Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) has always championed new ways of learning, recognizing that the implementation of cutting-edge learning technology is imperative to meet the needs of a new generation of digital-native students. It was consequently an early adopter of virtual learning environment, choosing to deploy Blackboard Learn in 2001 across the entire university and the seven Faculties.
With the economic and financial crises in Lebanon, the Office of IT had to think of an efficient solution for the English Entrance tests while relying on the existing human and technological resources at NDU. Within two weeks, the Office of IT led by Dr. Fawzi Baroud, Assistant Vice President for IT and Associate Professor, were able to build a simple, accessible, secure, and accommodating online solution using Blackboard Learn and Office 365.
This solution deployed and administered by NDU Alumnus and Assistant Director at the Office of IT and e-Learning at NDU, Dany Azzi (MS’04) has been recognized with the international Blackboard Catalyst Award for Optimizing Student Experience. This award honors those institutions whose educational and administrative innovations have markedly improved the total learner experience. This includes their addressing of new and changing dynamics in ends such as student recruitment, financial aid, enrollment, retention and assessment, graduation, and beyond.
Baroud highlighted that this shift in exam administration was first of its kind, providing safety and equal opportunities for all applicants.
Azzi explained, “When sense of belonging is consolidated by the spirit of teamwork, the outcome is success.”
Founded in 2005, the annual Catalyst Awards recognize and honor innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice, where millions of educators and learners work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology. Winners are selected by a cross-functional team of Blackboard experts and represent the very best in their field.
"We’re pleased to honor this year's Blackboard Catalyst Award winners for their commitment to improving the educational experience for all learners through EdTech and sharing these insights with the broader community," said Lee Blakemore, Chief Client Officer and President, Global Markets at Blackboard. "We’re proud to partner with institutions who are innovating to advance student success.”
The NDU team will be recognized at the 2021 Blackboard World International Conference. A video overview of their accomplishment can be viewed here.