CSU Stanislaus Professor Honored for Online Teaching Efforts

April 25, 2014

Professor Marjorie Chan​Marjorie Chan, professor of management in the CSU Stanislaus College of Business Administration, has been named one of eight recipients of the California State University’s Quality Online Learning and Teaching (QOLT) award for her upper-division Business Policy course.

Online courses are fast becoming more common at colleges and universities, and the QOLT program represents the CSU system’s effort to evaluate and improve the quality of online teaching and learning. Chan is the first professor from CSU Stanislaus to be recognized by the 3-year-old program, and her selection reflects the university’s commitment to effective online teaching.

“The use of online technologies to deliver courses has steadily increased over the past 20 years, and it will continue to grow and have a major impact on higher education,” CSU Stanislaus Provost James T. Strong said. “Online instruction is not inexpensive, but if done well, it can be very effective and reach students who otherwise may have been excluded due to time and place constraints.” 

Each year, QOLT identifies exemplary online and hybrid courses throughout the CSU system. Submissions are evaluated based on a 54-item rubric that includes self-evaluation, campus-level evaluation, and student ratings and comments.

Chan earned high praise for Business Policy, a capstone course for graduating seniors in business. In the course, students work in teams to analyze an organization’s internal and external environment from a top-management perspective and develop strategies and implementation activities to identify and address issues.

In particular, Chan was credited with consistently encouraging feedback from students on all aspects of the course, using a variety of innovative collaborative tools — such as Voki, Blackboard Collaborate, BlogTalkRadio and many others — to foster communication with and among student teams, and for her clarity in presenting and explaining the unique structure of the course.

Chan uses digital teaching resources from McGraw-Hill Connect, along with screen-casting technology, podcasts, social media, a discussion board and other learning management system functions to help students process information, collaborate on projects and stay connected and up to date.

Students are also encouraged to experiment with different tools for their group assignments, and many use Google Docs and Skype. The Business Policy course, Chan said, has worked particularly well in the online environment.

“As this is a capstone course, students have to integrate knowledge from all business disciplines in order to help a company to make sound decisions,” Chan said. “A high-quality online course provides an environment for collaboration, interactivity, student engagement and knowledge construction.”

James Leonard

jleonard1@csustan.edu