Every year we all have an opportunity to improve: experience, reflection and feedback help us to do things better and do better things. This year, building on the strong foundations that have been made, we want to help you exploit the capabilities of Learning Edge to deliver even more innovative, effective and flexible learning experiences for your students. Your Faculty Learning Technologists are here to work with individuals and teams and a full staff development programme will be available from September – details coming soon!

In the meantime, an invitation …

Blackboard Exemplary Course Cohort
Blackboard are offering you the opportunity to join a structured cohort programme aimed at helping you reflect on and enhance your course design. Running each Wednesday at 16.00pm for four weeks, a series of virtual webinars will help prepare you to develop quality online courses and evaluate current online courses. Using the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Rubric as a guide, you will learn about course design best practices that can improve engagement, collaboration, assessment and learner support.

Cohort 1: Starts on Wednesday, September 12th, 16:00pm 26th, 19:00pm
Cohort 2: Starts on October 24th (TBC)

Joining one of these cohorts will be useful for anyone wanting to develop their practice and also to those intending to submit an entry this year to the 2013 Blackboard Catalyst Exemplary Course Awards. The Exemplary Course Award recognizes course creators whose courses demonstrate best practices in four major areas: Course Design, Interaction & Collaboration, Assessment and Learner Support. Take a look at the 2012 Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Winners here.

Visit Blackboard to Register for the Exemplary Course Cohort now!

Megan Juss Profile Picture

Meg Juss
Learning Technology Development Manager


“Because we had such a high level of interest from both the poll of reviewers and participants, we have expanded the course from a cohort to an open course. Our open course will be similar to the structure of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).”

Designing An Exemplary Course

Course Description:
Learning environments are no longer limited to the classroom.  Creating effective online courses is crucial to teaching today’s active learners. This open course will provide both theoretical concepts and practical tools for instructors to recognize, organize, and build online courses for both blended learners and online learners. To maximize benefits of participation, optional homework assignments will be provided each week to apply the principles to build out one’s own course structure and materials. The course will provide a framework for participants to use the Exemplary Course Rubric to self-evaluate their course-building work and ask others in the course to provide peer reviews. Participants may work on these assignments individually or in teams. The course will provide a framework for forming collaborative teams if you are not already working with a team at your institution or in another type of peer group.

Course Objectives:

  • Identify the pillars of an exemplary course
  • Gain practical knowledge about incorporating specific pillars into one’s course
  • Apply the pillars to construct the basic framework for an online course
  • Provide opportunities for collaborative peer review of online course components and strategies


This course will be geared toward faculty of K-12, higher education institutions, and continuing education institutions who teach blended learning or fully online learning.  We expect individuals with different levels of online course design experience, ranging from beginner to intermediate. Advanced course designers are welcome to attend as well as instructional designers. The course will be geared toward all instructors who want to understand the theories and practices behind an exemplary course. This course is open to both domestic and international instructors, but all of the course materials and activities will be in English.

Key Dates:

September 26: Course Design
October 3: Interaction and Collaboration
October 10: Assessment
October 17: Learner Support

Time: 2pm to 3pm (EST) If you are in a different time zone, please look here – Time Zone Converter

Webinars will take place in Collaborate.

Structure of Live Session:

Each session will be guided by an Exemplary Course Director. Participants will hear from previous course winners who will demo their courses. Each session will conclude with Q & A.