UMassOnline Receives Prestigious Prize for Extraordinary Achievement in Distance Learning

UMassOnline Receives Prestigious Prize for Extraordinary Achievement in Distance Learning

UMassOnline awarded United States Distance Learning Association's Highest Honor.

SHREWSBURY, MA - October 20, 2005 - UMassOnline, the University of Massachusetts' online education division, received the "21st Century Best Practices Award for Distance Learning." USDLA's most prestigious prize was presented this week during a ceremony held in conjunction with the Fall Training and Online Learning Conference and Expo in Long Beach, California.

The award recognizes the leadership of trend-setting and innovative distance education organizations, who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement. "The recipients of the 21st Century Award have often been the pioneers, not only in distance learning, but for education and training in general," stated Dr. John Flores, CEO of USDLA. "This award speaks of innovation and it speaks of excellence. These are the people of the organizations that have done the heavy-lifting to make all of this happen."

David Gray, CEO of UMassOnline, agrees that innovation and excellence have played a large part in UMassOnline's success. "We are honored to receive this award. It is a testament to the University's commitment to academic excellence and innovation in teaching with technology," stated Gray.

"UMassOnline, now in its fifth year, brings together the best faculty from all five campuses, singularly focused on delivering the highest quality academic programming to working professionals and lifelong learners," says Gray. "Through innovative use of technology, UMassOnline is able to extend the University's tradition of excellence beyond the geographical constraints of its five campuses to serve students all over the world," concludes Gray.

Innovation has revolutionized the way the teachers teach and students learn. Often, faculty who re-engineer their courses for Web-based teaching find themselves fundamentally rethinking how they teach and engage students. "We've found that e-learning prompts faculty to engage in a process of reflection, re-evaluation, and improvement," stated UMassOnline Chief Academic Officer, Barbara Macaulay. "As a result, the content is richer, more interactive, and collaborative." concluded Macaulay.

Date: 10/20/05