SJSU SLIS Instructors Recognized for Online Teaching Excellence


The Web-based Information Science Education (WISE) consortium presented three faculty members from the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San José State University with the Excellence in Online Teaching Award. SLIS instructors Meredith Farkas, Dr. Michelle Holschuh Simmons, and Ellen Greenblatt received this national award, which recognizes their accomplishments as online educators.

Meredith Farkas teaches courses in Web 2.0 participatory technologies. Students in her courses not only learn about Web 2.0 technologies, but use them to interact with classmates throughout the semester. Learning activities incorporate blogs, wikis, screencasts, social bookmarking, and other participatory technology. “It’s wonderful seeing my students continue to connect with one another (and the topics from class) via Twitter, blogs and other Web 2.0 technologies once the class is over,” said Farkas.

Dr. Michelle Holschuh Simmons uses a wide range of online learning tools to create a lively, interactive learning experience for students in her Information Literacy and Reference and Information Services courses. “I find that teaching in an online environment is incredibly rewarding,” said Simmons, “but it requires significant efforts to establish and foster a learning community.” Students praise her enthusiasm, accessibility, and dedication. “She creates a dynamic online space where all students feel comfortable contributing,” said one of her students.

Ellen Greenblatt teaches courses in Library Resources and Information Services, where students explore methods of enhancing services and evaluating resources for traditionally underserved groups of library users. “Communication and collaboration are core components of my teaching style, and I strive for both active and authentic learning experiences,” said Greenblatt. A student in one of her recent courses is grateful for Greenblatt’s emphasis on challenging students to “consider the many facets of librarianship.”

All three instructors teach in the ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at SJSU SLIS.

Awards were announced by WISE at the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) 2012 conference in Dallas.

As a member of the WISE consortium, SJSU SLIS students can take online courses from LIS graduate schools in the United States and Canada. The School’s faculty can also take advantage of the online pedagogy resources offered by WISE, helping them excel as online educators. For more information regarding the School’s collaboration with WISE, visit Web-based Information Science Education (WISE).