College of Engineering's Distance Education Named as Finalist for National Learning Impact Award

The Distance Education Program in Villanova’s College of Engineering was named as one of 25 finalist for the IMS Global Learning Consortium 2008 Learning Impact Award. This is a major recognition of the quality of the College of Engineering’s Distance Education program.
According to the IMS GLC, the Learning Impact Awards recognize high impact use of technology in support of learning. Finalists were selected based on several criteria including access, affordability, quality, adoption, accountability, organizational learning, interoperability and innovation. Villanova and the other finalists will exhibit at the IMS GLC Learning Impact conference, May 12-15, in Austin Texas. Final rankings and awarding of platinum, gold, silver, and bronze LIA Awards will be made at the conference based on the review of a panel of expert judges and input from the conference participants. The LIA awards program is unique in that it recognizes learning innovation both in terms of the technology used and the educational organization that has utilized it for high impact, capturing the essential elements of innovation, adoption, and learning. The 25 finalists include 14 from outside the United States. Three finalists were in the research category, eight in the new category, and thirteen in the established category. To view the full text of the news release from IMS GLC, visit

The nomination for the award singled out the Distance Education program for its established classroom capture initiative using Mediasite, a patented webcasting and knowledge management platform from Sonic Foundry. The program has implemented Sonic Foundry’s technology since 2003.

Villanova Engineering’s Distance Education program was started 10 years ago by Sean O’Donnell, who was then an undergraduate student, and is today the director of the program. The program uses three world-class facilities and offers master’s and certificate programs fully online. Students may participate in the classrooms and online, and all presentations are archived and can be viewed at any time of any day. In this way, the online program not only creates the online experience, but also enhances the regular in-class environment. This method of instruction provides the opportunity for students to pursue their engineering education with the flexibility that is essential in today’s business world.