11:58 AM

UST Education Professor Honored with Blackboard Exemplary Course Award


Dr. Catherine Barber is recognized by peers for developing a technology-rich, engaging and pedagogically sound course.

Dr. Catherine BarberUniversity of St. Thomas-Houston announces that the School of Education and Human Services Associate Professor Catherine Barber was recognized by her peers with the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program (ECP) Award. The ECP recognizes faculty and course designers from schools, colleges, and universities worldwide who develop engaging and innovative courses that represent the very best in technology and learning.

Barber was selected a winner for her course COUN 5339 Human Growth and Development. This is a master’s-level course for students in the school counseling program.

“I am grateful to the Blackboard Community and to UST for the opportunity to share my work and to learn from others who design online courses,” Barber said. “The process of self-review, peer-review and serving as a peer reviewer has opened my eyes to a diverse array of practices and strategies for teaching online.

“I encourage other faculty to participate in this program,” Barber adds. “It is an excellent way to get feedback on your online and blended courses, and the self-review process is a valuable tool for reflective practice.”

 An exemplary feature of the course is that it uses a realistic scenario to frame the learning activities and engage students in meaningful, relevant work.

The course demonstrated excellence in four areas:

  • Course Design: the elements of instructional design, such as its structure, learning objectives and instructional strategies.
  • Interaction and Collaboration: the level of engagement offered by the course and the level of student interaction and collaboration
  • Assessment: the evaluation of student work toward the achievement of learning outcomes and the quality and type of student assessments
  • Learner Support: the resources made available to students, which may be accessible within or external to the course environment.

About the ECP Awards

For nearly two decades, the ECP has honored instructors and course designers whose courses demonstrate best practices. Since its founding, thousands of instructors, teachers and designers have used the ECP to evaluate and improve their courses with recognized best practices. To be considered for the honor, applicants must be users of the Blackboard Learn learning management system. Submitted courses are evaluated by other course developers, instructional designers, teachers and professors using the ECP Rubric.

“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Catherine Barber to the ECP family,” said Lee Blakemore, Chief Client Officer and President Global Markets at Blackboard. “Now more than ever, educators are challenged with creating engaging and effective courses. This 2020 cohort is among the best of the best for engaging and maximizing learning outcomes for students.”

Barber is being recognized alongside other outstanding recipients on the Blackboard website as well as in the Blackboard Community, a platform where the largest organized network of Blackboard users connect, collaborate and learn from their peers.

To learn more about the Exemplary Course Program, visit https://www.blackboard.com/resources/are-your-courses-exemplary.

Previous Blackboard Awards Won by Barber

Barber has a track record for course excellence and teaching from Blackboard. “I previously won the ECP award for another course, Educational Research and Scholarly Writing (2016), and I won a Blackboard Catalyst Award for Teaching and Learning (2017) with Dr. Janet McCollum,” Barber said.


The University of St. Thomas is a comprehensive university, grounded in the liberal arts. Committed to the unity of all knowledge, UST offers programs in the traditional liberal arts, professional, and skilled-based disciplines. Graduates of the University of St. Thomas think critically, communicate effectively, succeed professionally, and lead ethically.