Faculty, staff members awarded for online course design

At center, Eric Kunnen accepts Catalyst Awards on behalf of VanderMolen and Machajewski.
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At center, Eric Kunnen accepts Catalyst Awards on behalf of VanderMolen and Machajewski.
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A group of Grand Valley faculty members received national awards from Blackboard for their work on designing engaging online courses. 

Szymon Machajewski, affiliate professor at the School of Computing and Information Systems, and Julia VanderMolen, assistant professor of allied health sciences, were named recipients of a 2014 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course. 

They were recognized at Blackboard’s annual user conference BbWorld, which took place July 15-17 in Las Vegas. 

Machajewski said contemporary teaching involves online tools. He uses Twitter, YouTube, Blackboard and other tools to create collaborative, online environments with his students. 

“Young professionals from most fields, not just technology, must adopt online tools to create personal learning networks and pursue learning throughout their career. That’s why online teaching excellence is important in all courses,” he said. 

VanderMolen’s course “Issues in Health Care” and Machajewski’s course “Introduction to Telecommunications” were submitted to the award program. 

For his course, Machajewski collaborated with Eric Kunnen, IT emerging technologies coordinator for Grand Valley; Garry Brand from Grand Rapids Community College; and Melissa Stange from Shenandoah University.