Project Introduction of the Global MOOC and Online Education Alliance Awards (GMAA)
In 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proposed Sustainable Development Goal 4 to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all,” which sets the direction for the future development of education.
In recent years, with the advancement of information technology, various online learning models have emerged. For example, educators are increasingly adopting Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), blended or hybrid teaching, Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR), and even Artificial Intelligence (AI) such as ChatGPT to enhance the experience and effectiveness of teaching and learning. With the emergence of technology-enhanced courses, more people have the opportunity to access high-quality educational resources, promoting a more diverse, innovative, and comprehensive education and contributing to a more sustainable, inclusive, and just future for our world.
In response to global educational opportunities presented by the age of the internet and virtual interconnectivity, world-leading universities and platforms shoulder an extremely important role. With the mission of building a diverse community with world-leading universities and platforms, fostering international bilateral and multilateral cooperation on educational technology and innovation, and leading by example and contributing towards the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4, the Global MOOC and Online Education Alliance (GMA) was founded in 2020. The GMA was initiated by 17 leading universities and 3 online education platforms from 14 countries across six continents, with its Secretariat located at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. To achieve its mission, the GMA mainly focuses on four aspects of work, namely joint teaching, capacity building, knowledge sharing, and public advocacy.
In 2023, the GMA launched a new project to recognize high-quality technology-enhanced STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses to further promote knowledge sharing and capacity building. Among all the technology-enhanced courses, GMA focuses its first-year project on STEM fields because of the importance of STEM in the era of digital transformation in higher education. First, STEM courses represent a deeper integration of technology and education in terms of both content and format. Second, recognizing high-quality technology-enhanced STEM courses will benefit GMA members in developing and improving STEM courses and promoting professional development for educators. Third, as proposed by UNESCO, STEM education seeks to develop and provide innovative solutions to global issues, in particular those directly related to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals . Therefore, GMA focuses its project in the first year on the selection of STEM courses. In the future, GMA will expand its focus to other fields and promote the development of online education towards greater inclusivity, equity, and quality.
Through the showcasing of high-quality technology-enhanced STEM courses, the project is committed to promoting better mutual understanding among members about excellent examples of technology-enhanced STEM courses. In addition, by organizing follow-up international exchange activities, this project will promote the professional development of educators, build an online learning community, and provide references and examples for the future development of online education.
3.1 Nomination period (April 17, 2023 – May 12, 2023)
Each GMA member is invited to recommend 2 to 3 technology-enhanced STEM courses and fill out the application form. One form can only be filled out for one course. If a GMA member wishes to recommend 3 courses, for example, please fill out 3 forms. After completion, the forms can be sent to the GMA Secretariat ([email protected]). The deadline for nomination is May 12, 2023.
3.2 Evaluation period (May 15, 2023 – June 30, 2023)
This project will invite experts, scholars, and learners in the field of online education as evaluators. The award-winning educators will receive an award certificate issued by the GMA, a prize of US$1000, and an invitation to participate in GMA activities.
3.3 Presentation period (July 2023 – December 2023)
The award-winning educators will be invited to participate in activities organized by GMA, such as Online Education Dialogues and the 4th Global MOOC and Online Education Conference. In addition, GMA will also cooperate extensively with international organizations to promote award-winning courses inside and outside the alliance, and help more educators optimize courses and improve digital literacy. Through these activities, award-winning educators will present excellent courses and practical cases, exchange experiences with counterparts from around the world, foster the building of the online learning community, and jointly explore the future development of online education.
For further information or inquiries please contact [email protected].