Nominee: Dr. Michael K. Moore
Excellence in Distance Learning Teaching
Course: Political Science 2311
Dr. Moore’s online version of POLS 2311, first offered in 1997, is perhaps the longest running and best-known online class in the state. Since it was first offered, more than 4500 students from around Texas, the U.S., and abroad have enrolled in the class.
Prof. Moore’s online classroom demonstrates that online learning can be accessible and engaging, while being rigorous and high-quality at the same time. In this class, Dr. Moore presents on a wide variety of topics standard to the study of American democracy and democratic systems, engaging undergraduate students on themes such the Founding Fathers (and Mothers), The Constitution, Congress, the Presidency, the Judiciary, and socio-political themes such as the death penalty. (Using the “Categories” menu to the right or links below will take reviewers to a fuller version of this online class.)
Dr. Moore as a Teacher
Dr. Moore is known across campus and among so many of his former enrollees as “the teacher who helped me catch fire as a student,” taking an interest in a subject matter that is required rather than more often selected by students. Additionally, Dr. Moore has reflected on and designed his online class and teaching to overcome exactly the challenges of large-enrollment introductory classes and to meet the needs of his learning audience. Challenging his students to confront issues such as the definition of democracy or the influence of race in America, Prof. Moore has even moved the latest incarnation of his class to a blog for primary delivery, as it affords a more natural dynamic for rich discussion in his teacher. Knowing, for example, that many learners in his introductory course may lack requisite study skills or face second language challenges, he brings regular active learning activities such as requiring chapter synthesis writing prior to taking a test online, or practice test opportunities prior to a graded evaluation. As a clear result of Michael’s teaching and attention to the learning process, POLS 2311 online students are engaged, listening, reading, interacting, and learning about topics of interest to their lives and futures.