Congratulations to Pardess Mitchell, Ed.D., winner of the 2017 Glenn A. Reich Memorial Faculty Award for Instructional Technology! Pardess is in her ninth year at Harper College and is the chair of the Kinesiology and Health Education department. She was part of the HARTE doctoral cohort and successfully completed the program in December 2015 at which time she earned her Doctorate in Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Her dissertation examined notions of community in the distance learning classroom and the impact of creating community on distance learning course success and retention.
Pardess was nominated by a faculty colleague who pointed out that she participated in two key collaborative efforts this past summer to support teaching and learning using technology. First, she was instrumental in the development of a new Blackboard template that will be used for future online courses at Harper. Second, she helped develop the Harper version of the OSCQR rubric and was part of the team that piloted the rubric and process that is now being used to review the design of all distance-based courses at the college.
In her face-to-face classes, Pardess encourages students to utilize technology and challenge themselves to learn new programs. For example, she provides choice assignments that introduce new technology to students and allows students to choose which one they want to use. These technologies include creating mind maps, video/storytelling, and song/poem. Attaching these technologies to low-stake assignments provides students the opportunity to go beyond traditional PowerPoints and try something new. Pardess utilizes technology to create lessons and documents that are accessible for all learners. For example, most of her documents are created using the heading feature in Microsoft Word. This provides a navigational structure for students by creating an outline and table of contents within the document. This benefits not only students using an assistive device, but all students by separating text into hierarchical categories. To help students stay on track and manage their time, Pardess utilizes the remind.com application. This website sends text reminders to students about upcoming projects, homework, and deadlines. Students must opt in to receive text reminders.
The Glenn A. Reich Memorial Faculty Award was established by Lori Reich in 1999 in memory of her late husband, Glenn Reich, former Director of User Services at Harper College. Glenn believed that technology could enhance the practice of teaching and learning and encouraged faculty and staff to explore new ways to use technology in the classroom. Glenn Reich believed that every academic discipline should expose students to technology and help them become comfortable using it.
Congratulations, Pardess! Thank you for sharing your expertise and impacting the future of teaching and learning at Harper College!