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18 April 2005

University of Dundee eLearning Course Receives International Award

The University of Dundee was delighted to receive one of the top prizes in the international Blackboard Bionic Course Contest announced recently at a major conference in Baltimore, USA.

The inaugural award, which attracted entrants from across the world, recognises five courses that represent "technologically and pedagogically, the very best of eLearning". The Learning Enhancement Unit at the University has received a formal certificate and the US $5000 award presented by Matthew Pittinsky, Chairman of Blackboard, a leading provider of enterprise software and services to the education industry.

The award was made to the teaching team that present the "Assessment Online" staff development course that uses the Blackboard Online Learning System to deliver a comprehensive staff education programme that enables academic staff to learn about creating and presenting online assessments for students. This is an increasingly important area for learning and assessment in this internet enabled world.

"We are delighted to have received this award," said David Walker, Module Leader on the Assessment Online course. "Being selected as one of the winners by a panel of experts and fellow professionals from within the field of elearning makes the award all the more special."

"Winning such a prestigious competition is a fantastic achievement for the University of Dundee," said Dr Richard Parsons, Director of eLearning at the University. "It recognises the efforts of everyone involved in delivering the course and highlights the considerable strengths that Dundee has established in the area of online learning. We are grateful to the Faculty of Life Sciences, whose input into the development and delivery of the course has proven invaluable."

Accredited and delivered fully via the web, the award winning course "Assessment Online" runs each semester for a period of five weeks and is open to academic staff both internally and externally to complete. Participants explore the techniques for assessing students online including how to design effective online questions. Members of the course are also provided with instruction on how to produce electronic Portfolio of work, assess discussion board activities and construct and deploy electronic assessments. The course is delivered with the commercial tools of Blackboard and Questionmark Perception, and uses a number of innovative approaches that include self and peer assessment.

The other institutions selected as winners from the entrants to the Blackboard Bbionic Course Contest were:

Virtual High School/Forks High School; Poetry Writing
Dallas Baptist University; ART-1306
Texas Woman's University; Family Sexuality
Humboldt State University; Nutrition for Athletic Performance

NOTES TO EDITORS:

University of Dundee utilises a range of 'best-of-breed' commercial elearning systems to support learning and teaching activities on and off campus. These systems include the University's Blackboard virtual learning environment (VLE) known as 'My Dundee' which offers a range of services to staff and students including support for modules, content management facilities and an electronic porfolio capabilities.

By Roddy Isles, Head of Press 01382 344910, out of hours: 07968298585, r.isles@dundee.ac.uk