College of Education

UNESCO Chair on ODL to host inaugural conference

The planning committee for the UNESCO Chair on ODL Conference, from left: Nomusa Sibaya, Prof Moeketsi Lestseka (Chair) and Tumelo Motaung.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chair on Open Distance Learning (ODL) at Unisa will be hosting the first annual ODL Conference at African Pride Irene Country Lodge from 28 to 30 August 2019.

Prof Moeketsi Lestseka points out that the purpose of the conference, consistent with its theme, is to stimulate the generation of new and creative ideas on and approaches to the above critical ODL ideas. "Primarily, though, the conference’s main objective is to get ODL practitioners to begin scholarly conversations on the above-mentioned themes with a view to encouraging production of quality research outputs in the form of papers that will be submitted to be considered for publication in high-impact scholarly journals, again with the focus on young and emergent scholars getting published."

The keynote address will be given by Prof Tony Bates of Contact North in Vancouver, Canada. Prof Bates’ recent publication on ODL is Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Designing Teaching and Learning.

Prof Mpine Makoe, newly appointed incumbent of the endowed Commonwealth of Learning Chair on OERs, and Prof Hasina Ebrahim, who co-hosts the endowed UNESCO Chair on Early Childhood Development, will each host a panel discussion to introduce their respective chairs and share their planned research initiatives.

Letseka concludes that the overall objective of the conference is to bring together ODL practitioners, advanced researchers and young and emergent scholars to share ideas on critical ODL matters through presentations of plenary sessions, research papers, research posters, panel discussions and workshops. "We are excited about this conference because it does exactly that," he says.

* By Edgar Rathelele, Marketing & Communication Officer, College of Education

Publish date: 2019/08/18