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Leeward Community College online course receives top honors from WebCT

Writing expository course is among six in nation displaying best practices in course design

Leeward Community College
Kathleen Cabral, (808) 455-0524
Leeward Community College
Arlene Abiang, (808) 956-5637
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Oct 26, 2005

PEARL CITY, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi — Leeward Community College‘s online writing expository course taught by English instructor Donna Matsumoto has received one of six WebCT Exemplary Course Project awards given to higher education institutions across the nation. WebCT, a provider of higher education‘s widely used e-learning system, presented the awards to courses that displayed best practices in course design, interaction/collaboration, assessment/evaluation, meaningful technology use and learner support.

Matsumoto, who first offered the online course in 2003, wanted to make learning fun for her students. She created Dr. English which served as their ʻe-guide.‘ Matsumoto found her students became engaged in the course content presented through video introductions, word puzzles, graphic organizers, interactive games, and discussion boards. They could also contribute their own content such as comic strip graphics, streaming video productions, handouts, presentations and written work.

Matsumoto believes that constructivism provides the theoretical framework for interaction and collaboration. A strong sense of community is established early in the course as students build relationships through e-mail, discussions, and various online activities.

"Many people think that an online course is impersonal, but the exact opposite is true in my online English course," said Matsumoto. "Writing is collaborative in nature, so my students are constantly interacting with each other and with me in a virtual environment."

In evaluating the course, students strongly agreed that the online environment made the content more engaging than face-to-face interactions.

Now in its sixth year, the WebCT Exemplary Course Project awards is the world‘s most prominent and longest-running honor for online learning faculty achievement. For more information and to view the winning courses, visit

About WebCT
WebCT, based in Lynnfield, Mass., provides a flexible e-learning environment that empowers institutions across the educational spectrum with the ability to achieve their unique objectives for faculty empowerment, administrative efficiency and student outcomes. Colleges and universities around the world use the system to expand the boundaries of teaching and learning. For more information, visit

Note to media:
Award photo of Donna Matsumoto is available upon request.

For more information, visit: