News

OLC kicks off prize for digital learning

By Laura Devaney
October 30th, 2015

Competition will recognize exemplar higher education faculty and institutions for advancing and adopting next-generation digital learning courseware

digital-learningThe Online Learning Consortium (OLC), a professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide, is launching the OLC Digital Learning Innovation Prize, an annual prize competition to recognize exemplar higher education faculty-led teams and institutions for advancing student success, particularly among underserved student groups, through adoption of digital courseware. Digital courseware refers to adaptive digital learning tools, including software that supports student learning such as games, apps and personalized content.

The OLC Digital Learning Innovation Prize, which is accompanied by a meaningful monetary reward, is supported by a $2.5 million grant OLC has received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the purpose of fostering effective practices in digital learning targeted at improving outcomes for underserved students.

“Access to quality online learning is at the heart of OLC’s mission,” said Kathleen S. Ives, D.M., CEO and executive director, Online Learning Consortium. “We are thrilled to be able to leverage our experience to recognize and reward faculty and institutions that are improving student success, particularly among underserved students.”

The new prize competition, with its distinct focus on digital courseware, will complement the annual OLC Awards, which offer recognition of excellence in online teaching and learning across a range of categories, such as leadership, faculty development, research and overall excellence.

The inaugural OLC Digital Learning Innovation Prize competition will open in January 2016, with a call for applicants in two prize categories:

  • The OLC Digital Learning Innovation Prize: Faculty-Led Team, a $10,000 prize, to be awarded to up to 10 faculty teams per year that have excelled in advancing and adopting next-generation digital courseware with a strong pedagogical focus and a sustained impact on student success in gateway courses
  • The OLC Digital Learning Innovation Prize: Institution, a $100,000 prize, to be awarded to up to three institutions per year that have showcased sustained innovation in the adoption and application of next-generation digital courseware on a broader scale that has resulted in improved student success in gateway courses among underserved student groups.

Winners of the OLC Digital Learning Innovation Prize will be announced annually at the International Online Learning Consortium Conference each fall, beginning in 2016.

Detailed information regarding the prize competition, including judging, requirements, submission guidelines and resources for preparing applications will be available on the OLC website in December.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Ascione Devaney is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura


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