Welcome to the OLC Digital Learning Innovation Award (DLI Award) information section. Here you’ll find information about this award competition and how to submit your application. We look forward to reviewing your submissions, celebrating your successes, and identifying top innovators leading the digital learning landscape. #DLIAward

Applications for 2016 are now closed. 

About the DLI Award Competition

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation granted the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) funding to support the use of digital courseware to improve student success, especially among minority, first generation and other disadvantaged student groups.  With a focused lens on increasing the number of underrepresented students who complete general education or gateway courses, the funding aims to build awareness, assess readiness, and provide guidance on the use of digital courseware. With online environments as the platform for digital courseware, the grant furthers the reach of the OLC mission through the continued expansion of online learning for students.   

Research indicates that low-income, underrepresented, and first-generation students are most likely to struggle in any academic setting. While many technology innovations and learning management systems utilized in education have revolutionized mass delivery through efficiencies of scale, our targeted student population often requires personal interaction and mentoring to create a high-touch experience. OLC is interested in student-centered active learning solutions that advance the world of digital learning for all students.  

Several funding initiatives have informed the emerging use of digital courseware in postsecondary education yet continued adoption is needed to better understand design features, implementation strategies, and student related outcomes. More institutions need to add their own experiences with digital courseware initiatives to what is currently known in the field. To that end, we ask that only those who are serious about truly being innovative, creative, and dedicated to changing the world of digital learning apply for this award.

To accelerate the adoption of digital courseware for general education or gateway courses, OLC is offering two award categories for funding:

  • Institutional Award – $100,000 (up to three awarded);
  • Faculty-led Team Award – $10,000 (up to 10 awarded).

Honorable mentions may be recognized for both the institutional award and the faculty-led team award.

Recommendations and lessons learned related to the following dimensions will be included in the growing body of knowledge related to digital courseware: access, accountability, adoption/scale, affordability, interoperability/implementation, innovation, organizational learning, and quality. OLC is dedicated to sharing these recommendations in a series of public forums including webinars, white papers, and conference presentations. Communities of practice may evolve to further engagement and sharing. In addition to expanding the current digital courseware body of knowledge, an auxiliary OLC quality scorecard focused on the implementation/integration of digital courseware in colleges and universities will be created; a direct alignment with OLC’s mission to support quality online education.

The Digital Learning Innovation Award (DLIAward) was granted through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success Program. The Postsecondary Success Program aims to help U.S. higher education become more personalized, flexible, clear, and affordable. As the focus of the funding is U.S. higher education, so is  the focus of the OLC  DLIAward.

We are looking for the best of the best…the ‘cream of the crop’ in digital learning!

About the Online Learning Consortium

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide. The member-sustained organization offers an extensive set of resources for professional development and institutional advancement of online learning, including, original research, leading-edge instruction (e.g., workshops, certificates), best-practice publications, community-driven webinars and conferences, research-into-practice tools and resources as well as expert guidance. OLC members include mid-and senior level administrators, faculty members, trainers and other online learning professionals, as well as educational institutions, professional societies and corporate enterprises.

OLC’s mission is focused on “creating community and connections around quality online learning while driving innovation.” Visit http://onlinelearningconsortium.org for more information.