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Workshop Themes

This year's Workshop Scope reflects upon the current complex challenges facing researchers and the intersection of their work with ‘doing better things’ for key stakeholders. This includes informal learners, formal learners, teacher, leaders, funders and policy makers especially where new learning technologies play an important role. Two challenge areas have been identified which will shape the Workshop. These are:  Challenges for open and distance learning in 21st century and Challenges in undertaking research and research impact.

Challenges for open and distance learning in 21st century

  • Researching Learning Design
  • Researching 21st Century skills and the role of ODL in up-skilling students
  • Open and Distance Learning for Employability. Doing research with employers as partners
  • How do we research 'nomadic/mobile' learners? Researching  ODL with students who are geographical mobile; migrants; (Bologna, EHEA and beyond, media; platforms etc. )
  • Examples of how Citizenship and Learning in Europe and beyond has been undertaken
  • Accessibility, the researcher as accessibility champion
  • Examples of Researching 'the Crowd'  in a mass learning in a global society (eg. MOOCS, Social media etc.)
  • Researching 'the Group' and social Learning and the independent learner in ODL
  • What do we know about the teacher in the Open World
  • Learning Analytics – big data research: Where are we up to? How are we using learning analytics to research and evaluate open and distance learning? Is learning analytics changing our research paradigms?

Challenges in undertaking research and research impact

  • New or recast models and methods for researching learning design
  • Impact is becoming increasingly important for researchers who need to demonstrate this beyond a metric that relies on citations by other researchers
  • Who and what should our research be having an impact on?
  • How do we measure the impact of our research into ODL?
  • How can we increase the impact of our research into ODL?
  • Incubating new research ideas, and new methods and techniques