The Hyperion Award for Excellence

"Content, Connectivity, and Convergence"

The Hyperion Award for Excellence is awarded annually by the New Media Conference to recognize companies, organizations or individuals who have made a significant contribution in the creation or development of New Media or the supporting infrastructure of software tools, hardware or connectivity innovations.
The Hyperion Award for 2001 has been awarded to Murray Goldberg, Founder and President of WebCT Canada. The press release is below.

View Acrobat Reader PDF image of this year's Hyperion Award.

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*** January 24, 2001


Five years ago, there were few resources for teachers wanting to offer a web-based course-so UBC computer scientist Murray Goldberg developed his own. Today WebCT is the world's most popular online course management system. More than 148,000 faculty members at over 1,570 colleges and universities are using WebCT's products and services to transform the educational experience for more than 5.8 million students. In recognition of the contributions he has made in applying new technology to education, Goldberg, a UVic grad, will receive the Hyperion award at this year's new media Conference at UVic from Feb. 11 to 13.

"Murray Goldberg's development of the collaborative teaching and learning software WebCT is an outstanding example of the application of New Media in the field of information technology for teaching and learning in higher education," says conference chair Martin Segger. "The award committee also noted that the rapid adoption and widespread use of the software also illustrates the value of public-private partnerships in the expanding field of e-learning."

Goldberg graduated from UVic in 1985 and went on to earn his MSc from UBC. While working as a research assistant studying high speed parallel communication protocols he offered to teach a few courses as well. "I found I loved it," says Goldberg, who won UBC's teaching award after just one year at the front of the classroom. He immediately began investigating new ways to instruct his students.

"I wanted to explore the effectiveness of the web as a teaching and learning tool so I had to teach a web-based course but I found there was very little out there to help me set one up," says Goldberg, who applied for and won a $50,000 teaching grant to assist him. "That first course took a year to build, and I knew I couldn't spend $50,000 each time I wanted to create a course so I built my own web-based tool. That was the beginning of WebCT."

In 1996, Goldberg went to a Paris conference to present the results of his research comparing students' performance with traditional and web-based learning (the group experiencing a combination of the two did best). But conference attendees were more interested in the software than its education results. Within six months, 100 institutions were using WebCT. Realizing he could not support that many users with funding alone, Goldberg and UBC created a company to finance the support network. Recently, it merged with another company to expand the product's reach.

Goldberg, who is president of WebCT/Canada, says he's pleased to hear he's this year's Hyperion award recipient. "I hear it's a fantastic conference. It's the kind of conference that I love; one that brings together people who are really connected with the technology and those who love to teach."

For further information on this year's New Media Conference, "Content, Connectivity and Convergence," check the conference website at or contact conference coordinator Ed Oscapella at (250) 472-1690.