July 13, 2021 Rich Rezler
For the second consecutive year, Washtenaw Community College faculty member Doug Waters has been honored for developing an engaging and innovative online course that represents the best in technology and learning.
Waters received a 2021 Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Award for his work revamping WCC’s Introduction to Business (BMG 140) course. Last year, he received the same honor for his work on the college’s Business Law (BMG 111) course.
“I was thrilled to get this award twice, which I really didn’t expect,” said Waters.
Established in 2000, the Exemplary Course Program Awards recognize faculty and course designers from schools, colleges and universities around the world who demonstrate excellence in course design, interaction and collaboration, assessment and learner support. The awards are given by Blackboard Inc., a global management technology firm that offers web-based interactive course management and learning platforms for higher education, K-12 and government organizations.
“Doug is one of the best and brightest faculty within our Business department. He works tirelessly to make our online courses interactive, fun and educational,” said Eva Samulski, Dean of the WCC Business & Computer Technologies Division. “We could not be more thrilled with Doug receiving this honor for a second time!”
In a quest to make the online Introduction to Business course more student-friendly, Waters and WCC instructional designer Brenda Barnes developed a four-part animated series that supplements the online learning modules, reading material and video lectures.
He also added a career exploration section to the curriculum and created an Open Educational Resource for the class, replacing a $90 commercial textbook with a free alternative for students.
Because Introduction to Business is a high-enrollment survey course that provides brief overviews of a broad field of knowledge, Waters – the WCC Business department chair – invited a number of fellow faculty to contribute to the learning units. That allowed subject matter experts to focus on their specialty within the multi-disciplinary course and introduces students to instructors they may encounter in future classes.
“We run at least 30 sections of this class every year that is taught by multiple faculty members, so I didn’t want to dominate the class with my videos,” he said. “There are six units in the course and a different instructor introduces each unit and gives the key takeaways.”
More about WCC Online
The award-winning course design, high-quality instruction and a free textbook alternative in the Introduction to Business class is an example of what you can expect from WCC Online. Learn more at wccnet.edu/online.