COS professor earns award for digital innovation

Sociology professor earns award for converting textbooks to online, interactive resources for students


VISALIA — Catherine Medrano, Associate Professor of Sociology at College of the Sequoias, was selected from among 60 digital courseware initiative entrances in the Online Learning Consortium’s annual #DLIAward competition.

COS announced earlier this month that Professor Medrano earned the 2017 OLC Digital Learning Innovation Award for advancing undergraduate student success through the adoption of digital courseware.

“The mission of the OLC DLIAwards is to discover student-centered active learning solutions that advance the world of digital learning for all students,” said Kathleen Ives, D.M., CEO and executive director of the Online Learning Consortium. “The awarded projects in this year’s competition truly support this mission and serve as valuable models that other institutions can emulate as they embark on their own digital courseware initiatives.”

COS was one of three institutions and 10 faculty-led teams selected from among 60 submissions in year two of the Online Learning Consortium’s (OLC) DLIAward competition.

Medrano was eligible to apply for the award because of her successful implementation of new digital courseware in her Introduction to Sociology courses.

Looking for an innovative way to improve her students’ grades, engagement in class, and access to course materials, she adopted a Pearson product called REVEL. This program converts traditional Pearson textbooks to a digital online version that students can access on their laptops, tablets and phones through a mobile app.

Medrano explained that REVEL is not just an e-book, it is an immersive learning experience that enlivens traditional course textbooks with media interactives and assessments likes quizzes and writing exercises.

“I’ve been able to increase the pace and rigor of my classes and students are performing better than ever. Their exams scores have improved, they are participating in dynamic classroom discussions, and they’re having fun learning Sociology. This is why I became an educator…I’m proud of my students’ accomplishments, and I’m honored to receive this national award,” Medrano added.

The 2017 DLIAwards 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.

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