2021 Research and Innovation Open Distance and eLearning Virtual Conference

"Mediating Open, Distance and eLearning in the Advent of Global Crises"

This virtual conference will encourage debate on opportunities, challenges and models facing Open Distance and eLearning (ODeL) in a globally connected digital era.

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The Portfolio Research, Postgraduate Studies, Innovation and Commercialisation and

the UNESCO Chair in Open Distance and eLearning

 

Invites Proposals for the

2021 Open Distance and eLearning Virtual Conference

Paper submissions, Workshop and ODeL Postgraduate Consortium proposals addressing the themes and sub-themes are invited from the global community of academics, scholars, researchers, emergent scholars and postgraduate students for the Unisa 2021 Open Distance and eLearning Virtual Conference.

 

The Unisa 2021 ODeL Virtual Conference will be held during 4-6 August. The aim of the conference is to encourage debate on contemporary and new opportunities, challenges and models facing Open Distance and eLearning (ODeL) in a globally connected digital era.

 

Additional information regarding the submission formats for papers and workshops, as well as for the Postdoctoral Consortium are attached hereto and will be made available on the Conference and ScienceOpen websites in due course. 

 

I.       Conference Theme:

 

         Mediating Open Distance and eLearning in the Advent of Global Crises”

 

This theme seeks to generate debate, and consider practical and sustainable solutions to ODeL teaching, learning and research in times of global crises and pandemics such as the current outbreak of COVID-19. 

 

II.      Sub-themes

 

Additional sub-themes are the following:

 

  • The nexus between equity and quality in ODeL: reconsidering quality, access and equity
  • Open and distance education post Covid-19: unbundling and re-bundling, emerging business models, new forms of delivery, the changing role of faculty, revisiting structure and flexibility.
  • Researching learning analytics in the ODeL context.
  • Using student and staff data to mediate and improve teaching, learning and research.
  • Inclusion of marginalized students (students with disabilities, incarcerated students, etc)  
  • Professional Development in an ODeL context
  • ODeL staff experiences of teaching during the pandemic
  • eAssessment during the pandemic
  • Capacity development-mentoring young and emergent scholars.
  • ODeL research capacity through digital literacy and digital proficiency.
  • Researching technology-supported trends in ODeL.
  • The place and role of MOOCs in ODeL.
  • The place and role of Open Educational Resources (OERs) in ODeL.
  • Educational research methodologies in the ODeL context.
  • Writing for ODeL publication (ODL journals landscape and ODL journals’ publication cycle).

 

III.     Conference Structure

 

  • The conference will feature plenary sessions at which invited speakers will give virtual keynote addresses.
  • There will be online panel discussions where invited experts will debate topical and pertinent ODeL research issues.
  • Full papers will be presented at scheduled breakaway sessions. Presentation length: 20 minutes followed by a 10 minutes Q&A session.
  • Proposals for virtual workshops will also be considered (length: 3 hours)
  • An ODeL Doctoral Symposium will be offered as part of the conference.

 

IV.     Ethical and Scholarly Etiquette

 

  • The 2021 Open Distance and eLearning Virtual Conference is organised as a scholarly event.
  • The papers submitted for presentation will therefore be subjected to peer review.
  • Accepted papers will be posted as preprints on the ScienceOpen platform in a special collection dedicated to the conference.
  • Unisa Press Journals will invite selected papers for publication in special issues of scholarly journals still to be determined.  More information will be circulated after the conference.
  • A paper submitted cannot be under review for another conference or journal during the time it is considered for the 2021 Open Distance and eLearning Virtual Conference.
  • A paper submitted must be substantially different from any previously published work.

 

V.      Important Dates

 

Deadline for workshop proposals

Deadline extended

31 May 2021

Notification of acceptance of workshop proposals

Deadline extended

30 June 2021

Deadline for full papers

Deadline extended

31 May 2021

Notification of acceptance and feedback for full papers

30 June 2021

Submission of approved conference papers

14 July 2021

ODeL Postgraduate Consortium proposal submission deadline

Deadline extended

10 May 2021

Notification of acceptance of proposal for ODeL Postgraduate Consortium

31 May 2021

Registration opens

18 April 2021

Conference

4-6 August 2021

 

VI.     SUBMISSION DETAILS:

 

Papers: https://www.scienceopen.com/collection/2021eLearningConference

Workshop proposals: Letsem@unisa.ac.za

ODeL Postgraduate Consortium proposals: Qakisme@unisa.ac.za

 

 

For more information

 

Prof Moeketsi Letseka, Chairperson: UNESCO Chair on Open Distance Learning

letsem@unisa.ac.za  Tel: (office) +27 (0)12 429 8507 Cell: +27 (0)82 577 8101

 

Ms Tumelo Motaung, UNESCO Chair Secretary / motaut@unisa.ac.za

Ms Nomusa Sibaya, UNESCO Chair Administrator / sibayn@unisa.ac.za 

 Ethical and Scholarly Etiquette

  • The 2021 Open Distance and eLearning Virtual Conference is organised as a scholarly event.
  • The papers submitted for presentation will therefore be subjected to peer review.
  • Accepted papers will be posted as preprints on the ScienceOpen platform in a special collection dedicated to the conference.
  • Unisa Press Journals will invite selected papers for publication in special issues of scholarly journals still to be determined.  More information will be circulated after the conference.
  • A paper submitted cannot be under review for another conference or journal during the time it is considered for the 2021 Open Distance and eLearning Virtual Conference.
  • A paper submitted must be substantially different from any previously published work.

