We are thrilled to bring back the Award for Excellence in Open Education after a brief rest over the summer months, and we kick it off with our newest winner, Maja Krzic. Please join us in congratulating Maja Krzic, Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, on being the 8th recipient of the Award for Excellence in Open Education. Previous honourees include Grant PotterIrwin DeVriesTara RobertsonChristina HendricksTannis MorganInba Kehoe, and Diane Purvey.

Nominated by Chris Crowley, Manager, Learning Design, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, University of British Columbia

Dr. Maja Krzic’s leadership has been instrumental in transforming provincial, national, and international post-secondary soil science education by establishing the Virtual Soil Science Learning Resources (VSSLR) group with 30 Canadian soil scientists, media developers, students, and educators focused on developing open access tools. To date, the VSSLR group has developed 18 open online tools, adopted by over 27 Canadian and 15 international post-secondary institutions, benefiting more than 3,500 students per year worldwide.
Since 2001, Dr. Krzic has been key in developing innovative and open online tools for learners at the University of British Columbia and other post-secondary institutions in B.C., Canada, and internationally in the areas of soil science, agriculture, forestry, land management, and natural resources.

Dr. Krzic has made a conscious effort to understand the needs of learners, to seek ways to address those needs by initiating and leading collaborative projects with colleagues from institutions worldwide and to find ongoing financial support for project developments. The VSSLR group dedicates itself to push the limits of learning technologies to improve and transform the students’ learning experience, innovate with online interactivities that engage learners, create meaningful learning experiences, and to widen access through open learning.

In 2014, Dr. Krzic established and continues to lead, the Canadian Society of Soil Science Education Committee. Under her leadership, there is support and encouragement for projects in the challenging uncharted territories of digital learning technology. She appreciates the high level of teamwork and collaboration that is required to bring complex ideas from concept to working solutions.

Through her initiative and enthusiasm, the VSSLR team continues to invest substantial efforts and creativity into delivering outstanding open access education that is far more than just content, but also incorporates teaching perspectives that engage learners in interactive and meaningful learning. For her educational contributions and accomplishments she has received numerous awards from national and international organizations focused on soil science, agronomy, education, and multimedia including, Canadian Network for Innovation in Education 2014, 2012, 2011, 2009; Platinum AVA Digital Award, 2015; Quarry Life Award, 2014; Platinum MarCom Award, 2014; and one of the most prestigious Canadian awards for a university instructor – 3M National Teaching Fellowship, 2016.

Please join us in congratulating Maja on winning this award and for her incredible contributions in open education.

Notable quote:

“Dr Krzic’s contribution to the open movement in her field of study is quite remarkable. With her enthusiasm for the content, collaboration across borders, and commitment to open educational practices at UBC, we are pleased to award Dr. Maja Krzic with the Award for Excellence in Open Education for September 2018.” – Amanda Coolidge, Senior Manager, BCcampus Open Education

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