Changing technology, Pedagogies and Organisations in ODL


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We were very pleased to host a special seminar on the future of open and distance learning (ODL) from Professor Michael G. Moore, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Education at Penn State University and Editor of The American Journal of Distance Education (

As the Web replaces earlier forms of communication and itself mutates, and as teaching and learning also change with the evolution from the information age to the interactive, how might we expect to see change in the institutions set up to deliver distance education in the future? The presentation elaborates on a concept of a virtual network organization and gives some early examples.

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Changing technology, Pedagogies and Organisations in ODL

  1. 1. May 24th 2012Changing technology, pedagogies and organizations in ODLMichael Grahame MooreDistinguished Professor of EducationThe Pennsylvania State UniversityU.S.A.Editor:The American Journal of Distance
  2. 2. ‘A society which is mobile, which is full of channels for thedistribution of a change occurring anywhere,must see to it that its members are educated topersonal initiative and adaptability.Otherwise, they will be overwhelmed by the changes in whichthey are caught and whose significance or connectionsthey do not perceive.’John Dewey (1916)* •Acknowledgement to: M. Sharples, J.Taylor, G. Vavoula. (2005) A Theory of Learning for the Mobile Age. Sage Publications
  3. 3. The Changing learning environment : expansion of DL(USA) % Higher Ed Online % K-12 Online 90 80 80 70 70 60 60 50 50 40 40 30 30 20 20 10 10 0 0 2006 2010 2005 2010 From 23% to 70% in 4 years From 56% to 80% in 5 years Business continuing education % Community Colleges 2010 expenditure 2010 10% 15% Blended Neither $46 Billion External 75% Online $88 Billion Internal
  4. 4. Technologies in higher education:• 93 % - internet• 50 % - podcasts• 43 % - videoconferencing• 36 % - blogs• 28 % - listservs• 2 % - satellite communications• 3 % - videogames or simulationsSOURCE:
  5. 5. Changing technology: social networkingOpen accessibilitye.g. WikepideaInformation management e.g.
  6. 6. Changing technology:m-Learning and cloud-based services 2010: 7.5 billion devices 2015: 15.0 billion devices (Cisco)
  7. 7. Changing Pedagogy From information age to interactive age knowledge source: from school to learners learning environments: from predictive to adaptiveTeaching approach: From fail-safe to safe-fail from positive constraints to negative constraints from occasional evaluation to continuous monitoring from robustness to resilience from compliance and predictability to retrospective coherence(Snowden 2010)
  8. 8. Changing teachers:From performer to conductor!managing and sifting information, giving structurefacilitating students’ searching – individually and collaboratively linking and weaving ideas and information created bystudents, summarizing, pulling together the threads, relating theparticular experience to general theoryfrom class as unit of instruction to individual!develop student’s autonomy -- ability to decide what to learn, tochoose among methods, and from array of resources available online
  9. 9. CautionWhat adult students tell us:Social interaction is ok, butcourse content is more importantInteraction with other learners is ok, butinteraction with an instructor is more importantInteraction is ok, but having structure is also importantConclusion:both types of learning, predictive and adaptive are of value.Good teaching is good selection and good blending
  10. 10. So what’s the problem?Educational institutions are still organized for traditionalpedagogiesThe challenge is to change education froma craft ……… to technology based system This requires re-organizing human and capital resources
  11. 11. CHANGING POLICIESFrom: past policy To: future policyassumes learning must be on assumes learning takes place in aan institution’s campus variety of environmentsResources are to support Resources are to distribute teachingteachers in their classrooms to where the learners areResources are allocated on the Resources are allocated according tobasis of projected enrolments performance expectationsas a percentage change on the that specify outcomes pertinent toprevious year’s allocations the priorities of stakeholders (based on RSA Telematics initiative)
  12. 12. Past Policy Future PolicyFaculty and staff Faculty and staff establishments will :establishments are: provide teams that cut across verticalbased on permanent divisions for specific projects andpositions, vertical divisions allow for redeployment to reflectand hierarchical changing needsrelationships Funds will be allocated:Funds should be allocated: for the heavy front-end investment infor line items in a budget designing technology based learningfixed for specifiedperiods, usually 12 months for amortisation of costs over the lifetimes of programs -- usually more than 12 months
  13. 13. Attempts at changing organizational structures Strategic alliances Virtual systems
  14. 14. Strategic Alliances in USA states EXAMPLES
  15. 15. Strategic Alliances in USA states EXAMPLESConnecticut Distance Learning Consortium American Distance Education Consortium Hispanic Educational Technology Services One MBA
