About Catalyst Awards

Founded in 2005, the Blackboard Catalyst Awards program recognizes and honors innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice, where millions of educators and learners work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology.  

Blackboard is focused on highlighting client successes and raising awareness throughout the educational industry by celebrating achievements and milestones. Our community centers on educators and administrators who are passionate about using technology in education and collaborating on best practices. The Blackboard Catalyst Awards are an opportunity to celebrate these accomplishments and help raise standard for the entire industry.

2021 Blackboard Catalyst Awards Guidelines and Official rules


View 2020 Winners

Catalyst Awards Categories

Leading Change

This award honors institutions who are on the forefront of educational innovation. Those who contextualize, plan for, and generate change in areas such as teaching and learning, technological innovation, software development, and more. It recognizes those who have implemented high impact educational strategies that scale. Winners will have developed innovative practices and/or technologies that have had a measurable effect on learning outcomes, student performance, or academic progression.

Community Engagement

This award recognizes clients who are dedicated to improving student achievement by fostering a connection between school districts, institutions, educators, students, and their communities. Examples that demonstrate this achievement  include:  effective use of multi-platform communication, use of mass communication tools to rally a community cause, or a campaign that succeeded in strengthening an institution’s brand and perception within their community.

Teaching & Learning

This award recognizes those who have adopted flexible, distance and online delivery, including using mobile technologies to positively impact the educational experience. Winners will have demonstrated innovative use of the Blackboard platforms, increasing flexibility, furthering learner and instructor effectiveness and efficiency.

Inclusive Education

The Inclusive Education Award honors those customers whose methods have ensured their pedagogy, content, technology, and educational services are fully inclusive and supportive of all learners with disabilities. They have taken specific steps to rethink how learning is achieved and have provided the means to help students succeed.

Optimizing Student Experience

This award honors those institutions whose educational and administrative innovations have markedly improved the total learner experience. This includes their addressing of new and changing dynamics in fields such as student recruitment, financial aid, enrollment, retention and assessment, graduation, and beyond.

Training & Professional Development

This award recognizes those who use Blackboard programs to support and enhance professional development within or outside of their organization. This can include anything from creative learning opportunities to on-the-job training in the newest technologies, and should display an organization-wide dedication to innovative training and development programs.

Student Success

This award recognizes individuals and/or institutions whose creative program application has led to increased retention, increased completion, and/or improved outcomes through the implementation of new academic and/or administrative resources, data analytics solutions, scalable advising and intervention strategies, student support programs, and more.

Contact Us

Please email your questions to CatalystAwards@blackboard.com