LIA 2009  

Learning Impact 2011






The Learning Impact Awards are designed to recognize the most impactful use of technology worldwide in support of learning. This unique program evaluates established, new, and research efforts in context at an implementing learning institution. Finalists will be selected to showcase at the annual Learning Impact conference and a panel of global experts are asked to perform the final rankings at the conference.

See the 2010 Learning Impact Awards Winners

Learning Impact Recognition and Awards Program
The Learning Impact program is facilitated by the IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS) for the purpose of recognizing outstanding applications of technology that address the most significant challenges facing the global education and training industries.

Improving the quality of and access to education is the global challenge that underpins all other global challenges. Harnessing the potential power of new technologies that can enhance the reach and effectiveness of education is a compelling priority for society. The IMS Global Learning Consortium is a unique collaboration of corporations, educational institutions, and government organizations that can play a significant role in recognizing advances in technology that address key educational challenges worldwide.

Learning Impact Program Process:
Each year the IMS Executive Strategic Council, in coordination with the IMS Board of Directors, looks to identify and award examples of high impact products and services. Submissions are collected based on an open call to industry participants from August to December of each year. A select group of finalists are selected each year in January based on criteria agreed to by the IMS Executive Strategic Council and Board of Directors. The finalists are invited to discuss and demonstrate their projects at the IMS Learning Impact conference and Summit on Global Learning Industry Challenges in April. Participants attending the Learning Impact event will vote on the finalists and the awards will be presented at the conference. The Learning Impact awards are very exclusive. They signify those products, services and implementations that have the greatest impact or potential impact on global learning industry challenges and the greatest potential return on investment.

Submission Types:
Learning Impact awards recognize both the product/service involved as well the exemplary real world implementers as both combine to create the “learning impact”. Therefore, submissions can be made by any product or service provider or end-user educational institution or training provider, as follows:

  • Product or service provider submitters are asked to name the product(s) and/or service(s) involved as well as a specific implementation (such as University A). Each implementation constitutes a single submission. Product/service companies should submit only one nomination per product/service unless the implementation of the product/service is significantly different.
  • A nomination can list up to three exemplary implementations.
  • End-user submitters are asked for the same information, although the product(s) or service(s) may not be commercially available. Each unrelated (not involved in the same implementation project) product or service constitutes a single submission.
  • Joint projects involving several partners are encouraged to submit as the potential for impact may be greater.

Submission Processing Fee:
Submissions are made in English through a web form available from IMS. The fee is waived for submissions from IMS Contributing Members and for Regional competitions, if agreed to with regional partner. A modest processing fee is charged to non-members of $500 per submission.

Product or Service Maturity:
Each submission is designated in one of three maturity categories: research, new, or established. Submissions must include details on the breadth of deployment.

  • Research products or services have been prototyped but not deployed operationally. Entries in the research category are evaluated on potential impact.
  • New products or services have been deployed operationally within the last 12 months and have at least three adopting organizations or multiple users with in an organization. Entries in the new category are evaluated on initial and potential impact.
  • Established products or services have been deployed for at least 12 months and have at least 10 adopting organizations or multiple users with in an organization. Entries in the established category are evaluated on demonstrated operational impact.

Submissions should include the scale of the nomination. Entries should choose from: International solution, Country-wide solution, System or school district solution, Institutional or school solution, Departmental solution

Demonstrator Designee:
Submissions will include designated exemplary implementations such as educational institutions, school districts, or corporate education departments. It is normally expected that representatives from the exemplary implementations will conduct the demonstrator at the annual conference if selected as a finalist, although there may be exceptions, for instance for products or services in the research category.

Product and Service Categories:
The following table lists the product and service categories in which submissions may be made. Each submission can apply to up to three categories. The list can be amended by suggestion and acceptance by IMS. Product and service categories are only used to classify the submission. Awards will be granted based on overall scoring across all submissions.


Product Categories Service Categories
Personalization and accessibility Academic technology outsourcing
Portal Information technology outsourcing
Course and content management Student support
Search Faculty support
Business/institution analytics Internet-supported learning program launch and support
Program analytics Assessment
Portfolio Strategic planning
Assessment Academic program
Interactive learning environments Career placement
Classroom capture  
Federated digital content access  
Student information system  
Portable learning technology  
Authoring tool  
Custom publishing  
Book supplements  

Evaluation Criteria:
Each submission will be required to address the following criteria. Medal winners in the global competition from prior years are ineligible.


  • Provides greater access to proven quality learning approaches
  • Enables serving significantly more learners from currently served populations
  • Enables serving new populations of learners (from new/expanded regions, for derivative programs, for preparatory purposes, etc.)
  • Provides greater convenience for learners
  • Enables lifelong learning
  • Enables improved learner efficiency
  • Enables improved instructor efficiency
  • Achieves cost reduction that is passed on to learners
  • Provides education to significant number of disadvantaged learners
  • Saves substantial travel time and cost
  • Enables clarity of learning outcomes
  • Improves results in mastery of subject matter as measured by formative or summative assessments
  • Enhances effectiveness of pedagogy or learner engagement
  • Enhances self-directed learning, critical thinking or metacognitive skills
  • Includes or enables integrated assessment or better assessment of student learning by the teacher/faculty
Adoption (For Established Products)
  • Has achieved mainstream instructor usage
  • Provides large-scale mission-critical 24/7 support
  • Supports institution-wide usage
  • Supports statewide, countrywide, or global usage
  • One of the largest deployments of its kind in terms of learners served
  • Clarifies or helps develop the specifics of accountability
  • Achieves significant cost savings versus prior solution
  • Achieves improvement in retention or graduation rates
  • Provides analytics to understand program and/or institutional/organizational performance
  • Enables comparison across institutions/organizations
Organizational Learning
  • Supports development of key competencies
  • Supports assessment of key competencies
  • Enables planning or management of competency development
  • Enables more efficient sharing of best practices
  • Provides a distinctive organizational learning advantage
  • Utilizes open standards for data, content, or services
  • Shares data, content, or services seamlessly with other applications from other vendors at minimal cost
  • Combines best-of-breed products from multiple vendors that share data, content, or services
  • Has enabled and caused practical feedback into the standards process to improve future standards
  • Has been included in IMS GLS testfest events
Innovation (For Research & New Products)
  • Achieves a far superior realization of other prior products or services of its kind
  • Has clear potential to establish a much needed new category of learning application or tool
  • Incorporates a scientific breakthrough promising enhanced learning based on brain research or learning theory
  • Represents a radical improvement in access, affordability, or quality of education
  • Provides a seamless way to incorporate advanced functionality requiring little or no faculty, teacher, or learner training to use

A set of judges will grade the nominations according to their Learning impact relative to the criteria set forth by the Executive Strategic Council. Those nominees with the highest rankings will be selected as finalists. The finalists must showcase their product/service/implementation at the Learning Impact event to maintain their finalist designation. The top Regional Finalists to the IMS GLC Learning Impact Awards will automatically be entered as a finalist at the Learning Impact Event. Contributing Members, Affiliates and Alliance Members may submit an entry free of charge. There is a nominal fee ($500 US) for non-Members.


Recognition and Awards:
At the Learning Impact event, attendees will vote to rank the finalists into platinum, gold, bronze, and silver award levels. A panel of esteemed judges will use the input from attendees to establish the Learning Impact winners.

All finalists will be acknowledged on the site with a link to their offering.