Kevin Lowey, Senior System Analyst with Information & Communications Technology (ICT), has been named a Gold Winner for Innovative Development in the annual, international Blackboard Catalyst Awards. These awards are given to outstanding members of the Blackboard software development community whose contributions enable significant educational innovation and collaboration.
The U of S uses Blackboard, a virtual learning environment, to support online courses and to give instructors the opportunity to supplement face-to-face courses.
Kevin’s award-winning work was on a tool that allows instructors to set up test student accounts in Blackboard so that they can see exactly what their students see. This U of S innovation to the open source program has now been adopted by more than twenty other universities worldwide.
Kevin Lowey credits his colleague Collene Hansen, ICT Programmer Analyst, for the success. While Kevin dreamed up the idea and developed the plan of attack, he maintains, “Collene did all the hard work to make it happen.”
This is not the first time the U of S ICT team has developed ways to make Blackboard easier to use and more accessible to faculty and students. Previous homegrown improvements include developing ways to integrate Blackboard with other local information systems. That has made it possible for courses to be loaded automatically onto Blackboard, and for instructors and students to gain automatic access to their courses on Blackboard.
Kevin, Collene, and the rest of ICT team do regular consultation with the campus community about Blackboard and plan to continue making improvements to better serve instructors and students.
Kevin will receive his award at the annual Blackboard Developers Conference in New Orleans this July.