James Skidmore wins a teaching innovative award for his online course GER 271. Congratulations!
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German sponsor the award. It recognizes new courses, curriculum and program development, and the implementation of new approaches to teaching and learning. The award winner receives $1,000, a reimbursement for all travel costs to Congress, and an opportunity to present a detailed overview of the winning course.
Skidmore was honoured for GER 271 (German Thought and Culture - Objects). The jury recognized this online course for its “truly interdisciplinary and innovative” methodologies that contextualize student learning within larger frameworks, such as material culture and engaged learning. “(His) expertise in structuring this authentic inquiry with an online platform, readings, and meaningful assignments that draw attention to the students’ commitment to their own performance and curiosity for the world is exemplary.” The course’s online framework, including its extensive use of online discussion forums for content delivery and critical analysis, was singled out for its easily intuitive structure and its potential for training and inspiring other instructors.
GER 271 is one of a suite of three online courses Skidmore authored that use a modular approach in their course design. Unlike most online courses that require significant budget resources whenever content needs updating, modules in these courses can be added or deleted from term to term, ensuring that the courses won’t require significant investment to remain current.
The Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies has been heavily involved in online course design and delivery for well over a decade. The department currently offers 14 online courses in both language acquisition and cultural studies.
This story originally appeared in the Daily Bulletin.