Funding, Grants & Awards

OLC to Award Prizes for Excellence in Digital Courseware

The Online Learning Consortium is launching two new awards programs with the help of a $2.5-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) has launched two new awards programs to recognize outstanding work in developing digital courseware in higher education.

The two annual prizes with as much as $400,000 in prize money each year will be funded by a $2.5-million grant awarded to OLC last week by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The awards are intended to acknowledge the work of faculty-led teams and institutions that use digital tools — such as games, apps and personalized content — to advance student success, particularly among underserved student groups.

One prize, the OLC Digital Learning Innovation Prize: Faculty-Led Team, will award $10,000 prizes to up to 10 faculty teams each year that have adopted and advanced next-generation digital courseware with a pedagogical focus that can demonstrate sustained impact on student success in gateway courses.

The second prize, the OLC Digital Learning Innovation Prize: Institution, will give $100,000 to up to three institutions each year that can showcase sustained innovation in the adoption and application of next-generation courseware on a broader scale.

"Access to quality online learning is at the heart of OLC's mission," said OLC CEO and Executive Director Kathleen Ives. "We are thrilled to be able to leverage our experience to recognize and reward faculty and institutions that are improving student success."

The competition will open in January with detailed information and submission guidelines available in December on the OLC site.

Prize winners will be announced at next fall's OLC Conference in conjunction with the annual OLC Awards that recognize excellence in online teaching and learning across a number of categories.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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