As the premier organization promoting the use and practice of distance learning, it is not surprising that each year USDLA would recognize “the best of the best” with its series of individual and organizational awards. Open to member and non-members alike, nominations are typically submitted in January, judged by committees of peers, and then awarded at a festive banquet each spring as a highlight of USDLA’s National Conference. For more information, please contact Jacquelyn Sharpe – Ravella @ jravella@USDLA.org
A unique aspect of the competition is that the various categories are open on an equal basis to all forms of distance learning platforms, addressing the gamut of distance learning audiences, and from anywhere in the world. That range is illustrated by the 2015 awards series where top honors went to a major US university for its innovative design of an online computer science course, “Quantitative Methods for Information Systems” and to a videoconferencing provider in Ghana for expanding the horizons of that country’s K-12 students.
Past entrants have reported that the awards process itself has helped them sharpen their awareness and design more winsome content. The prestigious nature of the awards – the presentations are streamed live to a global audience – is known to enhance the stature of a distance learning unit within its larger institutional context. Everyone benefits when world-class competitors are showcased.