2015 - 2016 AU ECA Winners

Last modified by Sue Ferguson on 18/01/2018

AU Exemplary Course Award banner

Photo of the winners, with John Grattan and Mary Jacob

The aim of the AU Exemplary Course Award (ECA) is to support staff in enhancing their modules on Blackboard and to share good practice  across the university. We have seen the impact of this programme, as other staff often pick up on exemplary practices as demonstrated by winning modules. We are delighted to showcase the winners at our annual Learning and Teaching Conference. 

The E-learning Group hopes that these exemplary courses will provide inspiration and models of good practice for all. 

Anyone wishing to use the ECA rubric as a tool for evaluating and enhancing their own modules is encouraged to contact the E-learning Group to request a consultation or training session (bb-team@aber.ac.uk). 

Comments from the Judging Panel 

This year, we received more applicants than ever for the AU Exemplary Course Award. It is worth noting that 80% of the applications came from the Sciences. We would like to particularly encourage staff in Social Sciences and Humanities to consult the ECA rubric, revamp their modules as needed, and apply for this award in subsequent years. 

The panel found that this was a particularly close competition, with most of the applications clustering in the Accomplished category, the second level in the rubric just below Exemplary. While none of the modules was deemed to be exemplary in all areas, there was some exemplary practice in several courses. For this reason, the panel has decided to issue only Highly Commended and Commended awards, while noting that one of the highly commended modules was ranked higher than that other two.

The winners are as follows: 

  • Highly Commended (highest-ranked) - View the module copy SE31520 Chris Loftus / or view the module tour, with commentary
    • This module met the criteria for the largest number of exemplary practices. Please note that the module copy was taken mid-semester, and some teaching materials were released on a week-by-week basis, so the module copy reflects a mid-semester snap-shot of the module (i.e. some items had not been made available yet)
    • The best features of this module are the well-designed assessments, including formative assessment, and general ease of navigation. 
    • Suggestions for enhancement include adding more visual elements, particularly to the entry page, and perhaps having a single table that links to all the content.
  • Highly Commended - click module code to view the module copy: CS34110 Hannah Dee (or see the live version with guest access) and BR22410 David Wilcockson
    • These two modules have similar strengths. The best features of these modules are visual design, alignment of learning activities and assessment with learning outcomes, and enriched learning content.
    • Suggestions for enhancement include more formative assessments, marking criteria specific to “novel” assessments, and providing a module orientation of some sort, possibly a video, to help students find materials. 
  • Commended:  XA13510 Alison Pierse and Dr Jacqueline Jeynes, SS21120 Marco Arkesteijn, BR12010 David Whitworth and Neil McEwan
    • The Commended modules each had different strengths, with exemplary practices and also areas for improvement.
    • XA13510 was particularly strong in having a good visual presence and user-friendly landing page.
    • SS21120 was commended for picture-based signposting of topics and excellent orientation.
    • BR12010 made good use of YouTube videos and visual design including the banner on the entry page. 

Previous ECA Winners:

Click below to see examples of examplary practices and more innovative AU Blackboard modules, including module tours: 

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Created by Sue Ferguson on 18/01/2018
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