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Institute for Open Distance Learning

3rd Occasional Lecture Series


Front row: Prof I Ntshoe, Prof A Minnaar, Prof D. Braimoh (Director of IODL)
Back row: Prof S Naidu, Dr P Prinsloo, Dr J Dieschos

One of the Institute for Open and Distance Learning (IODL) strategic issues is to develop strategies foregrounding ODL and  IODL does this by means of Occasional Lectures Series.  Prof. Peter Jarvis held the first Occasional Lecture Series during February 2009.  The second Occasional Lecture Series was held during June 2009, by Prof. Olugbemiro Jegede.

The Institute for Open & Distance Learning presented the 3rd Occasional Lecture Series in the Senate Hall at UNISA on Thursday, 27 May. The lecture, which was titled  "Unpacking the affordances of technology for e-learning",  was presented by Professor Som Naidu from the Charles Sturt University, Australia.

Professor Naidu gave in his lecture the following analysis:  Can technology influence learning and teaching? To be able to address this question meaningfully let us consider the extent to which different aircrafts and their conditions influence the comfort level of their passengers. Those who have had the opportunity to travel as a first-class or business-class passenger and in a range of aircrafts will know that the ambience of an aircraft’s cabin most certainly influences one’s comfort level and satisfaction with the journey. In much the same way, technology has the potential to influence learning, and different technologies offer different possibilities for rendering the learning experience in ways that can influence learning significantly differently. Arguably, it is not the attributes of technologies alone that can possibly influence learning, but how these unique attributes and the possibilities and opportunities they afford are used to render different types of learning content and learning experiences. Effective, efficient and engaging learning is a product of the synergy achieved from a combination of factors, and which include the possibilities offered by technologies, the optimal use of these attributes and the readiness of the learner.”

Professor Pam Ryan, the executive Director in the PVC’s office, was the chairperson at the occasion where she gave a welcome address.  Professor Tinyiko Maluleke, the Executive Director, Research Directorate, introduced the speaker while Dr Paul Prinsloo, the ODL Coordinator was the discussant for Professor Naidu’s paper. Professor Dele Braimoh, the UNESCO Chair of ODL and Director, IODL, gave the opening remarks.  Doctor Joe Diescho, Director of International Relations and Partnerships was the Programme Director.