An Emerging Agenda:  Global Research in Cross Border Higher Education Dr. Don Olcott, Jr., Chief Executive  The Observator...
1988 – 2008: A Retrospective on Distance Learning Research <ul><li>Focus on descriptive research of distance learning acti...
1988 – 2008: A Retrospective on Distance Learning Research <ul><li>Online revolution is catalyst for new definitions – dis...
Methodological Lessons <ul><li>E does not equal mc2 in educational research </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of clarity in formulati...
The Global Context  for Distance Learning Research <ul><li>Globalisation, internationalism, and the interconnected global ...
Barriers to Global Distance Learning <ul><li>Academic programs, research, and tech transfer carry ‘real people’ credibilit...
The Future:  Research Priorities for Distance Learning <ul><li>Aligning blended learning approaches with learning objectiv...
Criteria for  Assessing Research Priorities <ul><li>A research agenda that improves faculty teaching and student learning ...
A Final Lesson from Higher Education <ul><li>Policy and precision in universities  follows  innovation and practice. Indee...
Mark Twain <ul><li>Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones y...
[email_address] THANK YOU www.obhe.ac.uk
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CDE Conference 09/02/2009. D Olcott An Emerging Agenda: Global Research in Cross Border Higher Education

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Research in Distance Education:
from present findings to future agendas. Opening keynote presentation.
Dr Don Olcott, Jr
Chief Executive, Observatory for Borderless Higher Education

Published in: Education
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CDE Conference 09/02/2009. D Olcott An Emerging Agenda: Global Research in Cross Border Higher Education

  1. 1. An Emerging Agenda: Global Research in Cross Border Higher Education Dr. Don Olcott, Jr., Chief Executive The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education (OBHE) Centre for Distance Education, University of London ‘ Research in Distance Education: From present findings to future agendas’ London, UK 9 February 2009
  2. 2. 1988 – 2008: A Retrospective on Distance Learning Research <ul><li>Focus on descriptive research of distance learning activities (video, organisation, costs, design, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Framing definitional and philosophical tenants of distance education </li></ul><ul><li>Academic obsession with comparing distance learning with traditional face-to-face instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Scholarly journals on distance learning just emerging </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative over qualitative approaches </li></ul><ul><li>1995+ enter the World Wide Web, conferences, journals, and multi-disciplinary approaches to distance learning – Online learning </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1988 – 2008: A Retrospective on Distance Learning Research <ul><li>Online revolution is catalyst for new definitions – distributed learning, open learning, eLearning, online learning, and blended learning = confusion </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis towards teaching and learning research focused on teaching strategies and student outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Blended learning is not new </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative approaches begin to emerge in research design </li></ul><ul><li>2009 – eLearning or online learning is viewed as synonymous with distance learning </li></ul>
  4. 4. Methodological Lessons <ul><li>E does not equal mc2 in educational research </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of clarity in formulation of research questions - what were we trying to measure and why? </li></ul><ul><li>The statistics game </li></ul><ul><li>The Cause-Effect dynamic – get over it! </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions that did not align with research method and results </li></ul><ul><li>Back to Basics – The Tiger Woods Principle </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Global Context for Distance Learning Research <ul><li>Globalisation, internationalism, and the interconnected global economy & village </li></ul><ul><li>Access, equity, and strategies to reduce the digital divide </li></ul><ul><li>Social, cultural and language diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Cost-effective provision of higher education </li></ul><ul><li>Education as a human right (UNESCO) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Barriers to Global Distance Learning <ul><li>Academic programs, research, and tech transfer carry ‘real people’ credibility in host nations </li></ul><ul><li>The research and best practices base for the interconnected impacts of online learning, language and culture is limited </li></ul><ul><li>Resistance by some organisations to mass distribution of open learning resources </li></ul><ul><li>Technology is not culturally neutral </li></ul><ul><li>Digital divide is not an illusion . . . it is real and a major access barrier for global distance learning </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Future: Research Priorities for Distance Learning <ul><li>Aligning blended learning approaches with learning objectives and assessment methods </li></ul><ul><li>Social, cultural and language barriers to totally online instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 Technologies – Fashionable, trendy, but not supported by a strong research base </li></ul><ul><li>Information access is not knowledge without disaggregation, analysis, synthesis, prioritisation, reflection, connection and application </li></ul><ul><li>How is the next generation of learners learning? Multi-tasking, social networking, mobile learning, individually, groups, online or in a café over coffee </li></ul>
  8. 8. Criteria for Assessing Research Priorities <ul><li>A research agenda that improves faculty teaching and student learning </li></ul><ul><li>A research agenda that is viewed as value-added and enhances the credibility of the organisation across the university </li></ul><ul><li>A research agenda built on active faculty participation and scholarship </li></ul><ul><li>A research agenda that is viewed as leading edge and critical to HE funding agencies </li></ul><ul><li>A research agenda that contributes to the profession and creates new research questions for the future </li></ul>
  9. 9. A Final Lesson from Higher Education <ul><li>Policy and precision in universities follows innovation and practice. Indeed this is a unique aspect of the change game in the modern university. New innovations ultimately are adopted because they align with the goals, traditions, philosophy, and academic and service missions of the institution. At the heart of this process is engaging in systematic research that contributes to these interconnected values of the academy. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Mark Twain <ul><li>Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. </li></ul>
  11. 11. [email_address] THANK YOU www.obhe.ac.uk
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