Individual Award Winners
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Acheivement Award is a Special Merit Award presented by the Board of Directors to individuals who, during their lifetimes and careers, have made creative contributions of outstanding significance to the advancement of open education.
Frederic Michael Litto – 2014
Fredric M. Litto was awarded the Lifetime Achievement ACE award in 2011 from the OpenCourseWare Consortium for his lifelong contributions to digital and open education, enhancing the capacity of Brazilian universities to produce, maintain and use OERs and OCWs.
Litto is Professor Emeritus at the University of São Paulo, where he served thirty-five years as professor of communications. He founded and directed from 1989 to 2006 the “School of the Future,” a self-sustaining laboratory of more than 70 researchers/producers. Together they produced digital learning materials for school-based virtual learning communities; digital open-content multimedia repositories of humanistic material for learners in Portuguese; and learning objects in science education used annually by more than two million young and adult learners.
Litto served for many years as president of the Brazilian Association for Distance Education-ABED, a learned society with 2,600 members. In addition, he was a member of the Executive Committee of the ICDE-International Council for Open and Distance Learning and Re.ViCa International Advisory Committee (IAC).
Born in New York City in 1939, Litto received his B.A. at the University of California, Los Angeles (1960), his Ph.D. at Indiana University, Bloomington (1969), and his Livre-Docente degree at the University of São Paulo (1977).
He has served as a member of the editorial boards of American Journal of Distance Education (USA); Advanced Technology and Learning (USA); Open Learning (U.K.); IRRODL-International Review of Research in Open & Distance Learning (Canada); and RIED-Revista Iberoamericana de Educación a Distancia (Spain). In addition, he has served as a consultant to the World Bank and as a member of the ICDE Task-Force on OERs.
In 2013, he signed the accord between ABED and the OpenCourseWare Consortium, providing the OpenCourseWare Consortium with a national affiliate consortium in Brazil and enhancing the capacity of Brazilian universities to produce, maintain and use OERs and OCWs.
ABED Associação Brasileira de Educação a Distância
Rory McGreal – 2016
Dr. Rory McGreal is an influential international OER expert. His research and substantial participation in the global discourse argue persuasively for the benefits of openly licensed learning materials. He is a true OER globetrotter, supporting institutions and governments in many parts of the world with his presentations and guidance, generating global impact.
McGreal was the recipient of one of the first two UNESCO Chairs in OER established in 2010. With his OER Chair, he operates the OER Knowledge Cloud, a curated database and repository to identify, collect, preserve, and disseminate documents related to open educational resources.
He is a professor in the Centre for Distance Education at Athabasca University– Canada’s Open University based in Alberta, Canada. As a researcher in Open and Flexible Learning, McGreal has been an active participant in the international research community. He has become an influential expert on OER and mobile learning.
He is the director of the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI), and a co-editor of the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL).
The President’s Award is a recognition presented by the Board of Directors to an institution or an individual with exceptional contributions to the field of open education, serving as an inspirational model of engagement and commitment.
Catherine Casserly – 2011
Catherine Casserly was presented the President’s Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence for developing the Open Educational Resources Initiative while at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
As director of the OER Initiative, Casserly guided more than $100 million in support to increase knowledge sharing efficiency and effectiveness worldwide. Her work helped raise global awareness of resources, participants, and their projects. She also served as program manager for Hewlett’s grant in support of MIT OpenCourseWare.
Casserly served as CEO of Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation. Creative Commons licenses support the open sharing of many Consortium member course materials. In her prior role at the Carnegie Foundation, Casserly served as Senior Partner & Vice President, Innovation and Open Networks, spearheading Carnegie’s work in open education and supporting the creation of alternative mathematics pathways for community college students.
Shigeru Miyagawa – 2012
Shigeru Miyagawa was present at the birth of OpenCourseWare. He was on the original team that proposed OpenCourseWare and now serves on the MIT OpenCourseWare Advisory Board. He has also helped to start opencoursewares in Japan and elsewhere.
Miyagawa has been at MIT since 1991, where he is Professor of Linguistics and holds the Kochi-Manjiro Professor of Japanese Language and Culture Endowed Chair. He has published numerous books and monographs and has nearly fifty articles on syntax, argument structure, and East Asian and Altaic linguistics.
He runs a laboratory that creates interactive educational programs. JP NET, which has the entire MIT Japanese program on the web, was one of the first online projects in the world to place an entire academic program on the Internet (1993-1994). Visualizing Cultures, in collaboration with the Pulitzer Prize historian John W. Dower, has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities as an outstanding humanities educational website.
Martha Kanter – 2014
Dr. Martha Kanter served as the Under Secretary of Education in the United States from 2009 to 2013, where she oversaw postsecondary, adult, and career-technical education. She was instrumental in establishing a $2 billion federal grant program designed to increase education quality, graduation rates, and employment opportunities for community college students. A key component of this grant program is the requirement that all materials carry a CC-BY license, launching the largest ever investment of the US government in OER.
