Desire2Learn Announces 2008 Desire2EXCEL Award Winners | Press Release | D2L
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  • Kitchener-Waterloo, ON

Desire2Learn Announces 2008 Desire2EXCEL Award Winners

Press Release

Users of Desire2Learn products exemplifying outstanding leadership and innovation recognized at FUSION 2008, 'Connect & Inspire,' Memphis, Tennessee

Desire2Learn Incorporated, a leading provider of mission-critical enterprise eLearning solutions, today announced the winners of its 2008 Desire2EXCEL Award program. The Desire2EXCEL Award program encourages development and sharing of best practices using the Desire2Learn eLearning Suite. The awards recognize users of Desire2Learn products who have demonstrated leadership and innovation in the education community.

The 2008 Desire2EXCEL nominees were outstanding and three awards, in the categories of Teaching and Learning, Program and Community Service, were handed out at the FUSION Desire2EXCEL Award Presentations yesterday evening at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

Steve Rossini and Dr. Benjamin Smith, of Hibbing Community College, won the Teaching and Learning Award for developing the completely online course “America’s Popular Music.” The course is designed to effectively integrate an interactive learning experience for students in a course reliant on audio files. The course exemplifies the innovative use of online tools. The Awards Committee commented: “This course is a good example of a teacher-created vs. content expert course. The focus is on delivering a quality course engaging the senses with active instructor engagement.”

In the Program category, Barry Dahl of Lake Superior College (LSC) received the award for his work with the Online Student Mentor (OSM) program, a first of its kind in higher education. The program has successfully employed 120 online student employees over its five years of operation. A sense of community within the LSC Virtual Campus has been fostered by providing online students with a peer connection. The course specific mentor has proven to be a greater resource for a student than a mentor/peer/advisor who is more of a generalist. The mentoring experience provides the mentor with a solid means of giving back to the college as well as providing employment opportunities for off-campus students.

The Community Service award was presented to Sue McKnight of Nottingham Trent University (NTU), for gaining university-wide acceptance of a new virtual learning environment along with the promotion of online and blended learning and teaching. NTU had an in-house virtual learning portal with a cottage-based approach to eLearning. This project has created wide acceptance and commitment to both the new virtual learning environment (VLE) and eLearning opportunities, through a strong collaborative process based in pedagogy. By relying on the Desire2Learn technology, NTU has created a truly unique educational opportunity for distance learners that fully addresses accessibility issues in both selection and implementation of the technology.

“We were overwhelmed with the creativity, innovation and caliber of the award submissions from this year’s nominees,” said John Baker, President & CEO, Desire2Learn. “The Desire2EXCEL Awards Committee conducted extensive reviews before selecting the winners from the pool of nominees who have made enormous contributions to their organizations, to the Desire2Learn User Community and to eLearning as a whole.”

The awards were handed out in Memphis, Tennessee, where 600 members of the global eLearning community convened at FUSION 2008, the Desire2Learn annual Users’ Conference focused on best practices and innovative breakthroughs in eLearning.

About Desire2Learn Incorporated

Desire2Learn Incorporated is a world-leading provider of enterprise eLearning solutions that enable institutions and other organizations to create teaching and learning environments that reflect their vision, values, goals, pedagogical approaches and branding. Desire2Learn and its subsidiaries support more than five million learners worldwide and clients include higher education, K-12, as well as associations, government and other leading organizations. For more information, visit: or call 1.888.772.0325.


John McLeod
Director of Marketing
Desire2Learn Incorporated
(519) 772-0325 ext. 378