Stephanie Parisi wins Emory’s Award of Distinction

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Stephanie Parisi, winner of the 2015 Emory Award of Distinction.

Each year, Emory’s Award of Distinction is given to 10-15 University employees who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to their jobs by their initiative, innovation, and leadership in furthering Emory’s vision as a “destination university.” Please join me in congratulating LITS Academic Technologies staff member, Stephanie Parisi, for being selected for the 2015 Emory Award of Distinction.

Stephanie serves as the Coursera instructional designer for the LITS Faculty Services department and was nominated for the Award by faculty member Pamela Scully, PhD, who serves as Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Professor of African Studies, as well as Director of the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence.

Over the past year, Stephanie has led the instructional design and development of five massive open online courses (MOOCs) with enrollments ranging from 5,000 to 50,000 learners. Stephanie has led efforts to streamline the MOOC production process and has been successful in bringing attention to MOOC analytics to better understand and improve upon the effectiveness of these courses for learners and faculty.  Since her arrival in 2013, course completion rates have increased and now exceed the average percentage for MOOCs, while both signature track enrollments (paid enrollments) and course satisfaction scores have shown positive increases as well.

Stephanie has also tasked herself with finding ways to preserve the resources made for these courses so that they can be used beyond the original MOOC. Currently she is working with the Scholarly Communications Office to provide MOOC videos in a library repository for eventual open access.  Stephanie’s commitment to educational excellence also extends beyond the Coursera initiative as she serves as a presenter, collaborator, and volunteer in a number of different communities of practice and scholarly organizations or initiatives.

The following YouTube video, produced by our Faculty Services team, illustrates the impact of MOOCs on both faculty and learners and it contains some brief appearances by members of our staff as well as the Award nominator, Dr. Pamela Scully:  Emory University Coursera MOOCs: 2014 Retrospective.

On behalf of the LITS division, please join me in congratulating and thanking Stephanie, along with the Coursera team, for their invaluable contributions to Emory’s educational mission. Award of Distinction winners from other Emory divisions or schools will be announced shortly, once departmental communications have been completed.

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