The OpenCourseWare program at the University of California, Irvine was selected by an international jury pool as the winner of the Award for Institutions for The OPAL Awards 2011. The OPAL Awards, given to UC Irvine in Berlin on Dec. 2, recognize innovation in improving the quality of open education resources. The Open Educational Quality Initiative (OPAL), with the support of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), European Foundation for Quality E Learning (EFQUEL) and several European universities, is a consortium which works to promote the production, use and reuse of open educational resources (OER) in higher and adult education.
“Colleges and universities worldwide increasingly recognize the benefits of adding resources for students, teachers, self learners, businesses, governments and other organizations anywhere in the world,” said Gary W. Matkin, Ph.D., dean of Continuing Education, Distance Learning and Summer Session at UC Irvine. “The international recognition of UC Irvine’s OpenCourseWare program honors UCI’s contribution to open education and hopefully will inspire others to offer university-quality educational resources that can be accessible anywhere in the world and at anytime.”
The OPAL Awards recognize excellence in open education resources policy, promotion and use, which have resulted in the improvement of quality and innovation in educational organizations. The awards also provide exposure and recognition for institutions that have successful open educational practices (OEP).The award was presented to UC Irvine at the Online Education Conference in Berlin. A short video promoting the University’s Open CourseWare program and commitment to OEP was shown during the ceremony and can also be viewed on the OPAL Initiative website.