ODL is still transforming lives – a heartening tale

‘Fisher folk’ – the warm-hearted term caught my eye as I browsed the titles of the papers from PCF7, the 7th Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning. The full title of the paper is ‘Enhancing Lives and Livelihoods of Fisher folk through Innovative Technology applications’, though the title on the PDF version uses the term ‘fishermen’. Continue reading

So you want to undertake research in ODL? Start with PREST!

Whenever I’m asked how to get started with research in open and distance learning, I have a one-word answer: PREST. Practitioner Research and Evaluation Skills Training (PREST) is a comprehensive set of resources produced by the Commonwealth of Learning and the International Research Foundation in Open Learning, and it is simply the best there is. Continue reading

My little book of ODL activities

When designing materials for both open and online learning courses, I’ve always been especially interested in the activities. They allow for creativity, at the same time offering the challenge to ensure that they will engage learners. This is important, as research and evaluation continue to affirm , if irrelevant or simply boring, activities will not be attempted. Continue reading

Natty’s nifty ODL newspaper

Yes, I know it’s corny, but when confronted with a nifty (or even ‘natty’) piece of work by someone named Natalie (and yes, she calls herself Natty), how could I resist the above title for this blog post?! As the title suggests, Natty has bravely created an online newspaper called Online And Distance Learning Weekly, Continue reading

ODL and principles of good teaching

Well, here I am happily back in Penang at Wawasan Open University. This time it’s for a longer stint than last time – about 14 weeks of workshops and associated activities.

During a session this week I tried something new (for me, anyway!). In an activity, we analysed the applicability of accepted principles of good practice in higher education to open and distance learning (ODL). Continue reading

Change of name

The alert reader (blithely assuming that there’s at least one) will have noticed a change of name for this blog, from the ODLAA President’s Occasional Blog (hence the ‘opob’ in the URL) to David’s Occasional Blog (how’s that for creativity!).

The simple reason is, unsurprisingly, that I am no longer President Continue reading

Öryggi um bord

In contemplating a title for a post about my trip to Papua New Guinea (PNG) to attend the PNG Association of Distance Education Conference, I recalled my surprise when first glimpsing the safety card on the flight from Brisbane to Port Moresby. The heading ‘Öryggi um bord’ caught my attention, Continue reading