Excellence in Distance Education Awards

By honouring excellence in distance education, COL gives due recognition to remarkable achievements and endeavours to benefit those who seek to emulate examples of good practice in the field. COL's Excellence in Distance Education Awards (EDEA) acknowledge that excellence is being achieved at many points in the learning process: at the institutional level, in the development of learning materials and in terms of individual educator and student attainment.

EDEA have become a highly prized and sought after recognition of achievement by institutions/organisations and individuals around the Commonwealth and are presented every three years during each Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF).



Award of Excellence for Institutional Achievement

This award recognises significant institutional excellence in the innovative and effective application of technology-enabled learning and open and distance learning methodologies, which reach students who may not have otherwise participated in the learning or training experience. COL presents up to three awards for institutional achievement.  Learn more

Award of Excellence for Open and Distance Education Materials

There are two award categories for recognition of excellence in open and distance education materials - 1) Print, electronically delivered materials or other low-cost media materials, such as audio, video, or a combination of these; and 2) open educational resources (OER) – use, re-use and innovation. COL presents up to three awards in each category. Learn more

Award of Excellence in a Distance Learning Experience

There are two award categories for excellence in a distance learning experience - 1) In a degree-granting programme; and 2) Under difficult circumstances. Learn more 


General Criteria and Process

  1. The President of COL appoints a three-member judging panel for each award category. Only one of the three adjudicators is a member of the Staff or Board of COL.

  2. Only complete entries will be considered by the judging panels.

  3. The panels reserve the right not to make awards in one or more categories and will not exceed the maximum number of awards stated for each category.

  4. Except for the award recipients, no prior notification of the adjudication results will be made.

  5. The judging panels' decisions will be final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the selection process. Appeals will not be entertained.

  6. All submissions (including courseware) for consideration by the judging panel will not be returned. They will be kept by COL as exemplars of good practice.

  7. COL reserves the right to demonstrate the materials selected for an award with due acknowledgement to the organisations/institutions.

  8. COL regrets that it will not be able to respond to requests on the status of application submissions.

  9. COL will not normally cover travel and accommodation costs for attendance at the Forum and presentation ceremony, except for the recipients of the Distance Learning Experience Awards.

  10. The awards are presented at each Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF).