The work of the OERu was recognised by the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) with its Individual Prize of Excellence being awarded to Wayne Mackintosh during the 2019 World Conference on Online Learning in Dublin.
Dr Wayne Mackintosh was awarded the ICDE Individual Prize of Excellence during the Global Presidents’ Summit on 3 November 2019.
The award was made in recognition of his work in establishing the OERu international innovation partnership of post-secondary institutions from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Oceania. The OERu’s purpose is to widen access to more affordable tertiary education using open online courses based entirely on OER with pathways to achieve university qualifications.
The OERu has developed a transnational micro-credentialing system mapped to formal university qualifications supported by approved bilateral credit transfer and course articulation agreements. The Jury Panel noted that “Anybody involved in micro-credentialing will understand what a painstaking and demanding (and tedious) undertaking this is and this alone would be worthy of recognition but he has done even more.”
Dr Mackintosh was also recognised for his work in launching the Outreach partnership programme, pioneering (along with his team) an open source, component-based Next Generation Digital Learning Environment (which can be replicated by any institution in the world) and founding WikiEducator, an international website with 80,000 registered users collaborating on OER development.
“The criteria for this award stipulates that in order to qualify, the individual must have shown great leadership and excellence in the work of an educational institution and moved the international agenda of ODL cooperation forward in a decisive manner,” said Professor Belinda Tynan, President of the ICDE, when presenting the award. “Wayne Mackintosh has demonstrated that he has done precisely both those things and is a truly worthy candidate.”
“The OER universitas (OERu) is an innovative, international collaboration among socially motivated universities that design, develop, and deliver open online micro-courses, which learners may study for free,” said Dr Mackintosh, Managing Director of the OER Foundation. “This award is a fitting testament not only to myself, but also to many individuals from partner institutions, who have been working together with OERu over the last decade, to achieve more affordable and sustainable education for all learners.”