MARCH 22, 2022 — The UTSA Academic Innovation team has received the Award for Outstanding Commitment to Excellence and Innovation in Digital Learning from the Texas Digital Learning Association (TxDLA) in recognition of the office’s comprehensive approach to advancing digital learning and responding to the needs of faculty and students during the pandemic.
TxDLA is a nonprofit organization that promotes virtual learning and innovative educational practices. It honors Texas’ top leaders in digital learning each spring. TxDLA presented the award, which acknowledges achievements in online education, at its annual conference on March 21.
“UTSA’s Academic Innovation team has redefined how to deliver a high-quality education to students across modalities,” said Marcela Ramirez, associate vice provost for teaching, learning and digital transformation. “Whether it’s classroom renovations, dynamic instructional design or faculty development, Academic Innovation has worked hard to help our partners transform the UTSA academic experience so Roadrunners receive first-rate instruction online, in-person or via a hybrid model.”
Formed in 2018 as an academic support unit within the UTSA Division of Academic Affairs, Academic Innovation brings together experts in teaching, technology and virtual learning to develop educational practices that enrich the academic experience of students and faculty.
Jonathan Gutierrez (second from left), Mayra Collins (third), and Joe Tobares (fourth) of the UTSA Academic Innovation team accepted the Award for Outstanding Commitment to Excellence and Innovation in Digital Learning from the Texas Digital Learning Association.
The Academic Innovation team includes multiple units, including Teaching, Learning & Digital Transformation; Learning Technologies; Video Production and Technology; UTSA Online; and Continuing and Professional Education (PaCE). These units share the same goal of helping faculty effectively tailor their teaching strategies and course design for different modalities by offering a multitude of resources, training and support.
Academic Innovation continues to experiment with new digital tools and learning environments for UTSA students through its many initiatives, including:
“We are always mindful of UTSA’s foundational mission of access and excellence, and we help support this by designing adaptive and accessible learning environments for all modes of course delivery,” said Melissa Vito, vice provost for academic innovation. "As the demand for flexible educational opportunities continues to grow, we will keep working alongside our faculty to produce engaging digital learning experiences for our students.”
The TxDLA award comes on the heels of UTSA Online being ranked in the top 38% for best online programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report for 2022, as well as ranking in the top 10 institutions for best online degree programs in Texas this year. In 2021, Academic Innovation’s online teaching faculty champions were recognized by the WICHE Cooperative for Education Technologies (WCET) with the Outstanding Work (WOW) Award for offering creative solutions and academic support during the transition to online learning at the start of the pandemic.
The Academic Innovation team works with colleges and departments on campus to implement new solutions and processes that drive student engagement, promote innovative and inclusive pedagogy and support faculty development.
The Racial Justice Book Club was established at UTSA by members of the campus community to explore social justice following acts of racial violence across the nation over the last few years. We are reading The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas by Monica Muñoz Martinez. We will meet every Wednesday in September and October at 2 pm on Zoom.Virtual Event
In this workshop, you will learn study strategies to help prepare for midterms and tips to use during the tests! This workshop will be held in person, in the HCAP Student Success Center, with a virtual option via Zoom.HCAP Student Success Center (MS 2.02.36), Main Campus
Join us for a conversation and workshop with local San Antonio author, Anel I. Flores as we discuss her process and professional experiences in publication. As a 'banned' author, she will also offer guidance on being true to your culture and identity in the process of creation.Mesquite Room (SU 2.01.24,) Main Campus
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at our very own street fair - Calle UTSA. We will have activities, performances, food, music, and piñatas to break open.Student Union Paseo
In partnership with SA Digital Connects, HCAP will host a Lecture on Digital Divide in San Antonio.Riklin Auditorium (FS 1.406,) Main Campus
"La Plática" is a space for thoughtful dialogue to build a sense of connection among the Roadrunner Community by getting to know each other better and sharing what's on our minds and about ourselves to increase to increase awareness of diverse perspectives.Virtual Event
The UTSA Hispanic Heritage Month Planning Committee is hosting internationally acclaimed poet, writer, storyteller, author, and San Antonio native Dr. Carmen Tafolla. Dr. Tafolla will be sharing her experiences, inspirations, and writing.Virtual Event
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.