Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) Announces 2020 Award Winners for Outstanding Research, Scholarship and Service

The Association for Educational Communications (AECT) today announced the 2020 award winners for outstanding research, scholarship, and service in the fields of instructional design and educational technology.

The award recipients were nominated and selected by AECT's awards committee and Executive Committee for their exemplary contributions to the field.

The AECT Distinguished Service Award acknowledges and celebrates Michael Simonson, Professor, Department of Higher  Education Leadership & Instructional Technology, Nova Southeastern University. This is the highest award given by AECT and honors contributions and accomplishments impacting the field of educational communications and technology and related fields. This award recognizes Dr. Simon’s work with the AECT conference proceedings, which “has been tremendous for over 40 years. His commitment to documenting the scholarship within our field has been invaluable.”

AECT's Special Service Award acknowledges and celebrates Jill Stefaniak, Assistant Professor, Department of Career and Information Studies, University of Georgia. This is the association’s second-highest award and honors individuals who have provided significant service to AECT as a whole, or to one of its programs, divisions, or other association activity. A nomination letter for Dr. Stefaniak aptly stated that she “is to be commended for the recent leadership she has provided to the Journal of Applied Instructional Design. Her extensive experience with instructional design provides the journal with a vision for the future.”

AECT's Annual Achievement Award acknowledges and celebrates Charles Hodges (Georgia Southern University), Stephanie Moore (University of New Mexico), Barbara Lockee (Virginia Tech), Torrey Trust (University of Massachusetts Amherst), and Aaron Bond (Virginia Tech) for their article, “The Difference Between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning” published in EDUCAUSE Review on March 27, 2020. This annual award recognizes a significant high profile achievement to the advancement of educational communications and technology.  “This team of authors,” a nomination letter wrote, “offered critical clarity for distinguishing emergency remote teaching from well-designed online learning at a key time during the pandemic.”

The J. Michael Spector Appreciation Award for Exemplary Long-term Service to the Association acknowledges and celebrates Brad Hokanson, Mertie Buckman Professor of Design, College of Design, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. This award, created to honor AECT Past President J. Michael Spector, recognizes a member who has provided exemplary long-term service and leadership to AECT above and beyond expectations. President Michael M. Grant summed the Dr. Hokanson’s contributions to AECT, “His investment in AECT knows no bounds. As a past president, he stepped in during a medical emergency to maintain the leadership and progress of our organization. Our successes this year are due in large part to his self-less service.”

The David H. Jonassen Excellence in Research Award acknowledges and celebrates Paul Kirschner, Emeritus Professor of Educational Psychology, Open University of the Netherlands. This award, established to honor the significant scholarly contributions made to the ECT field by Dr. David H. Jonassen, recognizes individuals who demonstrate a long-term record of excellence in research in instructional design and technology. “Dr. Kirschner’s renowned works,” one nomination wrote, “are seminal readings in graduate courses. His most recent text, ‘How Learning Happens,’ collects much of our findings regarding learning, teaching, and cognition.”

Presidential Awards acknowledge the contributions and works to the organization and to the field at large. Typically nominated by the President for exceptional achievements during his tenure, these awards are approved by the Executive Committee. President Michael M. Grant recognizes and celebrates the following individuals and group:
  • John Curry, Associate Professor, Department of Organizational Learning and Performance, Idaho State University: ”Dr. Curry’s service and leadership in planning and executing the 2019 convention was remarkable. The successes of the convention — attendance, tone, events, and sessions — are a direct result of his tireless work and service.”
  • Christopher T. Miller, Director, MSU at Mt. Sterling and Professor of Education, Morehead State University: “Dr. Miller’s initiative with Dr. Anthony Piña to seek and establish a book series with Brill Publishing as an outlet for members’ scholarship and a partner with AECT is a boon to our organization.”
  • Megan C. Murtaugh, Consultant in program, curriculum, learning design and development: “Even though Dr. Murtaugh’s leadership with the intern program ended during last year’s convention, I did not want to miss to the opportunity to acknowledge and promote the tremendous work she did for AECT. The quality of the program and her leadership were both impressive.”
  • Anthony Piña, Associate Provost for Instruction & Online Learning and Distinguished Lecturer, Sullivan University: “Dr. Piña’s leadership with our Certificate Endorsement program has been exceptional. His expertise as an accreditation peer reviewer for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and a peer reviewer for the American Council on Education (ACE) has been invaluable to shepherding our program.”
  • Culture, Learning & Technology Division of AECT for leadership with responding and reflecting on issues of social justice: “As the U.S. grappled with issues of social justice, our organization has as well. I wanted to acknowledge and thank the CLT division for their leadership in helping AECT respond and reflect on issues of race, power, diversity, and social justice in our ongoing desire to improve for our members.”
Five prestigious internships are awarded as part of the Addie Kinsinger Leadership Development Program, which identifies individuals with significant potential to provide future leadership for AECT and in the broader field: Award recipients are recognized preceding the 2020 annual convention online. The annual convention boasts more than 600 sessions of research, design and development practices, and professional development for higher education faculty, instructional design and technology professionals, and practitioners across K-12, corporate, government, military, and healthcare settings.

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