From 2003 to 2009, Kanter served as chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the US, serving more than 45,000 students with a total budget of approximately $400 million. In 2006, she founded the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER), representing the fastest-growing segment of OCWC’s membership. She is now Chief Executive Officer of College Promise and Senior Fellow at the Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy at New York University.
She began her career as an alternative high school teacher and then established the first program for students with learning disabilities in California. She then served as a director, dean, and vice chancellor for policy and research for the California Community Colleges, before serving as Vice President of Instruction for San Jose City College and then President of DeAnza College.
The University of Maryland University College (UMUC) – 2015
The University of Maryland University College (UMUC) in 2013 embarked on an ambitious project to convert their courses and curriculum so that learning resources would have no cost to students, primarily through the implementation of open educational resources. UMUC wanted to better serve its students in the military, improve accessibility, and lower costs to students.
The project involved a systematic review of courses and resources to identify no-cost alternatives. The OER/No-Cost project is part of a broader transition, what UMUC calls “enhancing the learning model.” As part of this new model, learning resources will be available throughout any program, not just on a per-course basis. By moving to OERs, students will have immediate and no-cost access to the resources they need to learn. The project was available for the undergraduate program in 2013, with the graduate school coming on board in 2016.
UMUC is the largest public institution in the University of Maryland System and one of the largest distance learning institutions in the United States. Its students are primarily residents of the state of Maryland and the U.S. military.
Mary Lou Forward – 2018
Mary Lou Forward served for nine years as Executive Director of the Open Education Consortium. Her unique and varied background allows her to understand the needs of learners worldwide and help OEC make a truly global impact.
During her tenure at the Open Education Consortium, Forward traveled the world, creating and connecting open education communities. She was instrumental in policy development, fostering relationships, and creating enthusiasm for open education. She supported the tremendous growth of open courses published by members, partnered with other open organizations and initiatives to expand the impact of open. In addition, Forward was instrumental in launching the Open Education Awards and Open Education Week.
Before joining the Consortium, she was Dean of African Studies for SIT Study Abroad and served as an Academic Director for undergraduate programs in Madagascar, focused on Environmental Studies and Cultural Geography. After OEC, Forward became Executive Director of The SUNY COIL Center, which has been working to promote and professionalize the practice of Collaborative Online International Learning and Virtual Exchange. It serves the State University of New York system and offers services to higher education institutions worldwide.
James Glapa-Grossklag – 2019
James Glapa-Grossklag is the Dean of Educational Technology, Learning Resources, and Distance Learning at College of the Canyons in California. He has been instrumental in advancing open education worldwide through exceptional dedication, outstanding contribution, and exemplary service.
Glapa-Grossklag directs the Distance Education Captioning and Transcription grant, supporting California Community Colleges in making distance learning accessible. He has also coordinated technical assistance for the California Community College’s Zero Textbook Cost Degree program.
He was previously President of the Community College Consortium for OER (CCCOER) and President of the Directors of Educational Technology in California Higher Education (DETCHE) and is an OER Ambassador for the International Council of Distance and Open Education (ICDE).
The Leadership Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated significant leadership and longstanding involvement with Open Education. A person who has made significant and clear contributions to the furtherance of the Open Education movement, whose contributions to Open Education have spanned regions or had a global impact.
Pedro Aranzadi Elejabeitia – 2011
Pedro Aranzadi Elejabeitia is Managing Director at Portal Universia, S.A., where he has played a leading role in organizing Spanish and Latin American opencourseware projects.
From 2004-2005, Elejabeitia led the translation of MIT OpenCourseWare into Spanish and Portuguese. In addition, he coordinated the development of OCW sites at more than 100 Spanish and Latin American universities.
He is managing director for Universia Spain and CIO for Universia Holding. Before his work at Portal Universia, he was the founder and managing director of Spain industry, the first B2B online marketplace in Spain. He also served as marketing director and associate managing director of Camerdata, S.A., a pioneer in the telematic information business.
Dr. Oladele Ogunseitan – 2012
Dr. Oladele Ogunseitan, University of California, Irvine Professor and Chair for the Department of Population Health & Disease Prevention, Program in Public Health, is the recipient of the Leadership ACE for his role in building the prominence of the UCI OCW site within that institution.
Since 2009, he has served as the Co-Director of the UC Irvine Framework Program in Global Health funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In addition, he is the Director of Research Education, Training, and Career Development for the NIH-funded Institute for Clinical and Translational Science.
Professor ChiKaung Pai – 2013
Professor ChiKaung Pai led efforts at National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) to establish NCTU OCW, the first university OCW site in a Chinese-speaking county. NCTU was also the first university in a Chinese-speaking country to join OCWC. Pai became director of NCTU’s Open Education Office.
