Karl Krotke-Crandall, lecturer for Washington State University’s Department of History, is the winner of the 2021-22 Excellence in Online Teaching Award. The student-nominated annual award is sponsored by WSU Academic Outreach and Innovation.
The award, now in its sixth year, seeks to acknowledge and reward Washington State University faculty members teaching Global Campus courses who employ best practices to engage, inspire, support, and show care for students in an online environment. Krotke-Crandall will receive $3,000 in faculty development funds and a trophy in recognition of his win.
“I’m honored to be selected, and a little surprised. It can be challenging to know what type of impact I make as an educator in an online environment,” said Krotke-Crandall. “To see the comments from my students is heartwarming and validates my aims to provide them with an engaging learning environment.”
Krotke-Crandall earned his Ph.D. in Russian history from WSU in 2021 and began teaching Global Campus courses that same year. He was one of 40 online instructors nominated for the award.
“I greatly appreciate the recognition by Global Campus and want to express my gratitude to all of my students, past and present,” he said. “I am very early in my academic career, and I look forward to using the experience garnered while working for Global Campus in my future endeavors.”
According to Krotke-Crandall, he sees online education as an important way to “level the playing field” and reach students whose work and family obligations make a flexible online learning environment an ideal option for them.
“The flexibility of online learning opens the doors of life-changing higher education to a wide variety of people, diversifying our classrooms in unique ways,” he said. “Online students come from around the world and from many social, cultural, and economic backgrounds. They have lived experiences that create a more robust dialogue on complex topics. It can be difficult to duplicate that environment in a traditional classroom.”
Christie Kittle, lead instructional designer at Academic Outreach & Innovation, led the committee that reviewed nominations and selected a winner.
“The nominations that we received were clear evidence of the passion and enthusiasm for online learning that so many Global Campus instructors exhibit on a daily basis,” she said. “The ongoing efforts of these instructors make a real, tangible impact on the lives of their students, and that is something we want to recognize and reward.”