by Elizabeth Stone
In March, Kim Huett, an instructor in UWG’s department of educational technology and foundations, was one of five University System of Georgia faculty members to receive a 2013 Teaching Excellence Award at USG’s annual “Regents’ Celebration of Education Excellence.” Kim received the award for excellence in online teaching.
Professor Kim Huett receives the Teaching Excellence Award for Online Teaching from Dr. Donald M. Leeburn III.
The Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award has been recognizing extraordinary educators since 1996. According to the University System of Georgia website, winners have “a record of superlative teaching and a strong commitment to impacting student learning and to ultimately fostering the academic success of students.”
According to USG, Professor Huett was selected for her innovative use of media in the development of online coursework and her outreach to the educational community through which she shares her strategies for success. She currently teaches students studying to be pre-service teachers and speech language pathologists. Kim takes advantage of the digital nature of the online class and because teaching methods are constantly changing, her students must be competent in many levels of technology.
“My students are preparing to enter a K-12 learning environment infused with various uses of technology, including online and blended learning approaches,” Kim says. “Because my course is fully online, I use the opportunity to model effective online teaching. I model giving feedback in an online course, meeting the needs of different learners through the online course, creating a student-centered community of learners, and reflecting on the teaching and learning process.”
Kim also believes that a strong communication between the students and the professor is imperative in an online setting, and in order to create that atmosphere, she says that a professor must “provide ongoing formative assessment and feedback.”
“I work hard to be available and responsive to them; and I respect the perspectives, experiences and challenges they bring to class,” she says. “In the brief time I have with my students, I strive to connect them to relevant experiences that will help them succeed both in and beyond the courses I teach.”
In an effort to keep her students as the main focus of her teaching, Professor Huett customizes her curriculum to meet the needs of individual students. After discovering a student with unusual circumstances, she developed a plan that would create an optimal learning atmosphere for him individually, including regular Skype sessions as well as face-to-face learning in the lab. She is willing to alter the course of study to meet the goals of her students.
“We are so very proud of Professor Huett and the acknowledgement of her impact on UWG's quality online programs,” says Dr. Kyle Marrero, president of UWG. “The Regents' Teaching Excellence Award merely validates what we already knew - she is a superstar!"
For more information on UWG’s online learning, please visit http://uwgonline.westga.edu/.