Swift creation of online resources earns De Anza College’s Online Ed Center Innovation Award

De Anza Colleges Online Education Center wins Innovation of the Year Award.


De Anza College’s Online Education Center wins Innovation of the Year Award.

Jodi Wong, Reporter

After working to produce two online resource hubs amid De Anza College’s rapid assimilation from physical to virtual classes, the team behind these additions to the Online Education Center has received the League for Innovation in the Community College’s Innovation of the Year Award.

The staff of the Online Education Center received news of the need for the resource hubs to support the transition to exclusively online instruction on March 12, said Heidi King, instructional designer. 

“I think I had 120 faculty (members) in Zoom training that day (March 13)…when you think back on it now, it’s kind of crazy,” said King. “But there were just a lot of people just trying to get Zoom training because they had to finish the winter quarter online.” 

King said it was a rush to assemble the hubs.

“It was like we had a weekend to figure out how we’re going to get all these people the information and the training that they need,” she said.

Associate Vice President of Instruction Lorrie Ranck shared similar thoughts on the quick transition.

 “Because we moved a college from 21% online to nearly 100% online very quickly, I think the key was being able to be nimble and flexible with what was needed by the community,” Ranck said.

Although the Online Education Center had already existed, the two resource hubs, one for faculty and another for students, had not. 

The necessity for the hubs arose from the need “to make it very easy and very accessible,” Ranck said.

“We knew that faculty and students alike would be looking for resources immediately once we went into shelter in place, so it was important that they were able to find those resources quickly and that we could keep them updated and have them in one spot,” Ranck said. 

The resource hubs now contain a condensed version of vital information for navigating both online instruction and virtual learning. 

King’s work on the Online Education Center focused primarily on the faculty resource hub. 

“The behind-the-scenes part of what you see that’s offered on the faculty hub is that we were working in the background really revamping how we delivered training and what types of training and how frequently,” King said. 

According to the League for Innovation in the Community College’s website, the hubs were awarded the Innovation of the Year Award, an accolade that honors “faculty, staff, and administrators who have created and implemented innovative programs that improve the institution’s ability to serve students and the community.”

The League for Innovation in the Community College will formally present the award to the Online Education Center staff in March 2021 at the Innovations Conference.

Both King and Ranck expressed feelings of gratitude not only for receiving the award, but for the collaboration of all team and faculty as a whole.

King said, “I’m also just thankful to all the people who spent time really doing the absolute best that we could in the moment.” 

“We’ve appreciated the opportunity to do the work and serve our colleagues,” said Ranck. “It’s an honor to be recognized for it, but at the same time we know that it’s just one piece of the larger puzzle to what we do…staying focused on students.” 

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