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The OEC is honored to present the 2016 winners of Individual Awards for Open Education Excellence

March 29, 2016 – The Open Education Consortium is honored to present the 2016 winners of Individual Awards for Open Education Awards for Excellence.


Nicole Allen, Director of Education for SPARC, is the recipient of one of the two Leadership Awards for Open Education Excellence given this year.

Nicole Allen, an internationally-known leader, has kickstarted and shaped a number of Open Education and open policy initiatives (such as OER USA Coalition, Open Policy Network, OpenCon conference), has directly influenced U.S. policy and practice on campus through engaging the library community. Nicole is recognized around the world as a speaker who has set the young generation on fire for open education.

She leads SPARC’s work on Open Education, with a focus on public policy and engaging the library community to advance the issue on campus. Nicole is also on the steering committee of the Open Policy Network and is involved in a number of open education initiatives.

Nicole is an internationally recognized expert and leading voice in the movement for Open Education. Starting more than ten years ago during her own days as a student, she has 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.

Prof. Wei-I Lee, second recipient of a Leadership Award, is a major advocator of the open education movement in Taiwan and is one the founders of Taiwan Open Course Consortium (TOCC). Many Taiwanese universities joined TOCC because of his enthusiasm and passion for open education. In 2012, he piloted the “ewant” program and started the first MOOC platforms in Taiwan that collects courses from more than 55 universities in Taiwan and China. Since then, “ewant” open education platform (www.ewant.org) has been one of the most successful MOOC platforms in the Chinese-speaking region.

Professor Wei-I, Lee started to promote OpenCourseWare since 2005 and helped to established “NCTU OCW” which is the first OCW website in the global Chinese community providing full-video OCW in 2007. Later on, NCTU became the first OCWC Taiwanese member and has produced more than 200 OCWs, attracting over 350,000 users annually. This outstanding performance made NCTU OCW the recipient of OCWC’s Landmark Site Award in 2012.



Prof. Dr. Mohamed Amin Embi, is the first of two recipients of an Educator Award this year.  He has been a strong advocate and contributor of OER in Malaysia and the ASEAN region for more than 15 years. He has published 35 e-books related to e-Learning, Web 2.0 and Blended/Flipped Learning together with 85 presentations on Web 2.0 tools. These OERs have recorded more than 1.3 million visits since 2011.

His most impactful contribution is the e-book series known as ‘Web 2.0 Tools in Education Series’ with 14 titles in English and 10 titles in the Malay language. All the e-books in this series have widely been used as reference guides in the professional development training at all 20 public universities and some private universities in Malaysia. In addition, he has also developed and published a FREE mobile application on how to use selected Web 2.0 Tools in teaching and learning known as JiT2U (Just-in-time Training 2U). According to Google Analytics, JiT2U has been accessed by educators from more than 113 countries worldwide.

Prof. Amin has recently launched his first  professional development MOOC known as ‘Rethinking Teaching; Redesigning Learning’ which has attracted educators from more than 82 countries. To encourage his colleagues at UKM to share OER, Prof Amin recently developed and launched a platform known as ORI@UKM (Open Resources Initiatives) using the tagline ‘ORIginal contributions from UKM to the world’. All these projects/initiatives are undertaken by Prof Amin out of his passion and without significant financial support.

María Soledad Ramírez Montoya, is the second recipient of an Educator Award for her outstanding contributions to open education throughout her career.  She 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. And as head of research projects that have contributed to the advancement of Educational practitioners. As a result she has been appointed to regional projects in Latin America such as (2014-2018) UNESCO Honorary Chair holder in OER, (2014-2018) ICDE Honorary Chair holder in OER.

Find out more about the Award Recipients


About the Open Education Awards for Excellence

The Open Education Awards for Excellence provide annual recognition to outstanding contributions in the Open Education Consortium community. These awards recognize distinctive open education sites, technological innovations, notable open courses, and exemplary leaders in Open Education worldwide. The awards are announced each year at the Open Education Global Conference.

About the Open Education Consortium

The Open Education Consortium is  a global network of educational institutions, individuals and organizations that support an approach to education based on openness, including collaboration, innovation, collective development and use of open educational materials. The Open Education Consortium is a non-profit, social benefit organization registered in the United States and operating worldwide.

Activities of the Open Education Consortium are supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, member dues, and contributions from sustaining members including: African Virtual University, Fundação Getulio Vargas – FGV Online, Japan OCW Consortium, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Korea OCW Consortium, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, NetEase Open Courses, Open University Netherlands, Taiwan Open Course Consortium, Tecnológico de Monterrey, TU Delft, Tufts University, UNIVERSIA, Universidad Politécnica Madrid, University of California, Irvine, University of Michigan.