We are pleased to welcome the following keynote speakers for our 2017 conference:

B.TynanBelinda Tynan

Professor Belinda Tynan is currently Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education) and Vice President at RMIT. Previously Pro Vice Chancellor at the Open University in the UK. She has 30 years of experience within the education sector and is a champion of open and distance education. She has 70+ refereed publications to her name. She is currently a member of the ICDE Executive Committee and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK).

Keynote: Innovation Drivers in Open & Distance Learning

The drivers of innovation are many and contextualised. Certainly technologies have altered the ways in which we engage with the world and are forcing a rethink of how we go about education. Technologies can in part support our aspirations for amazing learning outcomes for our learners. Understanding who our learners are and how they use technologies in their day-to-day remains instructive even though it may seem like going over old ground. The future of open and distance education is certainly changing and innovation is essential for its own transformation to meet the emerging behaviours and needs of the next generation of learners.


P.GoodyearPeter Goodyear

Peter Goodyear is Professor of Education at the University of Sydney – a position he took up in 2003. He is the founding co-director of the University’s Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation, a multi-faculty collaboration involving over 80 academic staff and PhD students. Previously, he set up and led the Centre for Research on Computer-Supported Learning and Cognition (CoCo) and the Sciences and Technologies of Learning research network

Peter’s research interests include design for learning, networked learning, complex learning spaces, the nature of professional knowledge and professional education. He has published 11 books and over 120 journal articles and book chapters.

Keynote: Learning networks, architecture and design: opening the conversation

In this talk, I will draw together the sub-themes of the conference – openness, community and innovation – by focusing on design and networked learning. Networked learning can be thought of as a family of approaches that reconfigure the distribution of learning activities across time, space, media and people. The network metaphor foregrounds connectivity and connotes more fluid kinds of community. Using a number of examples from my team’s analyses of the architectures of productive learning networks, I will share some thoughts about the changing nature of design for networked learning. In particular, I will: stress the importance of distinguishing between what can be designed and what cannot; identify some participatory approaches to design that are emerging as of particular value in networked learning, and argue that successful engagement in design always involves an openness to combining different kinds of knowledge and ways of knowing. Indeed, design for networked learning demands both openness to multiple ways of knowing and versatility in applying different kinds of knowledge to different problems in the design process.


K.Bala Dr K. Balasubramaniam (Bala)

Dr. Balasubramanian  Kodhandaraman (K.Balasubramanian  or in short, Bala ) is the Vice President of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL). Bala has more than 30 years of experience in the field of sustainable development with specific focus on marginalized groups.  In Commonwealth of Learning (COL) , he  has been working in the area of non-formal learning and lifelong learning particularly among women since 2009.

His areas of specialisation include, participatory development, programme planning and management in agriculture  and rural development,  gender and ICT-enabled non-formal learning.  Bala has contributed papers in peer reviewed journals and has  participated in policy development activities in Asia, Africa, Caribbean and Pacific.  He has a PhD degree from Bangalore University in sociology.

Keynote: Impact, structure and functions of lifelong learning using ICT and ODL

Reaching the unreached is one of the biggest challenges in the education system. More than 17% of the world’s adult population is still not literate and two thirds of them are women. A large number of people in Asia and Africa do not have access to proper schooling as well as tertiary education. Non-formal education is seen as a  panacea. However, reaching a large number of people with non-formal education is still a challenge. The rise of Open and Distance Learning during the last six decades, and the innovations in information and communication technology (ICT)  are offering new avenues to address these issues.  However, using the conventional pedagogy to address these issues may not help to solve the challenges.

COL’s initiative “Lifelong Learning for Farmers “(L3F) has been adopting a new approach which is described in this presentation. Through a study among women’s groups in rural Kenya and Tanzania, this presentation attempts to trace the structure and functions of lifelong learning using ICT and ODL and discerns its impact in terms of empowerment and livelihood.


J.Seitzinger
Joyce Seitzinger

Learner experience designer and director at Academic Tribe, Melbourne, Australia

Keynote: The practice of designing for complex learning experiences

The learning experiences we design now are highly complex: exemplary learning experience builds on openness, community and innovation yet still meet the needs of different learners. Learning experiences also need to be flexible in time, accessible in different contexts and available on multiple devices. In this talk, we will look at the practice of designing for these experiences in our institutions. What are the challenges for our design teams and how can they respond? Sharing experience design practices from inside and outside higher education, we will look at emerging design methods and techniques, the changing composition of design teams, evolving roles and skills, and the challenges of building a design culture inside our institutions.

View preview video for Joyce’s keynote address >


Kemi Jona

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs, College of Professional Studies
Founding Director, Lowell Institute School
Research Professor, College of Computing and Information Science

Keynote: A New Digital Infrastructure for Learning

In our domain, MOOCs have been an initial, albeit imperfect, form of new infrastructure for learning. This keynote address will explore the landscape of new digital infrastructures in other contexts (e.g. Uber) and consider ways in which we might be able to move towards developing new digital infrastructures that are much more personalised and user friendly in Open, Distance & Flexible learning research and practice.

View preview video for Kemi’s keynote address>