Ruth Newberry joined the Blackboard Consulting team in 2014 with more than 25 years of higher ed professional experience in teaching traditional and non-traditional students and in classroom, hybrid, and online modalities, as well as in the areas of curriculum and assessment, instructional technology, student success, faculty development, and educational technology management and leadership. In addition to her consulting role at Blackboard, she continues to facilitate various workshops for the Online Learning Consortium.
Dr. Newberry has a Ph.D. in English and a background in curriculum development, learner assessment, pedagogy, and retention begun with her MA and BA in English and Secondary Education Certification. She is a published author and has presented at IUP-Annual Assessment Conference, Educause, Online Learning Consortium, CCCC, Blackboard World, and many other national and regional conferences on faculty development, learner support and retention, learner assessment, online education, educational technologies and management, writing centers, and strategic planning. She earned two teaching awards, a Presidential Award for Service, the Sloan-C Certificate of Online Learning, a Sloan-C Best in Track Award for Student Services and is an Educause Leadership Institute alum, Quality Matters certified, and a Middle States Team evaluator. In her eight-year leadership of a community-based user group, Dr. Newberry hosted two profitable, regional conferences on teaching and learning and established a successful, on-going support network for instructional technologists among twenty institutions.
In previous role as Director of Educational Technology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa., Dr. Newberry co-chaired the university’s Educational Technology Committee and led a successful strategic planning event with University Deans and Academic Affairs Leadership and was a founding member of the University’s Retention Committee. She successfully managed and implemented complicated core educational technology projects and leveraged strategic partnerships with campus IT and vendors to maximize academic technology investments to advance adoption and efficiencies. Supervising three teams, Dr. Newberry and her 16 staff members partnered with IT to integrate educational software with CORE institutional systems, implemented a campus-wide early alert system for advisors and faculty, an online course evaluation system, a sustainable improvement replacement plan for classroom technology, and an automated course request system and a workshop tracking and workshop evaluation system.
Her extensive teaching background and ability to emphasize student learning and demonstrate how learning can be enhanced through effective use of technology led to Dr. Newberry’s designing, authoring, and executing for 11 years a comprehensive campus-wide faculty certification program for classroom and online technologies to foster faculty understanding, build technical proficiencies, and develop faculty confidence in the rich possibilities technology brings to teaching and learning. Under Ruth’s leadership and targeted advocacy, voluntary adoption of the learning system Blackboard grew consistently each year, achieving 85% of all courses; online programs continued to improve in national rankings; and quality assurance, policies, faculty satisfaction, academic integrity, and student retention issues were addressed.