Zayed University Campus

Zayed University: A 2019 Blackboard Catalyst Award Winner for Optimizing the Student Experience


Our annual Catalyst Awards recognize and honor innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice, where millions of educators and learners work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology. Winners were selected by a cross-functional team of Blackboard experts and the honorees, from across the globe, were recognized in July at BbWorld 2019. Below learn how Zayed University’s educational and administrative innovations have markedly improved the total learner experience.

Zayed University created hybrid embedded-electronic assessments within a traditional face-to-face environment. One of the benefits of the transformation is the university’s ability to examine students’ learning and performance, enabling it to take prompt action to provide support to students when it’s needed.

The process to transform the university assessment process started three years ago under the direction of Zayed University’s Advisor on Academic Quality and Strategic Initiatives, Dr. Adam Marks, and his team in the Office of the Provost. They closely collaborated with the quality assurance coordinators and the Chairs of each college within the university.

Zayed University has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the United Arab Emirates Commission of Academic Accreditation. One of the core requirements of accreditation is continuous quality improvements, learning outcomes assessment and course and program reviews.

The university selected the Blackboard Analytics solution to help meet these stringent academic requirements. The system was designed to create common assessments within master course templates within the Blackboard Learn learning management system. It enabled faculty to embed common assessments with learning outcomes alignment at the course, program and university levels, It also allowed the university to rollout the master course templates to appropriate sections, to electronically collect students’ performance against outcomes and to evaluate the performance of outcomes against a number of dimensions.

The analysis of student’s performance was instrumental in optimizing their learning experience. The tools assisted the colleges in better understanding the students learning experience. The colleges now have a better view of what instruments were more effective in what courses and learning outcomes were achieved and which ones were not.

Zayed University Provost, Dr. Michael Wilson, said “Being recognized with the Blackboard Catalyst Award is a real testimony to the vision, hard work and the efforts placed in optimizing the learning experience. It is also evidence of how we are benchmarking with other universities worldwide. It is the first time that we have ever won this award, and it is something that we should all celebrate.”

To learn more about Zayed University, please read their blog.