Sakai Community Announces Expansion of Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award Competition

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Annual award to recognize excellence in technology-supported teaching, academic collaboration and student engagement

The support of the judges, the sponsors and the incredible enthusiasm of the Sakai community has allowed us to grow and expand this important recognition of excellence in teaching and student engagement.

Today the Sakai Teaching and Learning community announced the 4th annual Teaching With Sakai Innovation Award (TWSIA) competition. The award encourages sharing of innovative technology-enhanced teaching processes, and recognizes exceptional practices and pedagogy. With the 2011 award, the committee acknowledges the growth in size and diversity of the Sakai community, adding categories for innovation in a face-to-face or web-enhanced higher education course, a higher education distance education or hybrid course, a primary and secondary education course, and a non-course collaboration site, which may span portfolios, research or student collaborations.

In its fourth year, the award has seen winning entries from Africa, Australia and North America representing a wide range of disciplines, approaches and pedagogies. Select winners of the 2011 award will have expenses paid to present their winning entries at the 11th Sakai Conference in Berlin, Germany.

Entries will be evaluated against a defined rubric and definition of innovation. The TWSIA committee defines an innovative course or educational experience as one that, by design, engages and challenges students resulting in greater student interest, a deeper level of student understanding and/or a lasting change in the student’s perception of an issue or topic.

Entrants will be evaluated by a panel of accomplished judges including: Dr. Alec Couros, professor of educational technology and media, and coordinator of Information and Communications Technology, the Faculty of Education, University of Regina; Ms. Noriah Ismail, senior lecturer at MARA University of Technology, Malaysia; Dr. Ken Masters, assistant professor of medical informatics in the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman; Dr. Lawrence C. Ragan, director of instructional design and development for Pennsylvania State University’s World Campus; Dr. Laurie Richlin, Director of the Office of Faculty Development at the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Sciences; and Dr. James Zimmerman, Director of the Christian A. Johnson Institute for Effective Teaching at Rollins College.

The award is sponsored by IBM Global Education and supported by rSmart, and Wiley Higher Education.

“We are honored to have such an esteemed and committed group of judges and sponsors for the award,” says Mr. Robert Coyle, TWSIA committee co-chair from Johns Hopkins University. “The support of the judges, the sponsors and the incredible enthusiasm of the Sakai community has allowed us to grow and expand this important recognition of excellence.”

“The teaching and learning community is critical to the success of the Sakai community and software,” agrees Mr. Ian Dolphin, Executive Director of the Sakai Foundation. “As the community shares these innovations throughout the award program new ideas are sparked, new possibilities explored, and new enhancements to the existing technology-enhanced learning environment are created.”

To apply for the award, please find more information at


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