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On behalf of the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program team, I write to inform you that the ECP Cohort scheduled to kick-off in September has been postponed until February 2019.


Please note, this deferment is necessary as we enter the final stage of finalizing our migration to a new course evaluation system and constructing improvements to our Exemplary Course rubric.


In the coming months, expect multiple communications from the Exemplary Course Program team announcing the new dates for the spring 2019 program.


Again, we sincerely apologize for this inconvenience and understand the disappointment surrounding this postponement, but looking forward to providing you with a first-class experience in 2019.


If you have any questions about the Exemplary Course Program, please engage with us, here, via the Blackboard Community.


The Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Team

Hi All -


Please note, the fall ECP Cohort Program which was scheduled to kick-off in September has been postponed until February 2019. We do apologize for the inconvenience, but look forward to providing you with a superior program in the spring.


The official cohort dates will be advertised soon, here, on the Community site.


If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.




I recently had the pleasure of collaborating with Leonardo Tissot, a writer with E-Learn Magazine, to create an article and infographic about our Blackboard Exemplary Course Program (ECP). I'm thrilled to announce that it was published today!


Grab a beverage, take a break, and read the article here >>  Let me know what you think! I value your feedback.


It's an honor to manage this program and work with the most talented instructors, course designers, and faculty trainers -- you, our Blackboard clients.


Warm regards,


Jennifer Peachey Schaefer

Lord Fairfax Community College Associate Professor of English, Jennifer Peachey Schaefer, recently was awarded the Blackboard Exemplary Course Award!

Her institution just published a great article about her achievement here:

Jennifer Schaefer | Lord Fairfax Community College


We're so happy for you, Jen!

 Wake Technical Community College Team Honored with Blackboard Exemplary Course Award

Dr. Chris Roddenberry, Associate Professor of Psychology, Shelley Evans, Instructional Designer, and Cynthia Bowers, Instructional Technologist


RALEIGH, N.C. (April 17, 2018) - Wake Technical Community College is pleased to announce that three of its staff members have been named winners in Blackboard’s Exemplary Course Program (ECP). 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.


Read the news story here >>


So happy for this team :-)


Debbora L. Woods, MBA

Senior Manager, Global Client Programs

Our Blackboard Client Success Managers Stephanie King and Carey Smouse hosted an on-campus celebration at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington for Dr. Ashlee Balena, 2H 2017 Exemplary Course Award Winner!

Look at all the fun they had

Enjoy these photos,

Debbora Woods, ECP Manager



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The University of Arkansas at Little Rock posted an article today about Dr. Amar Kanekar, graduate program coordinator of the Health Education and Promotion program, winning the 2017 Blackboard Exemplary Course Program award.


Read the article here to find out more about Dr. Kanekar's course and the upcoming celebration to be held on campus!


Congratulations Amar Kanekar


Debbora L. Woods, MBA

Manager, Client Programs & Communications

Global Higher Education

One of my favorite responsibilities in my position as Manager of Client Programs & Communications is to award and showcase winners of our Exemplary Course Program. It's so much fun


Recently, Dr. Jan Lüdert, assistant professor and associate program director of the Master of Education in Adult Education at City University of Seattle, earned an Exemplary Course award. As soon as Dr. Lüdert won, our Communication Team and Chief Client Officer reached out to his institution to notify leadership of his Exemplary status. We love sharing this great achievement!


We were pleased to see CityU News spring into action and write a terrific article about Dr. Lüdert's achievement here>>  To learn more about the winning course, make sure you take a few moments to read the article.




Debbora L. Woods, MBA

Manager, Client Programs & Communications

Global Higher Education

Are your courses "Exemplary"

What does it take to create an engaging, effective course? The Exemplary Course Program, with its self and peer review processes, can provide you with valuable insights.


The Blackboard Exemplary Course Program (ECP) began in 2000 with the goal of identifying and disseminating best practices for designing high quality courses. The core of the program is the ECP Rubric, which defines key characteristics of high quality courses within the framework of Course Design, Interaction and Collaboration, Assessment, and Learner Support. It was developed by leaders in instructional design, based on 100+ years of their collective practice and expertise. The Rubric is reviewed and updated annually by clients and Blackboard experts who survey the current literature and base changes on the evolving field of best practices. Thousands of instructors, teachers, instructional designers, and faculty trainers have used the Exemplary Course Program to evaluate and improve their courses with recognized best practices.


Benefits of participating

Through the Exemplary Course Program, you have the opportunity to:

  • Reflect on your own course design through self-review of your course(s)
  • Complete course design professional development via the ECP Cohorts, peer reviews, and self review
  • Gain new perspectives and insights on your course through a structured peer review process
  • Receive detailed feedback on your course, including best practices and areas for improvement, from peer reviewers
  • Apply lessons learned from the program and the ECP Rubric to courses you develop
  • Learn from and network with your peers


Course review process

All members of the Blackboard community are welcome to use the ECP process for review of Blackboard Learn or Moodle courses.You can choose three types of review:

For more information about each of these types of review, click on the blue links.