Pai spared no effort in promoting OCW in Taiwan. She was instrumental in developing the TaiwanOpenCourseWare Consortium (TOCWC), which has 28 university members. She coordinated TOCWC members to build a search platform with metadata for more than 1,000 courses published by the member universities.
Anka Mulder – 2014
Anka Mulder has always been a champion in Open Education. In 2008 she became a member of the board of the international OpenCourseWare Consortium, and from 2011 to 2013 she was the Consortium President. As President, she played an important role in strengthening and spreading the message of the Consortium worldwide.
She serves as an executive board member at TU Delft, a pioneer in OCW. Her leadership has contributed to the expanding reach of TU Delft OCW internationally and the creation of the openly licensed DelftX (EdX) MOOCs.
Fred Mulder – 2014
Prof. Fred Mulder is the UNESCO Chair in OER and served as rector of the Open Universiteit in the Netherlands from 2000 to 2010. He used his leadership of the ICDE Task Force on OER to promote OER as an essential instrument for Open and Flexible Learning (OFL) institutions.
Mulder organized the 23rd ICDE World Conference in 2009 around OER as a central theme, leading to the initiation of the Dutch National Wikiwijs Program, the first national OER Program ever.
In addition, Mulder has been a leader in establishing the Global OER Graduate Network linking doctoral students studying OER-related themes worldwide. He led the implementation of the OpenUpEd initiative, creating a consortium of 12 open universities delivering MOOCs as part of his collaboration with other UNESCO Chairs supporting the development of the OER Knowledge Cloud, mapping OER, and support for the OERuniversitas consortium.
Peter Smith – 2015
Dr. Peter Smith was instrumental in the development and launch of Open College at Kaplan University (OC@KU). OC@KU is a unique initiative that offers access to open courses, credit assessments, and faculty mentors, thus helping learners to reduce the cost and time to earn a degree. OC@KU also offers a self-paced, open degree program: The Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies (BSPR). Within months of launching OC@KU, site activity quickly reached more than 1,200 learners.
Smith has led a varied career serving as a member of the US House of Representatives, Lieutenant Governor of Vermont, and Assistant Director-General of UNESCO.
He has been a higher education innovator, helping to found the statewide Community College of Vermont in 1970 and serving as founding president of California State University’s Monterey Bay campus. Smith’s vision has resulted in providing access to thousands of learners to open courses and providing a customized pathway by which college-level learning from open courses can be recognized in a degree program.
Quill West – 2015
Quill West is an inspirational leader motivating faculty, students, and institutions to adopt openly licensed resources on a global scale. As a member of the Open Course Library project, the Washington state I-DEA Grant, and the national Kaleidoscope Project, Quill has assisted faculty in developing open materials and courses.
West built the OER project at Tacoma Community College, where she designed and led a project that saved students over one million dollars. The TCC OER project has grown to influence other colleges nationwide. A partnership with Lumen’s Kaleidoscope Project led to the national adoption of high-enrollment courses, including English 101, Public Speaking, and U.S. Government.
Now the Open Education Project Manager at Pierce College, West’s guidance at the military campuses is helping soldiers and their families afford to return to school. The instructors at Pierce College at Joint Base Lewis McChord are quickly moving towards a full degree program with no textbook expense.
Nicole Allen – 2016
Nicole Allen is the Director of Education for SPARC, where she leads work on Open Education policy and engaging the library community to advance the issue on college campuses.
Allen is an internationally recognized expert and leading voice in the movement for Open Education. As a student, she worked tirelessly to elevate the issue of college textbook costs and access to education into the public spotlight and advance openness as a solution in both policy and practice.
Her career began in 2006 with the Student Public Interest Research Groups, where she worked with college students across the United States to organize large-scale grassroots campaigns. One campaign included a 40-campus, cross-country van tour called the “Textbook Rebellion” and a statement signed by more than 3,000 professors in support of open textbooks. In 2013, she joined SPARC to develop and lead a program on open education, which evolved into a national network of more than 100 academic librarians and a robust advocacy portfolio spanning state, national and international policy.
Wei-I Lee – 2016
Professor Wei-I Lee has been a significant advocate of the open education movement in Taiwan and is one of the founders of the Taiwan Open Course Consortium (TOCC).
Lee began promoting OpenCourseWare in 2005 and helped to establish National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) OCW, the first OCW website in the global Chinese community. His devotion to advocating for the adaptation of OCW inspired his efforts to establish Taiwan Open Course Consortium (TOCC) in 2009. TOCC has 28 members, including 27 universities and one senior high school in Taiwan.
In 2012, he piloted the “ewant” program, becoming one of the most successful MOOC platforms in the Chinese-speaking region. In 2015, “ewant” launched the General Education MOOC (GEM) program to share general education courses among 11 Taiwanese universities. The goal of the GEM program is to be adopted by most universities in Taiwan before 2020.
Jet Bussemaker – 2017
Jet Bussemaker used her four years as Minister of Education in the Netherlands to position open education as an essential strategy of her policy.
Bussemaker initiated the policy that all Dutch educational resources be open and available via an (inter)national platform by 2025. She also began a yearly grant program for open education until 2025 with a yearly budget of 2 million euros. In 2015, 11 projects were approved. In 2016, 12 projects were approved.
During the EU Presidency of the Netherlands, she put open education on the agenda for the EU and organized a large event during the Open Education Week. She supports the new initiative of the Open Coalition in TU Delft “Dutch Universities Go Open”.
Bakary Diallo – 2017
Dr. Bakary Diallo is the rector of the African Virtual University, a pan-African project with 35 partner universities. Through his leadership, the AVU has developed OER-based courses and degrees in math and science teacher education and in computer science.
Diallo joined the AVU in 2005 and was appointed as Head of AVU in April 2007. He is leading the AVU toward becoming a full-fledged university capable of awarding degrees in its own name, while continuing to offer programs through 53 university partners in 27 countries. The AVU offers its programs in three languages. The AVU has trained 63,823 students since its inception in 1997. The greatest asset of the AVU is its ability to work across borders and language barriers in Anglophone, Francophone, and Lusophone Africa.
Through his work, the AVU has received many prizes for its OER work, including from the 2015 Prize of Excellence from the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) and our own consortium’s awards for individual courses. He has served two terms on the OEC board of directors and has been treasurer during that time. His service to the global open education movement has come from his lifelong commitment to the expansion of educational opportunities.
Cable Green – 2018
Dr. Cable Green is the Director of Open Education at Creative Commons (CC). For the past 11 years, Green has worked tirelessly with the global open education community to leverage open licensing, content, practices, and policies to significantly improve access to open education and research resources.
Green has dedicated his career to increasing access to educational opportunities for everyone around the world. He started his open education work in 2007 at the Washington State Community and Technical Colleges where he led the Open Course Library, a project to shift community college general education curriculum to OER.
He has become a leading advocate for open licensing policies that ensure publicly funded education materials are freely and openly available to the public that paid for them. Green serves on multiple advisory boards (e.g., Global Digital Library, ICDE OER Public Policy), mentoring new community members through the 660+ member CC Open Education Platform, as a dissertation advisor, giving “introduction to open education” and “open licensing 101” conference workshops and webinars, and in 1-to-1 meetings with community members around the world.
Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams – 2019
Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams is a leading figure in the international Open Educational Resources (OER) research community and holds the first-ever UNESCO Chair in Open Education and Social Justice.
Formerly the PI of the large-scale, cross-regional Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project, Hodgkinson-Williams has made a substantial contribution to growing research capacity and advancing a theoretical understanding of open education and OER. In her capacity as a researcher and mentor, she has been instrumental in supporting a network of Global South scholars and ensuring that a diversity of voices is profiled in the global OER conversation.
Her leadership has bolstered the developing country research presence in the global OER conversation, continuously operating with a critical and rigorously conceived big-picture perspective and deep compassion. Her inclusive, critical leadership style has been instrumental in promoting research interventions of the highest standard while always promoting a caring, context-sensitive approach to working with researchers from a wide range of backgrounds and portraying the complexity of the Global open education landscape.
Wayne Mackintosh – 2020
Wayne Mackintosh is the founding director of the OER Foundation established in 2009 and headquartered at Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand, where he holds New Zealand’s UNESCO / ICDE Chair in OER.
Mackintosh is a strategy innovator with a passion for open sourcing education. He is coordinating the establishment of the OER universitas (OERu), an international innovation partnership that aims to widen access to more affordable education for all.
He is a committed advocate and user of free software for education. He was the founding project leader of eLearning XHTML editor (eXe) project (www.exelearning.net) and founder of WikiEducator (www.WikiEducator.org) – an international community of educators collaborating on the development of free/libre teaching materials in support of all national curricula.
Organizational Leadership Award
The Organizational Leadership Award is granted by the Board of Directors to an organization that exemplifies extraordinary leadership in the field o,f open education serving as an inspirational model of engagement and commitment.
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization – 2015
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNECO) believes that universal access to high-quality education is key to building peace, sustainable social and economic development, and intercultural dialogue.
UNESCO organized the 1st Global OER Forum in 2002 where the term Open Educational Resources (OER) was adopted. With the support of the Hewlett Foundation, UNESCO created a global OER Community wiki in 2005 to share information and work collaboratively on issues surrounding the production and use of Open Educational Resources.
UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning organized the 2012 World OER Congress at the UNESCO Headquarters which unanimously released the 10-point Paris OER Declaration. The Declaration and the unique OER logo have become the global framework for all OER initiatives. In 2013, UNESCO became the first UN organization to fully adopt free culture CC BY SA licensing on all publications.
UNESCO assists governments and key educational institutions at national, state, and local levels to develop relevant, dynamic, and self-sustaining policies, and provides capacity-building training to thousands of trainers and individual teachers. UNESCO maintains the world’s largest online, multi-lingual, FOSS-based OER Community of Practice, currently support 6 UNESCO OER Chairs, and release or support publications, case studies, and best practices.
National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) – 2016
The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has shown a strong determination to become a full-fledged OER-based Open University. NOUN has launched 40 OER-based courses and 3 OER-based MOOCs.
In December 2013, during the 7th Pan Commonwealth Forum, NOUN’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Vincent Ado Tenebe, declared NOUN’s intention to fully embrace OER. Only two years later, in December 2015, NOUN launched its first courses plus a portal with support from UNESCO and guidance and expertise from the Dutch OER UNESCO Chair team.
NOUN is dedicated to an ‘all-inclusive’ OER agenda that serves the huge number of potential students who cannot get a ‘seat’ at a Nigerian university.
Emerging Leader Award
The Emerging Leader Award is granted to an enthusiastic individual displaying promising leadership qualities. Someone who’s advocacy and use of open education is inspiring, making them an effective spokesperson. Someone who has demonstrated a strong commitment towards its ideals or has achieved significant accomplishments.
Rajiv Jhangiani – 2020
Rajiv Jhangiani is the Acting Vice Provost, Teaching & Learning and Associate Vice Provost, Open Education at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia, where he formerly served as Special Advisor to the Provost on Open Education and a Psychology Instructor.
He is the primary leader in the launch of Zed Cred, at Kwantlen PU. It is a first-of-its-kind in Canada program that allows students to complete an entire degree program–in this case a certificate of arts credential–with zero textbook costs. Jhangiani released a study showing that 54% of BC postsecondary students refrain from purchasing at least one required text due to its cost.
He co-founded the Open Pedagogy Notebook. He serves on the BC Open Education Advisory Committee, as an Ambassador for the Global Advocacy of OER for the International Council on Open & Distance Education, an Advisory Buddy with Virtually Connecting, and on the editorial board of Ubiquity Proceedings.
The Educator Award honors an innovative teacher/professor who has published and/or used a significant body of OER over a sustained period (at least one year) in his/her teaching practice. An individual whose open course materials and professional practices have been recognized as having an impact and influencing peers to share more openly.
Professor Walter H. G. Lewin – 2011
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Physics professor Walter Lewin contributed to the early growth of opencourseware by publishing his world-renown physics courses available through the MIT OpenCourseWare site.
A native of The Netherlands, Lewin’s courses, including 8.01 Physics I: Classical Mechanics, 8.02 Electricity and Magnetism, and 8.03 Physics III: Vibrations and Waves, have consistently been among the most visited courses on the MIT OpenCourseWare site and have been collectively visited more than 5 million times.
More than 100 lectures from Lewin’s courses are available on the web, through MIT OCW as well as through iTunes U and YouTube. His videos collectively receive more than one million views a year. Fans send him dozens of e-mails daily, all of which he answers himself. Lewin was a pioneer of open education sharing well before opencourseware, with his recorded lectures appearing on Seattle public television starting in 1995.
José Vida Fernández – 2012
José Vida Fernández is a Professor of Administrative Law at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) where he leads a group of three professors making prolific contributions to the UC3M OCW. They published their first course in 2009 and have published one course every semester since then on the OCW website.
Law courses are not common on OCW sites, but they have published an astonishing number of materials: about 1,500 pages of original text, summing up four courses. They have put four textbooks online (one for each course), while rejecting offers from publishers in order to keep their content open with free access.
These courses are always among the most visited on the UC3M-OCW site. The visitors are not only students from the UC3M law school but also from other Spanish and Latin American law schools, as well as professionals from both. The increasing number of visitors to the courses demonstrates that it is a useful tool for those who want to study law.
Barbara Illowsky – 2013
Barbara Illowsky, Professor of Mathematics at De Anza Community College in California, USA, was one of the early leaders of open education in community colleges. She is the co-author of the Collaborative Statistics open textbook. As of summer 2012, the textbook—housed at the Connexions repository available in web, pdf, and ePub format—had been adopted by over 40 faculty in 20 colleges in 12 U.S. states, Canada and elsewhere.
She is working with OpenStax College to release a new interactive web version of the textbook in 2013. Throughout her career, she has been an advocate of using technology to increase access to education.
Illowsky is a tenured professor of mathematics and former department chair at De Anza Community College where she has taught since 1989. She is the past president of the CMC3 (California Mathematics Council, Community Colleges) where she has demonstrated leadership in improving math instruction through the use of online technologies and interactive curriculum.
