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Center wins award for distance learning

STANFORD -- The Center for Telecommunications and the Stanford Center for Professional Development, which includes the Stanford Instructional Television Network, have been honored by the U.S. Distance Learning Association for the "most significant advancement of research in the field of distance learning," for their work on the Asynchronous Distance Education Project (ADEPT).

ADEPT co-directors Dale Harris, executive director of the Center for Telecommunications, and Andy DiPaolo, director of the Stanford Center for Professional Development and associate dean in the School of Engineering, were presented with a plaque in March "in special recognition for the contribution Stanford University has made to distance learning research."

ADEPT, funded by a Sloan Foundation grant, makes courses available anywhere, anytime in an on-demand environment. By digitizing video, audio and supporting course materials, the project makes Stanford engineering courses available to students at corporate locations where and when they are needed for professional development and graduate education.

ADEPT uses off-the-shelf technology augmented by pre-commercial prototypes. Students asynchronously access stored classes by file transfer and/or real-time playback via World Wide Web applications on the Internet or one of the prototype high-speed network testbeds in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Participants in the ongoing two-year experiment use computers to access digitized video-based classes that are stored on servers and are available on demand. Additionally, geographically separated students are able to interact asynchronously with the instructor, teaching assistants and each other by using a set of network-based tools.

"ADEPT is helping us determine how students in the future will be able to routinely access educational programming from Stanford and other universities independent of time and distance, whether at work, at home or while traveling," DiPaolo said.

"The lessons learned from ADEPT will be important in helping institutions better address the challenge of increasing access to their educational offerings, decreasing the cost of delivering education and improving the overall quality of the learning experience - all issues critical to the future success of universities."

For more information about ADEPT, call DiPaolo at 725-3000 or Harris at 725-6765, or visit the web site at



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