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Over 10 for 2010

Award-winning year for Distance Education


President Gary Kachanoski, Sir John Daniel and Ann Marie Vaughan.

By Heidi Wicks

Although the face of Newfoundland and Labrador is changing and evolving, education is a fundamental necessity in ensuring the province’s rural populace remains current.

Distance Education and Learning Technologies (DELT) has more than pulled its weight as an integral part of this growth. As 2010 draws to a close, Memorial’s distance education and online-learning provider celebrates a successful year of regional, national, and international awards.

Distance Education and Learning Technologies (DELT) rounds up a tally of more than 10 awards highlighting teaching and learning.

In late November, the unit was awarded the 2010 Commonwealth of Learning Award of Excellence for Institutional Achievement, which was presented in Kochi, India at the Sixth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning.

The award celebrates significant institutional achievements in the innovative and effective application of learning technologies, and open and distance learning methodologies to reach students who might otherwise not have participated in the learning or training experience.

Commonwealth of Learning President and Chief Executive Officer Sir John Daniel visited St. John’s in October as one of the keynote speakers for Edge 2010 – an international conference hosted by Memorial’s Faculty of Education.

Sir John stated that DELT was selected as it clearly demonstrates its long-term and ongoing success of making learning opportunities more accessible to students who may not otherwise have had the opportunity for a post-secondary education.

“The distance education unit at Memorial University has proven to be outstanding in the quality, diversity and effectiveness of the programs offered, efficient use of course materials and a learning management system, outreach to remote, rural and marginalized communities, and relevance of programs to the Millennium Development Goals and education for all commonwealth objectives which include peace, democracy, equality and good governance,” said Sir John.

Locally, DELT recently received the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development’s Export and Innovation Award in the Distinction in Innovation category. Other accolades for 2010 include the Award of Excellence and Innovation in a Partnership/Collaboration by the Canadian Network for Innovation and Education (CNIE) for DELT (Memorial University), DLS (College of the North Atlantic), CDLI (K-12) and Desire2Learn for province-wider learning management system, and the Award for Institutional Achievement from the National Universities Technology Network (NUTN). DELT was the first recipient of the award from outside the U.S.

Albert Johnson of DELT took home the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE) Graduate Thesis Award for his work entitled, “Students’ Perceptions of Effective Teaching in Higher Education,” and DELT Director Ann Marie Vaughan was also awarded the 2010 NUTN Noflett Williams Award for Service to the field of distance education.

Ms. Vaughan is especially proud that the collective teamwork of the unit’s staff is able to contribute to the quality of distance education in this province.

“We are able to deliver over 1000 technology-enabled courses on campus, and our partnerships with the College of the North Atlantic and the provincial Department of Education’s Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI) enables the partners to share in a common vision to create a supportive community environment from which a learning culture can be developed and supported that reflects a direct connection to the provincial education system,” she said.

 
 

DELT’s institutional awards for 2010 include:

  • Commonwealth of Learning Award of Excellence for Institutional Achievement
  • Award of Excellence and Innovation in a Partnership/Collaboration by the Canadian Network for Innovation and Education
  • Award for Institutional Achievement, National Universities Technology Network
    Noflett Williams Award for Service to the field of distance education (Ann Marie Vaughan, Director, DELT)
  • Institute of Public Administration of Can­ada/ De­loitte Public Sector Leadership Award (Bronze Winner, Education)
  • Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education Graduate Thesis Award (Albert Johnson, Senior Instructional Designer, DELT)
  • University Professional and Continuing Education Association Community of Practice Awards, Distance Learning, Program of Excellence Master of Physical Education program
  • UCEA Marketing Awards – Gold (Online Advertising),
    UCEA Community of Practice Awards, Distance Learning Program of Excellence for the Master of Physical Education program (honourable mention).
  • CAUCE Marketing Awards (Best Marketing on a Shoestring, Best Collateral Materials/Broadcast)
  • CCAE Prix D’Excellence Awards (Silver, Best Audio, Video or Multimedia Presentation)
  • IABC Pinnacle Award of Excellence in Advertising.
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