  16. 16. Strategic Alliances: International16
  17. 17. The AVU collaborating partners include: •African Ministries of Education •African Union •Association of African Universities •UNESCO IIEP •UNESCO BREDA •UNESCO Teacher Training Program in Sub- Saharan Africa •Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada •Open University of UK- TESSA •Universit� Laval Canada •University of Ottawa Canada •Memorial University of Newfoundland Canada •Curtin University Australia •Indiana University in Pennsylvania, USA •Maestro, Washington DC, USA •International Development and Research Centre, Canada •Partnership for Higher Education in Africa •MIT Open Courseware •Merlot African NetworkStrategic Alliances: African Virtual University •South African Institute for Distance Learning •Commonwealth of Learning •Global Text Project
  18. 18. COMMONWEALTH OF LEARNING: strategic alliances• STAMP 2000: 140 course writers, 8 Southern African countries training school teachers• Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) Consortium• Commonwealth Computer Navigator’s Certificate : India, New Zealand, SouthAfrica, West Indies, USA and Canada.• Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth. 32 countries.― It is not enough for success to simply link traditional institutions. Amore revolutionary form of organizational structure is called for.” Kanwar, Kodhandaraman, and Umar The American Journal of Distance Education (2010)
  19. 19. A new (disaggregation) model A system that designs and delivers learning programs by commissioning the component processes and services from all available agencies. The general principle is that a state or nation - can draw on the best resources wherever they are located to build a network of— content experts, instructional designers, the full range of communications technologies, group facilitators and a learner support system— and configure whatever mixture is needed for a particular program or project on a flexible, open, "mix and match" basis.
  20. 20. Vertical disaggregation (virtual system) model INTERNAL EXTERNAL scans DIRECTORATE advisoryenvironment committee course/program planning design unitproject evaluation unitproposals content specialists technology unit Software training learner development unit support unit Learner support Regional STUDY GROUPS Co-ord unit Instructors trainees
  21. 21. PROFORMACAOAn example of virtual system:Brazil’s teacher education program1. The Brazil problem2. The virtual system solution16% of 2.4 million schoolteachers without legally-required years of schoolingin the North, Northeast and Midwest regions (four grades of elementaryeducation) –Number of enrollments .......... 11,770,292Teaching Positions ........... 456,095Unqualified Teachers ....... 72,522source : MEC/INEP/SEEC
  22. 22. Brazil’s teacher training network Management unit Funder Advisory ctee Course design unitUNIVERSITY 1 Production & distribution unitUNIVERSITY 2 PlatformUNIVERSITY 3 Video producers 1, 2 etcEtc software 1, 2 etc publisher 1, 2 etc S tutors Study center State coordinators T U tutors Study center State monitoring and training teams D State UNIVERSITY 1 E tutors Study center State UNIVERSITY 2 State UNIVERSITY 3 N Etc T tutors Study center S
  24. 24. network system in :43 study centres in 74 municipalities and 7 universitycampuses
  25. 25. Norwegian Lifelong Learning Network Funder advisory group UNIT coordinator course design & C production specialists EUniversity 1 NUniversity 2 TUniversity 3 Web producers Online Retc Video – audio producers delivery A publishers platform L S T teachers Study centre regional U monitoring and training D teachers Study centre E Local college 1 L teachers O N Study centre Local college 2 C T Local college 3 A teachers Study centre etc S L
  26. 26. Concluding thoughts, discussion.Having new technology --Knowing how to use it pedagogically -- Is insufficientwithout changing organizational structuresTechnology: Social networking technologies have added minimally toquality and access to distance education.Pedagogy: Attention to social networking technologies has beencounter-productive by distracting from training in, and studyof, fundamentals of distance teaching, especially systematic coursedesign, including high production-value video presentations.Attention to social networking technologies has been counter-productive by reinforcing traditional classroom methodology andespecially by distracting attention from individualized independentstudy. (See Dewey, above!)
  27. 27. Organizational structures: Attention to social networkingtechnologies has been counter-productive by distracting fromevolving new organizational structures.In all cases where advanced virtual systems models have beenattempted, they have beenrestricted or stifled by opposition from established institutionsExamples: Brazil, South Africa, USA (OU MidAmerica, Wisconsin, Florida), Norway (?)To effect super -institutional organization --- with benefits ofspecialization, economies and quality, --- national policies, mostlikely externally imposed are necessaryGovernments and policy makers are intimidated or distracted byinstitutional interests
  28. 28. Thank you for your attentionComments?Questions?