Portland State Earns 2018 OLC Digital Learning Innovation Award
Author: Office of Academic Innovation
Posted: November 15, 2018

Portland State Earns 2018 OLC Digital Learning Innovation Award

Portland State was selected from more than 60 digital courseware initiatives in the Online Learning Consortium’s annual DLIAward competition.

Portland, Oregon (November 15th, 2018) – Portland State announced today it has earned the 2018 OLC Digital Learning Innovation Award for advancing undergraduate student success through the adoption of digital courseware. Portland State was one of three institutions and ten faculty-led teams selected from among 64 submissions in year three of the Online Learning Consortium’s (OLC) DLIAward competition. With a focused lens on increasing the number of undergraduate students who complete foundation or gateway courses, the OCL award recognizes projects that inspire innovation, increase access, support implementation, improve outcomes, enable accessibility, and promote sustainability in the use of digital courseware. 
The DLIA award was presented to PSU Math and Statistics Senior Instructor Rachel Webb on November 13th, 2018, acknowledging her recent work in using an Active and Adaptive course model for introductory probability and statistics courses at Portland State. Awards were determined by two rounds of review, first by a review team of institutional-level and higher education organization-level reviewers, who narrowed the field of submissions for final review by a national panel of judges.
“Student success and affordability has always been important to me,” says Webb, who has been focused on increasing retention and passing rates in gateway statistics courses at Portland State. “I put myself through college and can really sympathize with students juggling work, family and school. My traditional large lecture classroom did nothing to support the non-traditional student. I really wanted to be able to help these students get a college degree and also leave my classroom with useful skills for their career.” 

Pictured above: PSU Senior Instructor Rachel Webb and team members from the Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Office of Academic Innovation.

Webb worked with The Office of Academic Innovation and the Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics to help address these concerns, seeking to find a platform to help standardize content delivery, decrease costs and increase passing and retention rates. The project that followed was substantial, and would not have been able to happen so quickly without the help of the entire team. Team members on this project included Nadeeshani Jayasena and Whitney Cave, who helped develop problem sets within the adaptive system, Steve Boyce and Andy Flight who provided feedback on curriculum design and implementing active learning, and JD Gillis from Academic Technology Services, who advised on D2L. Webb is appreciative for the collaboration with the Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Office of Academic Innovation on this work and their continued effort in improving student success and reducing costs for students, and thanks Realizeit for their excellent support for the adaptive software.

Early indicators of success in the pilot courses at Portland State include increasing passing rates and final exam scores on average, reducing costs for course materials, and accessibility for non-traditional students. “This award is an indicator that we are accomplishing important milestones,” says Webb. “We are hoping to move the Active & Adaptive course model out of the pilot stage to more sections in Statistics.”

See a summary of the Active and Adaptive Course Model project

Learn more about Active and Adaptive initiatives lead by the Office of Academic Innovation at PSU.

Explore details about each of the 2018 OLC DLIAward honorees