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PIVOT Receives Blackboard Award for Training

Initiative highlighted effective, campus-wide use of Ultra

Planning Instructional Variety for Online Teaching (PIVOT) has received a 2022 Catalyst Award from Blackboard/Anthology for Training and Professional Development. Designed and delivered by DoIT’s Instructional Technology team in response to the pandemic shift to online learning, PIVOT also received an Effective Practice Award from the Online Learning Consortium in 2021. 

The Catalyst Awards honor innovation and excellence in the global community. UMBC previously received a Catalyst Award in 2017 for Leading Change using innovative data analytics to support student success. The Catalyst Award for Training and Professional Development recognizes institutions that display an organization-wide dedication to innovative training and development programs for their educators and staff. The Catalyst Awards are evaluated based on four criteria:

  • Design (goals/outcomes);
  • Structure (process/people/activities);
  • Impact (analytics); and
  • Significance (best practices for education).
The use of Blackboard solutions is also an important factor.

Grounded in the evidence-based principles for how people learn, PIVOT’s pedagogical foundations and use of 25 faculty peer mentors for pedagogical and technical facilitation are well established as an effective practice. Quality Matters (QM) informed much of the program’s conception and delivery, and through the QM Impact program, which expanded PIVOT, eight courses have since met QM certification

The PIVOT program also used Ultra as part of DoIT’s larger migration to Blackboard’s new course interface. Content was delivered in an Ultra course using assessments, discussions, groups, and third-party tools. PIVOT webinars were also delivered in Collaborate using content, polls, and breakout rooms for increased engagement and demonstration of essential web conferencing tools.  Faculty peer mentors and Ultra Ambassadors offered personal experiences, course tours, feedback and support to their colleagues throughout the PIVOT experience.

Use and demonstration of Ultra tools encouraged faculty to try Ultra for their own courses, which positively impacted our larger migration to the new experience. Our Ultra adoption increased by 148% between FA2019 and FA2020, representing 46% of all active Bb courses with a substantial surge occurring during the pandemic. Students are also consistently satisfied with Ultra. Finally, as a result of the PIVOT program, more faculty are willing to teach online and student satisfaction with PIVOT courses is consistently higher than non-PIVOT courses. 

Dr. Mariann Hawken, director of Instructional Technology, will represent the Instructional Technology team at the Anthology Together conference in Orlando, FL, to receive the award and present on UMBC’s Ultra migration plan. The Catalyst Awards Livestream will be broadcast on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 at 10 AM ET. Register online.

Posted: July 11, 2022, 8:31 PM