While online classes are nothing new to colleges and universities across the United States, not every professor knows how to connect with students over the Internet. University of Wyoming Professor Christi Boggs is the exception to the rule. Her online teaching methods have earned her recognition from colleagues, students and now the university at-large. The university announced on April 22 that Boggs received the Hollon Family Award for Teaching Excellence in Off-campus Programs.
The Hollon Family Award for Teaching Excellence in Off-campus Programs is awarded by the university each year to an outstanding faculty member who works with the Outreach School. The Outreach School is a portion of the university that provides lifelong learning credits, conferences, online courses and off-campus courses.
Boggs may not stand in front of her students each day and lecture in a physical classroom, but she utilizes innovative online teaching methods to truly connect with the students she works with online. Students who have taken her classes speak her praises, noting that she makes online learning fun, enjoyable and rewarding. Specifically, students who have worked with Boggs told university officials she structured her online courses well, allowing them to maximize their potential and be successful in the class. One student was so impressed with the way Boggs structured her online course that the student said her teaching methods should serve as a model for all online instructors.
For the most part, Boggs has been teaching computer science courses at the university since she began her teaching career in 1999. Most recently, she added the class “Discovering and Utilizing Information and Ideas” to her repertoire. This program was a team-taught course that is a part of the Bachelor of Applied Science curriculum in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Other professors at the university have taken note of Boggs’ incredible online teaching skills. In particular, Associate Professor Tricia Giovacco Johnson was impressed by Boggs. Giovacco Johnson said that Boggs’ connection with her students was evident, and the success of her students proved that her methods were working. Giovacco Johnson notes that Boggs has a distinct power to give students autonomy, freedom and flexibility in the context of a structured course, which accommodates the many different learning styles of students who are taking an online course.
In addition to teaching online courses at the university, Boggs is also the co-coach of the university’s Nordic ski club. Working with students on the slopes, she has helped the team win 8 national championship titles. In addition to the team championships, Boggs has helped students have individual success on the ski team as well. She has coached 18 individual national championship titles, 84 All-American titles and 72 national academic All-American titles.
Boggs an Outreach Credit Programs lecturer at the University of Wyoming. She also is an alumni of the institution, earning her B.S. in biology in 1999, her M.S. in instructional design in 2000 and her educational doctorate in instructional technology in 2006 from the university.