Juan Klopper – 2014
Juan Klopper is a South African educator and leader in sharing teaching materials in Health Science, a crucial area where not many materials are available as OER. Locally created and relevant materials in Africa are especially valuable.
Kloppers online lectures are what he calls a “labour of love”. He spends a large amount of time trying to motivate others to get involved, and to find collaborators in Africa and across the Global South.
His YouTube channel view count is nearing 200,000 with nearly 1,000 videos online. Klopper is a great example of an innovator who has taken on the challenge to share on his own without institutional supports.
Anne Marenco – 2015
Professor Anne Marenco’s frustration at hearing students complain about an unaffordable textbook for her class, inspired her to work for the adoption of open textbooks at College of the Canyons where she teaches.
In 2009, Marenco located an open textbook for Introduction to Sociology and worked with other faculty members to re-write the textbook to make it applicable to a general reader. After receiving excellent feedback on the book from students, she enlisted more faculty members to locate and edit open textbooks on the Sociology of Criminology and the Sociology of Gender.
At this time, twelve faculty members in Sociology at College of the Canyons use open textbooks; each year, up to 1200 students use an open textbook, saving $180,000. Many of the faculty whom Marenco has involved in using open textbooks teach at other colleges as well, thereby expanding the benefits of OER and reach of her efforts.
Li-chuan Ou – 2015
Li-chuan Ou has dedicated herself to open education since 2012. As a professor at National Chiao Tung University (NTU), she has produced more than 107 course videos and 70 handouts under Creative Commons license for NTU OCW. Ou’s course materials are mainly based on her academic studies on Redology.
Ou is also a prolific scholar. Her book “A Round Character Study of the Dream of the Red Chamber”, published in 2006, received an NTU Scholarly Book Award and Outstanding Book Award. In 2007, she published “A Grand View of the Red Chamber: General Introduction”.
These two books not only enrich her classes, but also strengthen the materials for her OCW courses. In the past two years, Ou also made two NTU MOOC courses on Coursera, “Red Chamber Dream I: General Introduction” and “Red Chamber Dream II: Intro to Goddess Worship.” Both courses allow her to interact more closely with students from around the world.
María Soledad Ramírez-Montoya – 2016
María Soledad Ramírez Montoya has been an active promoter of Open Education Resources from every angle of her career: as a Professor and researcher, whose interest has been shared by her more than 100 graduate students.
Since 2007 she has led research projects where OER has been an important component and such works have had an impact in Mexico and Latin America. Her research has led to the publication of 14 books, 36 book chapters, and 53 papers. She has taken advantage of the ample reach of MOOCs and used it for teacher advancement in the development and use of OER with more than 35,000 learners from 127 countries.
She has held the positions of UNESCO Honorary Chair holder in OER; ICDE Honorary Chair holder in OER; Head Organizer of CLARISE (Latin American Open Regional Network of Social and Educational Research) by the Latin-American Community of Advanced Networks (Comunidad Latinoamericana de Redes Avanzadas).
Mohamed Amin Embi – 2016
Mohamed Amin Embi has been a strong advocate and contributor of OER in Malaysia and the ASEAN region for more than 15 years. He is a professor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Faculty of Education, focusing on e-Learning and innovative teaching.
His most impactful contribution is the e-book series known as ‘Web 2.0 Tools in Education Series’ with 14 titles in English and ten titles in the Malay language. All the e-books in this series have been widely used as reference guides in professional development training at all 20 public universities and some private universities in Malaysia.
Amin has published 35 free e-books related to e-Learning, Web 2.0, and Blended/Flipped Learning. He has also published 85 presentations on Web 2.0 tools as OER that have recorded more than 1.3 million visits since 2011. To encourage his colleagues at UKM to share OER, Amin developed a platform known as ORI@UKM (Open Resources Initiatives) using the tagline ‘ORIginal contributions from UKM to the world’.
Carmen Sarabia Cobo – 2017
Carmen Sarabia is a nurse, Doctor of Psychology, and professor at the University of Cantabria. When almost no one in Spain knew what a MOOC was, Sarabia enthusiastically embraced the opportunity, joined the Miríada X MOOC platform, and offered two courses, Patient Safety and Personal Coaching.
Her two courses were a success. A total of 4,227 students enrolled in the first course, with a completion rate of 66.88%, the highest ever completion rate in Miríada X. Her coaching course had 12,617 students enrolled, with a completion rate of 61.46%.
Sarabia has an extraordinary commitment to Open Educational Resources in the field of Health Sciences and personal development. Since her first MOOC’s, she has published two courses in the OpenCourseWare of the University of Cantabria; taught a total of 28 editions of 7 different MOOCs in Miríada X (with more than 230,000 pupils enrolled); and has promoted and raised awareness of the importance of OER in Spain and Latin America.
