Source: Jason Maseberg-Tomlinson, 785-532-2481, jasontom@k-state.edu
Website: http://www.dce.k-state.edu/distance/ndlw
News release prepared by: Rosanna Vail, 785-532-2720, rvail@k-state.edu

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012

Celebrating online: K-State kicks off national distance learning week with virtual scavenger hunt, Facebook activities and more

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's Division of Continuing Education is helping create awareness about the significance of distance learning by celebrating National Distance Learning Week on campus and online Nov. 5-9.

The event is sponsored by the United States Distance Learning Association, a nonprofit association supporting distance learning research and development through educational training and communications.

Kansas State University distance education students are eager to participate in this year's celebration, according to Jason Maseberg-Tomlinson, director of student and faculty services for the Division of Continuing Education. Students have already started participating in activities and submitting entries for the weeklong events.

"Distance education students have so much K-State pride, and this week of recognizing online learning is a great opportunity for us to do something for them -- and to give them another outlet to show their K-State spirit," Maseberg-Tomlinson said.

This year's events include a virtual scavenger hunt, short essay contest about students' experience with distance learning at the university, daily photo and video entry activities on the K-State Distance Facebook page and more.

"Last year, we gained 65 new Facebook friends during National Distance Learning Week, and this year we're hoping for even more activity and participation," Maseberg-Tomlinson said. "Our daily social media contests will give distance students more chances to submit their K-State related photos and videos, so they can show their K-State gear, where they study and their passion for K-State."

Local businesses like Varney's Bookstore and GTM Sportswear have donated K-State merchandise as prizes for the week's contest activities.

"It means much to these students to be part of the K-State family and feel that sense of place," Maseberg-Tomlinson said.

The university's National Distance Learning Week celebrations also include activities and resources for faculty who teach online courses. The division links to the United States Distance Learning Association's free distance learning webinars, and the university is offering an IDT Roundtable series Friday, Nov. 9, that focuses on developing online labs in distance education courses.

"We're hoping our celebration will help get both students and faculty at K-State excited about the possibilities that distance education offers," Maseberg-Tomlinson said. "It's a way to strengthen the K-State connection for thousands of students who call K-State home, even though they live and study from all over the world."

View the full schedule of National Distance Learning Week activities at http://www.dce.k-state.edu/distance/ndlw.