Awards, egos & shortcuts
I've never been one for awards really. My view has been that the people who get them tend to be the people who least deserve them, often because the people who deserve them are too busy doing the actual stuff to bother chasing awards.
But I've kind of softened that attitude recently. The Open CourseWare Consortium ran a Research Excellence Award, and I put in a case for our OER Research Hub, which I'm delighted to say we won. Why did I put a case in? Because I think it is excellent. But also because awards do three things:
1) They act as a shortcut – instead of explaining why something/someone is doing a good job you can just say 'award-winning'.
2) It helps – we have researchers on the project and this may help get further funding to keep them, or enable them to get other jobs. Being sniffy about awards seems churlish then.
3) It felt nice – it's not all about the altruism I'll admit, it felt kinda nice to be given an award, even if I couldn't be there to collect it. Here is the team:
Having got the taste for this award malarkey, at the prompting of my Pro-Vice Chancellor Belinda Tynan and boss, Patrick McAndrew, I put a case in for the Honorary ICDE Chair in OER. And that was successful too. The same reasons apply as above, but I would also add, I'm really excited here because it links in with the UNESCO OER Chairs, so I'll be linking up with great people such as Wayne Mackintosh, Rory McGrath and Fred Mulder.
And, in case you were wondering, just a slight bow or curtesy is appropriate on greeting me now.
It’s good for group morale too.
We all know (or hope we know) we are doing stuff that is great. When projects or people are “honoured”, it helps people realize they are working in an environment where such brilliant stuff is going on.