Jennifer Schaefer

Jennifer Peachey SchaeferLFCC Associate Professor of English Jennifer Peachey Schaefer has gotten top marks for her English 112 course.

She was recently presented with the 2017 Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Award. Blackboard provides education technology and services to more than 1,400 institutions.
There were 16 Exemplary Course Awards given out last year, according to Debbora Woods, senior manager of global client programs at Blackboard Inc.

“It’s very selective and a very high achievement because of the way that we do our reviews,” Woods says of the awards program.

Applications are evaluated by other course developers, instructional designers, professors and teachers using a rubric.

Schaefer’s English 112 course showed four areas of excellence: its design, its assessment, its level of engagement offered plenty of room for student interaction and collaboration, and the learning resources available to students.

“Receiving this award is a great validation of my online teaching,” she says. “It was my third time trying. I received a rating of ‘accomplished’ my first two attempts, within two points of the ‘exemplary’ designation, so I decided to try again. The feedback the evaluators give you is really useful when it comes to things you can do to increase student interaction and engagement.”

Blackboard’s rating scale goes from “promising,” to “accomplished,” to “exemplary.”

Schaefer, who has taught at LFCC for 20 years – 10 years as a full-time professor – teaches on-campus classes at the Middletown Campus, as well as online classes and hybrid courses that combine in-person and online teaching.

“For the fully online classes, students do everything in Blackboard,” says Schaefer, who took dual-enrolled LFCC classes while a Warren County High School student. “This includes audio lectures with transcripts, discussion boards about the literature they’re reading, writing techniques, and more. Students submit their assignments and group work through Blackboard. It’s taken the place of face-to-face learning.”

Schaefer’s work has impressed the leadership at Blackboard.

“The efforts made by Professor Schaefer make a difference in enhancing the teaching and learning experience at Lord Fairfax, and for many institutions across the globe,” says Blackboard Chief Client Officer Tim Atkin.

Schaefer is actually the second LFCC employee to win the award. Assistant Professor of Math Cheryl Brindle received the honor in 2014.

“LFCC faculty are among the best and most dedicated I’ve seen,” says LFCC Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Karen Kellison. “Their willingness to engage in self-reflection and improvement is key to the quality of our courses and programs. Jen and Cheryl exemplify this focus on quality by putting their work out there to be judged and critiqued, and by ultimately achieving this exemplary course award.”

In addition to being honored during an LFCC employee appreciation luncheon – including being presented with a plaque by a Blackboard representative and a celebratory cake – Schaefer will be featured on the Blackboard Community site and will be recognized during the platform’s annual conference, Blackboard World 2018, in July in Orlando.

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