National company recognizes faculty member for innovative course design

A UALR faculty member has earned a Catalyst Award from Blackboard, a global company that focuses on improved online learning experiences.

copelandNita Copeland, senior instructor in UALR’s Department of Health, Human Performance and Sport Management, was recognized with the Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course.

She will be honored alongside other Blackboard Catalyst Award winners during Blackboard’s annual users conference in Las Vegas this July.

Blackboard offers solutions for thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online. The company provides the award to recognize faculty from around the world who develop technologically rich, engaging, well designed, and pedagogically sound courses that showcase best practices for the user community.

More than 200 entries were evaluated in a rigorous peer-review process by more than 300 faculty and instructional designers. Submissions were judged on the following components: course design, interaction and collaboration, assessment and learner support.

Copeland evaluated her Applied Human Science online course using the exemplary course rubric, which was beneficial in improving the course’s quality, especially after receiving feedback from Blackboard peer reviewers.

“I am honored to receive this award. Going through this process will greatly benefit the students who take this course,” said Copeland.

“Each year we recognize forward-thinking educators who are helping create a world inspired to learn through the work they do every day,” said Blackboard Chief Executive Officer Jay Bhatt.

“We congratulate Catalyst Award winners on their vision and innovative approaches to education, and celebrate their accomplishments with them.”

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