The 29th AAOU Conference was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from November 30th to December 2nd,2015. The conference’s main theme was “New Frontiers in Open and Distance Learning (ODL).” Hosted by the Open University of Malaysia (OUM), the conference welcomed more than 260 representatives from over 20 countries and regions,including OUC delegates, who attended the conference and presented papers.
Professor Yuk-Shan Wong, Chair of AAOU and the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK), delivered a welcome speech at the opening ceremony. YB Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching, Malaysia’s Vice Minister of Higher Education, and Professor AnuwarAli, President of OUM,both delivered welcome speeches at the opening ceremony.
Chen Haishan, Deputy Director of the Open University of China’s Department of International Cooperation and Exchange, attended the 30thAnnual Meeting of the AAOU Executive Committee and the 29th Annual Meeting of the AAOU General Body.A team consisting of members from the OUC, the OUHK, Universitas Terbuka Indonesia (Indonesia Open University), Korea National Open University, and the Open University of Japan also presented the 2015 progress report from the Task Force on MOOCs.
Dr. Li Kam-Cheong, Vice President of the OUHK and General Secretary of AAOU, Professor Asha Kanwar, CEO and Chair of Commonwealth of Learning, Professor Tian Belawati, Chair of ICDE and Universitas Terbuka Indonesia Rector, Professor Nageshwar, Vice Chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University, and Professor Halimah Badioze Zaman, Head of the ICT Cluster of Malaysia’s National Professor Council were all invited to deliver keynote speeches. The five experts in distance education provided case studies and shared their research findings in five themes:“New Research and Practices in ODL,”“Technology as a Driver of ODL,”“New Paradigm for Open Universities,”“The Open Knowledge Movement,”and “Quality Assurance in ODL.”Five parallel sessions enabled representatives to present papers and facilitate academic discussions around the five themes.
In the parallel sessions, OUC delegates Cui Naipeng, Chen Siming, Tao Xinxin, and Liu Shu presented their papers and shared with other attendees their research findings on the following topics: A New Learning Model Based on Online Courses and Teaching Teams at the Open University of China, Collaborative Problem-Solving Strategy of M-Learning at the Open University of China, Exploration into Scholarship Fund Management Mechanisms at the Open University of China in the New Development Model, A Study on e-Learning Environment in Mobile Internet Era.
During the “Open University President Forum,” the topic of “The Way Forward in Open and Distance Learning”was discussed and studied by the OU presidents attending the conference, in the context of the development goals of the OUs in their respective countries.
At the closing ceremony, the AAOU Meritorious Service, Best Paper, Best Practice, and Young Innovator Awards were given.The University of the Philippines Open University was announced as the location for the 30th Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities. The establishment of an “ASIAN MOOC” was also announced. According to resolutions passed by the AAOU General Body, the “ASIAN MOOC” will function as a platform that connects all AAOU member organizations, sharing the latest research findings and practical cases relating to MOOCs.
By Chen Haishan, OUC