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Dr. Melanie McNaughton, assistant professor of communication studies, is invested in student-centered learning, an approach that can have its challenges when teaching a fully online course. Dr. McNaughton's meeting and exceeding those challenges earned her the newly created Blackboard Innovation Award for her online course, Communication and Culture. For this course, she produces extensive original video content and encourages class interaction through blogging, discussion boards and collaborative peer reviews. Dr. McNaughton cannot say enough about the help she received from IT, specifically Reid Kimball, assistant director of the Teaching & Technology Center. "Blackboard is not an intuitive program," she said, which adds to her challenges given her extensive use of various technologies in her course. "All my Blackboard courses have streaming videos and sometimes things go sideways," she said. "So, I send an email to Reid, he looks at code and figures it out. e fact that IT is willing to be so supportive of outside-the-box technology efforts is impressive. It's never 'no'; it's always, 'how.' I am able to invest my time and energy in what I do best because of the IT staff." Dr. McNaughton is committed to making material accessible to all students, including those with vision or hearing challenges or any other disabilities. To that end, she uses a wide range of online technologies – Animaker videos, Adobe Voice, YouTube. "I think, especially with an online course, it's good for students to hear a voice," she said. Dr. McNaughton was pleased to receive the award. "It took a lot of work to design this class and it's very meaningful to have work recognized that, in some respects, is invisible on campus." OPPORTUNITIES. COLLABORATIONS. RESULTS. 17 Dr. McNaughton and Blackboard A Winning Combination Blackboard Innovation Award DR. MELANIE MCNAUGHTON

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