Lee-Ing Tong – 2018
Lee-Ing Tong is an award-winning professor and researcher at National Chiao-Tung University (NCTU) whose open statistics courses have drawn an enormous audience.
NCTU launched OCW in 2007. Tong became an active contributor and published her Basic Statistics, Statistics I and II with syllabus, calendar, and 18 weeks of video courses lecture notes. Since 2013, she has also published three statistics-related courses that included quizzes, assignments, reading papers, and discussion boards on MOOCs every year.
Tong’s statistics courses have helped more than 53,000 learners all over the world since 2010. Each of her MOOCs enrolled more than 3,000 participants. She tracked students’ learning and adapted new teaching methods to meet student needs. Tong hopes students are not only getting knowledge in the classroom but also exploring knowledge further by themselves.
Felienne Hermans – 2018
As a teacher in software engineering and scientist at TU Delft, Felienne Hermans has been active in open and online education since 2014. She wants anyone in the world to be able to develop programming skills.
To reach this ambition, Hermans developed several MOOCS to train K-12 students and their teachers to develop programming skills. She is always looking for new opportunities to fulfill her mission, including new experiments in open and online education, and applying lessons learned in open and online education in her campus classes.
One of Hermans’ biggest passions in life is sharing her enthusiasm for programming with others. She co-organizes the yearly “Joy of Coding” conference in the Netherlands and teaches robotics at a community center each Saturday.
Carlos Delgado Kloos – 2019
Carlos Delgado Kloos has been an outstanding educator for more than 35 years. His most recent contributions to open education include creating opencourseware on “Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 Technologies” and the publication of 9 MOOCs for edX and MiríadaX.
Delgado Kloos’ first MOOC on digital education was published in 2013 in MiríadaX in Spanish attracted 5,000 registered users. From that moment on, he has been focused on the realization of MOOCs.
His Introduction to Programming with Java published in edX (first in English and then in Spanish) has reached more than 400,000 registered learners in the numerous editions. He has also led the development of a MOOC (the only one of this kind in Spanish) on making a successful MOOC on Open edX, which is the leading open source platform for the development of MOOCs.
Alegría Ribadeneira – 2020
By using a range of new technologies and platforms, Alegría Ribadeneira has become a beacon to her colleagues of open pedagogy which empowers students.
Ribadeneira has found ways to make the varied lived experiences and complex cultural backgrounds of her University’s diverse student body into an enormous asset in their learning and commitment to their education. One of the primary ways she does this is through student-authored open textbooks and renewable assignments. The openly available products of their efforts energize the students and give them a feeling of the power of their own stories.
Ribadeneira’s colleagues have benefited by learning the ideas of open pedagogy such as renewable assignments and student-authored learning materials, as well as supporting technological tools. She has given state and regional workshops on these teaching ideas and strategies and received campus, state, and regional awards.
Support Specialist Award
The Support Specialist Award is presented to an individual actively engaged in the use and promotion of OER and Open Practices. Someone, other than a professor/teacher, that supports the ideals of the Open Education movement through their own practices. These might include librarians, researchers, instructional designers, policymakers, administrators or more.
Amy Hofer – 2020
Amy Hofer is the Coordinator of Statewide Open Education Library Services for Oregon’s community colleges. She offers evidence-based and innovative opportunities for faculty to learn about OER, including biennial symposia, open textbook reviews, and online course redesign training. In addition, she created the openoregon.org website, with FAQs for faculty, a referratory that lists hundreds of resources used across the state, blog posts, original research, and an events calendar.
Hofer also runs the state’s OER grant program, overseeing the selection, support, and sharing of dozens of grant projects resulting in millions of dollars in savings and a very high return on investment. As of September 2019, the estimated cumulative savings per $1 spent for this program was $14. The grantees have created dozens of textbooks and other OER used across the world.
Finally, Hofer advocates for OER funding with the Higher Education Coordinating Commission and champions textbook affordability legislation. She has been instrumental in passing legislation to improve the transparency of course materials costs for students and to require colleges and universities to plan strategically to reduce textbook costs. Since Hofer began this work, average course materials costs at Oregon’s community colleges have fallen significantly.
Apurva Ashok – 2020
In October 2019, Apurva Ashok led the launch of the Textbook Success Program, a professional development package for OER creators. She facilitates weekly workshops with groups of librarians, faculty, and administrators, during which she builds their capacity for open textbook creation and adaptation. Ashok is running three cohorts of the program, with 24 different open textbooks in development.
While many of the projects Ashok has supported have been released, several highlights stand out. The first is Dave Dillon’s Blueprint for Success, released in 2018. Ashok and Dillon worked closely for more than a year to develop the book. It generated a strong community of adopters and adapters, spun off an audiobook version, and was awarded a Textbook Excellence Award from the Textbook & Academic Authors Association and an Open Textbook Award for Excellence from the Open Education Consortium.
