Is USU’s instructional technology program tops in the world?

Information in the latest edition of the Educational Media and Technology Yearbook indicates USU’s Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences Department, ITLS, “may be the top program in the world for research productivity.”

The department’s programs also rank well in measures related to teaching.

“We were absolutely thrilled to see this, it’s a testament to how hard everyone works here,” said Department Head Dr. Mimi Recker. “Our staff, our faculty, our students. It shows in the rankings.”

Also, a recent edition of U.S. News and World Report rates the school’s online graduate program 13th in the country.

“The Yearbook used a bunch of objective measures. They looked at faculty and student publication productivity, research grant dollars generated and then how many graduate students we graduate relative to the size of our department.”

Using those metrics the department’s standing was comparable to Stanford and several other worldwide universities.

USU’s ITLS department ranked in the top 20 in all five of the measurement categories.

“It starts with the people,” said Recker. “We’ve been able to put together a really dynamite crew of faculty and then we have fabulous students who join our program from around the country and, increasingly, around the world because we offer our master’s program online.

“Almost all of our master’s and doctoral students come in with a significant amount of work experience which is unusual for a lot of graduate programs. They bring that and they mix it with the faculty academic research experience to produce a really innovative mix.”

She said success breeds success and that leads to continuing bringing top people and that rankings like this will only help.

“Society is permeated with technology,” said Recker. “There’s so much interest in this field because people use it to live, collaborate and learn.”

The ITLS department is part of the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services at Utah State University.

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