Connected Faculty

Our faculty at NOVA leverage web 2.0 technology and new media to bring core content alive and create meaningful amd lasting learning experiences. Rather than implementing technology for technology's sake, they seek out applications of technology that support curriculum, improve learning outcomes, build self-efficacy and learner motivation, and save students time and money.

Takako Shigehisa

Always seeking new ways to connect students with language learning, Professor Takako Shigehisa, designed and developed the online version of JPN 101: Beginning Japanese I with engagement in mind. Working closely with her instructional designer, Dr. Shaoyu Chi, she integrated emerging technology with the national standards for language instruction to create a course that immersed her students in culture and communicative practice, all within the Blackboard environment. In recognition of their outstanding work, Shigehisa and Chi were named winners of the Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course Program. The award honors members of the educational community who design and develop exciting and innovative courses that represent the very best in technology and learning. Submissions were judged on the following components: course design, interaction, collaboration, assessment and learner support. JPN 101 also enjoyed a higher honor, a Director’s Choice Award for Courses with Distinction. Watch the video below for an inside look at the course:

Laura Franklin

Laura Franklin

At the heart of her instruction, Dr. Laura Franklin strives to remove any barriers and impediments to her students' learning. One such road block has been the rising cost of textbooks - as students struggle to pay for class materials, Dr. Franklin has served as a pioneer in the movement towards the usage of high-quality open educational resources. Her work with OERs began in 2000 when she became an editor for Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT). For the past 14 years, she has worked with language experts from many universities and colleges across the country and in Canada on peer review standards that would assure faculty members could use MERLOT materials with confidence. Content quality, potential effectiveness for use in teaching and learning, and ease of use are still the three criteria that MERLOT uses to evaluate the very best in learning materials. Over the years, this work has provided enough quality material to enhance her courses at all levels of instruction. A project that she is particularly proud of is the MERLOT Africa Network, which has made excellent use of OER for the benefit of the students on that continent. Laura shares that, "people all over the world are seeing the benefit of sharing knowledge–one of the greatest affordances of educational technologies and an appealing solution in difficult economic times. OER and technology tools make learning possible for the many as opposed to the few, and they open up avenues for collaboration around the globe."