Each year the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) recognizes the preeminent distance learning practitioners from around the world. The annual awards program not only salutes some often unsung but hardworking professionals but also showcases the “best of the best” so that others may admire and emulate their excellence and innovation. Our USDLA blog will be featuring a different 2016 USDLA Award Winner over the next several months.
USDLA’s 2016 Bronze Award for Best Practices for Distance Learning Programming was presented to Adam Peterson and Crystal Halley, JD of the University of Arkansas System eVersity for their work in developing an exemplary online course on the subject of Legal Research.
The Distance Learning Programming category considers both individual or a series of online courses or training modules. Each body of work is judged in regards to interactivity, design, use of technology, and assessment.
Ms. Harriet Watkins, the Director of Online Learning at the University of Arkansas System eVersity nominated the course for the award and stated, “This six-week innovative online undergraduate Criminal Justice Legal Research course, created by professor Crystal Halley, JD was produced using 100% open educational resources (OER). The course design encompasses interaction, collaboration, assessment, and learner support which are all hallmarks of an exemplary course. Engagement can be seen throughout the course with a good mix of activities to keep the students focused on the content. For example, the case file activity is interactive, enjoyable and engaging. The inclusion of external resources and multimedia resources embedded throughout the content help to round out the course.”
In a video describing the course, Adam Peterson, the Senior Instructional Designer, who worked with Dr. Halley to build the course, points to several of the strategies and design elements that keep the course learner-centered and remove barriers for the students. For example, emphasis is placed on consistency of design so that students can navigate content and course elements easily. In order to reduce the cost to students, there is no textbook required. Instead, students have access to open education resources at no cost. In addition, careful attention is paid to delivering content in multiple formats to address the learning needs of individuals and ensure compliance with accessibility standards.
Check out these upcoming exciting USDLA events:
IFWE: The International Forum for Women in eLearning
November 30 – December 2, 2016 in San Antonio, TX.
USDLA is proud to present IFWE every two years, recognizing the role of women leaders in the field of eLearning. IFWE includes open discussions, a voicing of ideas, and presentations that include audience participation. IFWE is designed to tap into the resources of the attendees as well as other experts in their profession.
*For more information about this USDLA signature event, check out the agenda.
USDLA 2017 National Conference
April 30 – May 3, 2017 in Indianapolis, IN
The USDLA 2017 National Conference is the premier event for professionals in the distance learning industry. This year’s conference celebrates USDLA’s 30th year and promises to deliver an action-packed agenda that will bring together distance learning practitioners from across the country and around the world.
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About United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is a non-profit association formed in 1987 with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. The association reaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and members operating in and influencing 46% of the $913 billion dollar U.S. education and training market. USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include pre-k-12 education, higher and continuing education, home schooling as well as business, corporate, military, government and telehealth markets.