For over 20 years, UC Irvine has had the long standing tradition of honoring teaching excellence during its annual Celebration of Teaching week which takes place every spring quarter. The campus community is invited to nominate individuals to be recognized for excellence in undergraduate teaching. 

The Learning Experience Design and Online Teaching Award was created in 2021 to honor a faculty member (Senate or Unit 18) for demonstrating pedagogical design (learning experience) excellence and creativity in effectively engaging students in an online learning environment.

The review criteria for this award is developed based on the five evidence-based  principles for online teaching provided by Dr. Di Xu at UCI's Online Learning Research Center 

  1. ​Clear course materials and website 
  2. Frequent communication and presence  
  3. Help students connect with each other
  4. Build in self-regulation support
  5. Teach your students study skills

Each award application is reviewed by a group of UCI students and DTEI staff and is evaluated based on three primary aspects.

  1. Online course and syllabus design 
  2. Active teaching strategies for online student engagement
  3. Inclusive teaching and online student support

The Winner of the 2021 Learning Experience Design and Online Teaching Award

Zeba Wunderlich

Assistant Professor in Developmental and Cell Biology

Profesor Zeba Wunderlich is the winner of the 2021 Learning Experience Design and Online teaching award. Without prior online teaching experience before the pandemic, professor Wunderlich demonstrated outstanding online/remote teaching excellence for the BIO SCI 97 Introduction to genetics course.

First, she provided a clear informative course website on Canvas to guide student's learning. Not only did she lay out a linear learning path, but she also engaged students remotely by  integrating both synchronous and asynchronous digital active learning activities to enhance student's learning experience. Students are given a study roadmap with access to various formative assessments and mini assignments to reinforce the key learning areas. One of her students commented that "Dr. Wunderlich's course was organized beautifully, and it made students excited to learn!"

Professor Wunderlich did not receive instructional design support or online teaching consultation when designing and delivering this remote course the first time. As a novice in online teaching, she has done an excellent job preparing and delivering this remote course.  Her efforts in delivering a well-designed remote course with various active learning opportunities have played a vital role in supporting student's remote learning, which is especially valuable during the pandemic.

2021 LEOE Award Winner: Zeba Wunderlich

2021 LEOE Award Congratulations:
Clark Lee Hendrickson

2021 LEOE Award Congratulations: Megan Linos

2021 LEOE Award Congratulations: Lee Bardwell

Award Review Committee

The 2021 review committee consists of by nine UCI students and five DTEI staff.  We appreciate their dedication in reviewing the award applications and assisting in the process of identifying an award winner.

  1. Ali Al-Hakeem, Student in Physics and Astronomy
  2. Evelyn Cheng, Student in Computer Science
  3. Everett Cheng, Studentin Data Science
  4. Elizabeth Siyi Duan, Student in Molecular Biology
  5. Saad Iqbal, Student in Criminal, Law, and Society
  6. Jerry Liu, Studentin Physics
  7. Maria Elena Mendoza, Student in Arts-Drama
  8. Nancy Odicho, Student in Pharmaceutical Sciences
  9. Zachary Rideaux, student in Computer Science
  10. Megan Linos, Director of Learning Experience Design and Online Education
  11. Kailey Baez, Instructional Designer 
  12. Jennifer Foung, Instructional Designer 
  13. ShuFen Tsai, Instructional Designer 
  14. Daphne Zhou, Instructional Designer