UMassOnline Announces UMass Boston's History Professor Spencer Di Scala Awarded Excellence in Teaching Award
SHREWSBURY, MA - May 9, 2007 - UMassOnline, University of Massachusetts' online education division offering more than 1,300 accredited courses within 66 degree and certificate programs, announced UMass Boston's History Professor Spencer M. Di Scala was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award by the University of Continuing Education Association (UCEA) at its recent annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. The award recognizes Professor Di Scala's innovations in online pedagogy, in which he uses familiar Internet communication tools such as discussion forums and weblogs to bring historical characters to life.
"Professor Di Scala has been a strong and welcome supporter of the online effort of Corporate, Continuing and Distance Education, both as an instructor and as Chair of the History department," said Dirk Messelaar, Dean of CCDE, University of Massachusetts Boston. "When he learned of the opportunity to teach online, he immediately saw the possibilities for innovation and experimentation made possible by the technologies."
Professor Di Scala began teaching online history courses in the fall of 2003, and has developed five courses for online delivery, including the first graduate course in the history master's degree program. In addition to teaching courses in the summer, fall and spring semesters, Di Scala also has taught a course in Italy during the three-week January semester format during the past few years.
"UMassOnline students are busy working professionals who exemplify adult working students - they want courses that are relevant and worthy of their time and energy," says David Gray, CEO of UMassOnline and UCEA Director at Large. "That Professor Di Scala's courses are fully enrolled and many of his students are 'repeat customers' is a fine testimony to the quality of the learning experience he provides."