Learning Impact Award Program Details

Learning Impact Award Program Details

The 2017 Call for Nominations will Open Early January 2017

Award Purpose

The Learning Impact Awards recognize the most powerful and influential uses of technology worldwide in support of learning worldwide.  This unique program was created in 2007 for the purpose of recognizing outstanding applications of technology that address the most significant challenges facing the global education segment. Additionally, the Learning Impact Awards program aims to identify repeatable implementation of “efficient IT” practices that can help institutions and educational authorities increase access, create personalized learning environments, improve student engagement and improve actionable assessment.


Learning Impact Awards recognize both the product/service involved as well as the implementing institution as both collaborate to effectively leverage technology to create a positive “learning impact.”  Therefore, submissions can be made by any product or service provider or by any end-user educational institution or training provider as follows:

  • Product or service provider submitters are asked to name the product (s) and/or services(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.
  • Institutional or other end-user submitters are asked for the same information, including product (s) or services (s) that are proprietary and not 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 learning impact may be greater.
  • Applicants who are prior award winners are eligible to submit a proposal that is different from the previous award.
  • All applications must be submitted online and in English.
  • Top finalists from IMS Regional Competitions in Australia, Korea and the United Kingdom will be automatically be entered as a finalist at the Learning Impact Conference.
  • Top finalists for the Connected Learning App Challenge will be recognized during the 2017 Learning Impact Leadership Institute and automatically entered as finalist in a special “App Challenge” category for the Learning Impact Awards competition.

Award Process

Hosted by the IMS Global Learning Consortium, the Learning Impact Awards will be judged by a panel of experts.

A select group of finalists will be selected in January based on criteria to identify exemplary implementations of technology that demonstrate the greatest impact or potential impact to address the challenges facing the global learning segment and possess the greatest potential for generating a positive return on investment.  Finalists will be invited to advance to the final round of competition to present their projects during the 2016 Learning Impact Leadership Institute. The final round of competition will consist of three parts:

  • Submission of a no more than 4 minute video pitch for the Learning Impact submission;
  • One page document outlining the challenge, solution, learning impact outcomes, and return on investment; and
  • Representatives from the designated educational institution, school district, or corporate education department identified in the award submission as an exemplary implementation are expected to attend the Learning Impact Institute to discuss and demonstrate the project with conference attendees.

Learning Impact Institute attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite finalist at the event. Award winners will be recognized during the conference.

Award Recognition

  • Recognition and presentation of a platinum, gold, bronze or silver medal during the Learning Impact Institute
  • Inclusion in a press release by the IMS Global Learning Consortium that will have national distribution.
  • Recognition in the Annual IMS Learning Impact Research Report that analyzes the awards to provide practical advice to institutions / school districts on what they should be considering to improve to accountability, access, and affordability.
  • The no more than four minute video pitch that was submitted as part of the review process will be included on the IMS website as an example of an exemplary practice that other institutions / school districts should consider implementing.

Award Application

The submission period for the 2017 Learning Impact Awards will begin early January 2017 and will close February 20, 2017. Acknowledgement of receipt of application will be sent via email to the applicant. There is a modest $500 processing fee, which is waived for all IMS Global Learning Consortium members. 

Each submission will be designated in the following categories:

Below is a list of project categories in which submissions may be made. Each submission can apply to up to three categories.

Education Pathways, Portfolios, and Learning Maps
Applications to help students navigate their educational experience to improve success and outcomes based workforce needs.

Scaling Pedagogical Knowledge and Practice
Providing efficient and effective support to teachers and faculty in significantly improving facilitation and delivery of learning experiences

Blended Learning Optimization
Evolving traditional educational delivery models featuring seamless technology environment for teachers and students to support effective combinations of online, classroom and in-context learning.

Student Success and Outcomes-Based Learning Support Services
Applications and processes to enable teaching, learning, and placement tied to explicit outcomes and achievements.

e-Collaborative Learning
Providing students & faculty with applications and opportunities to participate in and improve achievement via effective collaborative learning activities that complement traditional forms of delivery.

Educational Application, Content, and Media Infrastructure
Technology infrastructure for enabling efficiencies in content development, searching, delivery and mobile devices

Digital Learning Networks
Achieving scalable deployment of educational resources, tools and services toward specific and measurable access, affordability, and quality objectives.

Adaptive Learning, Online Homework, and Formative Assessment
Providing students self-paced learning, feedback, and adaption while providing the teacher with information on individualized student progress

Gaming, Simulation, and Immersive Learning
Applications that give students and teachers opportunities to participate in effective experiential learning that is better than traditional alternatives.

Learning Platform Innovation
Innovative architectures and software platforms for managing the creation and delivery of learning experiences, including personalization, accessibility and mobility

Digital Resource, e-Text, Learning App Innovation, and Analytics
Innovative learning resources, tools and applications aimed at improving access, affordability and quality of education, including data gathering to measure student engagement, progress towards desired outcomes, program effectiveness and usage of digital resources.

  • Product or Service Maturity: 
    • Research: Products or services that 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 within an organization.   Entries in the new category are evaluated on initial and potential impact.
    • Established: Products or services have been deployed for at least 24 months and have at least 10 adopting organizations or multiple users within an organization.  Entries are evaluated on demonstrated operational impact.
  • Scale of Nomination:
    • Entries should include the scale of the nomination:  international solutions; country-wide solution; system or school district solution; institution or school solution; or departmental solution.
  • Project Categories:

Evaluation Criteria
Each submission will be judged based on the extent of which the product or service addresses the following learning impact criteria.


  • Provides greater access to proven quality learning approaches
  • Enables servicing 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 a 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/core competencies by teacher/faculty


  • Has achieved mainstream instructor usage
  • Provides large-scale mission-critical 24x7 support
  • Supports institution-wide usage
  • Supports statewide, countrywide, or global usage
  • Once of the largest deployments of its kin in terms of learners served


  • Clarifies or helps develop the specifics of accountability
  • Achieves significant cost savings versus prior solutions
  • 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 interoperability standards
  • Utilizes IMS standards or services demonstrated by certification to standards, such as LTI, QTI, Common Cartridge, Caliper, OneRoster, etc.)

Innovation (For Research and 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