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Online Public Policy Course Earns Blackboard Award

School of Continuing Studies honored for exemplary course program

CHICAGO --- The Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies course, “Analytic Methods for Public Policy Analysis,” part of the school’s online Master of Public Policy and Administration program, has received the Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course Program.

Part of the annual Blackboard Catalyst Awards program since 2000, the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Award highlights technologically rich, engaging, well designed, and pedagogically sound courses that showcase best practices for the user community.

More than 160 entries were evaluated in a rigorous peer-review process by more than 300 faculty and instructional designers. Submissions were judged on course design, level of interaction and collaboration, assessment and learner support.

“This award represents our belief that online education can be done exceedingly well,” said Joel Shapiro, associate dean of academic programs at Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies (SCS) and one of the course instructors. “We highly value giving online students a clearly mapped, rich learning environment with lots of different ways to learn. It’s an important part of how we live up to SCS’ mission to provide a wide range of learners with access to great programs at a great university.”

The award-winning Analytic Methods course exposes students to a set of tools and principles that help public policy and program analysts systematically value decisions, improve the decision-making process, value inputs and outcomes, handle uncertainty, and compare aspects of public policy and systems that might not appear to be comparable. The part-time, online Master of Arts in Public Policy program encompasses both the analytical and the administrative sides of the discipline to prepare leaders in health service, government IT and emergency management, as well as urban and regional planning, political science research and foreign affairs.

Fully accredited SCS online courses marry the best aspects of online technology with the interactivity of the classroom in a format designed to work with students' busy schedules.

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