In 1894, the University of Wisconsin offered 63 correspondence courses in subjects such as botany, English literature, economics, music, Arabic, and physics. (Cost for a course with 16 lessons was $4, plus postage.)
Nearly 125 years later, UW–Madison continues its individualized instruction tradition by hosting the 26th annual ADEIL Conference. The Association for Distance Education and Independent Learning invites distance learning professionals—in administration, instructional design, student services, media, and corporate distance learning—to attend on Oct. 24-26. The conference will bring together colleagues from across the country to recharge with new perspectives, innovative ideas, and expanded professional networks.
And this year—for the first time—the conference will focus on emerging professionals with a graduate student track.
“ADEIL is moving toward more mentoring,” said Sarah Korpi, UW–Madison independent learning academic director and conference coordinator. “We see our organization as a model for professional development in the distance learning field.”
Engaging speakers, workshops
The conference keynote Michael Moore is internationally recognized for establishing the study of distance education and for pioneering the practice of teaching online. A distinguished professor emeritus at Pennsylvania State University, Moore will discuss the history of independent learning.
Assistant dean of academic affairs at UW–Madison Continuing Studies and featured speaker Mary Thompson will talk about taking the Wisconsin Idea—that the university should benefit those beyond campus—online.
A sampling of workshop and breakout topics at the conference include:
- Student perception of active learning satisfaction
- Creating and evaluating assessments
- Leading change in your program
- Supporting student connections
- Equity and access in teaching and learning
- Advantages and challenges of Open Educational Resources (OER)
- Effective use of video
In addition to offering high-quality professional development, the ADEIL conference has unique goals: showcasing local flavor and fostering community.
Each year, ADEIL meets at a different location and highlights scenery and culture specific to that area. This year, the theme is “Join us by the lake!”
Downtown Madison and the main part of campus are set on an isthmus between two lakes, providing stunning views and ample spaces to dine and relax on the water. Conference participants can walk or take rental bikes to museums, restaurants, shops, and even a nationally recognized farmers’ market.
“Madison has consistently been voted one of the best places to live in the country, and we know our city won’t disappoint conference goers,” Korpi said.
The conference also builds in distinctive social activities. Participants can choose options before and after the conference, such as a Frank Lloyd Wright walking tour, farm experience, State Capitol tour, museum tour, or a scavenger hunt. Registration includes meals and receptions, encouraging community building.
“We’re eager to welcome distance education professionals to Madison to learn and grow with us,” Korpi said. “We have a significant place in distance education, and we plan to continue that tradition.”