National Distance Learning Week


November 6-10, 2017

National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) will be celebrated from November 6-10, 2017 and is hosted by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) each year to showcase the growth of distance learning and celebrate the accomplishments achieved by
K-12, higher education, and corporate online learning leaders. 
In support of NDLW, please take advantage of the following live webinar opportunities and additional online resources to help you:

  • Gain insight into emerging distance learning trends
  • Learn strategies and best practices to engage online students
  • Discover new tools designed to enhance the online teaching and learning experience
  • Monday Nov. 6th

    Click on the links to access recordings for the webinars below: 

    6:00am – 7:00am AKST:  Fending off the Webinar Woes: Designing for Interest and Interactivity (RECORDING & RESOURCES) Presenters: Janine Lim, Andrews University and Roxanne Glaser, i2i Technologies (USDLA Hosted)
    We’ve all experienced webinars that put us to sleep; or where we listen with half an ear while working on something else. What can fend off these webinar woes? Let’s explore strategies for generating interest, catching the eye with appealing visuals, and engaging the brain with interactivity. Come experience the difference with us!

    7:00am - 8:00am AKST   Discovering a 'MAP' to Motivate Online Learners for Deeper Learning (RECORDING)
    Speaker: David Pratt.  Purdue's campuses along with Kaplan are offering a online conference for educators Nov. 6-10 for National Distance Learning Week. The live sessions are presented via Webex. You do not need to register ahead of time, but you can follow the link to add the event to your calendar now.

    8:00am - 9:00am AKST: 8 Tips for Addressing Accessibility  (RECORDING & Accessibility Tip Sheet) (Quality Matters) presented by Catherine Artac from Minnesota State University Moorhead.  They are also offering 3 sessions on Accessibility at a member cost.

    9:00am - 10:00am AKST:  Wait List: “10 Disruptive Technologies & Innovative Applications in Online Learning” (RECORDING)  Presenters: Dr. Susan Aldridge, President Drexel University Online  and Marci Powell, USDLA Chair Emerita and Vice Chair for Global Partnerships (USDLA Hosted)  

    In this webinar, we will look at 10 disruptive technologies and innovative approaches educators around the world are taking in applying them.  From a shoestring budget to high end applications, see these tools in action, while exploring how they are rapidly reshaping the landscape of distance education in the digital age.

    1:00pm - 1:30pm AKST:Teaching in Blended and Online Learning Environments: Creating and Sustaining Communities of Inquiry. (RECORDING) Keynote Speaker: Norman Vaughan(Purdue/Kaplan) The live sessions are presented via Webex. You do not need to register ahead of time, but you can follow the link to join and add the event to your calendar now.

  • Tuesday Nov. 7th

    Click on the links to access recordings for the webinars below: 

    6:00am – 7:00am AKST: BALTO: A History of Humans, Huskies, and Health In Alaska (NO Recording)
    Presenter: Lee Gambol, Distance Learning Coordinator (USDLA Hosted)
    Did you know that the real Balto is at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History? Bring the amazing achievements of mushers and their sled dogs into your classroom as we present the story of Balto and the heroic dogs and mushers of the 1925 Alaskan Serum Run, and compare their experience to the Iditarod of today. Discuss diphtheria with a health educator and find out why the outbreak in Nome, Alaska is so famous. Investigate equipment used to enable humans and huskies to survive in harsh Arctic conditions. Hear how the entire city of Cleveland rallied to the aid of Balto and his teammates after they were abandoned and mistreated. It’s a ‘tail’ for all ages!

    **Note this is an interactive Zoom Connection – you will receive information and login details via email from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History!

    9:00am-10:00am: AKST A Brief History of Distance Communication & Collaboration (RECORDING & RESOURCES) 
    (USDLA Hosted)
    Ken Conn, Director, Partnerships & Collaboration, i2i Technologies; President, USDLA
    Roxanne Glaser, Director, Marketing & Learning, i2i Technologies
    Elaine Shuck, Director, Communication & Development, i2i Technologies; Chair Emerita, USDLA
    With the USDLA celebrating 30 years, it seems fitting to be reflective as we also speculate on the future.  Join us as we take a look back at distance communication & collaboration while reviewing the current state of affairs with some predictions on what is to come.

    2:00pm-3:00pm AKST: Engaging Online Learners with Strategic Instructional Immediacy  (RECORDING)(Purdue/Kaplan) Speaker: Jeff Bailie.  This session is presented via Webex. You do not need to register ahead of time, but you will follow the link provided to join and add the event to your calendar.

