Center for Distributed Learning, Cavanagh Win National Awards for Online Programs

Center for Distributed Learning, Cavanagh Win National Awards for Online Programs

Thomas Cavanagh, UCF’s vice provost for digital learning, with Jason Ruckert, one of the speakers at the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies conference.

Two new national UCF awards for distributed learning reflect the escalating prominence and reach of the university’s online programs.

  • The Center for Distributed Learning, along with partners in the Department of Mathematics, today won the Digital Learning Innovation Award from the Online Learning Consortium. The $100,000 award recognizes the program’s use of digital courses to improve student success, especially minority, first-generation and other underrepresented student groups.
  • Thomas Cavanagh, UCF’s vice provost for digital learning, recently received the WCET Richard Jonsen Award from the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies. The career-recognition award is given each year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the e-learning community and the cooperative.

“This is a growing national recognition for the quality of UCF’s large online program and an increasingly prestigious reputation for the work we do,” Cavanagh said.

Key to the CDL award was the work of the personalized adaptive learning team overseen by Baiyun Chen, he said.

Most of the award, $80,000, will be reinvested in the digital-learning operations. Two mathematics faculty members will share in the award. Associate lecturer Tammy Muhs and lecturer Rachid Ait Maalem Lachen, each will receive $10,000, Cavanagh said.

The consortium said the award recognizes “projects that inspire innovation, increase access, support implementation, improve outcomes, enable accessibility and promote sustainability” of digital courseware.

During the 2017-18 school year, about 82 percent of UCF students took at least one online or blended course. About 73 percent of students took at least one class that was totally online.