The Bbionic Course Contest is a new Blackboard community initiative designed to help cultivate innovations in e-learning and support the organic growth of knowledge within the Blackboard community. The contest will recognize and reward faculty and instructional designers who create technologically rich and pedagogically sound online courses.
The annual contest is open to faculty, staff and administrators of Blackboard institutions. Five entries will each receive $5000 for the best courses. The Bbionic Course Contest is open to individuals or teams from current Blackboard Learning System and Learning System-Basic customers.
Central to the Bbionic course competition is the rubric for evaluation, developed by the expert panel of judges recruited specifically to select the winners of the event. This rubric was based on a series of well-documented and supported rubrics used in the evaluation of online courses, including those from the Sloan Consortium, California State University, Chico and Michigan Community College system. The judges compiled the various criteria and selected those elements they felt most fitting a highly successful course using Blackboard. The rubric will be used to evaluate both required elements for entrance into the competition, the narrative and the online coursesite.
The rubric represents six key areas for success in developing and managing online courses, whether they be supplemental, hybrid or fully online. These areas include:
- instructional objectives
- content presentation and learner engagement
- communication and collaboration
- assessment of learning
- learner support
- technology elements.
Within each area, specific elements are evaluated. For example, as part of instructional objectives, entrants are evaluated on whether or not outcomes are clearly stated and written as measurable learner competencies, as well as whether or not course requirements are clear and appropriate to the specific course. To review the entire rubric, please visit http://communities.blackboard.com
Once the competition is complete, Blackboard plans on releasing the rubric and key examples of success to its entire user community. This will give those faculties and institutions that did not directly participate in the competition an opportunity to review and apply these best practices to their own courses and programs.