Viva Las Vegas…The 2013 Blackboard Exemplary Course Program is now open!

Have you got a well-designed Blackboard module area that you’d like to gain recognition for? Since its launch in 2000, Blackboard opens its Exemplary Course Program (ECP) each year.  The aim is to support the use of e-Learning technology more effectively by identifying and disseminating best practices for designing engaging online courses.

Using Blackboard’s rubric, tutors are able to evaluate how well their own course(s) conform to the best practices for Course Design, Interaction & Collaboration, Assessment and Learner Support before program entry. Courses can then be submitted to the program, which are reviewed by a team of peer reviewers and then by the directors of the Exemplary Course Program.  If successful your course will receive recognition internationally from Blackboard and as part of the accomplishment you will also be invited to attend Blackboard World in Las Vegas, July 2013.

This year is the debut appearance for Edge Hill University with the institution submitting its first ever courses to the program, with one entry from the Faculty of Health and two entries from the Faculty of Education.

From the Faculty of Health, the online module ‘Vascular Disease Management’ is to be submitted for review.  Senior Lecturer Chris Jones has been acknowledged for his use of online learning technology, design quality and communal interaction.  Chris was previously acknowledged for his e-learning course design last year when he was invited to showcase his module to the European Society for Vascular Surgery (ESVS) in Bologna, Italy.

HEA3178 Promo

From the Faculty of Education, the Mathematics Specialist Teacher Programme (MaST) will submit a module from their ever successful MaST course. The MaST module areas within Blackboard already have various exemplar design features and many signs of best practices within e-learning which already measure strongly against the Blackboard ECP rubric.

Also from the Faculty of Education, the collaboration between the NHS North Western Deanery and Edge Hill University in 2009 resulted in the Postgraduate Certificate in Workplace-Based Postgraduate Medical Education and has so far seen over a thousand students complete the blended learning course.  The Clinical Education programme has always been a trailblazer in online learning and the past few years have been no exception with positive results in using Blackboard Mobile to accent the traditional PC-based interface.  Using online discussion forums to help bring together distance students, an aesthetic interface and innovative use of the Blackboard tools the course ticks ‘all the boxes’ from the rubric.

Whether the submissions “win” or not, the fundamental aspect of receiving detailed feedback and insights to course recognition is always an investment worth making.  Participation in the program and the value of iterative improvements to our VLE module areas is an accomplishment in itself.

Winning submission(s) are selected and notified during May 2013 and let’s hope Edge Hill University receives a number of Exemplary Course Awards!

If you have any questions or would like to participate in next year’s Blackboard ECP program please contact wilcockm@edgehill.ac.uk

Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer