Educator Award

Maha Bali

The American University in Cairo (Egypt)

Maha Bali is a professor of practice at the Center for Learning and Teaching at The American University in Cairo (AUC). She believes very strongly in critical/interpretive approaches to social research, especially participatory approaches such as collaborative autoethnography.

She co-founded Virtually Connecting, a grassroots movement that challenges academic gatekeeping at conferences. Currently Maha co-facilitates Equity Unbound, an equity-focused, open, connected intercultural curriculum. Equity Unbound has branched into academic community activities including, Continuity with Care, Socially Just Academia, a collaboration with OneHE: Community-building Resources and MYFest, an online and community driven unique approach to professional development.

Maha’s work on open pedagogy and practices is an important contribution to the field. Her work on compassionate learning design, building intentionally equitable communities, and most recently, open education practices as a framework for responding to generative AI are all influential and important. Maha cultivates cultures that value and reward care and equity. She actively integrates these approaches not only into her own courses but in her faculty professional development activities.

Maha plays an influential role advocating for critical pedagogy, care and a social justice approach to open digital education, through many channels such as her blog, social media, publications, and as a frequent and seemingly tireless keynote speaker often, but not always, virtual. Her energy is boundless and her personal care, focus on students, equity, and pedagogy all are indicators of why she was selected for the Educator Award.

Maha brings an important diversity, equity and inclusion voice to open education. Her active voice and being brings forward perspectives from Africa and from those frequently left out.

Award Nominator

Beyond Maha’s scholarly contributions to open educational practices I rate her building of community and encouragement (and modelling) of open sharing as among her most significant contributions to the OE movement.

Award Reviewer

Explore more about this award…

Maha Bali exudes openness as a way of being on Episode 493 of the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast.

About 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.