APODE Week 2022

The Asia-Pacific Online Distance Education (APODE) week will be held from 7 to 9 November 2022. FLANZ and the Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia (ODLAA), in association with the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) are delighted to collaborate to jointly host a series of free webinars. These will be facilitated by leading practitioners and international educators working in the area. This will be an excellent opportunity to critically reflect on events over the last 24 months with a global community of educators as we consider the role of new models of online distance education into the future.

In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the spotlight has been placed on the value of investing in new flexible models of education. APODE Week aims to both celebrate and build further capacity in online distance education across the Asia-Pacific region. APODE Week provides a focus for advocating for the advantages of increasingly flexible modes of learning delivery and support. We are supporting ICDE in their Global Advocacy Campaign.

All events will be held in Zoom and will be recorded. They will then be made available on the FLANZ YouTube channel. We encourage you to participate in the live conversations to engage with our presenters and workshop facilitators. Please register to receive the information for joining the webinars.

7 November 2022: The ICDE Global Advocacy Campaign: Advocating Open, Flexible, and Distance Learning

Facilitator: Torunn Gjelsvik, ICDE Secretary General

Time: 5-6pm AEDT, 6-7 FJT, 7-8pm NZDT, 7-8am CET, 8-9am EET

This workshop will introduce the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) and their Global Advocacy Campaign (GAC), an initiative that aims to support local and regional advocacy efforts across the globe. ICDE Secretary General, Torunn Gjelsvik will explain why advocacy for open and distance education is a vital part of ICDE’s work and how ICDE members are encouraged and empowered through regional and topical task forces.

Register for Torunn’s workshop

Portrait of Torunn Gjelsvik smilingAbout Torunn

Torunn Gjelsvik is the Secretary General of ICDE, a global membership association and not for profit NGO hosted by Norway. With more than 20 years of experience in open, flexible, distance, and online education, she has held several executive leadership positions in various educational institutions and organisations, including the national membership association Flexible Education Norway. Her international experience covers policy development, international networks and partnerships, global events, and cross-country project management related to the global field of open, flexible, distance, and online education.


8 November 2022: Defining open, distance, and flexible learning

Facilitator: Simon Paul Atkinson

Time: 11am-12pm AEDT, 12-1pm FJT, 1-2pm NZDT

This workshop will explore an original definitional model that attempts to establish a consensus around the terms open, distance, and flexible, when used in the context of education. The semantic qualities that exist between words with opposite meanings are referred to as antonyms (Plural antonymies; contrast with synonymy). By exploring these antonyms, we will identify the spectrums that exist between them that give rise to so much confusion within the literature.

In this interactive workshop participants use Mentimeter and Padlet in a separate browser window, which can be on a mobile device.

Register for Simon’s workshop

Portrait of Simon Paul AtkinsonAbout Simon

Dr Simon Paul Atkinson is a Higher Education Strategy Consultant. He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and joint Editor of the Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning. He also serves on the International Advisory Board for Open University’s Journal of Interactive Media in Education. Simon has over 25 years experience in the tertiary sector at senior levels in both academic development and educational technology, in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

9 November 2022: OFDL resources: national and global perspective

This session includes a series of four fast-paced lightning talks to provide national and global perspectives on Open, Flexible and Distributed Learning.

Time: 11am-12pm AEDT, 12-1pm FJT, 1-2pm NZDT

Register for the lightning talks

OER in the context of USP and the Islands

Presenter: Rajni Chand, The University of the South Pacific

Use and importance of OERs gained more relevance during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Institutions, teachers and students depended on the OERs for support that went missing due to the closure of institutions and schools. The Centre for Flexible Learning (CFL) at University of the South Pacific hosts PACFOLD (Pacific Centre for Flexible and Open Learning for Development) which is the Commonwealth of Learning’s regional centre (hosted at USP under the leadership of the Director of the Centre for Flexible Learning) that provides technical support for the region’s Commonwealth member countries’ OER collection. All Pacific Commonwealth countries host their own OER collections for their teachers. Apart from this, PACFOLD is currently working on a project funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade that is examining the repository designing for the region.

