Bowie State Professor Wins Honors for Online Course

Bowie State



June 7, 2013


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Bowie State University Professor Wins Honors for Online Course

Blackboard Catalyst Award Recognizes Best Practices in Course Development

(Bowie, Md.) – June 7, 2013 – A Bowie State University psychology professor whose interactive online course has enhanced student success rates was named a winner of a 2013 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course Program, recognizing her innovative course design.

Dr. Katrina Kardiasmenos, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, was honored for developing a course representing the very best in technology and learning practices. She also received an extra distinction by being one of 11 award winners to be selected for a Directors Choice for Courses with Distinction. These courses stood out for going above and beyond the Exemplary Course Program Rubric requirements.

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

“The Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Experience has afforded me the opportunity to develop a high-quality online course, which can serve as a model for my colleagues,” Kardiasmenos said. “The rubric and peer review process both validated the quality of the course design and served as a valuable resource for self-assessment. Overall, my participation will improve all of our courses at Bowie State University.”

The course under review was psychology 101, an introduction to the basic theories and concepts in psychology. Kardiasmenos received a $20,000 grant from the University System of Maryland to redesign required gateway courses taken by large numbers of students. More than 320 students from various majors take general psychology each semester. In the first semester of full implementation, students enjoyed a 68-percent pass rate, compared to 62-percent in the traditional lecture format.

With the new course design, students engage in online discussions, watch videos, and complete self-assessments – all online and oftentimes replacing traditional lectures altogether. The new format especially helps non-traditional students to complete the course by providing the same material as they would receive in a traditional setting.

“Catalyst Award winners represent some of today’s finest examples of leveraging technology to improve the education experience,” said Ray Henderson, Chief Technology Officer and President of Academic Platforms at Blackboard. “Each winner has established best-in-field approaches in critical areas including online learning, course development, school communication and mobile education. We congratulate the winners on their vision and their excellent work, and we celebrate this accomplishment with them.”

Kardiasmenos will be honored alongside other Catalyst Award winners in July during Blackboard’s annual user conference, BbWorld®, in Las Vegas, Nev.

Blackboard is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard’s solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online.

For a complete list of Blackboard Catalyst Award winners please visit:



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