This section of the website provides an overview of sources of information on developments in and practice of open and distance education with a particular focus in Africa.
- Leading journals are listed and described - including a note on how much material is free to access online - and a link provided to their websites.
- Links to conference papers from previous ODL conferences and conference proceedings also feature.
- ODL thesis and Dissertations have been added.
- We also have ODL report, articles and papers.
Some key definitions
In recent years the definition and application of open and distance learning have been evolving in parallel with the arrival of newer and intelligent technologies. Today, and in the foreseeable future, open and distance education embraces any or all of the following:
Policies and practices that permit entry to learning with no or minimum barriers with respect to age, gender, or time constraints and with recognition of prior learning. These policies need not be part of a distance education system but are complementary to it.
The delivery of learning or training to those who are separated mostly by time and space from those who are teaching or training. The teaching is done with a variety of "mediating processes"* used to transmit content, to provide tuition and to conduct assessment or measure outcomes.
The provision of learning opportunities that can be accessed at any place and time. Flexible learning relates more to the scheduling of activities than to any particular delivery mode.*
Online learning and e-learning
Terms that have emerged to describe the application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to enhance distance education, implement open learning policies, make learning activities more flexible and enable those learning activities to be distributed among many learning venues.*
Includes aspects of both online and e-learning but goes somewhat further. While it is largely web-centric it does not necessarily limit itself to learners outside a conventional classroom. It uses multimedia and, besides delivering content, also enables a high level of interaction among learners, content, teachers, peers and administration both synchronously and asynchronously
*Farrell, Glen (ed.). 2003. A Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth. Vancouver: The Commonwealth of Learning.