Skip to content

Leaders in Professional, Continuing and Online Education

A Different Corner

What are your plans for National Distance Learning Week (NDLW)?

Back in the day, as the leader of an online unit, I struggled with National Distance Learning Week (NDLW). People who know me know I haven’t met a special occasion I don’t like but NDLW was always a head-scratcher for me. Maybe it’s because I associate events with in-person attendance and that’s pretty much the antithesis of online learning. Maybe it’s because I am an unreliable attendee of virtual events and I couldn’t imagine highlighting NDLW with anything other than what we see our good friends in student affairs doing (cotton candy machines and t-shirt cannons FOR THE WIN).

A few years ago our good colleague Witt Salley suggested to a group of us in the Online Administration Network that we craft a resolution and try to get our states to recognize NDLW. I managed to get that done in Kentucky in 2015. For the life of me, I cannot find evidence of this work other than the press release.

Yet there are leaders among us that are actively and consistently highlighting NDLW. I think their good work is notable and could serve as an example for the rest of us.

  • University of Illinois Springfield – Wow, their NDLW featuring UIS students that learn at a distance has a lot of nice stories. I am told they’ll be hosting a competition for their campus in honor of NDLW. I’ll be adding that link to this post!
  • Penn State  – Well, you had to know Penn State was going to do something great – they have an event and a ton of webinars! Check them out here.
  • Purdue University – Purdue Online is hosting synchronous and asynchronous events next week. You can check out their program here.
  • University of Wisconsin-Platteville – They are hosting a gala along with a Virtual Distance Dash 5k and Anti-5k. Two things…1. I don’t think we use the word gala enough. I, for one, would attend just about anything if the organizers used ‘gala’ in the event title. 2. An anti-5K? What’s that, you ask? Check out their link. Serious. Genius!
  • Our good friends at Quality Matters are hosting two workshops during NDLW on social media and teaching. You can find out more here.

Did you wait until the last minute to plan for NDLW? Did this post convince you that you should plan something? Well, Tonya Amankwatia, the Director of Instructional Innovation at Regent University shared with me some of the activities she experienced at a previous institution:

  • University portal announcement and special persistent banner—appreciation by Provost and list of activities
  • Created informational pages for faculty
  • Student videos of their favorite place to study posted online
  • Highlight collections for online learning and open up for recommendations of acquisition
  • Big cake and coffee in the PM for non-traditional learners
  • Posting and promoting USDLA’s webinars and support resources

So, my friends, on this the eve-week of National Distance Learning Week, consider how you might highlight distance or online learning at your institution. Plan something and make it part of your internal and external advocacy work (ooh, she slides in a reference to the UPCEA Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership at the very end, sneaky)!

Enjoy NDLW and feel free to share your NDLW events in the comments for this post or in UPCEA’s Member Forum on my original post.

Julie Uranis

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Julie Uranis serves as the Vice President for Online and Strategic Initiatives at UPCEA. In this capacity she is the Managing Director of the National Council for Online Education and leads the planning efforts for the Summit for Online Leadership and Administration + Roundtable (SOLA+R). Prior to joining UPCEA she lead the distance learning and continuing and professional development teams at Western Kentucky University as the Director of Distance Learning and Continuing & Professional Development. Julie began her career at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) where she held both teaching and administrative positions. Julie has a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, a Master of Science in Technology Studies, and a Graduate Certificate in Community College Leadership from EMU.


ABOUT

A Different Corner is written by Julie Uranis, Vice President, Online & Strategic Initaitives, and Managing Director of the National Council for Online Education. This blog veers into topics du jour in PCO and as the title of the blog might imply, a George Michael lyric or ten.


Click here to learn about the National Council for Online Leadership.


UPCEA Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership

Developed with a goal of identifying the range of what will constitute successful online leadership, the Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership include standards, aspirations and principles essential into the foreseeable (and not so foreseeable) future of online education. The Hallmarks identify seven facets of leadership and organizational development: internal advocacy, entrepreneurial initiative, faculty support, student support, digital technology, external advocacy, and professionalism.


UPCEA Updates + Blogs

Emboldening Student Driven Learning in the Online Environment

By SmartBrief Editors This post is produced in partnership with UPCEA.   The world of professional, continuing and online education is in constant flux. Former associate dean of academic affairs at Syracuse University and current University of North Carolina at Greensboro division of online learning dean, Dr. Karen Bull provides her perspective in this online…

Read More

Why Smart Cities Need Liberal Arts Graduates

As a lover of science fiction, I find myself picking movie genres that depict a future society fighting against the tyranny of unfair rulers protecting what they think is a utopian society. Ultimately, the masses win and freedom reigns. What our future society will look like depends on many things. Whether it will be dystopia…

Read More

Overdue Urban Solutions: Smarter Houses and Buildings

In reflection of my reading or movie choices, I just now realized that my genre of movies centers around how society must survive in the future.  There is a clear adversary and the inhabitants of the future city have an opportunity for freedom from tyranny.  It’s a struggle for potential utopia or the choice of…

Read More

Policy Matters | Sen. Alexander wants to pass scaled-back HEA (September 2019)

Welcome to the fourth installment in our monthly public policy primer, Policy Matters. Each issue has the latest updates and actionable items in public policy for adult and nontraditional education stakeholders.  Major Updates Senator Alexander Announces Intent to Pass Scaled-Back Higher Education Act Reauthorization Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) stated he wants to attempt to update broad-based…

Read More

Smart Cities and Transportation, and the Impact on Higher Education

Despite the increase in distracted drivers, the number of accidents has declined. While a number of factors may be at play, better technology and engineering are certainly having an impact. While accidents have declined, fatalities from large vehicles, vehicles to pedestrians and vehicles to pedal-pedestrians has increased. Will the self-driving vehicle help improve safety? To…

Read More

Deconstructing the Economic Factors Affecting Professional Learning

By SmartBrief Editors This post is produced in partnership with UPCEA. The desire to advance in a career field or life in general is not enough for individuals who are ready to learn more and better their circumstances. Disparity exists when it comes to post-secondary education, including traditional college, certification programs and other forms of…

Read More

The Nation's Top Universities Choose UPCEA Consulting

Informed decisions. Ideas that work. The data you need. Trusted by the top universities in the nation.