AU Exemplary Course Award

AU Exemplary Course Award

Last modified by Mary Jacob on 2014/08/14 17:08

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  • AU News article about the 2013-14 award ceremony 
  • AU Exemplary Course Award 2014-15 entry form: English / (awaiting Welsh) / 2014-15 training session handout

2014-15 AU Exemplary Course Awards - Deadline 21 November 2014

The E-learning Team is inviting submissions for the second annual Aberystwyth University (AU) Exemplary Course Award. The deadline is 12:00 noon on 21 November 2014. Please contact the E-learning Team for more information: The handouts have been revised based on the weighting in Blackboard’s new ECP scoring system. Please note that the entry form for 2014/15 is being revised and will be made available over the summer.

Aberystwyth celebrates excellence in teaching – winners announced

In September 2013, the E-learning Team launched the first annual AU Exemplary Course Award (ECA) to honour modules that demonstrate exemplary practice in four areas: Course Design, Interaction & Collaboration, Assessment and Learner Support. The criteria are based on the Blackboard Exemplary Course Programme (ECP), one of Blackboard’s Catalyst Awards. Training was offered to help staff in using the rubric to enhance their modules. The review panel was pleased to receive eight applications, all of which were recognised as demonstrating good practice. Awards will be presented at the Higher Education Academy’s Future Directions Conference, held in Aberystwyth in April 2014.

Madeline Carr and Victoria Wright have been selected as the two winners of the award, with Tom Holt and Hannah Dee identified as Highly Commended. Steve Atherton, Liz Hart, Matthew Richards, and Basil Wolf have been Commended for good practice.

John Grattan had the following observations on the significance of the award (if you don't see the video player, please refresh your browser):

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Tours of the modules can be viewed below:

Comments and advice from winners:

  • "The Blackboard ECP provided a great framework for me to think critically about my module site. The BB team here at Aberystwyth University were always available to help me implement features that I wasn't familiar with. The feedback from my students about Blackboard has been overwhelmingly positive. I'll definitely continue to work on improving my site and making it something that helps to engage and support students in their learning." - Madeline Carr, International Politics IQ30520 – winner
  • "The ECP training was really useful in getting you to reflect on how you use Blackboard in your teaching.  It also illustrated how the students’ learning experience can be improved using the ECP rubric. Applying the rubric is easy and is a great way to improve your module in a student-centred way. I know my module is much better than it was last year – and my students seem to agree!" - Victoria Wright, Psychology PS11320 – winner
  • "I thought it a useful process to think about my module in terms of the ECP criteria, and it's highlighted some areas I'll be working on in future. I'm also very pleased that those of us working outside of Blackboard were still allowed to enter the contest, and that the uni recognises that it's not one-size-fits-all in terms of learning technology." - Hannah Dee, Computer Science CS25210 – highly commended
  • "Using the ECA rubric not only allows you to critically evaluate your module page in its current form, but also gets you thinking about what else could be done in the future. I encourage all teaching staff to look through the rubric, regardless of what state their Blackboard module page is in, as I'm certain that by doing so they'll discover numerous ways in which their communication of information via Blackboard could be improved." - Tom Holt, Geography and Earth Sciences GG20130 – highly commended 

Comments from panel members:

  • "The modules that most impressed me were those where the instructor’s personality came through, especially with Madeline’s module …This is so important in demonstrating that Blackboard can be a dynamic and interactive tool for teaching and not just a ‘filestore’ for hundreds of PowerPoint files!"
  • "It was great to see a diverse range of applicants, and to see how differently everyone was using AberLearn Blackboard. It just goes to show one size does not have to fit all…"  
  • "The highlight for me was seeing the taught courses reflected back into the online support material…You could really see that the exemplary modules had been developed with the student in mind."
  • "I think it’s fair to say that all the modules had something good going for them, but the exemplary ones had a little bit of all the entries, which is what made them stand out above the others."
  • "I’m really looking forward to seeing next year’s applications and hope we’ll see some new entries along with ones from this year, all building on the good work we’ve seen in this year’s ECA." 

The E-learning Team 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 Team to request a consultation or a bespoke group training session ( 

Tags: blackboard ecp
Created by Mary Jacob on 2013/10/22 14:06

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