Students as Producers, an initiative from the London School of Economics, and Denmark-based Labster both shared the top prize of $50,000.
The awards were presented at a lavish ceremony at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, hosted by QS and The Wharton School, as part of their third annual Reimagine Education Conference and Awards.
“Entries that had come in in previous years showed substantial improvement in innovation”
Students as Producers @ LSE consists of projects which aim to transform the learning, teaching and assessment experience at the university. This is done by “scaling the role of students as co-producers and co-constructers of content and knowledge”, according to the project’s website.
Peter Bryant, head of learning technology and innovation at LSE, said the team is “honoured and humbled” by global recognition of the initiative’s work, which reaches thousands of students and involves many members of staff across the institution.
Speaking with The PIE News, he said the group will work to diversify the project even further and increase collaborations across LSE’s curriculum.
“We want to work with courses and programmes to engage with students as producers in more complex and innovative ways,” he said.
Labster, which has entered the competition and participated in the conference for the past two years, is in the process of adding a new feature to its product which will allow users to go in and build their own laboratory simulation.
“What they’re [going to be] doing now is actually creating an open platform where any of their users can create experiments, save those experiments and share it across the community,” Nunzio Quacquarelli, managing director of QS, told The PIE News.
This year, the awards received 527 applications which were shortlisted by a group of judges before the ceremony. According to Quacquarelli, the quality of submissions was higher than for previous awards.
“Even entries that had come in in previous years showed substantial improvement in innovation and that’s really pleasing,” he said.
And for the first time, delegates at the conference voted towards the final result, along with a panel of judges.
“[The delegates] are themselves experts in learning and teaching and nurturing employability pedagogy. Why not take advantage of their expertise?” said Quacquarelli.
The awards, originally created to “shine a light on innovations in learning, teaching and nurturing employability”, have evolved to reflect the influence the delegates gain from each other every year, Quacquarelli added.
“One day we hope that it will provide data to enable us to highlight the most innovative universities.”
Full list of winners:
E-Learning Award – BioBeyond (SmartSparrow, USA) and Smartly (Pedago, USA)
Hybrid Learning Award – Caseworx (California State University, USA) and Students as Producers @ LSE (London School of Economics, UK)
Presence Learning Award – STIMulate: integrated maths, science and IT support for learning (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
Teaching Delivery Award – Promoting Resilience and Preventing Burnout in Media Students through the DEAL-Based Practice (Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia)
Learning Assessment Award – DigiExam (DigiExam, USA)
Sustainability Award – Green Consultants (University of Exeter, UK)
Nurturing Employability Award – The Incubation Cells (Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico) and X-Culture: The International Business Collaboration Project (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA)
Ethical Leadership – Synchronizing Vocational Education and Character Development to Impact Employability (Williamson College of the Trades, USA)
K12 Innovation Award – ThinkCERCA (ThinkCERCA, USA)
ICT Tools for Teaching & Learning – Game-changer: In the future everyone can build their own 3D virtual high-tech laboratory for laptops, tablets and in virtual reality (Labster, Denmark)
Best Educational App – BYJU’s The Learning App – Making millions fall in love with learning (BYJU’s The Learning App, India) and Duolingo (Duolingo, USA)
Digital Content Award – Elsa: Voice Pronunciation Coach (Elsa Corp., USA)
Best Use of ICT Tools – Inspark Teaching Network (Inspark Teaching Network, USA)
ICT Support and Services – Personalized PD for K-12 Teachers (2gno.me, USA)
Cultivating Curiosity – Measuring and Enhancing Epistemic Curiosity: Facilitating Self-directed Knowledge Seeking and Problem Solving in the Classroom or Workplace (Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, FL and University of Maine at Machias, ME (joint affiliation), USA)