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OCW Consortium announces 2012 winners of site Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence

Course awards to be announced at the annual Meeting of the OpenCourseWare Consortium on April 16.

CAMBRIDGE, MA, March 29, 2012 — The OpenCourseWare Consortium has announced the 2012 winners of site Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence (ACE).

The 2012 Outstanding New Site Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence, awarded to a site launched in the previous calendar year, has been given to the Virtual University of Pakistan OpenCourseWare site. The site includes 138 undergraduate and graduate courses and 6,000 hours of video.

National Chiao Tung University OpenCourseWare is the 2012 recipient of the Landmark Site Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence, which is conferred upon an outstanding OCW launched prior to the previous calendar year. NCTU OCW has 124 courses, including 102 with full video recordings of lectures. The site received more than 3 million visits in 2011.

The 2012 Technical Innovation Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence has been given to Smarthistory.org for outstanding presentation of humanities content. Smarthistory uses conversation and multimedia to make art history accessible and meaningful. The site employs Flickr and on-site video to re-locate artwork in its historical and contemporary contexts. More than thirty art historians, with varied specialties, have contributed to the site.

The Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence provide annual recognition to outstanding individuals, courseware and OpenCourseWare sites in the OCW Consortium community. The awards are presented each year at the global OpenCourseWare Consortium’s annual conference, to be held this year April 16-18 in Cambridge, UK. Individual award recipients are selected by the Consortium’s Board of Directors; site and course awards are selected by an awards committee populated from the Consortium membership. ACE’s for individual courses will be announced at the OCWC Conference to be held April 16-18 in Cambridge, UK.

“We’re very pleased to honor these three sites,” said OCW Consortium Executive Director Mary Lou Forward. “They are truly exemplary among the thousands and thousands of open educational resources shared by the members of the OpenCourseWare Consortium.”

The OCW Consortium Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence are sponsored by KNEXT, an education software and solutions provider that focuses on learning assessment, ePortfolio development and higher education advisory services.

About the Award Recipients

National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) OCW site was launched in June 2007, as the world’s first OCW site in Chinese run by an OCWC University member. NCTU OCW has established 124 courses, including 102 full-video courses, making it one of the OCW sites with the highest percentage of videos. In 2011 alone, according to Google Analytics, NCTU OCW had attracted 250,000 unique users with 3 million visits. Its video courses have accumulated more than 200 million views/downloads since 2009.

The Virtual University, Pakistan’s first University based completely on modern Information and Communication Technologies, was established by the Government as a public sector, not-for-profit institution with a clear mission: to provide extremely affordable world class education to aspiring students all over the country. Using free-to-air satellite television broadcasts and the Internet, the Virtual University allows students to follow its rigorous programs regardless of their physical locations. The Virtual University of Pakistan has always been committed to education for all and has, from its very inception, pursued an open policy regarding its content. The course material has been made freely available through broadcast television, DVDs and YouTube and is extensively used by students and faculty members alike from other universities, both formally and informally.To further this commitment, VU has now published all courses on its open courseware site, and thereby joined ranks with the top few universities of the world

Smarthistory.org is a free, not-for-profit, multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional art history textbook. Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker began smARThistory in 2005 by creating a blog featuring free audio guides in the form of podcasts for use in The Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Soon after, they embedded the audio files in their online survey courses. The response from their students was so positive that they decided to create a multi-media survey of art history web-book. They created audios and videos about works of art found in standard art history survey texts, organized the files stylistically and chronologically, and added text and still images.


KNEXT, which is part of Kaplan, is an education software and solutions company focused on helping higher education institutions build or enhance prior learning assessment offerings and online portfolio management. By enabling individuals to translate their prior learning into college credit and track their progress through online portfolios, KNEXT helps institutions recruit engaged adult learners and increase both persistence and graduation rates. For information about KNEXT, the Learning Recognition Program, self-assessment quizzes, the PATH courses, and more, visit http://www.knext.com.

About the OpenCourseWare Consortium

The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a collaboration of more than 250 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model. The mission of the OpenCourseWare Consortium is to advance formal and informal learning through the worldwide sharing and use of free, open, high-quality education materials organized as courses.

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.

Stephen Carson
External Relations Director
MIT OpenCourseWare