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Simmons College Honored for Developing Innovative Course That Prepares Faculty for Online Teaching

"Faculty Institute" is One of Six Courses Chosen from a Large Field of International Nominees

BOSTON (July 12, 2006) — An online course developed at Simmons College has been named one of the best new online projects in higher education out of a large field of candidates nominated from around the globe.

WebCT, maker of software systems for online learning, chose the Simmons "Faculty Institute" course as one of six "exemplary course projects" for displaying best practices in course design, meaningful technology use and learner support. The course was chosen out of a field of 74 nominees from institutions of higher learning around the world. This is the seventh year that WebCT has chosen to highlight exemplary courses for online study, an area that has been expanding as more professors become comfortable with incorporating Internet technologies into their teaching work.

The Faculty Institute course is designed to prepare college faculty to teach effectively online, first by putting the instructors in the student's seat, then having the instructors consider ways that effective learning takes place. The course then places the faculty members back in the teacher's role, where they can adapt their teaching methods and course content for a computerized environment.

The course was designed by Lynn Foord-May, director of online teaching and learning at the Simmons School of Health Sciences, and Gail Matthews-DeNatale, senior instructional designer at the Pottruck Technology Resource Center at Simmons. Simmons offers 23 courses entirely online in selected subjects such as sports nutrition and clinical genetics, but faculty in other subject areas also use online tools to augment their traditional classroom work.

Simmons College ( is a nationally recognized private university in Boston.  It includes an undergraduate college for women and graduate programs for women and men in social work, health studies, library and information science, management, and liberal arts.