Psychology Professor Makes Waves in the Future of Online Teaching 

Martha Hubertz standing in front of icy lake

Associate Lecturer Martha Hubertz in the Department of Psychology was recognized for her work in online teaching with the Excellence in Instructional Teaching Practice from the Online Learning Consortium. Her work in online instruction has made important strides in flexible learning options that provide more options for learners of different lifestyles.  

We spoke with Hubertz about her recent award.  

What does this award mean to you?  

Winning an award for Excellence in Instructional Teaching Practice from the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is an honor. OLC is dedicated to improving online and blended teaching practices. It is truly an honor to be selected for my dedication to exemplifying these initiatives and providing the best possible learning environment for our Knights.   

Martha Hubertz award slide

Why are you passionate about enhancing online education?  

Over half of all student credit hours at UCF are online or blended. Almost all our students will take classes that are online or blended in their time here at UCF. For the past four years we have had the early stages of a “Covid cohort,” or students that started their first year with us fully online due to the pandemic.  

Next year, we will have an incoming class of first-time college students that spent the entire first, and much of their second year, of high school online. I believe these more experienced online learners have different expectations about the role and quality of online courses in higher education. Moreover, expectations for what online classes look like have shifted and are still shifting.   

What was the most impactful part of your project?   

I have worked hard with both the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning and the Center for Distributed Learning over the years to improve my classes for my students. I poll students often so I can determine what works for them and what does not. I have found that some things that sound great to faculty are not well received by students.   

What do you hope to see for the future of online education?  

I truly believe that online classes can exceed face to face. But really, it does take a village. I could not do what I do for my students without the great team of folks at the Center for Distributed Learning. UCF has been at the forefront of innovation in online classes for years. Moving forward, I think that the key to being innovative in the online and blended modalities will be hearing what our new Knights in Fall ’24 expect from course content regardless of course modality. The expectation of what online courses look like will undoubtedly have been shaped by pandemic experiences in high school.   

Explore our online Psychology BS program.  

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