LTU management course wins Blackboard Catalyst Award

Release Date: May 27, 2014

The Global Strategic Management online course at Lawrence Technological University has been named a winner of a Blackboard Catalyst Award for the Exemplary Course Program, which recognizes faculty and course designers from schools, colleges and universities around the world who develop exciting and innovative courses.

The LTU course was also named a Directors’ Choice for Courses with Distinction, an honor awarded to a select group of courses that stand out even from other winning entries.

Lawrence Tech faculty members

Lawrence Tech faculty members (L-R) Diane Cairns, Mike Thibideau and Jackie Stavros have won a Blackboard Catalyst Award for the College of Management’s online course, Global Strategic Management.

The Blackboard Exemplary Course Program awards highlight technologically rich, engaging, well designed, and pedagogically sound courses that showcase best practices. Over 200 entries were evaluated in a rigorous peer-review process by more than 300 faculty and instructional designers. Submissions were judged on course design, interaction, collaboration, assessment and learner support.

The winning LTU online course was taught by Adjunct Professor Michael Thibideau, championed by Professor Jackie Stavros, and designed by Diane Cairns, an online evaluation and assessment specialist in LTU’s Office of eLearning Services.

“Mike is one of the best examples of online instructors we have had the pleasure to work with,” said Richard Bush, director of eLearning Services at Lawrence Tech. “His focus is on course objectives, appropriate use of technology in instruction and course delivery, and the creation of a rigorous, relevant and engaging course.”

Thibideau, Stavros and Cairns were also part of a College of Management team that developed standards across all courses to incorporate quality course design, integration of effective teaching and learning strategies, and student support. Other members of that team were Assistant Professors David Egleston, Anne Kohnke and Nadia Shuayto.

The three course developers made sure the online course stayed true to the quality and rigor of LTU’s classroom courses. “Diane worked closely with Mike and Jackie to suggest methods to improve the overall function and use of technology that significantly added to the learning experience for students,” Bush said. “The combined skills of Diane, Mike and Jackie created a learning environment that promoted active student participation.”

The developers of Global Strategic Management will be honored alongside other Blackboard Catalyst Award winners during BbWorld®, Blackboard’s annual user conference to be held in July in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“It’s an honor each year to recognize forward-thinking educators who are helping create a world inspired to learn through the work they do every day,” said Blackboard CEO Jay Bhatt. “We congratulate Catalyst Award winners on their vision and innovative approaches to education, and celebrate their accomplishments with them.”

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, visit


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