First ever hackGVSU ‘Hackathon’ brings innovative ideas to enhance Blackboard at GVSU

hackgvsubannerOn Saturday, April 14, 40+ students, faculty, and staff gathered together at GVSU’s first ever ‘hackathon’ event. hackGVSU was sponsored by Blackboard Inc. and supported by Matt Roberts, Eric Kunnen, Katie Clark, Colleen Cameron, and Hunter Bridwell from the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team along with Szymon Machajewski, CIS Affiliate Professor, in the School of Computing and Information Systems.

The ultimate goal of the hackGVSU event was to rethink education with the creation and coding of new ideas to enhance student success

This day long event provided attendees with hands-on learning, coding, and creation… all centered on the development of innovative technology to enhance teaching.

The focus for this year’s event was Blackboard’s learning management system and the ideas submitted for the hackathon provided opportunities for REST API integration as well as HTML coding for enhancing the Blackboard portal.

Participants attended training sessions lead by Szymon Machajewski and Scott Hurrey,  Blackboard Code Poet and Senior Technical Writer responsible for the Developer Community.


Matt Roberts, Instructional Designer, GVSU opening the first ever hackGVSU hackathon event.


Szymon Machajewski, Affiliate Professor, GVSU talking about custom HTML modules in the Blackboard portal.


Scott Hurrey, Blackboard Inc., providing training and information for hackGVSU participants about REST APIs.

Photo Gallery [View More Photos on GVSU’s eLearning and Emerging Technologies Facebook Page]

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes were awarded for HTML and REST API categories and 14 teams worked together to create unique and innovative apps that integrate with the Blackboard learning management system. All entries for hackGVSU are available on Devpost. Projects were scored according to the following rubric:


Judges for the competition were:

  • Scott Hurrey, Blackboard Inc,
  • Matt Roberts, Instructional Designer, IDeL, eLearning and Emerging Technologies
  • Katie Clark, Systems Analyst, eLearning and Emerging Technologies
  • Eric Kunnen, Associate Director of eLearning and Emerging Technologies

Congratulations to the winners of hackGVSU 2018!!!

HTML Category:

API Category:

Additional articles and information about hackGVSU:

GVSU’s eLearning and Emerging Technologies team would like to thank our event sponsor, Blackboard Inc. for their support for hackGVSU!




Laker Bot says: “Thank you for attending hackGVSU!”


Shape the Future of Education at hackGVSU!

Join us on Saturday, April 14 from 9am to 6pm!

Grand Valley State University is hosting its first-ever hackGVSU event. Inspired by other college hackathons (like hackPSU https://hackpsu.org), we’re inviting students and staff from area high schools, colleges, and universities to come to Grand Valley and envision how technology can shape the future of education.

The focus for this year’s event is Blackboard’s learning management system. Participants can attend training sessions lead by Blackboard employees and then work together in teams to build projects that extend Blackboard’s capabilities.

We’re planning a full day of food, beverages, and prizes for the best projects. Individuals of all experience levels are welcome, from experienced coders to first time hackers. If you know of anyone that might be interested in attending, they can find details at: