About OE Awards

Open Education Awards for Excellence

The Open Education Awards for Excellence provide annual recognition to outstanding contributions in the Open Education community, recognizing exemplary leaders, distinctive Open Educational Resources, and Open Projects & Initiatives.

The Open Education Global is honored to recognize every year the newest recipients of the Open Education Awards for Excellence, whose work reflects the outstanding achievements and shared wealth of the open education community.

Award categories are reviewed each year to make sure they are current, relevant, and reflect the emerging innovations in the Open Education movement.  

This year we celebrate two awards in the special category: 1) The Open Resilience Award, a category introduced in 2020 to recognize open educational practices that emerged with COVID-19,  this year extends to celebrate efforts that have found the best ways of overcoming adversity, pivoting quickly and thriving in the face of unprecedented challenges or crises, and 2) The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award to commemorate efforts focused on creating diverse, inclusive and equitable opportunities in learning environments. 

Together we stand for a world of openness where knowledge is openly and freely accessible. The Open Education Global acknowledges these efforts, alliances and collaborations through the 2022 OEAwards categories.

OE Awards Categories

People in Open

Individual awards are special merit awards presented to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to advance openness in education. These awards recognize achievements in five main categories (one award per category): 

Icon of tree stars pointing up

Leadership Award

Award presented to an individual who has demonstrated significant leadership and longstanding involvement with Open Education. A person who has made significant and clear contributions to the furtherance of the Open Education movement, whose contributions to Open Education have spanned regions and/or had a global impact.

Icon of a center star attracting circles

Educator Award

Award honoring an innovative teacher/professor who has published and/or used a significant body of OER over a sustained period (at least one year) in his/her teaching practice. An individual whose open course materials and professional practices have been recognized as having an impact and influencing peers to share more openly. 

Icon of people in a network

Support Specialist Award

Award presented to an individual actively engaged in the use and promotion of OER and Open Practices.  Someone, other than a professor/teacher, that supports the ideals of the Open Education movement through their own practices. These might include librarians, researchers, instructional designers, policymakers, administrators or more.

Icon of a shinning star

Emerging Leader Award

Award granted to an enthusiastic individual displaying promising leadership qualities. Someone who’s advocacy and use of open education is inspiring, making them an effective spokesperson. Someone who has demonstrated a strong commitment towards its ideals or has achieved significant accomplishments.  

Icon of a backpack

Student Award

This award honors the outstanding endeavors of a student who has advocated for or benefitted academically from the use of open educational resources (OER). The award is presented to the student whose achievements may inspire others to pursue degree programs that utilize open resources and/or someone who played a prominent role in advocating successfully for the promotion and advancement of OER and open education.

What We Share

Open assets are what open education initiatives produce and use, tangible goods (usually digital) with educational purpose and value. Open assets are produced, curated, and distributed in ways that make them freely accessible, usable, and improvable by others. 

Open Assets Awards recognize these resources in four different categories (one award per category):

Icon of an apple and a cycled arrow

Best OER

High-quality innovative teaching and learning materials openly available online for everyone to use, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute. These can be presented in the form of:

  • Open Course (OCW/MOOC) 
  • Open textbook
  • Video / Simulation / Animation
  • Audio / Audiobook
Icon of person with books around

Open Curation / Repository

An exceptional collection of high-quality OER presented after a curation process. More than merely collecting content on a specific subject, strong curation involves carefully selecting content and evaluating it for a specific purpose. Presenting it in a meaningful and organized way that can then be customized and re-shared for future users.

Icon of a bookmark in a book

Open Reuse / Remix/ Adaptation

An outstanding example of OER reuse, remix or adaptation. This may include examples of significant iterative improvements of resources including translation and localization.

Icon of hands and wheels

Open Infrastructure

Open Infrastructure is the set of technologies that enables openness. It encompassess open source tools which enable the creation of open educational resources, their use in educational context, their curation, improvement and remixing, as well as sharing. The “infrastructure” is wider than just open source software, though: it also includes open hardware used in education, open standards enabling interoperability, as well as other open technologies that are instrumental for open education.

How We Share

Open Practices are collective behaviors and techniques that open up access to educational opportunities. These practices promote and support the use of open educational resources, technologies and social networks to facilitate collaborative and flexible teaching and learning. 

Open Practices Awards recognize contributions in five different categories (one award per category):

icon of two people and arrows

Open Pedagogy

An innovative open teaching practice that incorporates openness in several levels of the learning processes. Engaging not only in the production, use and reuse of content but also promoting effective open teaching practices.

Four hands united

Open Collaboration

A successful environment that fosters the collective production of open resources and open practices with a shared goal. An interchange of ideas supported through technologically mediated collaborative platforms, encouraging new opportunities for people to form ties with others and create things together; encouraging diversity of goals, backgrounds and cultures. These might include communities of practice, joint project ventures, multi-institutional collaboration, multinational cooperation. 

icon of two people around a magnifying glass

Open Research

A research study or initiative about open education and/or related areas. A study or initiative that helps advance our understanding and demonstrate effectiveness related to challenges of the Open Education movement.

icon of shaking hands

Open Policy

Creation, adoption and implementation of an open policy, legislation or mandate. A policy with a clear impact of public investment in the development of open knowledge through the efficient use and reuse of resources for the public good.

Icon of light bulb and a check

Open Innovation

Outstanding innovation that brings a new approach to open education. Ideas or solutions that present innovative applications of OER to create new opportunities or address existing challenges in open education.

Special Awards

The Open Education Awards for Excellence provide annual recognition to outstanding contributions in the Open Education community. While the core categories (individual, resources & practices) remain the same each year, we always look for ways to reflect new trends and emerging innovations in the Open Education Movement. Our 2022 special categories are: 

globe icon

Open Resilience Award

This award honors practices that have found the best ways of overcoming adversity in the face of unprecedented challenges or crises.  Activities that clearly demonstrate the implementation of open educational resources or open educational practices to address challenges arising in any crisis.

icon of an open book and forward arrows

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award

This award recognizes creativity, innovation and creation of opportunities that promote a welcoming and supportive diverse environment and facilitate inclusion and/or access.  Activities that develop cultural awareness and foster intercultural communication and collaboration.


Call for Nominations will open in May 2023. The complete timeline will be available shortly.

Awards Guidelines

Award process and nominations criteria.


If you know of an interesting open project, initiative or idea that doesn’t fit our award criteria or if you have any questions or comments, please contact us, we would love to hear from you.