January 2013 Facilitator of the Month - Burks Oakley II


January 2013 Facilitator of the Month - Burks Oakley II


Our Facilitator of the Month is Burks Oakley II, who recently facilitated Sloan-C's Podcasting Trends in Higher Education workshop.  Burks Oakley II is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He also is a Visiting Research Professor in the Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Burks currently serves within The Sloan Consortium as the Senior Advisor to the Board of Directors and chair of the Awards Selection and Recognition Committee.


A true pioneer within our community, Burks was one of the first grantees of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to explore online learning, known as Asynchronous Learning Networks (ALN) at the time. In 1993 he received a grant to use online approaches in his electrical engineering course at the University of Illinois. From 1997 until 2007, Oakley served as an Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois.  He was the founding director of the University of Illinois Online initiative, a program designed to facilitate the development and delivery of University of Illinois courses, degrees, and public service resources over the Internet.  Through his innovative use of technology in teaching, Dr. Oakley has earned a national reputation as a practitioner and promoter of Internet-based asynchronous learning environments.


Burks exemplifies faculty and administrator leadership within online education. A participant in his December 2012 workshop on integrating advanced podcasting and web 2.0 multimedia in your curriculum noted, "Burks is outstanding in every respect." He is known for modeling best practices when leading his workshops as reflected in another participant comment, "I appreciated seeing effective workshop facilitation in action." Throughout his service, community members have been able to access Dr. Oakley's expertise in their own online learning experiences - a truly invaluable offering that has influenced our organization in an exceptional way.


Oakley received his B.S. degree from Northwestern University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan.  He has received numerous awards for his teaching and for his innovative use of technology in education, including the Luckman Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award from UIUC in 1993, the Outstanding Teacher Award from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in 1993, the Educom Medal in 1996, the Educational Activities Board Major Educational Innovation Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 1996, the Meritorious Service Award from the IEEE Education Society in 1998, the Third Millennium Medal from the IEEE in 2000, the Engineering Alumni Society Merit Award from the University of Michigan in 2003, and the Sloan-C Award for the "Most Outstanding Achievement in Online Teaching and Learning by an Individual" in 2003.  He is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the ASEE, and a former Vice President of the ASEE.


Congratulations, Dr. Burks Oakley II! We are exceedingly proud to recognize you as our featured facilitator of the month.