This presentation will share the work of PACFOLD as well as the importance of OER during the current situation we are facing.

Portrai to Rajni ChandAbout Rajni

Dr. Rajni Kaushal Chand is the Director for CFL. She has been with USP for over 25 years as a student, teacher, researcher, and course coordinator. She has travelled extensively in the USP region and internationally and has in-depth knowledge on Open and Distance Learning (ODL) for small and  developing South Pacific regional countries. She has presented her research findings at various international ODL, Applied Linguistics and Indian Diaspora conferences.  Dr. Rajni Chand has also worked in the course development and editing sections for USP’s Distance Learning section.

Dr. Rajni Chand holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Otago. She received a position in the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) Women and Leadership in ODL training program and has recently been appointed a mentor in the COL’s Commonwealth Wise Women mentoring programme. She is also the chairperson of Board of Trustees for femLinkPacific; a major regional feminist media NGO.

FOSSDLE: Building a Pacific open platform cooperative to support the implementation of the UNESCO OER Recommendation

Presenter: Wayne Mackintosh, Open Education Resource Foundation

The Free and Open Source Software Digital Learning Ecosystem (FOSSDLE) aims to provide shared, low-cost technology infrastructure for governments and institutions in the Pacific to reuse, remix, and host their own OER-enabled online courses while building capacity in open education and system administration skills.

Experience gained from the Pacific Partnership for Open Distance and Flexible Learning led by the Commonwealth of Learning with funding support from New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade highlights the need for capacity development of teachers in open education and associated digital skills. While teachers are motivated to improve their skills in online teaching using OER, few have reliable and affordable access to the digital platforms needed to build their confidence or ability to host online courses.

This session will provide an overview of the nascent FOSSDLE initiative to establish a mentoring network for Pacific island technologists wanting to build hands-on skills supporting open technologies. FOSSDLE will deploy the OER Foundation’s award winning learning ecosystem to establish the digital equivalent of a “Community Garden” where gardeners come together to acquire new knowledge and skills while serving immediate needs and sharing maintenance tasks, all while enjoying the camaraderie of a community of practice.

FOSSDLE aims to support Pacific member states with their reporting obligations under the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation for Open Educational Resources.

Portrait of Wayne MackintoshAbout Wayne

Dr. Wayne Mackintosh is the Managing Director of the Open Education Resource Foundation, an independent non-profit organisation based in New Zealand where he holds the UNESCO Chair in Open Educational Resources (OER).

The Foundation provides collaborative networking opportunities and practical support to governments and institutions with the implementation of the UNESCO OER Recommendation and coordinates the OER universitas (OERu) international network.

Wayne has participated in a range of international consultancies and projects including work for COL, the International Monetary Fund, UNESCO and the World Bank. Wayne is recipient of the International Council of Open and Distance Education (ICDE) Individual Prize of Excellence and was conferred the Global Leadership Award by Open Education Global.

Open education in practice – open textbook publishing at RMIT

Presenter: Jennifer Hurley, RMIT

The global open education movement is underpinned by a social justice ethos and focuses on equitable access to and representation in learning resources. Open education is a broad and flexible concept that is about collaborative teaching and learning practices in which students become significant partners in the development of open resources. To promote open education at RMIT, the Library has established the RMIT Open Press to provide educators with a pathway to involve students as co-authors and to share their work openly.

This presentation will explore what open education means in practice, and will explore:

  • a best-practice definition of open education that encompasses a range of activities
  • key elements of open education illustrated with examples of practices at RMIT
  • the impact of these practices on students and educators

About Jennifer

Portrait photo of Jennifer HurleyDr. Jennifer Hurley leads the Open Publishing Team at RMIT, coordinating the publication of open books by RMIT authors under the RMIT Open Press imprint. She advocates the benefits of open pedagogy to teachers and is a member of the project team developing an Open Scholarship policy at RMIT. Jennifer is also a member of the cross-institutional editorial team that produces the Open Educational Practice Special Interest Group Digest and the Council of Australian University Librarians Enabling a Modern Curriculum OER Advocacy Project team.