 

 

Papers

 

Workshops

 

ODeL Postgraduate Consortium workshop

 

Language

English

English

English

Length

  • 4 000 words, including references
  • Arial 11 – double line spacing

200 keywords

 

2 000 words, including all figures and references

Abstract and keywords

 

 

Submitted articles should contain an abstract of between 150-200 words and should be accompanied by

3-10 keywords.

Abstracts should not be longer than 200 words and the total proposal should not exceed 2 000 words

(including references).

An abstract of up to 200 words and 3-5 keywords describing the main topics should be included

Referencing style

Chicago referencing style

 

N/A

APA referencing style

Preparation for submission

Authors should prepare and upload only one version of their manuscript. The submission document should be a PDF and should contain the following:

 

  • Title
  • Author details
  • Abstract
  • Keywords
  • Text with references
  • Figures and tables in the correct place in the text

 

The manuscript should NOT be anonymous (an open review process will be used).

 

  • Title
  • Workshop background (rationale)
  • Objectives and outcomes
  • Organisational details (how the workshop will be organised – participatory or group work)
  • Activities
  • Number of participants
  • Workshop requirements (e.g. Google docs, number of breakaway rooms needed)
  • References

 

  • The first page must contain the title of the paper, the full name of the author, the institution and contact details.

 

  • The paper outlining the candidate’s research should be in the form of an abbreviated dissertation proposal, as outlined below:

 

  1. Problem statement:

What is the problem that you are addressing?

  1. Relevancy:

Why is the problem important? Who will benefit if you succeed in conducting this research?

  1. Related work:

How have others attempted to address this problem?

  1. Research question(s):

What are the research questions that you plan to address?

  1. Objectives

What do you want to achieve with your study?

  1. Approach(es)

How are you planning to address your research questions?

  1. Methodology

What types of methods have you used or are you planning to use for your study?

  1. Preliminary results (optional)

Do you have any preliminary results that you would like to share?

  1. Rationale:

How is your suggested solution different from, new or better than existing approaches to the problem?

 

All proposals submitted will undergo a thorough reviewing process and the authors of those proposals that are selected will be invited to give a presentation at the Postgraduate Consortium that forms part of the conference programme.

Editorial responsibilities

 

The editorial committee is permitted to make changes to the final document, such as editing changes.

 

Final proofs will be signed off by the author. The conference committee chair will sign off for posting on the Unisa 2021 Open Distance and e-Learning Virtual Conference collection on the ScienceOpen platform.

 

N/A

N/A

Copyright

 

Authors keep the copyright of their manuscripts under a Creative Commons licence: CC BY

 

 

See:

https://creativecommons.org/about/cclicenses/

 

Authors keep the copyright of their manuscripts under a Creative Commons licence: CC BY

 

See:

https://creativecommons.org/about/cclicenses/

 

N/A

Submission process

The Unisa 2021 Open Distance and e-Learning Virtual Conference uses the ScienceOpen platform to manage the submission and review processes. Submissions will be treated as preprints on the ScienceOpen platform. Complete guidelines for preparing and submitting your paper to this conference are provided. New users should first create an account. Registration on the ScienceOpen platform requires users to have an ORCID account. Once a user has logged onto the site, submissions should be made via the “Submit manuscript” link.

 

Papers must be submitted to

https://www.scienceopen.com/collection/2021eLearningConference

 

  • Clearly indicate on your submission whether the paper falls under the main theme or one of the sub- themes (if a sub-theme, provide the name of the sub-theme selected).
  • During this process, the paper will be reviewed by a member of the conference organising committee and it will then be peer-reviewed, via an open peer review process, by two members of the paper review committee.

Workshop proposals must be submitted to

Letsem@unisa.ac.za and

sibayn@unisa.ac.za

 

 

ODeL Postgraduate Consortium submissions should be sent to Qakisme@unisa.ac.za

 

Who should submit a:

  • paper
  • workshop proposal
  • ODeL Postgraduate Consortium proposal

The submission process is open to all ODeL academics/experts. All submissions will be reviewed according to how they address the theme and sub-themes of the conference, their academic rigour and the quality of the research design, methodology and findings.

The submission process is open to anyone with expertise in the field of open, distance and e-learning.

Workshop proposals will be evaluated in terms of their value contribution in addressing the themes and sub-themes of the conference, the workshop methodology and interest value for participants.

The intention of the ODeL Postgraduate Consortium is to support and inspire master’s and doctoral students during their research efforts. The Consortium will provide a supportive forum where master’s/doctoral students can present their ideas and receive constructive feedback from prominent scholars in the areas of open distance and e-learning (ODeL), open educational resources (OERs), massive open online courses (MOOCs) and technology-enhanced learning, as well as serving to build a cohort of emerging researchers in the identified fields.

It is envisaged that the Postgraduate Consortium will be able to accommodate 10-20 presentations (allowing 20 minutes for each presentation, including questions and discussions).  Therefore, we suggest that each presentation be no longer than 10 minutes, followed by 10 minutes for questions from the audience and discussion of the candidate’s presentation. The workshop will form part of the parallel session during the Unisa 2021 Open Distance and e-Learning Virtual Conference.

Hence, Unisa is inviting master’s and doctoral students who are conducting research in ODeL, OERs, MOOCs and technology-enhanced learning to participate in the Consortium.

  • Candidates must be currently enrolled at any university. Therefore, the author must not have earned a master’s or doctoral degree, nor have officially submitted his/her thesis.
  • Submissions must address master’s or doctoral research by means of a specific research proposal and some preliminary work that has been done.
  • Submissions must be made by a single author and should include a statement by the student’s advisor / supervisor, indicating the benefit that the student would derive from attending the consortium.
  • All proposals submitted will undergo a thorough reviewing process and the authors of those that have been selected will be invited to make a presentation at the ODeL Postgraduate Consortium that forms part of the conference programme.

Collection Information