PULLMAN, Wash. — The National University Telecommunication Network recognized Washington State University with three awards at its 20th Annual Distance Learning Conference in Washington, D.C., in June.

Janis L. Hall, the assistant general manager for academic services at educational telecommunications and technology and director of Washington Higher Education Telecommunication System, received the J.O. Grantham Leadership Award.

The award is presented to the person who has demonstrated strong leadership qualities in the NUTN organization and in the field of educational technologies.

Hall has served on the National Advisory Board for NUTN since 1999 and was a chairperson at the organization’s recent conference in Washington, D.C. She will assume a two-year position as chairperson of NUTN’s advisory board at its annual conference in June, 2003. Hall has worked at WSU since 1984 in a variety of positions.

WSU’s Distance Degree Program received the Outstanding Distance Education Innovation Award for its digital student yearbook, “Cougar Tales.”

The award is given to an individual or groups of individuals representing an institution that has developed an innovative program or practice that contributes to the field of distance education. It may be in relation to a new program, an on-going program, student or support services, pedagogy, faculty development and support or technology.

“Cougar Tales,” a digital student yearbook, was developed by the Associated Students of Washington State University – Distance Degree Programs to provide DDP students with a memento of their educational experiences. It also helps foster a sense of being a “Coug” and helps DDP students develop a stronger sense of belonging to WSU.

Each Spring 2001 DDP graduate was given an example of the digital yearbook on CD-ROM, and their responses were very positive.

The Best Research Paper Award went to WSU’s Center for Teaching and Learning and Technology for “GAPs in Faculty Motivations and Expectations for Online Learning.”

WSU Teaching Assistant and key author Carrie B. Myers was on hand to accept the award on behalf of the CTLT faculty members involved in the project. They include Dennis R. Bennett, information systems coordinator; Thomas W. Henderson, assessment coordinator; and Gary R. Brown, CTLT director.

This year’s theme was “Advancing Digital Learning.” Submitted papers were required to address advancing digital learning through digital television, faculty development, and new technologies, among other aspects of assessing student learning through distance education.

CTLT’s research paper discusses a clear relationship between what motivates faculty to teach with technology and how happy and effective they are with their subsequent effort.
They found faculty who learn technology because they want to improve their teaching are generally more satisfied with their efforts than faculty who learn technology because they want to learn to use the technology.

NUTN is a group of more than 50 institutions of higher education and consists of professionals responsible for the administrative support and management of telecommunications networks, with special emphasis on distance learning and videoconferencing.