Storberg-Walker Receives Blackboard Exemplary Course Award

ecp-team-photo-storberg_walkerAugust 5, 2008

North Carolina State University’s Training & Development Online Program (TDZ) received an award this summer, adding to its “Outstanding Program Award” from the North Carolina Distance Learning Association in 2007.  Faculty member Julia Storberg-Walker was presented with the Blackboard Exemplary Course Award at the Blackboard 2008 Conference (BbWorld ’08) for her course “Organization and Operation of Training and Development Programs” (EAC 582). This award recognizes educational excellence in four categories: 1) course design; 2) interaction and collaboration; 3) assessment; and 4) learner support.

Dr. Storberg-Walker received the award on behalf of the development team including Dr. Diane Chapman (Program Director, TDZ Program); Dede Nelson (Instructional Designer); Kim Duckett (Librarian for Digital Technologies and Learning) and Sophia Stone (Doctoral Student/Graduate Assistant).  The award is part of the Exemplary Course Program (ECP), which is designed to gather and disseminate best pedagogical and design practices.  Winners are honored each year at the Blackboard conference, held this year in Las Vegas, Nevada in July.

“Since 2001, WebCT, and now Blackboard, have been recognizing exemplary teaching and learning practices utilizing their Learning Management System,” said Dr. Donna Petherbridge, Associate Vice Provost for Instructional Support Services in Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications (DELTA).  “NC State was well-represented in the 2008 award by Dr. Storberg-Walker, whose online course is a model of student interaction, pedagogically-driven online teaching, and solid instructional design practices. DELTA enjoyed collaborating with the TDZ faculty on initial course design and development for the Training & Development Online Program, including early work on this course. We are pleased to see Dr. Storberg-Walker’s (and her colleagues’) well-deserved recognition for their continued development and implementation of this course.”

This year, Blackboard ECP received over ninety course nominations from around the world.  Each nomination was reviewed by an expert panel of online educators selected from across the United States and Canada. Nine courses, including EAC 582, emerged from the rigorous examination and were recognized as ‘best in class’ for online education.  Representatives from each winning college or university were flown in to the BbWorld ’08 conference and showcased during the opening reception. A smaller awards ceremony and luncheon was offered the next day, as a way to develop a community of educators and best practices.

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Dr. Storberg-Walker believes the course benefitted from the collaborative design structure she developed with Dede Nelson and Kim Duckett.  Storberg-Walker, Nelson, and Duckett worked closely to tightly integrate design, objectives, content, and learner support.  Both the process and outcome of this collaboration may be helpful to others who are tasked with developing an online course.  

The process requires mutually-engaged professionals, each responsible for their area of content expertise,

to work together collaboratively.  This process is different from the typical ‘expertise for hire’ type of course development, where individuals are given specific tasks yet are not asked to engage or assume responsibility for end results.  The outcome of this new type of online course development collaboration speaks for itself—in addition; the collaborative relationships developed during the design process can continue to enhance future design projects.

If you are interested in learning more about development of EAC 582, please contact Dr. Storberg-Walker at To learn more about the Exemplary Course Program, go to