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This screen capture from online course award-winner Political Science 105: Political Issues shows the virtual newsstand from which students access course content.

This screen capture from online course award-winner Political Science 105: Political Issues shows the virtual newsstand from which students access course content.

An online course developed by the Division of Continual Learning wins prestigious award from the U.S. Distance Learning Association

The Division of Continual Learning won the bronze award for excellence in online course design from the U.S. Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the world’s premier distance learning association. The 2009 award recognizes Political Science 105: Political Issues, a course that transports students to an online environment that includes interactive case studies, simulations, Socractic dialogue, educational games, scripted videos, puzzles and artificial intelligence quizzes. The course interface is a virtual newsstand from which students access course content through specially created online magazines, newspapers, graphic novels, TV news stories, radio reports, and video lectures to explore political ideologies and various issues ranging from torture to gay marriage.

The award-winning course is offered through UNCG iSchool, a virtual early college. This program gives high school juniors and seniors in North Carolina a head start on their college education by taking online courses developed and taught by UNCG faculty. In 2008-09, there were 5,814 enrollments, an increase of more than 100 percent from 2,648 enrollments the previous year. The program is funded by the N.C. General Assembly and is therefore free to high school students, including their textbooks.