National Distance Learning Week, November 10-14, 2008

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United States Distance Learning Association holds 2008 National Distance Learning Week to generate broader awareness and appreciation for distance learning.

The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) will hold the 2008 National Distance Learning Week (NDLW), November 10-14, 2008. NDLW is an annual initiative that generates greater awareness and appreciation for distance learning within the areas of pre-k-12 education, higher and continuing education, home schooling, as well as business, corporate, military, government, and telehealth markets.

"It is with great enthusiasm and excitement that USDLA launches the 2008 National Distance Learning Week," says Dr. John G. Flores, CEO of USDLA. "We expect this year's event to be bigger and better than ever, reaching more people both online and on college campuses throughout the nation."

USDLA defines distance learning as the acquisition of knowledge and skills through mediated information and instruction, encompassing all technologies and other forms of learning at a distance. Once again, NDLW will be publicized in "Distance Learning Today," a USDLA sponsored quarterly supplement in USA TODAY. Distance Learning Today (DLT) appears in USA TODAY's top-tier markets for distance learning - major commuter hubs, convention centers and hotels, and is read by 2 million people. In addition, the section will be featured on the USDLA website (http://www.usdla.org), which averages 2.6 million hits per month.

"National Distance Learning Week recognizes the impact distance learning has in 21st century education across many market segments including education, healthcare, government, and corporate. It affords distance learning practitioners the opportunity to celebrate and explore an essential part of today's changing society," says Marci Powell, President, USDLA and Global Director of Higher Education, Polycom, Inc.

The world of learning is changing. Distance learning is a multi-billion dollar enterprise and the fastest growing segment of the education market. Commercial and government markets around the world recognize how distance learning, education and training makes a strategic contribution to achieving organizational performance objectives, leveraging talent and resources, and implementing and preserving institutional knowledge.

"Employers increasingly cite distance learning as a key to increased employee satisfaction and retention and expect the role of distance learning to increase in their organizations within the next two or three years," says Dr. Kenneth E. Hartman, academic director of Drexel University Online (http://www.drexel.com) and the 2008 National NDLW Committee Chairman.

The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) finds that:

  •     Schools expect the number of online students to grow to over 2.6 million.
  •     40.7 of schools offering online courses agree that "students are at least as satisfied" with their online courses, 56.2% are neutral and only 3.1% disagree.
  •     e-Learning is now estimated to represent about 10% of the overall training and educational market.
  •     Online students, especially undergraduates, are more likely to be studying at Associates institutions than are their face-to-face contemporaries.
  •     The proportion of institutions with fully online programs rises steadily as institutional size increases, and about two-thirds of the very largest institutions have fully online programs, compared to only about one-sixth of the smallest institutions.
  •     Only 4.6 percent of Chief Academic Officers agreed that there are no significant barriers to widespread adoption of online learning.
  •     Online students, like the overall student body, are overwhelmingly undergraduates.

"National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) will provide everyone across a wide variety of markets to witness the transformational power it holds. Distance learning can provide access to Advanced Placement (AP) courses and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs for schoolchildren, connect higher education students globally to the best content around and transform the lives and careers of working adults. We are truly on the edge of something great and distance learning week will provide you a comprehensive peak into the crystal ball of distance learning, education and training," said Reggie Smith III, Booz Allen Hamilton, USDLA Board Member and Chair, Awards and Public Policy Committees

For more information regarding activities for the 2008 NDLW, contact Dr. Kenneth Hartman, national committee chair, at 1.215.895.0501 or visit http://www.ndlw.org.

About USDLA:
The United States Distance Learning Association is a non-profit organization formed in 1987 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity. Distance education and training constituencies served include pre-k-12 education, higher and continuing education, home schooling, as well as business, corporate, military, government, and telehealth markets. The USDLA trademarked logo is the recognized worldwide symbol of dedicated professionals committed to the distance learning industry. For more information, visit http://www.usdla.org or call 1.800.275.5162.

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Shawnee Brown

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