June 12, 2012 - Riverside, CA
California Baptist University’s selection as a semifinalist in the 2012 AMX Innovations Awards is just the latest affirmation of the university’s commitment to connect the campus through technology.
Recently, Blackboard,a web-hosted learning management system,announced that four CBU professors had won the Catalyst Award.Sherryl Berg-Ridenour, Dr. Torria Bond, Dr. Joshua Knabb and Lindsay Pollard will be honored for designing and developing innovative courses using technology at BbWorld®, Blackboard's annual user conference to be held in July in New Orleans, La. The Blackboard Catalyst Awards program annually recognizes and honors innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice.
In addition, Cisco Network Systems praises CBU efforts on its website “for its visionary approach to leveraging video technologies to enhance learning and engagement between faculty and students.”
As a semifinalist in the AMX Innovations Awards, CBU was one of only 22 institutions worldwide to gain the recognition. The Global Education Alliance (GEA) awarded the AMX grand prize to Wake Forest University in the connected campus category. The two other award winners were Stanford University in the automation and control category and George Washington University in the collaborative initiative category.
“CBU is not taking a backseat in online education,” said Dr. David Poole, CBU vice president for Online and Professional Studies (OPS). “We are very competitive with much larger universities.”
Dr. Tran Hong, CBU’s associate vice president of technology for OPS, isat the heart of building CBU’s technological infrastructure. Since joining CBU in March of 2010, Hong has worked to connect faculty with students from any location. In the past two years, he has migrated the campus to the latest Blackboard 9.1. He also built a cutting-edge convergent IP network capable of supporting all voice, video and data applications.
“Unlike traditional text-based learning management systems, [our technology] allows professors to teach more naturally in an online environment,” Hong said. “They can still keep that high level of face-to-face interaction, and act just as they would in a traditional classroom.”
The goal for CBU is to optimize instructional opportunities and student engagement.
“We now have two students from Rwanda participating in one of our graduate-level literature courses,” Hong said. “This is the first time we’re interacting with students located across the globe in a real-time class session, so for students and faculty it’s a very exciting experience. Even though these students are 10,000 miles away, it feels like they’re right here in Riverside with us.”