ODL Conference

Theme of the conference

The theme of this year’s conference will be “Converging to quality”.

 The constantly changing environment in higher education has in the past years has seen many institutions turn to technology-enhanced instruction, thus moving towards blended learning, eLearning and online learning. Every institution makes its choices based on its own context and motivations, which can range from cost cutting to increasing inclusivity or increasing learner support; each institution and often each lecturer within the institution needs to choose the appropriate technological solutions to fit their own particular needs which relate to the context of their institution but also realities such as the subject matter or learner characteristics. Lecturers and institutions are thus faced with choices in many dimensions on which particular blend on the continuum from face to face to pure e-learning they should choose.

 In this matching of tools for purposes, the common thread is the need to ensure quality in teaching and learning.  Unfortunately,  the  move towards blended learning is sometimes driven by technology and hype, rather than valid and proven teaching and learning principles. The wide range of contexts and motivations mean that no one solution will fit everyone, especially taking into account the special challenges posed in the Science and Technology fields. Being able to make the correct choices requires hard evidence on why and when, and in which contexts, the various new methods improve teaching and learning.

 The aim of the CSET ODL conference is to add into this evidence, by providing a platform for distance learning, open learning and and blended learning practitioners in the science, engineering and technology  disciplines to present and share their research.   Emphasis is on rigorous research grounded on theory, rather than anecdotal evidence, with the goal of enabling researchers to leverage on shared theoretical perspectives and conceptual frameworks, research methodologies and research findings within the unique context of science subjects.  Much as is the case in the science subject themselves, the goal is to understand, explain and predict rather than describe.

 

 

Last modified: Thu May 04 12:12:11 SAST 2017