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Merrimack Valley

July 10, 2013

Two local professors honored for developing innovative online courses

HAVERHILL - Two Northern Essex Community College professors, Linda Desjardins of Hampton, N.H., and Christopher Rowse of Haverhill, are the recipients of the Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO) Course of Distinction (COD) Award given to state faculty who develop and teach innovative online and blended courses that are representative of the best uses of eLearning instructional tools to enhance student success.

The awards were presented during Mass College Online’s 9th annual conference on elearning at Bridgewater State College, which was held in June. Desjardins, an English and Communications professor at Northern Essex for 38 years, teaches an online public speaking course. She uses innovative tools and resources along with her expertise in public speaking throughout the course. She uses her own lectures, YouTube videos, and TED Talks to teach public speaking online. Students record and upload their assigned video speeches accompanied by a self-evaluation using the Learning Management System. They are required to submit a peer review to evaluate other students’ speeches. This course embraces technology to prepare students for Public Speaking of the future.

Rowse, faculty member in the Sleep Technology and Respiratory Care programs and clinical coordinator of Sleep Technology, teaches a blended Physiology for Sleep Technologists course. He integrates the best practices of blended learning design into his course. Rowse includes a range of learning activities that include narrated lectures, small group work using Wikis, discussions and case studies.

Northern Essex offers dozens of online courses, web enhanced courses, and hybrid courses. They range from cultural anthropology to mythology and literature. A number of online degrees are offered including criminal justice and liberal arts. Certain degrees are 80 percent online such as business management and sleep technology. For NECC’s online offerings go to www.necc.mass.edu/academics/distance/online-degree-programs.

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