2006 Award for Excellence in Research Recipient
Colla Jean MacDonald partnered with the high-tech industry to design flexible and practical teaching programs for adults who were already in the workforce. The result was an online learning model called the "Demand-Driven Learning Model" and assessment tool. Since then, these tools have set the standard for the design, evaluation and delivery of online courses in Canada and the United States.
Professor MacDonald's interest in learning assessment and the design of learning environments has never faltered.
One of her projects focused on a ten-week online dementia care program for healthcare workers in long-term facilities. Professor MacDonald showed that participants in the program appreciated the experience, and moreover, that online courses are an accessible and inexpensive way to train staff in health fields while ensuring the consistency and quality of course offerings.
The collaboration of Professor MacDonald on the design of an online cluster intended to increase collaboration among physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and pharmacists.
Within the Faculty, Professor MacDonald has also been the driving force behind the design, implementation and evaluation of three online courses in the English-language program. Two of those courses have won the International WebCT Exemplary Course Award, in 2004 and 2006.
Professor MacDonald supervises graduate students as well as post-doctoral student. Under her guidance, most students have already presented at conferences and been published – before even obtaining their degree.
This award is presented to her for the high quality of her research, her leadership and the creativity of her work on e-learning.