Excellence in Online Teaching Award: Nick Lux, Spring Convocation, Academic Year 2020-21. Portrait of Nick Lux.

Nick Lux

Nick Lux, associate professor in the Department of Education, has won the Excellence in Online Teaching Award. The award comes with a $2,000 honorarium.

Since Lux joined the Department of Education in 2008, he has been the catalyst for advancing the department’s capacity to prepare new teachers for the world of online teaching and learning, say those who supported Lux’s nomination for the award. Lux has developed and taught numerous online courses, including several courses in the department’s teacher licensure program. Lux reports that his approach to online teaching and learning is rooted in four areas: providing authentic learning opportunities for students to think and act like teachers; constructing a learning environment conducive to inclusive, active and engaged learning for all learners; modeling appropriate and effective use of digital learning tools; and demonstrating care and support for his students. His online courses also incorporate Lux’s research, particularly regarding the methods by which technology can be used for teaching and learning.

Lux is acknowledged as the department’s expert in technology education and recently created a document for the department that distills best practices in online teaching and learning. “During this time of greatly increased online and blended courses, Nick has skillfully led our department faculty in enhancing their online teaching skills and, perhaps more importantly, modeled best practices for our future pre-kindergarten through 12th grade educators,” one nominator wrote.

In addition, Lux currently serves as program leader for the curriculum and instruction unit that offers fully online graduate programs. His vision and leadership for that program have resulted in tightly sequenced coursework that help students – many of whom juggle full-time employment in schools and family responsibilities – navigate the challenges of graduate study to earn advanced degrees.

Lux has prepared hundreds of new teachers to be knowledgeable and capable in the uses of online and digital media and online teaching and learning. His graduates now teach in districts across Montana, and former students frequently report high praise for a teacher-scholar who has impacted their lives in immeasurable ways.