Guest Blog Post from Geralyn Stephens, Assistant Professor – Clinical College of Education at Wayne State University and 2012 Catalyst Award Winner for Blackboard Exemplary Course.
I aspire to be a great teaching Professor. However, factors used to determine teaching effectiveness at the University-level are most often subjective. There is seldom an opportunity for peer review and critique. The 2012 Catalyst Award for my online course, CTE 6010: History and Principles of Career and Technical Education, provided the evidence to support that I reached that pinnacle!
Today we announce the launch of a new MOOC powered by the CourseSites Open Course Series, Designing an Exemplary Course.
If you’re not familiar with the term MOOC (Massive Online Open Course), read on to learn how the latest (free) trend in Professional Development can impact your classroom instantly.
The newest addition to the CourseSites Open Course Series centers around the Exemplary Course Program (ECP) Rubric, which is a useful guide created by distinguished educators and instructional designers that will empower you to improve your online teaching experience. Whether you are just getting started or are an advanced online educator, this course will provide you with a framework to help identify and disseminate best practices for designing engaging online courses. But you will not be alone in your journey!
I am proud to announce the 2012 Catalyst Award Winners.
The Blackboard Catalyst Awards
honors those who push the boundaries of their educational programs and technology in order to deliver innovative and effective learning experiences. This year we had 61 submissions for the Catalyst Awards and 151 submissions for the Exemplary Course Award. This represented over a 50% increase from last year’s submissions. We changed the award structure slightly; there are Platinum and Gold Winners. For the Exemplary Course Award, there were a total of 37 courses rated as exemplary but 6 winners will be awarded the ECP Director’s Choice for Courses with Distinction.
We are excited to honor the winners and their achievement at the Catalyst Awards luncheon at BbWorld
in July 2012. Please stay tuned as we highlight the individual winners in an upcoming blog series.
And the winner are…
Guest post by Dr. Deborah Everhart, Chief Architect in Product Management, Blackboard Learn and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Georgetown University.
As a Director in the Exemplary Course Program
, I have the privilege and pleasure of reviewing dozens of course submissions each spring. Every year the Directors see course innovations that we’ve never seen before, and I’m personally gratified to see how faculty and instructional designers are using Blackboard Learn in ways that effectively address the needs of students. It expands my understanding of how we can continue to evolve our products, as well as giving me best practice ideas for my own course!
Delving a little deeper into the ECP experience, I interviewed Leslie Koberna from Texas Woman’s University
, one of the 2011 ECP winners. When I asked her what makes her Oral Radiology course exemplary, she described her methodology for getting students engaged during the first week of the course. They are expected to complete activities that acclimate them to the course and familiarize them with the course materials and objectives. For example, they take a practice quiz based on the syllabus, which not only demonstrates that they’ve read and understand the syllabus, but also introduces them to the structure of Blackboard quizzes that they will be taking throughout the semester. Leslie makes sure every student is engaged from the very beginning, greatly improving their opportunities for success in the course.
A “Course Tour
” guides students through the structure of the course and explains how “all assignments are designed around the module objectives to help you learn and apply the material.” Each topic includes both textual and video materials to help the students learn the material from different perspectives. Such a well-organized course makes even a challenging topic like oral radiology approachable.
As the person who helps manage our upgrade resources and change management programs, I am pleased to say that in the past year, we experienced the largest migration of clients moving from older platforms to the latest version of Blackboard’s learning management system
. Over 2,000 institutions are now using or in the process of moving to Blackboard Learn™, Release 9.1. They are enjoying the benefits of improved workflow efficiencies for instructors and administrators as well as digital content integrations.
There are a few recent decisions that I want to take a moment to highlight. Both the State University of New York (SUNY)
and Idaho State Board of Education
recently selected Blackboard as a technology partner for online learning. This represents a trend in more decisions being made at the state-wide or system-wide levels.