April 4, 2023: Meet Dr. Victoria Brown, president of USDLA’s Florida Chapter

Welcome to this week’s issue of USDLA News! We are excited to introduce you to Dr. Victoria Brown, President of USDLA Florida, a Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Florida Atlantic University. Scroll down for our Q&A.

We are also excited to report that USDLA’s Membership Chair, Dr. Shana Garrett (pictured right), will be the keynote speaker at The University of Texas Rio Grande ValleyExcellence in Online Learning Conference. Click here to learn more!

As our gift to you this week: We share a resource from our last webinar hosted by the Columbia University School of Social Work. Click here to get your copy of “Designing Engaging and Interactive Synchronous Online Class Sessions.”

With USDLA’s National Conference in Orlando, FL, just months away: Click here to register for the conference and book your hotel room now! We know you will want to be part of this amazing event. Check out the schedule below.

We’ll be back next Tuesday with another issue of USDLA News. I’m looking forward to seeing you in Orlando July 17-20! — Pat Cassella, USDLA Executive Director

Learn all about it: Florida Chapter of USDLA — This week’s Q&A is with Dr. Victoria Brown, president

USDLA: Tell us about the Florida Chapter of USDLA.

Victoria: The Florida Distance Learning Association takes pride in providing opportunities for the distance learning community, including K-12, higher education, and corporate professions, to come together to share research and best practices in the design, development, and implementation of distance learning experiences and support of the learners in those environments. Currently, our goals are to expand the opportunities provided by FDLA to share emerging innovations being developed in our community with others to enhance and promote distance learning across Florida.

USDLA: What have been your organization’s biggest challenges? 

Victoria: Our biggest challenge is similar to many volunteer organizations. Engaging the membership in a way that will allow the organization to grow and explore new initiatives. Over the years, a solid core of volunteers has allowed us to maintain an annual conference and the annual publication of the journal. We are taking our first steps to expand this coming year with the addition of a newsletter.

USDLA: Tell us about your organization’s big wins and what you look forward to in the coming year.

Victoria: Our biggest wins in the annual conference and the publication of our journal. The conference is a great place for the instructional design teams and faculty teaching distance education to come together and share their research and best practices in designing, developing, and implementing distance learning courses in higher education. We also have K-12 teachers and administrators share their experience and expertise within that educational in distance learning. The best presentations are converted into articles for our journal, which has an international readership and a growing reputation. Florida is a leader in distance education, with the first K-12 virtual school to design and implement advancements in the field. We plan to continue highlighting the research and best practices across Florida through the newsletter, the conference, and the journal.

USDLA: How has USDLA’s national organization been helpful in your efforts?

Victoria: USDLA has been helpful in providing a platform for the FLDA members to present their research and ideas on a national stage. Sharing information across the different Chapters has also been helpful in providing helpful ideas for managing our chapter. FDLA eagerly awaits joining MemberLeap, which will provide us with a needed platform to coordinate our behind-the-scenes management of a professional organization.

USDLA: How do you work with other USDLA chapters? What do you see as the best way to collaborate with each other?

Victoria: The USDLA chapters at one time meet monthly to share what is going on within their organizations. This provided opportunities to share information about what the different units were doing and ideas for addressing issues each chapter encountered. Meeting at the national conference allows us to network with others in our field and share how distance learning is implemented and how national policies affect the work and research occurring in other states.

About Dr. Victoria Brown: In addition to being the current President of USDLA Florida, Victoria is a Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Florida Atlantic University after serving as the Assistant Provost for the Center for eLearning for six years. In her role at the Center for eLearning, she oversaw the development of online degrees, course development, faculty professional development, and online student support and provided online student experience. She received the Meritorious Service Medal from the Southeast Region Commander of the Civil Air Patrol for her instructional design work in the not-for-profit sector. She has also received the Distance Educator of the Year for Higher Education from the Florida Distance Learning Association, Effective Practice Award for student support from the Online Learning Consortium, and the Best-in-Track Award for her research work in online student support services from the Online Learning Consortium. Through her research work, she co-developed the Online Student Support Scorecard available through the Online Learning Consortium. As a faculty member, she uses the latest technology to design online student experiences to provide them with the skills and experience they need post-graduation in both undergraduate and graduate programs. She continues to explore how to use emerging technology to design engaging learner experiences.

About USDLA Florida: The purpose of USDLA Florida is to establish a network focused on providing support and activities for the betterment of Florida’s distance learning education community. Learn more about the Florida Distance Learning Association at fdla.comClick here to visit the YouTube channel.