Dolphin Awards: Teaching and Learning Winners

Each year, the Apereo Foundation celebrates the many volunteer efforts, innovations, and success stories of our open source community. In 2022, the Apereo community honored Executive Director Emeritus, Ian Dolphin by naming the Apereo awards in his honor. The inaugural Apereo Dolphin Awards and Fellowships were announced at Open Apereo 2022.  Below is a listing of the winners in the Teaching and Learning Category.

The Dolphin Award for Teaching and Learning recognizes innovation in the use of open source software for academic purposes, delivering excellent pedagogy through Apereo tools, sharing new/best practices in education, and encouraging greater faculty and/or student involvement in the improvement or advancement of Apereo's portfolio of open source resources.

Yasin Özarslan, Yasar University

2023 Teaching and Learning


Yasin Özarslan, Yasar University

Professor Yasin Özarslan, Yasar University’s Director of Centre for Open and Distance Learning, is the 2023 winner of the Dolphin Award for Teaching and Learning.

Yasin was nominated for the exceptional offerings available at Yasar University’s distance learning program, not only enabling students to continue their education during and since the Covid 19 pandemic but expanding on their open source-driven offerings. Of particular note was their approach, “A Journey of Learning Experience,” leveraging the Sakai framework and Apereo community to improve operational and management efficiency in the transformation of Yaşar University's distance and online educational programs--an accomplishment commended by Turkey's University Assessments and Research Laboratory. 

Yasar University and Yasin have committed to innovation and digital transformation through open source and have found resounding success.

Tobias Thelen, Universität Osnabrück

2022 Teaching and Learning


Tobias Thelen, Universität Osnabrück

Tobias Thelen has been awarded the Dolphin Award for Teaching and Learning.

This Dolphin Award recognizes innovation in teaching and learning using open source software, promoting excellent pedagogy, sharing new practices in education, and encouraging more faculty involvement in software evolution.

The Apereo Board was particularly impressed with Tobias’ continued efforts to improve educational technology in teaching and learning over the last ten years. Innovative flipped classrooms and his new "Open Source Software Development" course inspired students and colleagues to explore new modes of education and the software to deliver it. On a technical note, the Board congratulates Tobias on his success in integrating open source tools for building online courses directly into the University's learning management system, an approach now used by several other universities.