Nov. 1, 2022: It’s just a week away — National Distance Learning Week, Nov. 7-11

National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) is just around the corner

Join us for our 15th Anniversary Celebration

Hello friends! As we shared in last week’s News, NDLW is almost here, and we are thrilled to have you join us November 7-11 for a week filled with 10 complimentary webinars. Tune in at 1pm and 3pm ET each day as USDLA hosts its 15th annual National Distance Learning Week.

This year’s theme: Leadership Across All Aspects of Distance Learning

With the goals of generating greater awareness and appreciation for distance learning, discussing current issues and emerging trends, highlighting best practices, and recognizing leaders in the field — USDLA is proud to share details about more of the 10 complimentary sessions we invite you to attend. Scroll down for that info!

Register and learn more about NDLW:

Questions? Contact Valary Oleinik:


Avoiding Common Errors in Leading Online Programs

Presented by: Dr. Anthony Pina, Chief Online Learning Officer at Illinois State University

Although online education continues to rise in importance at higher education institutions, many initiatives are hindered by common errors made by leaders with little orientation or experience in institution-wide distance education, instructional design, or educational technology. Join us as we navigate some common errors in leading online programs and how to avoid them.

SARA Resources: Helping Colleges and Universities with Distance Education Reciprocity

Presented by: Melanie Booth and Emily Jacobson

This session will share with participants the large variety of resources for SARA-participating institutions to support their SARA-related needs, including the institution cost-savings calculator, interactive data dashboards, SARA Source online catalog, online courses, and other resources for institutional personnel. Participants will also learn about the benefits of SARA participation and the requirements and tips for success.

Empowering Leaders of Online Education

Presented by: Dr. Travis Neal & Dr. Georgianna Laws

The quality of an online education program relies on the empowerment of its educational leadership, but how can that be measured and enacted? Join this session to examine how to empower online leaders to administer high-quality online programs. More specifically, using French and Raven’s Bases of Power and Hofstede’s Power Distance, this presentation will discuss how power distribution affects organizational traits such as standardization, innovation, communication, and risk-taking. With this information, you’ll be able to accurately calibrate the types of power and the ideal power distance suitable for the online leader operating your unique organizational culture. The session will engage you in group discussion and will provide you with the first-ever look at a power difference measurement tool you can share with your colleagues.

Leadership Perspectives of Rural Distance Learning

Presented by: Dr. Matt Newlin

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the countless ways rural and remote students are disadvantaged in higher education, particularly regarding distance learning. While institutions were quickly pivoting to online learning during the pandemic, little thought was put into whether or not some students would even have reliable broadband access once the campuses were closed.

As we come out of the pandemic, very few substantive changes have been made to account for students and communities whose access to online or distance learning is restricted by geography or technological limitations. Students are still struggling with access to distance learning which creates inequitable opportunities and outcomes for rural populations.

In this session, participants will learn about the most critical issues for institutions providing distance learning to students who live in rural or remote communities. Discussions will be based on present research and examples of practical changes already being implemented by institutions and organizations. Attendees will have the chance to critique their own approach to serving rural and remote students and learn from other colleagues how they are addressing the needs of their rural populations.