Online Learning Consortium Announces Recipients of the 2016 OLC Digital Learning Innovation Awards

Three higher ed institutions and five faculty-led teams have been recognized with #DLIAwards for advancing undergraduate student success through the adoption of digital courseware.

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (Nov. 17, 2016) — The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) today announced eight recipients of the 2016 OLC Digital Learning Innovation Awards (#DLIAward), recognizing exemplary higher education faculty-led teams and institutions for advancing undergraduate student success through the adoption of digital courseware. The awards were presented to honorees today by former US Under Secretary of Education Martha J. Kanter, Ed.D. during the OLC Accelerate conference, in Orlando.

“The results of the 2016 Digital Learning Innovation Award competition evidence an astonishing diversity in excellence related to digital courseware implementations,” said Kathleen S. Ives, D.M., CEO and executive director, Online Learning Consortium. “The awarded projects attest to a broad story of adoption across institution types and in a variety of disciplines. We are inspired by the results of this first year of competition and are eager to begin the work of sharing success stories to support other institutions ready to implement similarly successful digital courseware initiatives.”

The awarded initiatives address a range of challenges and student groups—from accelerated degree programs for adult women, easing cost and access in retail management programs, overcoming the high cost of text books while having an impact on persistence, and promoting timely STEM degree attainment—to solutions for increased success in gateway science courses, online biology classes, and developmental mathematics courses.

Three institutions and five faculty-led teams were selected from among 106 DLIAward submissions. Each award is accompanied by a monetary reward: $100,000 for institutions and $10,000 for faculty-led teams.

The 2016 OLC Digital Learning Innovation Award – Institution has been awarded to:

  • Bay Path University (MSI-Eligible, Title III and Title V), Longmeadow, Massachusetts, for its use of Realizeit Boundless for its deployment of a revolutionary model for The American Women’s College Online called Social Online Universal Learning (SOUL), which delivers online accelerated baccalaureate degree programs targeted to adult women.
  • Cerritos Community College (HSI), Cerritos, California, for its use of Lumen Learning courseware in shifting nearly all courses in its Retail Management Program to low-cost digital courseware designed using OER from Lumen Learning.
  • Northern Arizona University (NAU) (AIANSI), Flagstaff, Arizona, for its use of Pearson MyMath Test in MyLabsPlus powered by Knewton courseware in its Peak Performance Mathematics Summer Bridge Program, which aims to promote timely STEM degree attainment by students at Northern Arizona University (NAU).

The 2016 OLC Digital Learning Innovation Award – Faculty-Led Team has been awarded to:

Lehman College of CUNY (HSI), New York, New York, for its use of Sapling Learning/Macmillan and a WordPress custom CUNY site, to increase the success of students in gateway science courses and reduce out-of-pocket costs for students.

  • Tougaloo College (HBCU), Jackson, Mississippi, for its use of Junction Education, OpenStax to address the challenge faced by instructors in enaging students of online biology classes.
  • Fisher College, Boston, Massachusetts, for its use of Cengage Learning’s Enhanced WebAssign to help students in developmental mathematics courses to master required math skills and successfully complete mathematics coursework.
  • Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Salisbury, North Carolina, for its use of 3-Text, a Cengage Learning Partnership, to help overcome high textbook costs, which was preventing students from buying books and limiting their ability to succeed.
  • Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, for its use of ALEKS to address student success related to completion of developmental math courses by taking on a new approach tailored to today's online-savvy students.

Complete descriptions of the digital courseware initiatives of the 2016 OLC DLIAward honorees are available at the DLIA website. OLC will also share these success stories with the online learning community through a series of white papers and featured profiles.

The OLC Digital Learning Innovation Award competition recognizes faculty-led teams and institutions for advancing undergraduate student success through the adoption of digital courseware. The award program is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success Program.

A call for submissions for the 2017 competition will be announced early in 2017. 

About 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, best-practice publications, community-driven conferences and expert guidance. OLC members include educators, administrators, trainers and other online learning professionals, as well as educational institutions, professional societies and corporate enterprises. Visit for more information.