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REF NO.: 173

SUBJECT: Memorial University receives national recognition for online and distance expertise
DATE: April 30, 2008

             The spotlight has been on Memorial University of Newfoundland this week during a national conference taking place in Banff, Alta., as it has been honoured with national recognition for leadership in distance education.
            The Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE) conference wraps up today, April 30.
            Memorial’s Distance Education and Learning Technologies (DELT) – in collaboration with the School of Music – has received a national award for innovation in learning technology. DELT also won a second award for excellence for student service.
            DELT and music  were chosen for this year’s leadership in educational technology award for a collaborative music theory project. Funded by Inukshuk Wireless, the project showcases the use of multimedia and instructional design with faculty members to develop an innovative learning solution. The national award is presented for demonstrating a unique use of learning technologies to change learning systems. The new online music theory testing application permits potential students from across the province and nationally to prepare and drill in advance of their diagnostic admissions examinations. These exams are now administered online permitting students to complete a major part of their admissions screening from virtually anywhere, a true convenience for students living in rural communities of the province or country. The applications flexibility will make it useful not only for online testing, but for preparatory and remedial teaching.
            The School of Music was delighted to be partners in the music theory project with DELT. 
            “The synergy and creativity between everyone involved in this project was evident,” said Dr. Tom Gordon, director, School of Music. “I am delighted that CNIE sought to recognize this achievement.”
            Memorial’s DELT unit has also been awarded the student service award, presented for relevance and contribution to open and distance education. This award applauds DELT’s holistic focus and approach on the student. By living its brand promise with Memorial@Home, DELT focuses on at-home needs of the distance learner in its recruitment, services, delivery and development of information management tools to streamline its core functions and client relations.
            In May 2007, the Canadian Association for Distance Education (CADE) and the Association for Media and Technology in Education in Canada (AMTEC) merged to form CNIE. The CNIE now recognizes distance education contributions in four areas.
            “It speaks volumes for Memorial’s continued leadership that we are winning two out these four Excellence and Innovation Awards,” said Ann Marie Vaughan, director of DELT. “The innovation and creativity in distance education, that Memorial has been recognized for 40 years is alive and well. It is fabulous to work with a group of dedicated and talented people! I am so pleased that the teams’ work has been recognized by their peers.”
            In addition to these winnings, professionals from DELT’s team of course development and technology experts will be presenting nine papers (one of which is with a faculty partner) on a variety of topics to the conference’s national and international participants. 
            “Memorial’s success with developing and delivering online and distance education courses is well known in the local and national post-secondary community,” said Memorial’s Associate Vice-President (Academic), Dr. Doreen Neville. “DELT has a well deserved reputation for innovation and expertise, and for being early adopters of leading edge technology development in service to our students.”

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