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 UTSA University Career Center invites you to attend the STEM Career Expo from 2 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feburary 1. Meet, connect and recruit UTSA students and alumni.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom
The UTSA University Career Center invites you to attend the All Majors Career Expo from 2 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feburary 8. Meet, connect and recruit UTSA students.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom
To coincide with the annual observance of Black History Month, the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will unveil new content in the African American Texans exhibit including the "Fabric of a People" quilt and the "You Take It From Here" oral history project.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
Texan fiber artist Taylor Barnes will share her experiences: where she was introduced to the personal and oral histories that influenced her artistic practice, as well as the significance of quilting and textile art in Black American history. A Q&A session will follow.Virtual event
Presented by the African American Quilt Circle of San Antonio, attendees will learn basic sewing and quilting skills. RSVP required.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
Members of the African American Quilt Circle of San Antonio will be at the JPL to discuss their works in the new ITC exhibition "Fabric of a People." Chat about the heritage of African American story quilts or ask questions about quilting.John Peace Library, GroupSpot B
UTSA and 13 of the leading Hispanic Serving Institutions will come together to provide students and alumni an opportunity to network and interview with more than 250 companies from around the country.Handshake (Virtual Fair Platform)
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.