Thursday, July 11, 2013

ELI - Back In Time

ELI began offering distance learning courses in January 1975, long before email and personal computers were a part of our daily lives. How could a distance learning course be taught without computers, Webinars, iPads or email?  Dr. Betsy Tebow, Annandale Campus Professor of Art History and former ELI Professor, recalls the early days of ELI sharing,   

I have fond memories of the "pioneer days" of ELI.  I'd barely started teaching on the Annandale campus when I found myself assigned to writing and producing a TV series on American Art.  I was fortunate to work with a brilliant co-author who had moved from teaching at NOVA to a position at the Hirshhorn and with a talented director. We were three 25 year-olds, still wet behind the ears, but daring enough to take on the challenge.

I taught a course using 20-1/2 hour video lessons that resulted for over a decade and their institutions around the country also purchased them and used the textbook I co-authored under my maiden name, Lang, with Mary Ann Tighe, published by McGraw-Hill.  (I was even sent to San Francisco to meet with some of the teachers who would be using it).  Videos were the cutting edge technology for ELI at the time and, ELI produced several video courses in NVCC's studio in the CT building at the Annandale Campus.  

Students sent in their assignments via United States Postal Service.  We communicated on telephones!  ELI moved a few times to various buildings at the Ravensworth area of Fairfax County, but retained a friendly, welcoming environment and the opportunity to interact with colleagues from other disciplines and campuses.  Looking back, as I prepare to hang up my remote control and retire, ELI was a highlight of my NOVA experience.   

ELife would like to thank Dr. Tebow for today's blog contribution and for her commitment and dedication to ELI!  Without visionary professionals like Dr. Tebow, ELI would not be the leader in distance education that it is today.  Dr. Tebow continues to write and has recently co-authored, Washington Art Matters:  Art Life in the Capital, 1940 - 1990 (with Jean Cohen, Sidney Lawrence, and Benjamin Forgey). 

We invite our ELI students and faculty to contribute to the ELife blog.  Please send your submissions to


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