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  • Drexel University Celebrates National Distance Learning Week with Guest Speaker Tony Bates

    Monday, October 31, 2016

    Drexel University will celebrate its tenth consecutive National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) with a keynote presentation from online education pioneer Tony Bates, PhD, on Wednesday, November 9, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. in the Bossone Research Center’s Mitchell Auditorium. The event, hosted by Drexel’s Online Learning Council in collaboration with Drexel University Online, is free and open to the Drexel community. 

    Considered by many to be one of the “founding fathers” of virtual learning as we know it today, Bates earned his PhD in educational administration from the University of London before becoming a founding staff member of the newly created Open University in the United Kingdom. During his 20-year tenure there, he began exploring how to incorporate electronic media into learning, publishing books and academic papers on the subject. 

    He later became the Director of Distance Education and Technology at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where he designed, developed and taught UBC’s first online courses and fully online degree programs, until 2003, when he set up his own consulting firm. Since then, Bates has advised more than 50 universities and colleges, as well as various government agencies worldwide, on online and blended learning. He has also participated on a number of international panels and worked with global organization like the World Bank, UNESCO and OECD. His most recent publication is an open online textbook entitled Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Teaching and Learning.

    "Eventually most academic content will be easily accessible and freely available through the Internet – for anyone. This could well mean a shift in power from instructors to students. If most content is available elsewhere, what students will look for increasingly from their university is support with their learning, rather than the delivery of content," said Bates. 

    Drexel University founded NDLW in 2007 in conjunction with the United States Distance Learning Association. NDLW celebrates and recognizes the innovations and growth of online education and those in the field.

    Drexel University specializes in innovative, Internet-based education programs for working professionals, organizations and corporations, enrolling more than 7,000 unique online students from all 50 states and more than 20 countries. Having offered online degrees since 1996, Drexel is known as a leader in technology-enhanced education and enjoys regional accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges & Secondary Schools.       

    RSVP for Dr. Bates’ lecture here. For those who cannot attend in-person, the event will be live-streamed. Register at the aforementioned link for details.


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