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Our awards


International award for digital innovation

A free four-week online course designed by Open University School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport (ECYS) academics and presented on FutureLearn, won a ‘Digital Innovation of the Year’ award at the PIEoneer Awards 2018.

The course is designed to help African teacher educators integrate the use of Open Educational Resources (OER), active learning and ICT in the classroom, helping to address the urgent need for greater professional development to improve teacher training in the region.

Olivier Biard, Liz Chamberlain, Kris Stutchbury and Steven Hutchinson, with the PIEoneer award


Award for International Impact

The Open University (OU) lifted the International Impact Award trophy at the Times Higher Education Awards 2017, held in association with Santander Universities UK. The OU’s winning entry in the International Impact Award category is a programme aimed at improving the English-language skills of teachers and children across Bangladesh.

The OU developed teaching materials specifically for use on low-cost mobile phones to provide educators with techniques and activities to help millions more Bangladeshi’s benefit from the social and economic opportunities that require communication in English.

Claire Hedges, Matthew Foster, Tom Power and Steven Hutchinson


Academic Book of the Year Award

Teresa Cremin, Professor of Education (Literacy) at the OU, and colleagues  Rosie Flewitt, Ben Mardell and Joan Swann won the 2018 UKLA Academic Book Award: Storytelling in Early Childhood.

Professor Morag Styles, Panel chair, writes:

The audience for this book is quite simply everyone interested in working with the young, whether at trainee, new practitioner or experienced teacher level, and indeed for those engaged in teaching, research or learning at higher degree level. Most of all, it fulfils some of the key criteria for this award, especially ‘inspiring the teaching of literacy’ and ‘encouraging teachers to be reflective, innovative and creative’.

Teresa Cremin (holding the UKLA award) with colleagues


Award for Progressive Education

English in Action (EIA) won the award in the Progressive Education category at the PIEoneer Awards 2017. The project, delivered by Cambridge Education and the Open University EIA team, is a technology-enabled platform designed for classroom teachers in Bangladesh to help them improve on English tuition delivery and ensure communicative ability of students is enhanced. EIA uses Mediated Authentic Videos with pedagogical guidance and was funded by the Department for International Development. Teaching materials are harnessed by local teachers by using on low-cost mobile phones. EIA has been used in 227 of 490 districts in Bangladesh, nearly 43,000 primary teachers and 3.1 million primary children have participated.

Claire Hedges, Rehnuma Akhter, Tom Power and Sudeb Kumar Biswas


International Projects Award

TESS India team swept the board in the International Projects category at The Guardian Awards 2017. The judges said TESS India was an exceptional project with unparalleled reach, delivered at scale.

The project, which began in 2012, is generating a paradigm shift in rural Indian schools to introduce more child-centred education. It has created educational resources in seven languages designed with and for teachers, through different delivery mechanisms ranging from mobile phones to printed material.

TESS India team


Innovation Award

The Open University’s TESS-India (Teacher Education through School-based Support) programme was awarded the prestigious Innovation Award 2015 at the Bond International Development Awards.

India has made huge strides in getting more students enrolled in school - but ensuring a productive learning experience for every student is a huge challenge. TESS-India supports teachers in actively engaging students with the school curriculum to enhance their achievement.

TESS-India BOND award

Freda Wolfenden and Fola Komolafe


Early Career Researcher Award

The OU Research Excellence Awards launched in March 2018, recognise excellence and celebrate achievement within the OU research environment. Dr Alison Buckler, an OU Research Fellow in International Education and Development, was awarded runner-up in the Early Career Researcher category. Her research focuses on the use of technology to support learning in Sub-Saharan Africa.