IMS Global’s annual Learning Impact Awards competition is conducted on a global scale to recognize outstanding, innovative applications of educational technology that address the most significant challenges facing education. View the Learning Impact Awards program details and eligibility.
At the core of the Learning Impact Awards competition is IMS Global’s Learning Impact Trend framework of education technology project categories (Fig. 1), which has evolved over the years as new trends emerge and others obsolesce. This framework is a leading indicator of emerging education technology trends, offering planning guidance for education institutions. It’s based on the innovative, impactful entries brought forward at each Learning Impact Awards competition; and enables IMS to identify emerging technology trends, usually several years ahead of mainstream adoption by the educational community. For example, adaptive learning is a hot topic today across K-20 institutions because it is seen as the way to help students succeed, but IMS Global recognized its groundbreaking impact on personalized education almost a decade ago; designating it as one of the original project categories for the competition and awarding platinum and silver medals in this category in 2007. The award categories are defined in the Learning Impact Trend Framework Categories table. A categorization of all winners since 2007 is contained in the Summary of Winners table.
Figure 1. Learning Impact Trend Framework
Competition and Judging
Any product or service provider, educational institution, or training provider that meets the competition’s eligibility requirements can enter the competition. Regional winners, along with other finalists selected by Learning Impact Awards Evaluators, all advance to the final round of competition, which is held in conjunction with the annual Learning Impact Leadership Institute. The finalists’ entries consist of a four-minute video pitch, a one-page detailed project flyer, and discussions and demonstrations with attendees during the May conference.
In 2016, IMS opened the judging to the public for the first time, allowing people to evaluate the finalists’ entries online. The total scoring from all peer votes counts as one vote that is combined with the judges' votes.
What distinguishes IMS Global’s Learning Impact Awards is its pragmatic focus. Compared to other award programs in the education sector, a greater amount of work goes into the Learning Impact Awards evaluation process. Judges assess entries based on the use of technology in an educational institution context with clear evidence of learning impact.
The 2020 winners—platinum, gold, silver, and bronze medalists—were selected out of 23 evidence-based and innovative technology projects. The 2020 report of trends and practices synthesized from the current year's projects releases in the fall. The nomination period for the 2021 competition opens in January.