Author Archives: opendistanceteachingandlearning

About opendistanceteachingandlearning

Research professor in Open Distance and E-Learning (ODeL) at the University of South Africa (Unisa). Interested in teaching and learning in networked and open distance and e-learning environments. I blog in my personal capacity and the views expressed in the blog does not reflect or represent the views of my employer, the University of South Africa (Unisa).

Call for Expressions of Interest: Data poor: Mapping data inequalities and its impact on student support and success

Rationale for the Call Learning analytics as research focus and practice has promised to impact positively on the quality of teaching and learning, depending on, inter alia, having access to students’ digital data or, as the Call for Papers for … Continue reading

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An African Network for Learning Analytics Research

Background As African higher education becomes increasingly digitised and datafied, higher education institutions will have access to not only more student data, but also  a greater variety and granularity of data, creating opportunities to utilise the data for a greater … Continue reading

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Rethinking student vulnerability and risk: Researching student success and retention in open education contexts

This blog contains text and some of the images used for the invited seminar, UNESCO Chair on Open Distance Learning, University of South Africa (UNISA), Wednesday 12 August 2020 This reflection flows from an editorial I wrote for a Special … Continue reading

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Special issue: call for papers

Originally posted on Teaching in Higher Education:
Possibilities and complexities of decolonising higher education: critical perspectives on praxis (co-editors: Kathy Luckett, Aneta Hayes and Sharon Stein) Photo by ICSA on There is wide acknowledgement of the need to ‘decolonise’…

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Learning analytics in open, distance and distributed learning: Potential, practice and challenges

As part of the series, Springer Briefs in Open and Distance Education, we invite expressions of interest for a book that will critically explore and map the potential and challenges of learning analytics in the specific context of open, distance … Continue reading

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Fear is a broken compass

Fear is a broken compass. Fear is medication that does not work anymore. Fear is convulsions at night. Fear is not-knowing and to continue walking I used to know the rules, the landscape, and what was expected of me as … Continue reading

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Faculty as quantified, measured and tired: The lure of the red shoes

[This is the text of my keynote on 31 May 2018 at the First Annual NWU Teaching and Learning Conference at the North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.] I would like to take the opportunity to thank the conference organisers for … Continue reading

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What I heard, what I did not hear and what I wish I had heard… Reflections on the World Conference on Online Learning, Toronto, 2017

Recently I’ve had the privilege of attending the World Conference on Online Learning in Toronto, organized and hosted by Contact North I Contact Nord. What a conference it was! At times, it resembled a medieval marketplace or bazaar with a … Continue reading

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Open(ing) Education

Image credit:I’ve used two sources for the above collated image. The image of the head was sourced from while the image of the network was sourced from  Call for Proposals We are excited to invite you to submit … Continue reading

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Decolonising the collection, analyses and use of student data: A tentative exploration/proposal

Voices from the Global South* (*I know the term is contentious) increasingly demand to not only be recognised in the extremely uneven and skewed terrain of knowledge production and dissemination, but to actively take part and contest and reshape knowledge … Continue reading

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