25 June 2020: EdTech Breakthrough Awards announced FutureLearn as its winner of the ‘Overall e-Learning Solution of the Year’ category.
This is the second year of the EdTech Breakthrough Awards programme, which honours top technology companies and education solutions that drive innovation around the globe. Their goal is to perform the deepest evaluation of the global educational technology industry each year to select and highlight the “breakthrough” solutions and companies. With over 1,750 nominations this year, the competition was fierce for each and every award category.
This year, FutureLearn’s ‘How to Teach Online: Providing Continuity for Students’ course received the award for Overall e-Learning Solution of the Year. A course developed in response to the impact of the outbreak of the coronavirus on the education sector.
Globally, many schools and universities have been forced to close their buildings, leaving teachers and students to move rapidly to online learning. It has been a challenge for many to enable students to continue receiving quality education with minimal disruption while adapting to the situation.
The course was developed and taught by FutureLearn’s Learning team – our in-house online teaching and learning experts, and designed to give teachers practical steps towards online teaching and student support. The team moved rapidly to meet the needs of these learners, and time between initial discussions and teachers being able to start learning was just 10 days.
Supporting educators and academics during this unprecedented shift from the classroom to online learning is one of FutureLearn’s biggest priorities at present. Our mission is to transform access to education and, in spite of the disruption that COVID-19 is bringing to schools and universities across the globe, it is incredibly important that students continue to receive a quality education.
Matt Jenner, lead educator of the course and Head of Learning at FutureLearn, said: “FutureLearn’s Learning team are delighted to be this year’s winner of the EdTech Breakthrough: Overall e-Learning Solution of the Year award. We knew school and campus closures were going to significantly and detrimentally impact the lives of hundreds of millions of students and educators, we had to act. We knew the best thing we could do was to provide a supporting educational environment for those who needed to suddenly teach online. With nearly 30 contributions from our partnership, offering top advice and support overnight, we built the How to Teach Online course on FutureLearn. We made it completely free, with permanent access and certified professional development for those who completed it. The community of practice really came to life in the course, with mentors, learners and us as facilitators joining the conversation on how to provide emergency remote teaching for our students across the world. That was an amazing thing to see and no doubt a substantial contributing factor to us winning this fantastic award.”