OCW Consortium announces winners of site awards for opencourseware excellence

The OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCW Consortium) has announced the inaugural winners of the site Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence (ACEs). The winners were chosen for their outstanding opencourseware (OCW) content and sites. The winners include the University of Sumatera Utara OpenCourseWare, the University of Michigan OERbit project and the Universidad de Alicante OpenCourseWare. The institutions will be recognized at the OCW Consortium Global Conference on May 4-6 in Cambridge, Mass.

“These sites represent some of the best work being done in the OCW community,” said Mary Lou Forward, Executive Director of OCW Consortium. “They truly deserve the recognition and I congratulate the many people at these universities that have worked so hard on these projects.”

The University of Sumatera Utara OpenCourseWare was named the best new site and was chosen for this designation because it is sharing materials from 177 courses in 12 disciplines, materials from 20 textbooks along with offering all of the content in both English and Indonesian. The technical achievement award was given to the University of Michigan for the innovative OERbit publishing platform. This project is a Drupal-based platform for OCW and open educational resource publication and provides a flexible publishing workflow. The Universidad de Alicante OpenCourseWare was acknowledged with the landmark site award for having a platform that includes materials from 134 courses, innovations including integration with institutional repositories, export-to-wiki functionality and search and discoverability tools.

These site winners join the inaugural winners of the individual ACEs. Managing Director at Portal Universia, S.A., Pedro Aranzadi Elejabeitia received the Leadership Award for his efforts in organizing the participation of more than 100 Spanish and Latin American universities in the OCW movement. MIT Physics Professor Walter Lewin was selected for the Educator ACE for his world-renown physics courses available through the MIT OpenCourseWare site, which have collectively received more than 5 million visits. The President’s Award was given to Creative Commons CEO Catherine Casserly for her work in developing the Open Educational Resources program at the Hewlett Foundation, which provided more than $100 million of support to open education efforts.

The Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence provide annual recognition to outstanding individuals, courseware and opencourseware sites in the OCW Consortium community. The awards are selected by an awards committee populated from the Consortium membership. The individual awards are selected by the Consortium Board of Directors.

The OCW Consortium Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence are sponsored by KNEXT, a learning assessment and advisory service and is owned and operated by Kaplan Higher Education Corporation, a division of Kaplan, Inc., a world leader in education and training services.

ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF SUMATERA UTARA: University of Sumatera Utara (USU) established in 1952 is the oldest and most highly respected institution located in North Sumatera Province in Indonesia. At the beginning of its establishment, USU was prepared to be a center of higher education in Western parts of Indonesia. The University now has 14 faculties/school viz. Medicine, Law, Agriculture, Engineering, Dentistry, Economics, Humanities, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Political Science, Public Health, Pharmacy, Psychology, Nursing and Postgraduate. USU offers about 135 programmes comprises of graduates, undergraduates and diploma degrees. At present, there are more than 33.000 registered students are studying in 120ha campus in the center of Medan.

In accordance with the vision of USU as a “University of Industry”, a tremendous progress is still running with the establishment of a teaching hospital at its premises of its main campus and the development of a new campus on a 300-hectare plot of land in a 15 km distance from main campus which can accommodate 64.000 students. The University will continue to strengthen its reputation in International achievements.

ABOUT USU OPENCOURSEWARE PROJECT: USU OCW project was started on 2009 and officially became a member of OCW Consortium since January 2010 and since then there are 177 courses materials from 12 disciplines in the forms of slides presentation, handout and textbooks have been uploaded into the site and it’s still growing as we are still updating the contents and improve the presentation through video or multimedia content.

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN: Established in 1817, the University of Michigan is a global leader in health, law and public policy, the arts and humanities, science and technology, and many other academic disciplines. The university includes three campuses and has a total enrollment of more than 58,000 with over 8,000 faculty. The University of Michigan is also an OCW Consortium sustaining member.

ABOUT THE UNIVERSIDAD DE ALICANTE: The Universidad de Alicante was created in October 1979. It was formed on the basis of the Centre for University Studies (CEU) which had come into being in 1968. In this way, Alicante recuperated university studies which had disappeared in 1834 when its predecessor, the University of Orihuela, closed after two centuries of education. The University of Orihuela was created by Papal Bull in 1545 and kept its doors open during two centuries (1610-1808). The Universidad de Alicante comprises about 50 degrees, more than 60 university departments and research unities and groups in social and legal sciences, experimental sciences, technological sciences, human sciences, education and health sciences, five research university centres (water, environment, geographical analysis, international economy) and serves more than 30,000 students.

ABOUT KNEXT: There are millions of adults interested in finding a new job, moving onto a new career, or getting a college degree. But as we all know, the path can seem daunting, expensive and confusing. Enter KNEXT. We help adults identify how to earn college credit for their learning from life and work experience— be it on the job, traveling, volunteering or training. We provide a wealth of resources to help them make the right decisions for their future. And we inventory this information and advocate on their behalf at universities across the country — helping adult students transition to college in a faster, less expensive manner. For additional information about KNEXT, go to www.knext.com.

ABOUT THE OPENCOURSEWARE CONSORTIUM: The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a community of more than 250 universities and associated organizations worldwide committed to advancing opencourseware sharing and its impact on global educational opportunity. The mission of the OpenCourseWare Consortium is to advance formal and informal learning for educators and self-learners around the world through the sharing and use of free, open, high-quality education materials packaged as courses readily accessible on a digital platform. The Consortium showcases its members to a global audience and provides information and training through webinars, newsletters, and free and open opencourseware materials.
Activities of the OpenCourseWare Consortium are supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, member dues, and contributions from sustaining members including: African Virtual University, China Open Resources for Education, Delft University of Technology, Japan OpenCourseWare Consortium, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Korea OpenCourseWare Consortium, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Netease Information Technology, Open Universiteit, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Tufts University, Universia, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, University of California, Irvine, University of Michigan, and University of the Western Cape. For more information, visit http://www.oeconsortium.org.

CONTACT:

Vivian Slater 714-573-0899 ext. 235
Vivian@echomediapr.com

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