  • Wednesday Nov. 8th

    Click on the links to access recordings for the webinars below: 

    6:00am – 7:00am AKST:  Communicating Algebra Remotely: Problem Solved! (RECORDING)
    (USDLA Hosted) 
    Presenter: Michael Eiseman, Creator of Algebra By Hand(TM), 2017 USDLA Innovation Award Winner,
    John McGowan, Project Manager, Equatio from TextHelp

    There are many interactive distance learning tools for reading and writing because text editors have long been a mainstay of internet communication.  This is not the case for mathematical equations. Until now, remote assessment for algebra has been limited to multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank responses that give teachers little insight into their students’ thought processes. New tools empower teachers to dynamically create, present and manipulate equations before their remote students’ eyes.  This technology promises to arm students with advanced procedural fluency for algebraic problem solving while saving teachers hours of time.  Analytics from automated problem grading give teachers much richer feedback that form the basis for better differentiated teaching.  This session will describe and demonstrate this exciting new development in distance learning for algebra.

    7:00am - 8:00am AKST: Enhancing Student Learning with Camtasia Video Quizzes (RECORDING)(Purdue/Kaplan)
    Xiaokai Jia & Kathleen Surface . This session is presented via Webex. You do not need to register ahead of time, but you will follow the link provided to join and add the event to your calendar.

    8:30 am -9:30 am  AKST NMC's Beyond the Horizon Digital Humanities Today webinar (NO Recording)
    Emerging Learning Design (ELD) and the New Media Center are facilitating an online panel discussion as a jumping off point for collaborative and ongoing efforts designed to advance the pursuit of pedagogy and research within this emerging area of scholarly activity.

    The field of digital humanities (DH), which refers to the suite of digital and computational tools currently being used to advance scholarship in the humanities, is changing the way educators work. For example, DH enables the analysis of data in ways that were not possible without new technologies, including visualizing or manipulating texts to reveal patterns, the display of complex histories through interactive maps, the creation of 3D models to aid in the recreation of historical sites and artifacts, and much more.

    9:00am – 10:00am AKST: The Often-Overlooked eLearning Strategic Plan – Don’t Have One? You Should. (RECORDING)  (USDLA Hosted)  Presenters: Darcy W Hardy, PhD , Associate Vice President, Enterprise Consulting, Blackboard Inc. Jeff Rabey, PhD, Principal Strategist, Enterprise Consulting, Blackboard Inc.
    Scott Ready, Principal Strategist, Accessibility, Enterprise Consulting, Blackboard Inc.

    To ensure the long-term success of an eLearning program (blended, hybrid, fully online), colleges and universities need an eLearning strategic plan for growing online programs sustainably and at scale. An institution must consider and develop its goals, vision, organization, governance, policies and procedures, as well as accessibility planning around eLearning. When these areas are not at the core of the eLearning programming, the institution risks any competitive advantage in the eLearning space. Institutions often jump into developing courses and marketing programs when the campus is not organized efficiently, and the overall program has not been operationalized. Skipping strategic planning can cost the institution unexpected expenses and personnel resources. This webinar will address the components of an eLearning strategic plan and how it is critical to the success of the eLearning program.

  • Thursday  Nov. 9th

    Click on the links to access recordings for the webinars below: 

    6:00am – 7:00am AKST: Office 365 & Skype for Business in the Classroom (RECORDING)(USDLA Hosted)
    Presented by: 
    Greg Plum, VP Channel – US, OBT Anywhere

    Office 365 has taken the business and academic world by storm.  Microsoft issues 1.2M new licenses every single month!  The communication gem that is included with many of these licenses is Skype for Business.  Now, don’t be fooled… this is not the Skype that Grandma uses to keep up with the grandkids.  Skype for Business is a full-features collaboration tool that allows you to send instant messages, conduct a voice and/or video call (with multiple people), and share your screen with your audience.  Join us to learn why every other collaboration service in the enterprise and education sectors is keeping at least one eye on Microsoft and Skype for Business.  As a bonus, we will spend some time covering OneNote and how students are using it in your classrooms today!

    9:00am - 9:30amBlackboard Innovating Teaching Series: Using Humor to Engage Students Online (RECORDING)

    Want to learn how to effectively incorporate appropriate humor into online courses to enhance the learning journey?Presented by one of our Blackboard Exemplary Course Program winners, with "Humor" being one of her exemplary practices, you will learn the following strategies:

    • Add subject-related cartoons, graphics, and/or animation
    • Pepper in subject-related jokes
    • Include subject-related humorous videos
    • Present Virtual Awards

    Feedback from students has been overwhelmingly positive - and Lisa can't wait to share these fun ideas with you!

