An online course that teaches students how to design everything from games to T-shirts won the top prize at the IT Training Awards 2011. The Open University’s ‘Design Thinking: Creativity For The 21st Century’ is the first to take a design studio learning environment online and allows students to share ideas, collaborate on projects and feedback on each other’s work.
The Open University were given the Gold Award within the ‘Innovation in Training Services Category’, aimed at organisations making unique contributions to the delivery of learning. Judges were impressed by both the content of the course and the groundbreaking way it has been delivered.
‘Design Thinking: Creativity For The 21st Century’ uses the University’s own specially designed software applications to create a fully interactive online space. These include OpenDesignStudio where students can view and discuss each other’s work, and CompendiumDS, a digital scrap book that allows their design process to be assessed online.
“We are immensely proud of the Design Thinking course and the recognition it has received with this award”, said Peter Lloyd, the Course Team Chair and member of the Design Group at The Open University. “The awards were judged by an entirely commercial panel, which demonstrates how appropriate our courses are to the commercial learning world. Many online courses still take the form of downloadable pdfs or html material available over the internet. With this course The Open University is pioneering the use of new technology in developing accessible educational tools to spark creativity and teach people how to design.”
The OU was founded to open up higher education to all, regardless of their circumstances, previous qualifications or where they live. It is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, and materials on iTunes U. Its 40 year partnership with the BBC brought education to prime-time slots through programmes like Coast, Bang Goes the Theory and Seven Ages of Britain.
2. The Institute of IT Training hosts the annual IT Training Awards to recognise outstanding examples of high standards, best practice, innovation and excellence in Learning and Development.