Roberts receives national award for dissertation research

On Oct. 22, the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (ALER) Research Committee announced Leslie Roberts, Ph.D., assistant professor of reading at Georgia Southern University, as the recipient of the ALER Dissertation Award for 2020.

Robert’s dissertation, “Motivation to Read in the Middle Grades” explores the reading motivations of sixth grade students as well as how to address the problem of low reading motivation. Conclusions from the research included four theoretical beliefs — “choice is important; peer-to-peer collaboration is influential; time and value are related; and self-concept is complicated.”

As the recipient of the Dissertation Award, Roberts receives a $300 stipend plus an additional $500 for travel expenses to the 2021 ALER conference in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. She also receives complimentary conference registration and ALER membership for one year.

Roberts is also invited to submit a manuscript based on her dissertation to the ALER Yearbook.

ALER is a professional organization focused on literacy teaching and research in higher education. Each year, the ALER’s Research Committee completes the evaluation and names the recipient of the Dissertation Award.

Hodges receives two awards from the Association for Educational Communications & Technology

The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) recognized Georgia Southern University Professor of Instructional Technology Charles Hodges twice during their recent award announcements for 2020.

First, Hodges was named a recipient of the 2020 Editors Reviewer Excellence Award from AECT for his “exemplary academic services in support” of the organization’s journal, “Educational Technology Research and Development.”

Hodges was also the lead author on a team that received the 2020 Annual Achievement Award, acknowledging a significant high profile achievement to the advancement of education communications and technology. In a nomination letter submitted on behalf of Hodge’s team stated that their work “offered critical clarity for distinguishing emergency remote teaching from well-designed online learning at a key time during the pandemic.”

The article, “The Difference Between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning,” was published in EDUCASE Review on March 27, 2020, and was one of the first breaking articles during the pandemic to address online and remote learning practices from a planned and unplanned viewpoint.

The AECT composed a virtual awards ceremony that can be viewed at

“This is a real honor to me,” said Hodges.

Instructional Tech faculty published in special issue of peer-reviewed journal

A paper written by Charles Hodges, Ph.D., professor of instructional technology in the Department of Leadership, Technology and Human Development, was accepted in the peer-reviewed journal, “Educational Technology Research and Development,” a publication of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.

The paper, “Shift to Digital Perspectives on Hilton (2016) from the Perspective of Practice,” offers Hodge’s perspectives from putting into practice the work of John Hilton III, who published an article titled “Open Educational Resources and College Textbook Choices: A Review of Research on Efficacy and Development.”

Hilton’s work reviews 16 various open education resources (OER), or freely accessible, open licensed assets, for teaching. Hilton concludes in the original work, that students in courses utilizing OER materials were able to achieve necessary learning outcomes and that both faculty and students had positive perceptions of the OER materials.

With a sudden switch to remote learning with COVID-19, Hodges revisited Hilton’s reviewed OER and his comments on the change to remote instruction in order to compare it to what Hodges has experienced during his online instruction.

The full article can be viewed here:

Hodges published in international higher education journal

Charles Hodges, Ph.D., professor of instructional technology in the Department of Leadership, Technology and Human Development, was recently published in the “International Journal of Multidisciplinary Perspectives in Higher Education.”

His article, “COVID-19 Crisis and Faculty Members in Higher Education: From Emergency Remote Teaching to Better Teaching through Reflection,” was co-authored with Denver Fowler, Ed.D. associate professor at Southern Connecticut States University.

The essay highlights how the COVID-19 crisis forced many faculty in higher education to abruptly transition from face-to-face and hybrid instruction to remote teaching. Hodges and Fowler provide information on the importance of reflection and feedback on the remote teaching experience to improve remote instruction as well as to be better prepared for future crises.

“We highlight how emergency remote teaching can lead to overall improved instruction (regardless of future course modality) and better preparedness (for future crises) through an asserted effort to reflect on the experience as a whole.,” said Hodges.

For the complete article, visit

Higher education faculty partners with students, alum to publish article on the transition to online classes

Steve Tolman, Ed.D., assistant professor of higher education administration, published a book chapter in The Handbook of Research on Creating Meaningful Experiences in Online Courses, a book addressing the reluctance to teach online courses by addressing the learning experiences and outcomes that occur in online classrooms and highlighting pedagogical practices used by online instructors to make their courses and programs comparable to those offered face-to-face.

Tolman’s chapter, titled “The Transition from Teaching F2F to Online” was co-authored with current and former students from the Georgia Southern College of Education education leadership programs. M.Ed. Higher Education Administration alumni Matt Dunbar, K. Brooke Slone and Allie Grimes assisted with the publication, writing from experiences they had while enrolled in the online master’s program at Georgia Southern.

The chapter examines the experience from both the faculty and student perspective, allowing readers to understand success and challenges seen from both the facilitator and recipient of an online learning experience.

Tolman provides practices that have been well received by his students since transitioning to fully online courses at Georgia Southern, including instructor availability, intentionality on coursework, transcending the learning format, and paralleled experiences.

To read the chapter, visit

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