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Office of Distance Learning wins Sloan Award

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The Office of Distance Learning at UL Lafayette has earned the 2013 Sloan-C Award for Excellence in Faculty Development for Online Teaching.

Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) awards “recognize the tremendous advances in online learning that result from the ideas and initiatives of individuals and colleges and universities globally,” said Meg Benke, president of Sloan-C’s board of directors.

Burks Oakley II, chairman of the Awards Selection Committee, said the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s program “is robust and focused on providing authentic experiences that successfully prepare faculty to design and teach hybrid and online courses.”

Recipients of the 2013 awards have “demonstrated exceptional leadership and real success in advancing online education,” he added.

In the past three years, 108 UL Lafayette faculty members have become ULearn Certified Online Teachers or Course Designers; 52 of them have obtained both certifications. Also, 44 UL Lafayette courses have become ULearn Certified.

Dr. Luke Dowden, director of the Office of Distance Learning, said the Sloan-C Award “is a significant honor for our team and our ULearn certified faculty. This recognition validates that our professional development sequences are exceptional.”

ULearn Certified Online Teachers have completed training about online teaching methodologies, pedagogies, and tools. They are prepared to deliver quality online and hybrid courses.

The ULearn Certified Course Designer distinction recognizes faculty who have completed training to develop and design their own online or hybrid course in accordance with national design standards of quality.

A committee of national leaders in online education evaluated the nominations for the 2013 Sloan-C awards. The awards will be presented at the 19th Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning in Orlando, Fla., in November.

The Sloan Consortium of Colleges and Universities is a leading professional online learning society devoted to advancing quality e-Education learning into the mainstream of education. It provides access to high-quality e-education to individuals, institutions, professional societies and corporations.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation had a critical role in fueling the development of online learning in American higher education. The establishment of the Sloan Consortium was a significant initiative of that foundation.

To learn more about faculty professional development, instructional design, hybrid and online program development and evaluation, visit our website for faculty resources at