The Southern Regional Education Board Becomes Partner in Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative

January 21, 2002

The Southern Regional Education Board through its three technology-related initiatives: the Electronic Campus, the Distance Learning Policy Laboratory and the Educational Technology Cooperative has become the first multistate academic partner of the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative.

The Electronic Campus is the nation’s most successful marketplace of distance learning courses. Students worldwide have access to more than 7,000 courses and 250 degree programs through the Electronic Campus. SREB’s Distance Learning Policy Laboratory works to remove obstacles to distance learning. The Educational Technology Cooperative focuses on ways to help state leaders create and expand effective uses of technology in schools and colleges.

ADL was created to enable global access to and reuse of learning tools and content through the development of industry-supported guidelines and specifications. The initiative is a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors.

The Electronic Campus and Distance Learning Policy Laboratory will be involved with the Academic ADL Co-Laboratory, an offshoot of the ADL that is based at the University of Wisconsin. The Academic ADL Co-Laboratory tests, evaluates and demonstrates the distance learning tools and technologies developed for ADL by the federal government, academia and industry.

“This partnership will help to ensure that our students in the 16 SREB states will continue to have access to the highest-quality courses and programs through colleges and universities participating in the Electronic Campus,” said Mark Musick, SREB president.

Bruce Chaloux, Electronic Campus director, said, “I am excited about the possibilities of this partnership, particularly in working with the ADL staff and other partners in dealing with and helping to develop an appropriate policy framework for our work in distance learning.”

Bob Wisher, acting director of the ADL initiative, said, “I am pleased to see partnerships forming beyond the federal government – to see people who share in the vision of what co-development, discovery and reuse of content offer the learner and the institution.”

“I think SREB’s establishment of the Policy Laboratory is a critical step in taking advantage of the new online technologies and in aiding the work of the ADL and our partners,” said Ed Meachen, chairman of the Commission for the Academic Advanced Distributed Learning Co-Laboratory.

Judy Brown, director of the Academic ADL Co-Laboratory, said that the Electronic Campus’ association with hundreds of institutions adds greatly to the potential impact of the ADL and its projects.

The Academic ADL Co-Laboratory:

  • researches and develops advanced learning technologies;

  • assesses ADL-compliant tools to determine whether and how much they will enhance teaching and learning in colleges and universities;

  • applies and evaluates assessment tools in the context of college and university curricula; and

  • evaluates the Learning Management System to ensure that it meets the specific needs of colleges and universities.

The Southern Regional Education Board is the nation’s oldest compact for education. Its member states are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.