Chosen from over a hundred entries from universities and colleges across the globe, the Open Training College was recently awarded a prestigious First Place by the International E-learning Award committee in the category ‘Blended Learning – Academic Division’.
The International E-learning Awards are given each year for the best work in e-learning, mobile learning, and blended learning, in two divisions: Academic and Business/Industry. All submissions are evaluated by the IELA Awards Committee, who look for a variety of attributes. These include, among others, educational soundness and effectiveness, usability, and overall significance. The judging committee is made up of E-learning experts from around the world.
At the awards ceremony held in Belfast in September, the College received the award for their online module devised for Social Care students, entitled ‘Professional Development and Ethics’.
Blended learning is the combination of face to face (classroom learning) with online learning. The model provides a strong model for learning. The College has students from all over Ireland and the online model allows the students to stay in contact with the College and to engage with other students, who are all practitioners, in a supportive, well-resourced learning environment in between their days in the classroom.
‘A lot of hard work has gone into the fine tuning of the blended learning model over the years. Listening to the students and actioning their feedback has all helped improve the model, so I think its as much their award as ours,’ states Raymond Watson, Head of Online Learning at the Open Training College. ‘I would also like to acknowledge the crucial work done by my colleague Niav McEvoy, our Online Tutor, and Alan Murphy, our E-learning Consultant, which definitely gave us the edge in this competition over many others, such as the University of Vienna and the University of Porto.’
The College prides itself on supporting their students through online learning from the moment of their application. Online learning supports gives busy practitioners access to flexible learning, that ability to study anytime, anywhere.
‘The model of delivery has been developed and implemented over a number of years for our students. We have certainly seen them benefit from its use, so it’s a special honour to now receive the formal recognition from such a respected organisation as the IELA,’ commented Dr Karen Finnerty, College Director at the Open Training College.
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