     9:00am – 10:00pm AKST: Distance Learning & Technology Resources for Telehealth  (RECORDING) 
    (USDLA Hosted) 
    Presented by: Janet Major, Arizona Telemedicine Program
    This webinar will provide an overview on clinical and educational applications in the telehealth world as well as provide some excellent resources for folks who are interested or already producing telehealth events.

    2:00pm-3:00pm AKST: User as a Learner: Lessons Learned from a User Experience and Curriculum Design Collaboration (RECORDING) Speaker: Arin Weidner & Kenny Wilson  (Purdue/Kaplan)
    This session is presented via Webex. You do not need to register ahead of time, but you will follow the link provided to join and add the event to your calendar.

  • Friday Nov. 10th
    Click on the links to access recordings for the webinars below: 

    6:00am – 7:00am AKST: 4 LMS Data Points That Can Help You Move The Needle On Student Retention
     (RECORDING) (USDLA Hosted) Presenters: Amanda Thorne, Regional Manager, BNED LoudCloud & Rhonda D Blackburn, PhD, Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, BNED LoudCloud

    Institutions are more focused than ever on using data to improve outcomes but accessing requisite data and building institutional capacity can take years. Through our partnership with schools across the country, Barnes & Noble Education LoudCloud, has found that 4 data points are the biggest drivers of student success from the LMS. In this session, our team will share insights that you can begin applying at your institution today.

    7:00am - 8:00am AKST: Online Faculty Training and Development (RECORDING)
    Speaker: Marla Cartwright (Purdue/Kaplan) This session is presented via Webex. You do not need to register ahead of time, but you will follow the link provided to join and add the event to your calendar.

    8:00am – 9:00am AKST: How Kenai Borough Schools in Alaska Are Using Video-Enabled Learning Spaces (RECORDING)  (USDLA Hosted) Presented by: Natalie Marlow and Ashlyn Branning (Students, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District)

    In this webinar see yourself using live video telecommunications (VTC) to explore bringing the world into your classroom.  Using interactive video conferencing as a tool to deliver instruction or enrich curriculum broadens student access to content while increasing the depth and relevance of their learning experience.  Not only are students more actively engaged but also a variety of learning styles are readily accommodated.  Experience how VTC is becoming an accepted way of life for both teachers and students.

    Learn how to implement strong technology as part of the instructional strategy in a learner-centered environment.  See firsthand how it can positively impact teaching and learning in your school.  Examples, best practices, and content resources will be shown.

    Join this live session as Alaska students, along with their teachers, reflect on how they have successfully implemented interactive videoconferencing connections to capture andexplore new curriculum experiences.



European Distance Learning Week

During EDLW,  you will have access to daily online webinars and panel sessions of expert scholars and practitioners who will present a variety of cutting edge open and online learning topics, from innovations in design to open educational research.

Each webinar will take place at 13:00-14:30 CET (4:00am AKST). Due to the time of these sessions, we recommend registering so you will be sent a recording via email.

Blackboard Community

Higher Ed Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series (BITS)

  • Free training webinars for Blackboard faculty and course design clients (access to live and recorded webinars)
  • Presented 2x/month
  • Taught by Blackboard users and experts
  • Topics include best practices, top strategies, and pedagogy for increasing educator efficiency and improving learning outcomes

OLC’s Digital Learning Resources

In celebration of National Distance Learning Week, November 6-10, 2017, OLC invites you to explore these resources that will help sharpen your skills and knowledge, as well as give you some great tools to help enhance digital teaching and learning. 
As a member institution you have access to the free member resources provided by the OLC.

VoiceThread is an interactive visual collaboration and sharing tool and is integrated into Blackboard at UAA. To learn more about VoiceThread visit the following links:

In order to view PDF files on your computer, you must have a PDF reader program installed. If you do not already have such a reader, you can download a free reader at Adobe's website: Download Adobe Acrobat Reader Software

Accessibility Tips


Distance Education Enrollment Report 2017
  • 6,000,000+ students are now enrolled in higher education distance courses.
  • 30% of all students in higher education are now taking at least one distance course.
  • Most distance learners attend public institutions. Most distance learners in private institutions attend not-for-profits.
  • Distance learners are split almost evenly between students who are
    exclusively “distance” and those who take some courses in person.
  • Public and private not-for-profit institutions have grown their distance learning enrollments (as for-profit enrollments slipped).
  • The majority of “exclusively distance” students live in the same state as their institution, but a surprising 42 % are studying at out-of-state institutions.
  • Graduate students are twice as likely to take all courses at a distance. More than one-third of graduate students study at least in part via distance (vs. 29% for undergraduates).




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