CNM Earns Two National Awards for Online Learning

April 30, 2013 -- CNM’s Distance Learning program, including faculty member Brian Sailer, have earned national awards for innovative online learning practices from Blackboard Inc., which serves millions of online students and educators around the world.

Jul 17, 2015


Blackboard has announced that its Catalyst Award for Teaching and Learning will go to CNM instructor Brian Sailer, Ph.D., and the Exemplary Course award will go to CNM for “Introduction to Teaching and Learning Online” (TLOL-1010).

Blackboard Inc. is a technology company that serves millions of online learners and educators around the world, including thousands of higher education, K-12, professional and government organizations. The awards will be presented at the BbWorld 2013 conference in Las Vegas, Nev., July 9-11.

Sailer, a full-time biology instructor at CNM since 2004, is being honored for creating an online teaching environment for his students that rivals the social and collegial interaction they would experience in a traditional classroom. He uses Blackboard tools to their fullest to encourage student engagement, clear communication and quality education in his virtual classrooms.

Prior to joining CNM, Sailer, who has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Mary and a Doctor of Philosophy from South Dakota State University, worked for two years at Los Alamos National Laboratory and spent six-and-a-half years teaching biology at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Tex. In addition to teaching biology, Brian is active in instructing professional development courses for CNM faculty, staff and students.

“I am really pleased to accept this award,” he said. “My effort in creating a long-distance learning program that is both challenging and fun for my students is what the award is all about. My students are the ones who really benefit from this program.”

The Introduction to Teaching and Learning Online class (TLOL-1010) that won the Exemplary Course award from Blackboard is for instructors at the K-12 and college levels. It serves as the first step for an instructor to become a certified online instructor and provides a basic introduction to online teaching and learning. The course curriculum centers on best practices in online learning and transitioning face-to face techniques into an online environment with an emphasis on effectively engaging students using Blackboard tools. TLOL is a series of courses, of which two exist and four more are planned, that will culminate in a Master of Online Teaching certificate from CNM's School of Communication, Humanities & Social Sciences (CHSS).

The creation and development of TLOL 1010 was a team effort. CNM employees Audrey Gramstad, Patricia Miera, Hallie Ray and Jessica Rosazza-Williams designed the class to replace a 15-week Distance Learning instructor certification course. Rosazza-Williams, Miera and Ray, CNM distance learning specialists, work with faculty to design, develop and improve online courses. All three also teach the TLOL 1010 course and are adjunct faculty in CHSS and the School of Adult & General Education (SAGE).