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AACC Wins Top State Awards for Online Learning

May 18, 2012
EDUCATION/AWARDS

Anne Arundel Community College won honors for the best online educator and the top online program for the second consecutive year at the Maryland Distance Learning Association’s (MDLA) annual meeting.

      Arnold resident Kenneth J. Jarvis, C.C.E., C.E.C., C.H.E., professor of hotel/restaurant management at AACC, was named the MDLA’s top online educator not only for the design of the “World Culture and Cuisine” (HRM 232) course, but also for his leadership in mentoring other online instructors.

      The Bridge to Success (B2S) Project was named the MDLA’s program of the year for improving students’ college readiness and math confidence and abilities through two open educational learning courses, “Learning to Learn” and “Success with Math.” B2S was a collaboration with AACC’s partners, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Open University of London, England, and the University of Maryland University College.

      Jarvis designed the online “World Culture and Cuisine” course with visual, auditory, kinesthetic and multi-sensory aspects to engage students and to meet the needs of varying learning styles. He provides numerous opportunities for students to interact with peers and content, creating a learning environment conducive to student success. As a mentor, Jarvis helps first-time online instructors and facilitates AACC’s Pathways training required for all faculty who want to teach online. He also gives presentations at national and state conferences to share his expertise with instructors from other institutions.

      In the B2S Project, the “Learning to Learn” course helps students discover their strengths, their learning styles and the skills they need to perform well at the college level. In the other course, Sybille Clayton and Heather Riordan, both assistant professors of mathematics at AACC, adapted the Open University’s “Starting with Maths” content into the “Succeed with Math” course material. The course offers examples of every-day situations in which math is used and provides students with the steps they need to understand and solve the problems. The course is self-paced allowing students to spend more time on the gaps in their math background and move into college-level math courses.

      The B2S Project is part of a Next Generation Challenge Grant awarded to AACC and its partners through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.