Enhancing the Human Experience of Learning with Technology:
New challenges for research into digital, open, distance & networked education

The EDEN Eleventh Research Workshop – EDEN RW11 is to be held online on 21-23 October 2020 in collaboration with Universidade Aberta and LE@D.

Workshop Scope

The theme and scope of EDEN’s RW11 intends to reflect the current challenges researchers face regarding the impact of the emerging digital technologies and Artificial Intelligence in the improvement of the quality and the sustainability of the human learning experience. The capability of generating, processing and managing more data and information than ever before on the teaching and learning process is allowing for teachers and learners alike to be more in control. They can take better informed design decisions, track learning performance more accurately and in detail, anticipate problems more precociously and act accordingly, collect more learning evidences, as well as assess and credit more transparently. In short, they can shape together their teaching and learning experiences more efficiently and collaboratively.

By up scaling and accelerating the adoption of distance and online education across the world, the Coronavirus Sars CoV-2 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of rethinking the educational process as an integral part of the authentic digital life experience of its main actors. In this massive collective experience of change, the role of the educational institutions, of the teachers, of the learners, of their families and communities is rapidly transforming. As a result, new challenges for researchers have emerged that need to be addressed. How to assure truly equitable and social fair access to digital learning opportunities? How to conduct effective online learning with non-adult populations? How to improve teachers’ and learners’ digital competences for teaching and learning? How may AI and machine learning contribute to enhance the education process and make it more flexible and personal? How can we conduct more authentic and reliable digital assessment?

On the other hand, what are the ethical implications of the use of these digital technologies? How should learning processes be designed to contribute to the learners’ well-being and mental health? How should quality of online learning provision be assured? These and many other questions have been emerging within the specialised research community. A community which is itself experiencing a process of expansion due to the growing interest in the field.

The EDEN RW11 will be very focussed on the researchers and what they can learn from and with their peers. Drawing from the successful past experiences and adjusting to the new global environment, the workshop takes place in a digitally-enhanced setting where researchers including postgraduate students can share research, connect with peers and have adequate time to discuss the challenges of their work. The format of the event will promote collaboration and networking opportunities including parallel ‘research-speed-dating’ paper sessions, workshops and poster sessions. Dr. Tony Bates and Dr. Terry Anderson will serve as workshop moderators.

As a part of the programme, Prof. Alan Tait will moderate an Oxford-Style debate on the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the research on open, distance and online learning in a networked society, with the participation of the ICDE UNESCO chairs.

Similarly, on the first day, there will be an EDEN Fellows Walk & Talk event led by Prof. Alan Tait in which participants will be using their smartphones and mobile devices to participate in a collective discussion online while walking in their cities and home places.

The Scientific Committee encourages potential participants to either submit a paper or poster in the main programme or an abstract proposal in the PhD Symposium.

Workshop Themes

The research topics of interest are the following:

  • Online personal learning
  • Online education for non-adult populations
  • Teachers’ and learners’ changing roles in a technology-mediated environment
  • Open education ecologies: OERs, OEPs & MOOCs
  • Learning engineering and reengineering: design of learning processes for online and hybrid environments
  • Adaptive teaching and learning
  • Analytics for the improvement of teaching and learning: opportunities and risks of datafication
  • Gamification
  • Digital authentic assessment
  • Digital badges and micro-credentials
  • Next-generation digital learning environments
  • Extended reality (AR/VR/MR/Haptic technologies) use in education
  • Digital transformation of educational institutions
  • Quality assurance in open and distance education
  • Equitable and social fair access to digital learning opportunities
  • Well-being and mental health in digital learning environments

Submission Categories

Paper presentations
Presentation of research results, reviews of existing results (including empirical or theoretical studies, policy reviews, comprehensive case studies), and project results that are in a conclusive phase.

Presentation of research results, reviews of existing results including empirical or theoretical studies, policy reviews, comprehensive case studies and consolidated project achievements. Full Paper proposals should not exceed six A4 pages, including figures and references, using the format guidelines.

Work-in-progress, initial research results, projects in early stages of development, and case studies. Poster presentations will be themed in related sessions. Student researchers should indicate whether they plan to participate in the Research-in-Progress competition.

