The University of Illinois Springfield has been named a runner-up in the category of "Most Open" online initiative by Education-Portal.com People's Choice Awards for its use of Open Course Ware (OCW) during a recent revolutionary and free online course.
The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), conducted by the UIS Center for Online Learning, Research and Service drew more than 2,600 participants from over 70 countries. The 8-week course, which focused on “Online Learning Today...and Tomorrow”, started in June and finished on August 19, 2011.
In presenting the award, the website praised the openness of the learning environment. “Students here engage in a class that's a mix of self-driven instruction and video seminars all about the future of scholarship on the Internet, including a focus on OCW. MOOC embraces its Web surroundings, incorporating Google Docs, blogs and Twitter hashtags into its coursework. Every week a panel of experts on each topic delivers a webinar to those enrolled in the course.”
Winning the “Most Open” award was College Open Textbooks, a William and Flora Hewlett Foundation funded initiative, which provides free online textbooks to students and professors. The University of California – Irvine won the other runner-up award for its efforts in the OCW movement.
“We are in very good company in this recognition,” said Ray Schroeder, director of COLRS. “We are honored to be recognized for our innovation and leadership in open access to online learning.”
No academic or continuing education credit was awarded as part of the MOOC at UIS, but the materials offered during the course will remain online for free use. The materials may be accessed at: http://sites.google.com/site/edumooc.