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Posted May 28 , 2010

Desire2Learn and Partners Receive National Award for Excellence and Innovation

CNIE recognizes Desire2Learn and a partnership between Newfoundland and Labrador's public education institutions

Kitchener-Waterloo – Desire2Learn Incorporated today announced that the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE) has recognized a partnership between Desire2Learn and Newfoundland and Labrador's public education institutions with the 2010 national Award for Excellence and Innovation in Partnership and Collaboration.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Education, Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI), Memorial University's Distance Education and Learning Technologies (DELT) and the College of the North Atlantic's Distributed Learning Service (DLS) partner with Desire2Learn to offer a province-wide system that supports distance education for students regardless of their location, their educational level, or the time of day. This system enables ease of transition and access between institutions for students; supports rural-based education development and delivery; and, contributes to a province-wide learning culture.

The award, which recognizes initiatives that contribute to supporting open and distance education within the primary, secondary and post secondary sectors, was received by the partners on May 18 at the 2010 CNIE conference in Saint John, New Brunswick. This is the second award the partnership has received. The first was the international 2009 Desire2EXCEL Community Service Award. DELT is also a 2009 CNIE award recipient for excellence and innovation in the use of technology for learning and teaching and received CNIE awards in 2008 and 2007 for educational technology and instructional design respectively.

"We have always considered this partnership as a progressive and innovative step toward meeting the needs of learners in our province, but it is an honour to be recognized as such on a national level," says Ann Marie Vaughan, director of DELT, Memorial University of Newfoundland. "In addition to being proud of our award-winning partnership, we are thankful for the collaboration with Desire2Learn as it has enhanced teaching and learning on campus at Memorial, and made a tremendous impact on our learners in rural Newfoundland and Labrador, and the communities in which they live."

L to R: John Baker, President & CEO, Desire2Learn; Dr. Chris Loomis, President and Vice Chancellor pro tempore, Memorial University of Newfoundland; John King, former Chair, Distributed Learning Service, College of the North Atlantic; Ann Marie Vaughan, Director, Distance Education and Learning Technologies (DELT), Memorial University of Newfoundland; Jim Tuff, Director, Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI), Department of Education

This unique initiative, which provides a common learning management system (LMS) for all online education in the province, is the first of its kind in North America. At Memorial University alone there are more than 500 distance learning sites across the province, with approximately 17,000 students annually availing themselves of the opportunity to address their education needs via the system.

"Our students and instructors are now able to use this world-class software from a Canadian company," states John King, former Chair, Distributed Learning Service, College of the North Atlantic. "The common provincial learning platform is a benefit to learners who participate in all levels of online education in the province and beyond. Our partnership licence, and our knowledge-sharing practice, enables us to leverage the system's extensive capabilities more quickly and more fully. Our students are the real winners in this partnership."

"Our highly collaborative partnership with these innovative and leading edge organizations has been an incredible initiative to be a part of," says John Baker, President & CEO, Desire2Learn. "This award speaks to the value of this unique relationship and is recognition of the tremendous value it provides students, particularly those in rural areas, by providing a common platform as they progress in their academic career and transition between educational institutions in the province."

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