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Northern Essex Faculty Recognized for Excellence in Online Courses

Submitted by on June 21, 2022 – 7:01 pm

Two Northern Essex Community College faculty members were recently recognized by the Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO) organization for their work on their online and hybrid courses. Courses designed by Patricia Schade and Brian Martin each won an MCO Course of Distinction (COD) Award. The COD Award is presented to state faculty who develop and teach innovative online and hybrid courses that creatively use eLearning instructional tools to enhance teaching and promote student success.

Trish Schade, COD winner for Reading, Writing, and Reasoning

Schade’s Reading, Writing, and Reasoning course was nominated by NECC’s Coordinator of Instructional Technology and Online Learning, Sue Tashjian. Schade uses Open Educational Resources (OER) in this course. OER gives students various free instructional materials that address different learning styles. Tashjian wrote that the course “…emphasizes engaged and reflective learning. A module may include a recorded mini-lectures, readings, a discussion forum, a journal, and a writing activity helping students apply and synthesize their learning.”

black and white photo of brian martin, staring into the camera

Brian Martin, COD winner for Drawing II

Christina Gardner Burns, an instructional technologist in the Center for Instructional Technology, nominated Brian Martin’s Drawing II course. When classes moved online due to the pandemic, Martin creatively produced a series of videos that allowed students to feel as if they were still in the same studio. “It’s as if they are looking over his shoulder,” Burns wrote in her nomination. “In addition, students have the capability to slow down or speed up the video – something that they wouldn’t be able to do in class.”

The pandemic accelerated what was already an innovative model for online learning at Northern Essex. Since the spring of 2020, the college’s Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) has helped faculty transition 300 courses to online delivery.

NECC currently offers 304 courses that are either entirely online or provided in a hybrid format and registration is open now for fall 2022. View courses here.

Martin and Schade were recognized at the MCO Annual Conference on June 2. You can learn more about the conference and the COD Awards on their website.

View Brian Martin’s course video.

View Trish Schade’s course video.