2019 The journey to social justice and openness in ODL EDLW 2019

Friday, November 15, 2019, 13:00-14:30 CET

Moderator: Lisa Marie Blaschke, Programme Director, Center of Lifelong Learning (C3L), Oldenburg, Germany; Senior Fellow and Chair of the Board of EDEN Council of Fellows


Format: Presentation and panel discussion


In the past decade open, distance, and eLearning and distance learning (ODeL) continue to build upon their foundational roots of education accessibility, making great strides towards openness in education by leveraging the affordances of technology, through open educational resources (OER), MOOCs, open pedagogy, and research. But are these initiatives levelling the educational playing field for citizens around the world or are they deepening existing divides and inequality? Join our panel of distinguished experts to discuss the journey to social justice in ODL: where we’ve come, where we are, and where we should be going. 


  • Maha Bali, Associate Professor, Center for Learning and Teaching, American University in Cairo, Egypt

Maha Bali is Associate Professor of Practice at the Center for Learning and Teaching at the American University in Cairo. She is a co-founder of virtuallyconnecting.org and co-facilitator of Equity Unbound. She has been interviewed on the Leaders and Legends of Online Learning podcast and was featured alongside 15 amazing women of the open movement in the UnCommon Women 2018 Coloring Book. She is an editor at Hybrid Pedagogy journal, and editorial board member of Teaching in Higher Education, Online Learning Journal, Journal of Pedagogic Development, Learning, Media and Technology and International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education. She is a learnaholic, writeaholic and passionate open and connected educator, who tweets a lot at @bali_maha and blogs a lot at http://blog.mahabali.me.

  • Narend Baijnath, CEO, Council of Higher Education, South Africa 

Narend Baijnath is CEO of the Council on Higher Education in South Africa. Prior to this, he was Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Africa. As PVC at UNISA he drove the digitisation and OER strategies of the University. Narend holds a Master’s Degree from Durham University, and a Doctorate from the University of the Western Cape.

Narend has extensive experience in ODL, higher education policy, ICTs in higher education, business intelligence, planning, and quality assurance. He serves on the Commonwealth of  Learning Board and is currently Audit Committee Chairperson as well as Deputy Chair of the Board. He is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. In 2008 he was appointed a Fellow at St Edmunds College, Cambridge University, and simultaneously a Research Professor at OUUK.

  • Sarah Lambert, Manager – HEPPP, Deakin University, Australia 

Sarah Lambert manages a $5M program of student equity projects and services including Equity Innovation Grants for the benefit of future and current socio-economically disadvantaged learners at Deakin University, Australia. Previously she managed Open Education programs and partnerships after a career in technology-enhanced learning including an executive member of the Australasian Council for Online and eLearning (ACODE) and board-member at Horizon.Au report. A proud feminist, equity ally and first-in-family member to go to University, Sarah’s recent research explores how online education programs can be reconceptualised as social-justice actions to widen educational participation for under-represented learners and communities. She is currently the Chief Investigator on a National Scoping Study of Open Educational Textbooks as Social Justice in the Australian context and is co-editing a social-justice themed special edition of JIME with Laura Czerniewicz (University of Cape Town).