February 5, 2003

From Alberta … It’s CDE Live!

The Centre for Distance Education continues to break new ground in its online teaching techniques. Here, Dr. Jon Baggaley climbs inside a PowerPoint presentation for a live presentation to his MDDE662 class. “The students contribute to the online seminars via live audio and video,” says Jon.

MDE student Jim Klaas says, “This sharing makes you feel like an insider in the process as opposed to a name and email address.”

Online media convergence was one of the topics Jon addressed during his recent six-month sabbatical. In a lecture tour of Canada, Britain, Norway,and Sweden, he visited eight universities, and attended the launch of the Oxford Internet Institute. He also took part in distance education conferences across Canada, and represented the national actors’ union, ACTRA, at the Canadian Conference of the Arts.

“North American distance education is behind Europe in its uses of the educational media,” says Jon. “The new MDE662 seminar course illustrates a wide range of conferencing experiences, with live presentations by the international experts who are developing them.”

MDE students also evaluate these online techniques, and their reviews of collaborative software packages (95 products so far) are published in IRRODL’s Technical Reports series, and on the CDE web site.(SEE:

President to Receive Honorary Award

President Dominique Abrioux will once again be recognized internationally. The Senate of the Open University (UK) will confer upon him the honorary award of “Doctor of the University” in recognition of his work in areas of special educational concern to the University.

This award will be presented at a convocation ceremony in Versailles, France in September. This is the only Open University ceremony held outside of the UK, and it is attended both by UK and European graduands.

This latest recognition follows the “Honorary Fellow of COL Award” he received earlier this year from the Commonwealth of Learning for his contribution to distance education.

Dominique has also been asked to serve on the Board of Management of the Alberta Economic Development Authority (AEDA) as a member of the Labour Force Committee. He joins 60 volunteers from a variety of small and large business, local municipal development agencies, and academic and research institutions.

The AEDA is a partnership between the Government of Alberta and business that is unique in Canada. Established in 1994 and chaired by the premier, AEDA’s mandate is to provide policy advice and direction on competitiveness and economic development. AEDA provides the private sector with an ongoing opportunity to help shape the future course of Alberta’s economy.

Congratulations, Dominique!

For more information on AU President, Dr. Abrioux, see: