School of Information Sciences


Two of Pitt’ iSchool Faculty Members Receive Instructor of the Year Awards from WISE

Library and Information Sciences faculty members Ellen Detlefsen and Michele Leininger have both won WISE 2014 Instructor of the Year Awards. Ellen’s spring 2014 course “Health Consumer Resources and Services” (LIS 2585) and Michele’s summer 2014 course “Advocacy and Marketing for Libraries” (LIS 2830) earned them the awards for their outstanding instruction in the online education space. While Ellen has won this award before in 2007, 2008, and 2011, this is Michele’s first time receiving the honor.

All students who enroll in a course through WISE within a given calendar year are invited to submit nominations for the WISE Excellence in Online Teaching Award. The award highlights outstanding WISE instructors and recognizes them for their dedication to quality online education.

Nominations are solicited through a survey at the end of each semester. To be considered for the award, the nominee must have instructed one or more WISE courses during the calendar year, demonstrated dedication to best practices in online education, and the nominee must teach at a school other than the nominator's school of matriculation.

Students who wish to nominate an instructor are asked to fill out a survey with a brief statement on the best aspects of the instructor's teaching style, what they enjoyed most about the course and interactions with the instructor, and any other information they wish to share.

Here are some excerpts from the students’ nominations:

“Prof. Detlefsen has a solid grasp of the Consumer Health Information field, and does a great job sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm. She is very personable and approachable. She also assigns really great projects that actually have real-world applications. For example, one week we had to do an abstract for a poster (that would be presented at a conference); the next week we had to do the actual poster. The following week we reviewed each other's. This was great practice for someday doing a poster for an actual conference. I got a lot out of her class, and really enjoyed her as a teacher.”

“Professor Leininger made it seem like this class was not online at all, let alone being taught in another state and at another university. Each class was posted online with slides and a video of her teaching the lesson. As someone getting my entire master’s degree online, this was the first and only class that has done this and it was so helpful. She was available via email or phone call anytime to assist with the assignments and lessons. I really enjoyed the content of this class and the way it was organized, it was one of my favorite Graduate classes."

Learn more about WISE Excellence in Online Education Awards at

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