Volunteer to Review Courses

Consider becoming a volunteer course reviewer to:

  • Explore in-depth a variety of courses
  • Get inspiration for your own courses
  • Apply lessons learned from the Exemplary Course Program Rubric to courses you develop
  • Share your knowledge and experience by providing feedback on others' course designs


Sign up to be a Course Reviewer for 2018 >>


Participate in ECP Cohort webinars

ECP Cohorts are provided two times per year - in the spring and fall. Cohorts consist of five (5) free webinars where we cover each exemplary characteristic from the Rubric, provide best practice examples, view course tours from Exemplary Course Winners, and walk you through hands-on building of an exemplary course. We conclude the series with a special Course Reviewer Training for people interested in volunteering. Webinars are provided once per week as follows:

  • Week 1: Course Design
  • Week 2: Interaction and Collaboration
  • Week 3: Assessment
  • Week 4: Learner Support
  • Week 5: Course Reviewer Training


Register to attend the ECP Cohort for Spring 2018 >>

Congratulations to Laurel Whalen, Program Coordinator/Lecturer, Sports Administration MA, and her Peer Mentor, William Lindsay, both from Wayne State University for winning Exemplary status for her course, "Introduction to Sports Administration"

We are excited that so many of you have decided to join our cohort - over 720 have registered so far!


Tomorrow starts our first day of Cohort webinars. There will be 4 offered:

  • September 19: Course Design
  • September 26: Interaction and Collaboration
  • October 3: Assessment (and a bonus course reviewer training!)
  • October 10: Learner Support


In this ECP Cohort section of the Community you will find the recordings of our sessions, the slide decks, and many resources we'll have available for you each week.

Make sure you take advantage of all this complimentary information to help you in your course design efforts.


Along our 4-week journey, if you have questions, please enter them here in the ECP Community. We have a team of folks who are eager to assist!


See you online tomorrow!


Warm regards,

Debbora Woods, MBA

Manager, Customer Programs & Communications

North America Higher Education

Blackboard Inc.

T: 814.272.4612

Let’s connect on Twitter and LinkedIn

Join our online communities for Educators, Higher Ed BITS and Exemplary Course Program

Last week Mark Burris, Blackboard Customer Success Advocate for Schoolcraft College in Michigan, facilitated a celebration to present Exemplary Course Winners with their awards - What a fun way to start out the new fall term! Congratulations Adam Authier, Kim Lark, Jason Kane, Chris Geinzer, and Brad Stetson!

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                                                  Mark Burris                                                            Jason Kane             Mark Burris              Adam Authier    Chris Geinzer


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                                                  Brad Stetson                                                                                                              Kim Lark


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                                                  Jason Kane                                                                                                              Chris Geinzer


                                  Winning Schoolcraft College Team

I'd like to enlist your help...


We are offering a FREE 4-week (just 1 hour each week) Exemplary Course Cohort Program, especially designed for Faculty and Instructional Designers.

Using the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program (ECP) Rubric as a guide, this virtual cohort program will provide both theoretical concepts and practical tools for faculty and instructional designers to recognize, organize, and build online courses for both blended and online learners.


Over the course of four weeks, course design experts -- Carey Smouse and Misty Cobb -- will expand upon each main element of the rubric and Exemplary Course Winners listed below will provide tours of their winning courses:

  • Course Design (September 19): Catherine Barber from St. Thomas University (TX)
  • Interaction and Collaboration (September 26): Han Nee Chong from Hawaii Pacific University
  • Assessment (October 3): Torria Davis from California Baptist University
  • Learner Support (October 10): Jason Kane from Schoolcraft College (MI)


Please invite your Faculty and Instructional Designers to register to join the Cohort here:


If you have any questions, please email


Thanks for your support, and I hope to see you there




Have you been an Exemplary Course Reviewer in the past?

Or are you interested in being a new reviewer?


If so, please complete the NEW & IMPROVED Reviewer Registration form>>

It's been updated and we need to start a new Reviewer pool!


I hope to see your name on the list


Thanks for your support!


Debbora Woods, MBA

Manager, Customer Programs & Communications

North America Higher Education

Blackboard Inc.

T: 814.272.4612

Let’s connect on Twitter and LinkedIn

Join our online communities for Educators, Higher Ed BITS and Exemplary Course Program

What an absolute honor it was to present awards to our 1H 2017 Exemplary Course Award winners at the Community Reception at BbWorld in New Orleans on Wednesday, July 27. For those of you who could join us and participate in the celebration - thank you! For those of you who couldn't attend this year, we missed you. We will be in Orlando, Florida for BbWorld 2018 - I encourage you to request attendance during your budgeting process because we would love to meet you in person :-)


Here are a few pictures from the event last week...


                               Liana and Marissa welcoming attendees to the event



                                         Table Centerpieces - N'Awlins style!



                     Beautiful glass awards for Catalyst and Exemplary Course winners



                                   Dr. Han Nee Chong, Hawaii Pacific University (HI)



                              Dr. Albert Dudley, Algonquin College, Ontario, Canada



                             Dr. Szymon Machajewski, Grand Valley State University (MI)



                                        Kyle Rosenberger, Ohio University (OH)



                                   Cheryl Kautz, Grand Valley State University (MI)

                                       Accepted on behalf of Cheryl by Eric Kunnen



            Jacqueline Pica and Dr. Christine Whitaker, Columbia Southern University (AL)

                                Accepted on behalf of Jacqueline by Tom Heitman

                                Accepted on behalf of Christine by Franklin Boykin


Thanks, again, for a fun rewarding event. We love showcasing your achievements!