Faculty Excellence Awards were given to six people at the beginning of the semester based on their talents and contributions to Amarillo College.
The faculty members who received the awards were recognized for their effective use of cooperation, experimentation, service and active learning and innovation with technology-enhanced learning.
This week, The Ranger looks into the achievements of Tony Tackitt, a radiation therapy instructor.
When students enroll in the radiation therapy program at Amarillo College, there’s one constant they can expect.
“We’ve been with him our entire program,” said radiation therapy major Amber Martinez. “He teaches every course.”
He is Tony Tackitt. For the past year and a half, he’s been working to create a radiation therapy program that is entirely online.
For his efforts to provide quality online instruction, Tackitt was given a Faculty Excellence Award for curricular innovation.
The award focuses on new course development, cross-curricular initiatives, alternative delivery methods, innovation in college readiness or assessment of student learning outcomes.
While other online classes in the field exist, Tackitt’s will be the first complete radiation therapy class in the country to be accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.
It will be the first complete online program for the AC health science programs. The goal is for the online program to launch in fall 2015.
“He does not settle; he is always moving forward,” said Mark Rowh, health sciences dean.
Rowh said Tackitt was being considered to receive a different award but because his achievements were so great, the Dean’s Council wanted to give him the Faculty Excellence Award instead.
Tackitt has been experimenting and researching many of the tools that online learning can offer to students.
He said he does it in order to see which methods work the best for him and his students.
“There’s so many things that Blackboard has to offer that can really make online work manageable and workable and in many way keep it as close and effective as face to face,” Tackitt said.
The tools Tackitt has started using include video conferences, podcasting, games and class notes.
Even while online class development and research has been underway, Tackitt still has to be a teacher.
“He knows the information,” said Brant Havens, a radiation therapy major. “He’s able to answer any question you have. He’s very thorough.”
Rowh said Tackitt tries to give every student a fair chance at doing well and succeeding in his class and has a strong will to grow his program to extend to all areas of the country.
“He is not afraid to venture out to look for new technology for teaching,” Rowh said.