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Fred Mulder Awards 2020: The Winners!

The Fred Mulder Awards celebrate and recognise our member and alumni achievements. We are delighted to announce this year’s winners for our two categories: best open education research paper and best open education practice. 

We received some fantastic submissions from members. Thank you to everyone who put themselves or colleagues forward for consideration.  A special thank you also to GO-GN alumni Michael Paskevicius who acted as our independent reviewer. 

So without further ado, here are our wonderful winners and a few words from each on their work. You can also join us on Monday 14 December at 14.00GMT for our End of Year Special to hear more about our winners and celebrate their achievements.

Winner of Best Open Education Research Paper: Amy Nusbaum 

“Despite some marked progress, higher education is still a predominantly white, male, and upper-class place. This is true even in areas that are progressive in other ways, such as open education. This article describes a project where students and discipline-specific professionals contributed to the diversification of an open education textbook. I found that this diversified textbook led first-generation students to feel a higher sense of belongingness on campus compared to when they read a typical textbook.”

Nusbaum, A.T. (2020). Who Gets to Wield Academic Mjolnir?: On Worthiness, Knowledge Curation, and Using the Power of the People to Diversify OER.  Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2020(1), p.4. DOI:

Joint Runner Up for Best Open Education Paper: Ada Czerwonogora and Virginia Ródes 

“The paper presents the findings from PRAXIS, an action research project developed within academic professional learning communities (PLC)  in the context of public higher education in Uruguay. PRAXIS Project aim was to explore teaching practices and the integration of digital technologies in a meaningful way into teaching. For this purpose, we examined the potential and benefits of these academic PLCs for the reflection and transformation of teaching practices towards fostering teaching innovation. 

We describe PRAXIS research design, which combines Open Science and Open Educational Practices  approaches, focusing on processes developed in #PraxisUdelar (Universidad de la República, University of the Republic) academic community. We propose and discuss the results of this academic PLC using Social Network Analysis, showing the footprints of this educational action research design on strengthening reflective practice.” 

Czerwonogora, A. & Ródes, V. (2019) Praxis: Open educational practices and open science to face the challenges of critical educational action research [online]. Open Praxis, Vol. 11, No. 4, Oct/Dec 2019: 381-396. Retrieved from:

Joint Runner Up for Best Open Education Paper: Aras Bozkurt 

“Without academic purposes, with an intention to reflect the changes in the educational landscape and provide a global outlook, scholars all around the world gathered to write a paper regarding Covid-19 pandemic and its interruption to education. In fact, it was a collaborative reflex to better understand uncertainty, navigate through it and guide future research directions by reporting the state of the art during the beginning of the pandemic. In a tight schedule, we included as many as diverse voices from different countries to be as inclusive and representative as possible. A total of 39 scholars from 31 countries that represent roughly 62.7% of the whole world population wrote the open-access article.”

Bozkurt, A., Jung, I., Xiao, J., Vladimirschi, V., Schuwer, R., Egorov, G., Lambert, S., Al-Freih, M., Pete, J., Olcott, Jr., D., Rodes, V., Aranciaga, I., Bali, M., Alvarez, A. J., Roberts, J., Pazurek, A., Raffaghelli, J. E., Panagiotou, N., de Coëtlogon, P., Shahadu, S., Brown, M., Asino, T. I., Tumwesige, J., Ramírez Reyes, T., Barrios Ipenza, E., Ossiannilsson, E., Bond, M., Belhamel, K., Irvine, V., Sharma, R. C., Adam, T., Janssen, B., Sklyarova, T., Olcott, N., Ambrosino, A., Lazou, C., Mocquet, B., Mano, M., & Paskevicius, M. (2020). A global outlook to the interruption of education due to COVID-19 pandemic: Navigating in a time of uncertainty and crisis. Asian Journal of Distance Education, 15(1), 1-126. Retrieved from:

Translations of the title, abstract and keywords are also available in 19 languages.

Joint Winner of Best Open Educational Practice: Tomohiro Nagashima

“My work looked at how education researchers and practitioners, such as teachers, can work together to design OER and to use them in meaningful and effective ways. In this project, we collaborated with middle-school teachers in US to design and use a visual representation for algebra. We shared our materials and tools widely as OER to promote evidence-based open educational practice. As an instructional designer turned into an education researcher, I deeply care about connecting research and practice in a sustainable way, and this project was the first step toward the goal of building an ecosystem in which education researchers and practitioners collaboratively engage in the design, reuse, and re-distribution of OER.” 

Joint Winner of Best Open Educational Practice: Hélène Pulker

“In the context of the ongoing pandemic and its impact on education and educators around the world, a group of colleagues from the Open University School of Languages and Applied Linguistics has developed a free toolkit, ‘Moving your language teaching online’. The toolkit supports language teachers from other Higher Education institutions who are new to online teaching or have only recently had to adapt to online teaching in light of the Covid-19 situation. The toolkit consists of a series of help sheets, discussing the basic principles of online language teaching: from creating an online classroom to maintaining motivation or developing assessment strategies for online teaching. 

Since its launch on 30 October 2020, the toolkit website has attracted nearly 2,000 visits. Users are free to download the toolkit help sheets, to use them, modify and adapt them to their own context, or to translate them. They are encouraged to share them with colleagues from their institutions and beyond.

Toolkit project team: Zsuzsanna Bárkányi, Karina von Lindeiner-Stráský, Christine Pleines, Hélène Pulker, Elodie Vialleton, The School of Languages and Applied Linguistics, The Open University (UK)”

Image credits: Fireworks! by Jon B is licensed CC BY-SA 2.0 and all penguin images by Visual Thinkery for GO-GN and licensed CC BY 4.0