2022 Digital Learning Awards Faculty Recipients Announced | e-news


The COVID-19 pandemic served as a catalyst for advances in digital learning. Over the past two years, WVU faculties have developed new and innovative practices to improve the digital learning experience for their students.

To celebrate excellence and innovation in digital learning across the university, the Office of the Provost and the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative announced the Fourth Annual Faculty Digital Learning Awards.

Recipients will be honored with a professional development honorarium of US$500.

Digital Learning Award 2022 recipients include:

  • Erin Brock Carlson, Assistant Professor at Eberly College of Arts and Sciences: In addition to helping plan the spring 2021 Wikipedia edit-a-thon, Amplifying Appalachia – which enhanced the online encyclopedia by increasing the visibility of often-overlooked stories, Local People and Events – Carlson incorporated the Edit-A-Thon into her English 303 class to develop students’ editing and writing skills. As a result, the students improved the quality of numerous Wikipedia articles and contributed to editorial diversification. During the Spring 2022 semester, Carlson incorporated this year’s Edit-A-Thon into both her undergraduate and graduate level courses.

  • Jennifer Murray, Extension Specialist at WVU Extension: Through a variety of digital platforms, Murray organized efforts among her colleagues to create 46 virtual and hybrid workshops for youth in West Virginia during the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 800 participants nationwide . These programs worked to develop life skills, expand knowledge and improve workforce readiness through 4-H learning experiences.

  • Justin Wartella, Assistant Professor at the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences: Wartella adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic by using Flipgrid, Adobe Spark, Zoom and other digital learning tools to create real-world experiences for his students. He also deliberately used discussion forums during his online and hybrid classes to promote exchange and a sense of community in the “classroom” and to learn more about his students.

  • Thomas Zeni, Teaching Associate Professor at the John Chambers College of Business and Economics: The Zeni International Labor Relations 522 course usually culminates in a trip abroad to various European countries. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he instead worked with Continuing Education Programs Abroad to incorporate a “virtual journey” experience into the course. The course now includes live synchronous and asynchronous presentations by international staff, as well as cultural workshops with speakers from China, Germany, France and others to provide students with international perspectives. Upon graduation, students are better prepared to begin their careers as human resources professionals.

WVU Faculty Digital Learning Awards are inspired by National Digital Learning Day established in 2012 by the Alliance for Excellent Education and inspired by a Digital Learning Challenge Day at Mountainview Elementary School in Morgantown, WV. Digital Learning Day celebrates classroom practices that use technology effectively to enhance a student’s learning experience and emphasizes quality instruction and access to challenging content to ensure all students reach their full potential to thrive in school and in the community profession to be successful.

WVU is the earliest official higher education supporter of Digital Learning Day, an event supported by the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative, which works to advance public schools from early childhood through higher education.

Learn more about past Digital Learning Awards recipients on the WVPEC website. Further information on all WVU faculty awards can be found on the WVU faculty website.


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