Elmhurst’s Geospatial MOOC Wins Innovation Award

March 17, 2015 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

The Illinois Council for Continuing Higher Education recently selected Skills for the Digital Earth, Elmhurst College’s first “massive open online course,” or MOOC, to receive the Council’s 2015 Innovative Initiative Award.

Developed through a partnership between Elmhurst College’s School for Professional Studies and the National Geospatial Technology Center, Skills for the Digital Earth offers an introduction to the dynamic field of geospatial technologies. First offered in the spring of 2014, the free, four-week course explored what location technologies are used for, as well as fundamental geospatial concepts, skills and applications. More than 1,400 people from 83 countries (and 45 states in the U.S.) registered for the course.

“Winning the Innovative Initiative Award is recognition that, through the use of partnerships, the School for Professional Studies was able to host a MOOC that reached a global population and provided an exceptional learning experience,” said Donna Liljegren, director of the Elmhurst College Online Center and manager of instructional support for the School for Professional Studies. The Geospatial Technology Center, through a National Science Foundation grant, assisted with content development, assessment and marketing of the MOOC.

The Innovative Initiative Award was presented on February 13, during the ICCHE’s annual conference. The ICCHE Innovative Initiative Award is one way that the organization recognizes and promotes best practices across Illinois. The award provides the opportunity for two- and four-year institutions to showcase outstanding new programs.

The Illinois Council on Continuing Higher Education (ICCHE) is a comprehensive organization of continuing higher education representing all regions of the state of Illinois. Founded in 1975, ICCHE is the only organization in Illinois whose membership includes two- and four-year colleges and universities, both public and private.

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