Virtual School Meanderings

February 25, 2017

New 2017 Distance Learning Awards: Revised – Expanded – Enhanced

Yet another item from Wednesday’s inbox…


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Call for Nominations – December 1, 2016 – February 28, 2017

The United States Distance Learning Association, the nation’s premier distance learning association since 1987 presents its NEWLY REVISED International Distance Learning Awards Program, the premier awards for the distance learning industry.
These prestigious awards are presented annually to organizations and individuals, and recognize seven categories of excellence:
  1. 21st Century Distance Learning Award (Revised)
  2. Outstanding Leadership Award (Revised)
  3. Innovation Award (Renamed/Revised)
  4. Excellence in Teaching/Training Award (Revised)
  5. Global Impact Award (New)
  6. Student Achievement Award (New)
  7. Quality Research Paper Award (New)

The USDLA International Distance Learning Awards are created to acknowledge major accomplishments in distance learning and to highlight those distance learning instructors, programs, and professionals who have achieved and demonstrated extraordinary achievements through the use of online, videoconferencing, and satellite/video deliverytechnologies globally.
The USDLA International Distance Learning Awards are presented to five major sectors of distance learning, education and training to include the Pre-K – 12, Higher Education, Corporate, Government and Telehealth markets.
The USDLA International Awards will be presented at the USDLA International Awards Ceremony, scheduled for Monday, May 1, 2017 during the USDLA National Conference being held in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.
Award Details
Category I – 21st Century Distance Learning Award
This award is given to an agency, institution, or company that has shown outstanding leadership in the field of distance learning. The award recognizes pioneering organizations in the field that have changed distance learning, challenged existing practice, or developed new and effective solutions.
Category II – Outstanding Leadership Award
Individual leaders must be recognized for a level of performance that excels in their organization, reaching out through mentoring, sharing, and collaboration. These leaders are also active in the field of distance learning through professional affiliation and external collaboration.
Category III – Innovation Award
The award is given to an organization, an individual, a project, an initiative, a disruptive technology, or a unique pedagogy. The award nomination exhibits innovative approaches to the delivery of distance learning. One award is given each year in each USDLA constituency: K12, Higher education, Corporate training, Telehealth, and Military/Government.
Category IV – Excellence in Teaching/Training Award
The Excellence in Distance Learning Teaching/Training awards are given to outstanding individuals whose teaching demonstrates extraordinary achievements. The teaching or training must demonstrate effective learning facilitated through technology with measurable outcomes. One award is offered each year for each USDLA constituency: K12, Higher education, Corporate training, Telehealth, and Military/Government.
Category V – Global Impact Award
This award is given to honor outstanding projects featuring global impact, reach, and understanding of diverse cultures, originating either in the U.S. or internationally.
Category VI – Student Achievement Award
This award is given to a student who has exhibited leadership and creativity in using distance learning technologies.
Category VII – Quality Research Paper Award
This award is given to the author(s) of a high quality research paper that advances the field of distance learning. MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION GUIDELINES (Pdf)
Award Entry Fees:
For Profit Fee: $200.00
Non Profit Fee: $100.00
Pre-K-12 Fee: $50.00
Award Questions:
USDLA Awards Committee:
Dr. Rhonda Blackburn, USDLA Board Member
Ms. Pam Birtolo, USDLA Board Member
Ms. Jenny Jopling, USDLA Chair Emeritus
Dr. Janine Lim, USDLA Board Member
Dr. Reggie Smith, USDLA Chair Emeritus and Awards Chair
Mrs. Julie Young, USDLA Chair Emeritus
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is there a space limitation for submissions in terms of number of pages or word count?
NO real page limits…just make sure to hit/answer the criteria and provide evidence, etc.

Is there a specific format in which the nominator’s content should be arranged? For example, is it up to the submitter to organize the material in the best way that reflects the judging attributes?

Submit a nomination overview. Write a narrative that summarizes the project, program, person, etc. Include a paragraph for each rubric criteria explaining how this nomination meets that criteria and referencing each evidence document that supports the criteria.
You can upload unlimited evidence files. The file name for each evidence document should represent which criteria the evidence accompanies.
All files must be uploaded into the reviewer site. No website submissions are accepted.
Any evidence not already in an electronic format may be scanned and submitted as a PDF.


When will award winners be notified?

By March 31, 2017, USDLA will notify winners and non-winners by phone and/ or e-mail with follow-up letters.

How secure will my material be?

All entries and related courses, material and content are kept confidential for judging purposes only.


Can I submit an award on behalf of my client?

Yes, you can submit a nomination on behalf of your client. Please note that for US government entries, you may have to consult your legal team regarding legal gift restrictions.


Is there a limit to the number of submissions an organization can submit?


Can I load screen shots of my website, module?

Yes, you can load them in the award system as an example or insert them in your narrative to demonstrate or showcase certain features you want the judges to view.


What is the absolute latest time I can submit my award?

You should submit all award submission midnight (ET) on February 24, 2017.


What is the cost and is it per award?

The costs are as shown below:
For Profit Fee: $200.00
Non Profit Fee: $100.00
Pre-K-12 Fee: $50.00
Yes, the fees are per each entry.
Can I mail additional material or copies of my submission(s) to USDLA for consideration?
NO submission(s) will be accepted via mail. All entries and related material must be submitted online via the awards website.
About United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is a non-profit association formed in 1987 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The association reaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and members operating in and influencing 46% of the $913 billion dollar U.S. education and training market. 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 learning 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.

Send to a Colleague
USDLA, 76 Canal Street, Suite 301, Boston, MA 02114

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