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Social justice and openness in online and distance learning
(ODL) – between promise and delivery
Prof Narend Baijnath – Co...
Introduction
• Exploration of the emergence and intent of open
universities and ODL
• Status of the open university, its i...
Open universities
• Distance education/distance learning: focuses on
teaching methods and technology with the aim of
deliv...
Promises of ODL
• Enhances social justice, openness and accessibility;
• Transcends national boundaries;
• Minimises tuiti...
ODL delivery in South Africa
• UNISA founded in 1873 to address past injustices
• UNISA has transitioned from ODL to ODeL ...
Promises of ODL and openness
• ODL breaks down barriers to access to information and
learning resources
• Students can eng...
Promises of ODL for social justice
• Social justice: creating a society/institution based on
principles of equality and so...
Factors that influence openness and
social justice in ODL/ODeL
• Legal – copyrights regarding OERs
• Technological – relia...
The future of open universities/ODL in
the 4IR
• Innovation is important to align education and lifelong
learning with the...
Issues related to delivery
• A panacea for mass access
• The unit of resource – cost-effectiveness and scale
• Geographic ...
Concluding remarks
Social justice and openness in online and distance learning (ODL) – between promise and delivery, #edlw2019
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Social justice and openness in online and distance learning (ODL) – between promise and delivery, #edlw2019

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Presentation by Narend Baijnath, CEO, Council of Higher Education, South Africa, at the 2019 European Distance Learning Week's fifth-day webinar on "The journey to social justice and openness in ODL" - 15 November 2019
Recording of the discussion is available: https://eden-online.adobeconnect.com/pqnnhlmaq3ho/ & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK_tCGMUL-8

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Social justice and openness in online and distance learning (ODL) – between promise and delivery, #edlw2019

  1. 1. Social justice and openness in online and distance learning (ODL) – between promise and delivery Prof Narend Baijnath – Council on Higher Education, South Africa
  2. 2. Introduction • Exploration of the emergence and intent of open universities and ODL • Status of the open university, its impact on openness and social justice • Analysis of future prospects of open universities and ODL as instruments for promoting openness and social justice
  3. 3. Open universities • Distance education/distance learning: focuses on teaching methods and technology with the aim of delivering teaching to individual students who are not physically present • ODL: open and flexible to give students freedom to learn anywhere, anytime, at their own pace • Journey of distance education: post mail correspondence, to instructional radio, to educational television to current conjuncture
  4. 4. Promises of ODL • Enhances social justice, openness and accessibility; • Transcends national boundaries; • Minimises tuition, travelling, accommodation and textbook costs; • Makes education accessible to everyone; • Allows students to learn while doing other part-time jobs - especially those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds • Lifelong learning
  5. 5. ODL delivery in South Africa • UNISA founded in 1873 to address past injustices • UNISA has transitioned from ODL to ODeL since 2013, which has increased student support and enrolments • ODL is a catalyst for access, participation and redress of inequalities
  6. 6. Promises of ODL and openness • ODL breaks down barriers to access to information and learning resources • Students can engage with content without restrictions • Support from tutors/facilitators is readily available
  7. 7. Promises of ODL for social justice • Social justice: creating a society/institution based on principles of equality and solidarity • Education is an effective mechanism for promoting social justice • Opportunities for social mobility, promotes reasoning capabilities, acceptance of differences
  8. 8. Factors that influence openness and social justice in ODL/ODeL • Legal – copyrights regarding OERs • Technological – reliable electricity, computers, internet access • Social – relevance to societal needs, sensitivity to values and norms; diversity as a factor • Economic – availability of resources
  9. 9. The future of open universities/ODL in the 4IR • Innovation is important to align education and lifelong learning with the knowledge requirements of society • Collaborative engagement of learners with digital content, tools and services in teaching and learning • 4IR can increase accessibility to learning/innovation/creativity • 4IR may hinder social justice and access for the disadvantaged – fewer jobs
  10. 10. Issues related to delivery • A panacea for mass access • The unit of resource – cost-effectiveness and scale • Geographic distance and access to learning resources, diversity as a factor • Socio-economic inequalities and related divides • Quality issues • 4IR era and new challenges related to social justice
  11. 11. Concluding remarks

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