ODLAA is managed by an Executive Committee. Each year half of the committee is elected for a two year period, from and by ODLAA members.

President – Dr Mutuota Kigotho

Mutuota has been involved in the area of distance education in Australia since 2009 when he took up a position as Lecturer at the University of New England (UNE). At UNE over eighty per cent of the students study online and by distance learning.

Mutuota’s expertise lies in digital literacy where his focus has been the intersection between broadband and analogue investigating the literacies that users need to make sense of their learning environment. He has published in the Journal of Distance Education and in Literacy Learning- the Middle Years. He has also presented papers at the International Council of Distance Education (ICDE) conferences in Sydney and in Bali – Indonesia.

Within ODLAA, Mutuota has served as a committee member, first as secretary, then as Vice-President & treasurer, and from 2017, as President of the association. He believes that access continues to be one of the biggest challenges of our time and is strongly persuaded in sharing content at minimal cost.

Vice President/Publications Officer – Dr Jenny Roberts

Jenny RobertsDr Jenny Roberts is a senior researcher at the Institute for Open and Distance Learning (IODL) at the University of South Africa (Unisa). She has undergraduate studies in Statistics and Sociology, a Masters degree in Tourism Development and Management and a D. Litt et Phil in the teaching and curriculum design of Biblical Archaeology, and as such is a true interdisciplinary scholar. She has published articles on distance education, discipline in education, metacognition and engaged scholarship research. She is currently a co-editor and contributor to a textbook on the teaching of Life Skills as well as co-editor of the special themed edition of the Distance Education journal. She has presented papers at local and international conferences in Australia, New Zealand, China, Russia and other African countries. She was a member of the panel discussion on MOOCs at the ICDE conference which was held in Moscow. Her areas of interest are Learner Support, Metacognition, MOOCs, Neuro-education and Life Skills. She is the leader of the Unisa research thrust “Technology and the Changing Role of Academics in Distance Education”, as well as a team member together with colleagues from other South African universities on a National Research Foundation (NRF) project on co-operative learning in an ODL context. She describes herself as a lifelong learner, even at a distance, as can be seen from the fact that she is currently enrolled for various Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) in teaching mathematics, psychology and research methodologies. Dr Roberts is the first South African to be elected to the executive committee of the Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia (ODLAA).

Treasurer – Marcus de Rijk

Marcus is an Educational Technologies manager with extensive project management knowledge, skills and experience, particularly in the development and production of video, multimedia and online educational resources. He is currently the Senior Learning Systems and Software Advisor within the Education Portfolio at RMIT University, and holds a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Curriculum, Teaching and Learning.

Marcus has a keen interest around the challenge of diverse curriculum development requirements and online delivery projects, and enjoys supporting others with innovative and creative advice, inspired by technically innovative solutions that produce quality teaching and learning outcomes. As a recipient of a Vice-Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, La Trobe University, he brings to the committee an experienced perspective on online accessibility and the provision of accessible learning resources for students with a disability.

Secretary – Assoc. Prof. Julie Fleming

Associate Professor Julie Fleming is the Associate Dean of Scholarship and Technology within the School of Education and the Arts, at Central Queensland University. Her focus is on increasing skills and knowledge of academic staff through scholarship. As an active educator, she has played a significant role in the provision of strategic leadership to CQUniversity’s educational activities, with a focus on teaching staff and the student experience. Julie has driven many continuous improvement activities, implemented successful teaching technologies, advocated for women in leadership, all successfully through her networks and engagement with staff across CQU’s multi-campus, dual-sector university and beyond.

Her scholarship and research are built on solid foundations, with experience in a number of internal and externally funded research projects around aspects of learning and teaching. She currently supervises seven Masters’ to PhD students in various topics from radiographer educator transitions in higher education to blended approaches to teaching paramedicine.

Her commitment and innovative approaches that have demonstrated her commitment to student success through learning and teaching at CQUniversity, have been recognised by national as well as several institutional awards, including most recently, 2018 an ‘Australasian Academic Development Good Practice Award Finalist’; a ‘National Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning’ in 2016; a ‘Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching’ and a ‘Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching’ in 2011. In 2013, she received a CQU ‘Student Voice Award for Distance Educator of the Year’ commendation for Nature of Learning and Teaching (OLTC20003) and in 2014, she was awarded a prestigious ‘Vice-Chancellor’s Award Outstanding Contributions to Learning and Teaching’. As an outstanding educator, she has recently (2019) been recognised as a Senior Fellow through the Higher Education Academy

Committee Member – Diane Hockridge

DHockridgeDiane has worked in distance and online higher education for around 15 years. She currently works as Online Educational Designer for Ridley College, a theological education college in Melbourne. In this role she works with faculty to design new units for distance students for a range of Bachelor and Masters degrees in theology. Diane also runs professional development workshops and undertakes consultancy work on distance education in the theological education sector.

Diane’s research interests are in the field of Learning Design and online pedagogy. Diane’s qualifications include a BA and Litt.B in political science from ANU, a diploma in theology, and a masters in higher education – e-learning (Macquarie University). She is currently completing her PhD in the School of Education at Macquarie University, Sydney. Her research explores learning design for formational learning in the theological education sector. She is also interested in exploring potential cross-disciplinary insights into the improvement of student learning experiences in distance and online learning contexts.

Committee Member – Mark Brown

Mark Brown is Ireland’s first Professor of Digital Learning and Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University (DCU). He is a Fellow and Executive Committee member of the European Distance and E-learning Network (EDEN)and serves on the Supervisory Board of the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU). He was also Chair from 2014 to the end of 2018 of the Teaching and Learning Steering Committee for the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU). 

Mark previously worked in a senior role at Massey University where he was also President of the New Zealand Association for Open, Flexible and Distance Learning (DEANZ, now FLANZ) and served on the Executive Committee of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE). In 2017, the Commonwealth of Learning (CoL) recognised Mark as a world leader in Open and Distance Learning, and he is Chair of the ICDE World Conference on Online Learning which will be held in Dublin in November 2019. More information about Mark is available from the following website:https://www .dcu.ie/nidl/people/director.shtml