education.
Students can complete several credit degrees, certificates and letters of recognition completely through distance education. In addition, online continuing education opportunities are available for people who want to update their workforce skills. For information about AACC’s virtual campus or distance learning opportunities, e-mail us or call 410-777-2464.