Skip to main content

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 EDEA acknowledges the distinction achieved at many points in the learning process: at the institutional level, in the development of learning materials, and in terms of a learner’s experiences.

EDEA are highly valued by the recipients and considered as recognition of achievement by institutions/organisations and individuals around the Commonwealth. They are presented every three years during the Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF). Colleagues in open, distance and technology-enabled learning are encouraged to attend the PCF and make a submission for the awards based on the requirements under the three types.

The 2020-2022 awards were presented at the Tenth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF10) in Calgary, Canada on 14 September 2022.


Award of Excellence for Institutional Achievement

COL presents up to two awards recognising 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.

Award of Excellence for Open and Distance Education Materials

There are two categories of awards for recognition of excellence in open and distance education materials: 1) Innovations in 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) – innovative creation and adaptation. COL presents one award in each category.

Award of Excellence for Innovations in Distance and Online Learning

COL presents up to three awards recognising significant institutional/individual excellence in innovations for strengthening distance and online learning. Such innovations could be related to i) a process, model or technology for effective teaching and learning and ii) has demonstrated the potential for enhancing quality and achieving scale.

Award of Excellence in a Distance or Online Learning Experience (no longer given)


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 COL Staff.
  2. Only complete submissions will be considered by the judging panels.
  3. The panels reserve the right not to make an award 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. Award recipients are expected to treat the notification as confidential until the announcement is made at PCF.
  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 award recipients to PCF, except for the recipients under the Innovations for Distance and Online Learning Award.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Sign Up Now