AU professor and leader in open educational resources wins UNESCO award
Congratulations are in order for Athabasca University (AU) professor Dr. Rory McGreal on winning in the first edition of UNESCO IITE’s Open Initiative “Innovative Educational Technologies!”
The initiative was created to highlight the ever-evolving trends in the innovation of educational technologies regarding society, education, and progress in sustainable development goals. Contestants participated in the sharing of their best practices, expertise, and ideas while recognizing the excellent contributions already made in the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) field.
McGreal’s submission, titled The benefits of an Open Educational Resource implementation in an Indigenous college, a Maskwacis Cultural College Case Study, discussed the development of courses that integrated Indigenous approaches with localizing content. McGreal elaborated on the Maskwacis Cultural College’s goals which included improving the quality of courses and the content’s appropriateness for Indigenous students in a digital learning environment.
“This award is important because it is international recognition of the achievement of one Indigenous community in Alberta in implementing Open Educational Resources. The original research of this paper was supported by Contact North/Contact Nord in Ontario, which has a proud history of supporting indigenous education,” McGreal said.
The first place win was in the Open Initiative category, where submissions were evaluated based on a list of criteria ranging from technical reliability and scalability to engagement with teachers and students.
McGreal was the only Canadian submission among international participants from Armenia, Belarus, Finland, France, Russia, United Arab Emitres, and the USA.
The UNESCO IITE announcement of the winners was published on June 4, 2020.