The Apereo Teaching and Learning Awards have a long history of recognizing innovation in teaching and learning. The award grew out of the Teaching With Sakai Innovation Award (TWSIA) which began in 2008 as part of the Sakai community. When Sakai became part of Apereo, the award was expanded to include all Apereo software projects such as Xerte, OAE, Opencast, and Karuta.
The award has a global reputation and has selected winners from disciplines as diverse as healthcare, computer science, liberal arts, education, fashion, and more.
The major goals of the award are to:
- Promote excellent pedagogy and innovation in teaching and learning
- Create a community of educators who want to share teaching and learning practices
- Encourage greater faculty involvement in the Apereo community.
Award entries are evaluated against rubrics and the definition of innovation. Each applicant will submit a description of their innovative teaching method, practice or strategy and indicate the ways in which it addresses the award rubric. The application is divided into three categories: course, project, and portfolio.
The ATLAS (formerly TWSIA) committee defines an innovative course or educational experience as one that, by design, engages and challenges students, resulting in greater student interest, a deeper level of understanding and/or a lasting change in the students' perception of an issue or topic.
The innovative method, practice or strategy used may not be new in the world, but its implementation may be out of the ordinary in your field of practice or new to you. It is more than simply using new technologies; rather it is an approach to teaching and learning that results in a much-enhanced, even transformative, educational experience for students.