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U. of I.'s top-ranked library
school wins distance-learning award
Lynn, Humanities Editor
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. —
The University of Illinois’ top-rated library school has won another
award for its excellence in online teaching and learning.
Illinois’ Graduate School of
Library and Information Science and its partner, Syracuse University’s
School of Information Studies, have won the Sloan Consortium’s
(Sloan-C) 2006 Effective Practice Award.
Illinois and Syracuse won for their distance education consortium called
Web-Based Information Science Education, or WISE. Created in 2004, WISE
was one of three recipients of the Effective Practice Award.
According to Sloan-C’s announcement, WISE offers unique distance
education courses to students at its 12-member schools. WISE students
can select from an extensive list of online courses, regardless of their
locations, and can take courses with faculty members who are highly
regarded in their areas of expertise.
Over the past two years, WISE has enrolled 198 students in 133 courses,
and it continues to increase the quality, access and diversity of online
education opportunities in library and information science, the announcement
WISE schools, in addition to Illinois and Syracuse, are Rutgers, Simmons
and Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) and the universities
of British Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Pittsburgh,
Texas at Austin, Western Ontario and Wisconsin at Milwaukee. More information
about WISE can be found at www.wiseeducation.org.
Linda Smith, the co-founder of WISE and the associate dean of GSLIS,
said the WISE consortium benefits participating institutions in “multiple
“Students have access to a wider variety of courses, faculty can
offer courses in special areas of expertise and program administrators
can collaboratively develop best practices in online education for library
and information science.”
Craig Tucker, WISE coordinator at Syracuse, said that WISE has set “a
standard that can serve as a benchmark for institutions looking to develop
online education programs as well as for the development of other quality
online education projects.”
WISE will receive its award on Nov. 8 in Orlando during Sloan-C’s
12th annual international conference on online learning, this year titled
“The Power of Online Learning: Realizing the Vision.”
WISE +, an outgrowth of WISE that is supported by the Institute of Museum
and Library Services, has expanded the resources of the consortium to
include 17 library association partners. WISE + provides pedagogical
training for faculty and is supporting the creation of a digital learning
repository for WISE courses.
The Sloan Consortium is an association of more than 1,000 institutions
and organizations of higher education engaged in online learning. Sloan-C’s
2006 awards are posted at
The U. of I. Graduate School of Library and Information Science consistently
is ranked No. 1 in the nation.