Another success story is the Introduction to Philosophy series headed by Christina Hendricks at UBC. This project began with one person’s idea and has grown into a community of 80+ collaborators who, with Ashok’s expert guidance, have now released two of ten planned volumes: Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Introduction to Ethics. In managing such an extensive group of collaborators, Ashok has been the heart and the anchor of the project, working with editors and authors to create sensible processes and get the extensive work done.
The Student Award honors the outstanding endeavors of a student who has advocated for or benefitted academically from the use of open educational resources (OER). The award is presented to the student whose achievements may inspire others to pursue degree programs that utilize open resources and/or someone who played a prominent role in advocating successfully for the promotion and advancement of OER and open education.
Natalie Miller – 2018
Natalie Miller is a former student at College of the Canyons and a current student at California Polytechnic State University, USA. As a student at College of the Canyons, she played an essential role in making the OER program successful.
Miller created a promotional campaign for College of the Canyons OER initiative to raise awareness of OER for both students and faculty. Her open personality made her an excellent ambassador for OER. She spoke at workshops and conferences and trained faculty and students on OER search and open licensing. She was the primary designer and provided technical support in creating multiple open textbooks used by thousands of students. She made a lasting contribution to OER projects at College of the Canyons by establishing the workflow for the creation of open textbooks and by training other students to work on our OER projects.
The local impact of Miller’s contribution is demonstrated in the growth of total OER adoptions at College of the Canyons during her time on the OER team: from 40 courses to 80 courses using OER; from $1.5 million savings for students to $3 million savings for students. She also helped shape the OER degree initiative across California which aims to provide every student the opportunity to study while using only OER.
Shifrah Gadamsetti – 2018
Shifrah Gadamsetti is an extraordinary young student leader who has both benefited from the use of OER in her undergraduate classes and worked hard to ensure that thousands of other students across Canada can reap the same benefits. In her role as President of the Mount Royal University Student Association, Gadamsetti worked tirelessly with her peers to raise awareness of the problem of high textbook costs. She highlighted the availability of OER by advocating to students, faculty, and administrators and organizing workshops, lectures, and other events.
In addition to her efforts to encourage OER adoption at her campus, Gadamsetti has been an especially effective advocate on the national stage. As Chair of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations(CASA) and a representative of more than 250,000 students across the country, she was instrumental in lobbying the federal government to develop a strategy for OER and accompany this strategy with $8 million to support OER development and distribution. This represents a hugely important step in the Open Education movement in Canada, which had only been supported by individual Provinces.
Gadamsetti is a passionate and articulate young leader who has mobilized support for open education by influencing her peers, educators, and policymakers.
Dirk Ulijn & Willem Bart Meeuwissenif – 2019
Dirk Ulijn and Bart Meeuwissen are students from TU Delft that participated in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. Student teams around the globe are challenged to design and build a half-sized Hyperloop pod, to travel through a 1.2 km low-pressure tube built by SpaceX in California.
In 2016, students from TU Delft formed a team and competed in the first competition, which they won! Since then, each year, a new group of students picks up the baton from their colleagues; knowledge and experience from one team are passed on to the next to improve and participate in what is considered a very tough competition.
Ulijn and Meeuwissenif were eager to share their knowledge and passion about the project not only with the team who had come after them but with the whole world. To share their knowledge and passion for high-speed travel, they created a MOOC, Hyperloop: Changing the Future of Transportation, featured on the edX platform, free for everyone to study, and released under a CC BY NC SA license. Their generosity of spirit and open vision are hard to match.
Nick Sengstaken – 2020
Nick Sengstaken has led student efforts at the University of North Carolina(UNC) Chapel Hill, USA, pushing back against publishing industry practices slowing OER adoption – both at the campus and national level.
In March of 2019, Sengstaken learned that the chemistry department was planning to start an “inclusive access” automatic billing program. He successfully stopped this proposal by getting his campus newspaper to cover the issue, building a coalition of opposition with key stakeholders both on and off-campus, and collecting hundreds of faculty petitions against the use of access codes and in support of OER.
In his new role in the 2019-2020 school year as student government chief of staff, Sengstaken researched the implications of automatic billing for students and how student choice and affordability would be harmed by its expansion. He ensured that advocacy in support of OER was a core policy goal of the academic affairs and affordability committees, providing long-term student support of campus initiatives. He also joined his campus bookstore oversight committee to begin the process of reshaping their proposed “First Day” automatic billing program.
As an intern with Student PIRGs, Sengstaken organized a coalition against the Cengage – McGraw Hill merger. He represented students in testimony to the Department of Justice, urging them to block the merger to stop further consolidation. He has also lobbied in Congress for greater financial support for the federal Open Textbook Pilot and helped generate ongoing media coverage for stories on textbook affordability.