Kanekar wins Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Award

Amar Kanekar

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock professor is being recognized for exemplary online learning and online course development. 

Blackboard Inc., a leading education technology company for teaching, learning and student engagement, selected Dr. Amar Kanekar, graduate program coordinator of the Health Education and Promotion program, as a recipient of the 2017-18 Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Award.

The awards program recognizes faculty and course designers from schools, colleges, and universities around the world who develop engaging and innovative courses that represent the very best in technology and learning.

“This is a very nice program,” Kanekar said. “Blackboard encourages faculty to create great online courses. The evaluation criteria is very challenging, so I feel very good about this course after receiving this award.”

Kanekar won the award for his “Health Education Program Evaluation,” a senior-level online course that focuses on health program planning and evaluation. Students work together in an online environment to develop and evaluate a public health program. Projects from this semester’s class include heart disease, childhood obesity, smoking, and sexually transmitted diseases.

For 17 years, the ECP has recognized instructors and course designers whose courses demonstrate best practices in four major areas: course design; interaction and collaboration; assessment; and learner support. Since its founding, thousands of instructors, teachers, and designers have used the ECP to evaluate and improve their courses with recognized best practices.

To be considered for the honor, applicants must be a user of the Blackboard Learn learning management system. Submitted courses are evaluated by other course developers, instructional designers, teachers, and professors as well as experts using the Exemplary Course Program Rubric.

“We’re very proud of this acknowledgement Dr. Kanekar is receiving from Blackboard, Inc.,” said Dr. David Montague, director of eLearning and Scholarly Technology and Resources office. “He has consistently been innovative in his attempt to use best practices as an online educator.”

Kanekar is currently completing the Blackboard Learn Advanced training and served as a guest speaker for UA Little Rock’s Summer Academy for Online Teaching Excellence.

“Dr. Kanekar has done his due diligence in understanding how to teach online by successfully receiving a Quality Matters Certification for one of his online courses,” Montague said. “Most recently, he received an Open Educational Resource (OER) mini grant and has given back to fellow faculty by presenting on how he has used OER to benefit both students and faculty. We certainly consider Dr. Kanekar as one of our ‘STaR Performers.’”

Kanekar will be recognized at a reception at 2 p.m. on March 29 in the Donaghey Student Center Leadership Lounge.

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