Developments in October

Transcontinental liaisons


Dear all, time to post another entry to the blog and let you all know what has been happening over the last month. We have seen the last days of what was a very wet summer in England now changing into a pleasant autumn. I took the chance to sit and work in the garden over the weekend (my dog Jack is also enjoying the better weather!).

From an EDEN perspective, we have been developing the role that EDEN plays as a European promoter and representative of the world of distance and e-learning for other regions in the world. Our Vice President Uli Bernath is going to represent EDEN at a conference in Beijing this month, following up the very positive links we made with senior representatives of the Chinese Central Radio and TV University at our last EDEN annual conference in Naples. Uli will be speaking on the theme of quality assurance at a conference organised by the Open University UK which will be attended by more than 50 Chinese Universities who are offering distance and e-learning, as well as by a number of European institutions. We hope in this way to develop a presence for Europe as promoter of distance and e-learning on behalf of all our members in China.

Martine Vidal of the Centre National d’Enseignement à Distance (CNED) in France, and a senior Executive Committee member of EDEN, will also be representing EDEN in another region of the world, namely the USA. Martine will go for the second time on EDEN’s behalf to the Sloan Consortium conference in November in Orlando, Florida. The Sloan conference is a significant event in the distance and e-learning world in the USA and brings together a range of US institutions committed to online learning. Martine’s contribution will build the European presence, and represents an important element of the Executive Committee’s wish to build the profile of European distance and E-learning in other regions of the world.

On the Executive Committee we are all preparing now for the next meeting of the EC which takes place in Norway from 18-20 October. Our former President Ingeborg Bøe has organised an unusual venue for the meeting, namely the vessel MS Midnatsol, which will sail from Trondheim to Tromsoe up the Norwegian coast. We have a range of important issues to consider, including the organisation with the Universidade Aberta of Portugal of our annual conference in June 2008 in Lisbon, and our research conference in October 2008 in Paris, supported by CNED (visit the EDEN website regularly for emerging details). We also intend to step back and consider more broadly the priorities and activities that we should be taking up for the next period, and which I, as President, am committed to delivering with you all. Your suggestions are very welcome.

Lastly, I should mention that EURODL has a new Assistant Editor, Mirjam Hauck, who is a senior lecturer in German at the OU UK. Mirjam brings a range of new and innovative ideas, and one we are going to consider is the possibility of using an ‘open refereeing’ system, where articles can have part of their refereeing process undertaken by visitors to the website. More of this soon!

So enough from me for this month, and stay in touch with EDEN!

Best wishes,

Alan Tait

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