Give Alex any problem and he will find you at least 10 solutions. He is fondly known as Alexopedia at the MSU Denver Educational Technology Center. If Alex does not have an answer, you are likely to be out of luck. He sets himself apart by his commitment to excellence, creativity, problem solving and his passion for teaching and learning. He is not only an exemplary technologist but he is also an inventive teacher, developing creative strategies to make technology user friendly, tackle the fear of technologies. He is versatile and is able to think on his feet, always putting recommendations in context with stories and examples, making it relevant to faculty he assists. Faculty comments below illustrates why we would like to nominate him:
“You have a unique gift of being able to explain complex technical processes in easy to understand, non-geek language that is both comforting, inspiring and motivating to those of us who are often intimidated by technology. Thank you so much for transforming me from an impatient, skeptical technophobe to an enthusiastic partner in excellent online course design!”
“Alex is an excellent teacher and mentor who takes the time to get to know individuals and their strengths. He helps them add to these strengths and guides them in areas need to be worked on. He gives helpful suggestions as to how to improve in those areas. Alex is great at taking individuals out of their comfort zone to encourage new learning and guidance.”
“Alex is extremely knowledgeable as to the appropriate steps, areas of focus, and the academic development structure of an online curriculum including the fundamental principles and the special refinements that build logic, rigor, and relevance into an online learning environment and system. Alex has taught me a great deal in a short amount of time and has helped me to expediently develop my skills relative to the fineness of building an online course and the necessary refinements that are required to bring an online course to life. It is a pleasure to with such a professional, knowledgeable, and amiable individual, as Alex!
Additionally, Alex has amazing abilities to communicate effectively with people of different cultures, speaking different languages, including Korean and American Sign Language. Alex’s dedication to the mission of MSU Denver and the Educational Technology Center to support, encourage and foster successful learning environments is genuine and undisputed. His passion for learning is contagious and inspirational.
Alex has supported variety of modalities including fully online, hybrid and supplement. Innovative ways Alex has used technology to support learning include: design and development of interactive applications for learning, application of personalized learning approach to an online course, applying game-design thinking strategies, utilizing educational neuroscience research in course design processes, applying methods of heutagogy to constructing learning environments, and utilizing inquiry-based learning approach to teaching and learning.
Alex has an incredible ability to use technologies (that are either free or economical) in innovative ways. His extraordinary procedural literacy has helped many faculty members designing their eLearning environments for successful learning experience. Examples of Alex’s innovative methods include:
Choose-your-own-experience by designing a personalized-learning environment for a Human Trafficking course with reusable learning objects utilizing Google Forms
- applying principles of User Experience Design processes by designing an Introduction to Chemistry online course in a newfangled way
- methods for the design and development of African – American Studies course as a virtual tour of the Gullah/Geechee cultures using audio and video software to create a simulation of a journey to the Sea Islands of Georgia.
Alex has majorly influenced the quality of courses by using instructional design practices in a new or unusual way. Faculty that work with Alex return to tell us that they were so inspired that their f2f teaching practices have changed for the better as a result of working with him. He has influenced his institution in a way that it can better support its commitment to successful teaching and learning. Alex McDaniel deserves to win this award because of his devotion to teaching, learning and better education.