Poster submissions should not exceed four A4 pages.


Comprehensive, substantial hands-on, practical application of open, distance, e-learning achievements within a workshop environment. Be kindly informed that the Workshop category is always very competitive at the EDEN conferences.

Submissions which have not been selected as workshops may be offered poster presentation slot.

PhD Symposium
Presentation of the state of your research and description of a problem you would like to address in the symposium. It should include the research title, research objectives/questions and methodology.

The Symposium will also include a workshop on how to submit and publish in high impact international journals.

Submissions undergo a double peer-review and are evaluated based primarily on originality, significance and quality of contribution, and relevance to workshop themes. Unique and innovative contributions that do not directly align with the workshop themes will also be considered if they are believed to bring benefit to delegates.

Accepted presentations will be published in the Conference Proceedings. Registered delegates will have electronic access to the full version of contributions. Publications will be openly accessible after the Workshop.

Selected authors will be invited to submit to a special issue of EURODL. The best poster submissions will be published as short papers in RE@D, a journal edited by LE@D and Universidade Aberta.

Awarded and accepted papers can be submitted to the International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, a Web of Science (SSCI) and Scopus indexed journal edited by UOC, Universidad de Los Andes (Colòmbia), Dublin City University (Ireland) and Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania), and published by SpringerOpen.

Acknowledgement of quality and excellence
The EDEN Best Research Paper will once again be attributed. The selection process will take place in collaboration with the Ulrich Bernath Foundation for Research in Open and Distance Learning.

In addition, an EDEN Best Research in Progress award will be given. The selection will be based on the votes of conference participants.

Young Scholars Grant

The Ulrich Bernath Foundation for Research in Open and Distance Learning will support young scholars or teams of young scholars with a grant of 600 Euros for successfully submitting a research paper to be presented at the EDEN Research Workshop in Lisbon in October 2020.

Eligible for the Young Scholars grants are degree-programme and doctoral students, who individually or in teams submit papers that are originated for the EDEN Research Workshop in Lisbon and which will be presented by young scholar(s). Teamwork with senior scholars is accepted, however it must be declared that the major part of the paper has been authored by young scholar(s).

Young scholars who apply for the grant will take part in a competition based on evaluation results that follow the standard evaluation criteria for EDEN’s Best Research Paper Award, which are:

 (i)The paper deals with a research question;

(ii) rigorous examination/research methods are applied;

(iii) findings, results and outcomes are convincingly presented and critically examined;

(iv) conclusions are thoroughly discussed (including aspects like applicability, transferability, and further research;

(v) literature is reviewed against the state of art.

Decisions about the winners will be made shortly after the deadline for paper submissions and the winners will be informed via the EDEN Secretariat to make their plans for attending the Research Workshop supported by the 600-Euro grant. The grants will be handed out in Lisbon during the Research Workshop or if wished by bank transfer after the Research Workshop.

Ultimately winners of the young scholar(s)’ grants may also become winners of the EDEN Best Research Paper Award.

Call for Contributions

EDEN RW11 is suitable for researchers and postgraduate students, particularly for those wishing to actively connect with peers and debate how to enhance the human experience of learning with technology: new challenges for research into digital, open, distance & networked education.

The European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) in collaboration with Universidade Aberta and LE@D intends to bring together diverse experiences and perspectives from across Europe and the world. The EDEN RW11 will promote an open debate approach backed up by sound research and relevant findings. We invite all interested academics and professionals to take part by submitting their proposals. Submissions should make a relevant contribution to the field and meet the customary academic requirements: clear aims/questions, methodology, contextualisation, results, conclusions and implications, and references.

Submissions that relate to the Workshop Scope and one or more of the Workshop Themes are invited by the deadline: 15 September, 2020. Contributions received will be continuously evaluated and authors informed accordingly.

Proposals should be submitted as .pdf files, using the online submission form.

Important Dates

Dates of the Conference
21 – 23 October, 2020

Deadline for Full paper Submission
25 September, 2020

Notification of Acceptance
October, 2020

Authors’ Registration Deadline
30 September, 2020

Final Camera-Ready Manuscript for Full papers and EDEN Copyright Form submission
5 October, 2020